At first glance, the new 2023 Honda Accord looks great. It features pleasantly conservative styling, has a smart interior, and the new available hybrid powertrain offers improved power and efficiency. However, Honda’s aggressive price hikes for new models like the 2023 CR-V resulted in some mild trepidation around the Accord’s affordability. Well, pricing for the 2023 Honda Accord is now out and it seems like Honda isn’t moving the bar terribly far. However, some sacrifices have been made to keep pricing on the level. Let’s compare pricing and features on the new Accord to last year’s model and see if the new one seems worth it on paper.
In case you’ve purged what the 2022 Honda Accord looks like from your mind in favor of more immediately useful information like the oil pan drain plug torque spec on your daily driver or that new ridiculously complex password your workplace’s IT department gave you, here’s a brief reminder:
Pretty handsome, right? Sure, the chrome monobrow and massive grille date the front end a touch, but the long wheelbase, sloped roofline, and sharp character lines cut a great profile. There’s nothing hugely offensive about the outgoing Accord’s styling, plus there’s plenty to like.
The interior’s pretty good too. Material selection is great, the lid for the center stack compartment is nicely-damped, piano black is kept to a minimum, and every button is wonderfully clicky. The cabin of the old Accord has such a sense of quality to it. Plus, the ergonomics are brilliant. Everything has a real button or knob, all the controls are within easy reach, and the driving position is pleasingly low with plenty of steering column and seat adjustment. Right, refresher over, time to compare old to new.
First, a disclaimer: All new Accord models are subject to a relatively reasonable $1,095 freight and PDI charge, and we’ll be including this in pricing because it’s not a fee you can get out of.
Let’s start with the important stuff – the affordable trims. The base Accord LX starts at $28,390 including freight, just $775 more than the outgoing Accord LX. Mind you, the new Accord LX seems to be at a disadvantage to the old one when it comes to equipment. The new infotainment system features a seven-inch screen rather than the old car’s eight-inch screen, dual-zone automatic climate control is no longer on the base trim, but the new car gets an all-digital gauge cluster and a horsepower peak 500 RPM higher in the rev range. Peak output of the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is unchanged at 192 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque, but fuel economy is down one mpg across the board.
If you want more than just the basics in a new Accord, you’ll need to pony up $30,705 for the EX trim which doesn’t have a true analog on the outgoing car. The EX model adds an eight-speaker audio system, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, and a moonroof. I reckon this is the value pick of the range as it gives you all the toys you could reasonably want at a very sensible price. Sure, it may cost $630 more than the outgoing car’s Sport trim and not come with flashy 19-inch alloy wheels or a leather-wrapped steering wheel, but heated seats are a wonderful bonus and 225/50R17 tires are a whole lot cheaper to replace than 235/40R19 tires, so you should close than $630 gap on tires alone if you keep your Accord long enough.
If you’re looking for the big fuel economy savings of a hybrid powertrain, the new Accord starts to get pricey. The base hybrid trim is gone for 2023, with the Sport trim serving as the new gateway to electrification. Ringing up at $32,990, it’s $825 more than last year’s Hybrid Sport trim and a whopping $2,915 more than last year’s standard Sport trim, but comes with some extra goodies. Not only is power and torque up two horsepower and 15 lb.-ft. over the old hybrid model, the cabin gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that looks pretty slick. That seems well worth the $825 price increase, although it’s worth noting that the gas-only Sport trim is no more. Oh, and the Sport trim still gets all manner of cosmetic bits like 19-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, black mirror caps, and a black rear spoiler, for all your posing needs.
Moving up the range, the 2023 Accord EX-L starts at $34,635, $500 less than last year’s EX-L Hybrid model but $700 more than last year’s standard EX-L model. So how much does the new EX-L lose for it to gain hybrid power for just $700? Well, wireless charging is no longer on the menu and there’s no indication that the new car gets last year’s 450-watt 10-speaker stereo, but that appears to be about as far as the decontenting goes. You still get heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors, second-row USB charging ports, and all the luxury-oriented toys of the Sport trim, so the EX-L seems like it offers great value.
New for 2023 is the Sport-L trim, which combines the visual tweaks of the Sport with the leather upholstery of the EX-L, plus black rear valence trim for a little something extra. At $34,970, it may be worth the $335 premium over the EX-L trim, provided you’re willing to live with the more expensive 19-inch tires and the fuel consumption hit. Those big wheels knock economy down from 51 MPG city, 44 MPG highway, and 48 MPG combined to 46 MPG city, 41 MPG highway, and 44 MPG combined.
Finally, we reach the top of the 2023 Accord pyramid with the plush Touring trim. At $38,985, it’s $300 more than last year’s Hybrid Touring model but $955 cheaper than last year’s Touring model. However, it does come with a whole lot less power than last year’s standard Touring model. Honda’s brilliant turbocharged two-liter K20 engine is banished from the Accord lineup, leaving the new car on the back foot by 48 horsepower and 26 lb.-ft. of torque. While you may have once bought a top-trim Accord to get power and toys, the new Accord Touring is more focused on efficiency and toys. Mind you, most of the toys confined to the Touring trim are fairly useful. I’m talking about ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, wireless charging, a heads-up display, Google built into the infotainment system, and a 5G hotspot. Of course, this comes on top of everything in the EX-L trim, plus some other bits like 19-inch wheels and a 12-speaker Bose audio system.
So how does the new Accord’s pricing stack up against its closest competitor, the Toyota Camry? Well, the Camry is cheaper on the low-end. A base Camry LE is $27,315 including its $1,095 freight charge, some $1,075 cheaper than an Accord LX. If you want a cheap hybrid midsize sedan and don’t care too much about toys, the gap widens even further. A Camry LE Hybrid stickers for $29,450, $3,540 cheaper than an Accord Sport. However, the current Camry dates back to the 2018 model year and trailed the outgoing Accord in refinement. Plus, once you move into the middle of the range, the Accord is neck-and-neck with the Camry on value.
Overall, the 2023 Honda Accord seems to be mostly worth its premium on paper, with one big catch. The base LX trim has been decontented with two very noticeable alterations being the removal of dual-zone climate control and the use of a smaller infotainment screen. It should go without saying, big decisions like that can really affect how nice a car feels. If you have a hard budget cap of $30,000 and want a midsize sedan, your money should go further by either picking up a leftover 2022 Accord or shopping elsewhere. However, excluding the LX trim, the new Accord looks decent on paper. An updated design with plenty of hybrid trims for not a whole lot more than comparably-equipped examples of the outgoing car seems like a good thing overall. Of course, cars aren’t driven on paper so I’ll wait until I’m behind the wheel to reach a final verdict, but unless you want that torquey two-liter turbo motor in your life or are dead-set on keeping things cheap, don’t rush out to buy a 2022 Accord just yet.
(Photo credits: Honda)
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