When you hear the two words “Honda Accord” many thoughts probably come to mind, but we can say with some certainty that the term “hybrid” is not one of them. The fact is that Honda’s friendly worldwide rival, Toyota, has become much more associated with hybrid vehicles than Honda. There was a time not that very many years ago when a top American Honda exec confided to me that his company wasn’t sold on hybrid technology because its engineers felt they could achieve the benefits of hybrid drive, most notably excellent fuel economy, without going to the expense and complication of developing hybrids.
But times do change, now don’t they?
When I recently got the chance to do a lengthy preview drive in the new-for-2021 Accord, it was the Accord Hybrid that Honda execs chose for me and many fellow journalists to drive. Why? Because these days Honda acknowledges quite openly that the hybrid version of the midsize sedan is from many angles the best version of the car. Not only does it deliver stellar fuel economy, as one would expect from a car that has “Hybrid” as its suffix, but it is also the fastest, smoothest, and