New Model News

2021 Honda Accord gets a fresh face, Special Edition trim, upgraded tech

The Honda Accord has been revised for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The 2021 Honda Accord has undergone a mid-genenration refresh. For the new model year, the midsize Accord gets a host of styling updates, upgraded technology, a new trim level, and additional safety features. The Accord Hybrid is also getting powertrain upgrades and new wheels.

Honda will sell the 2021 Accord in five trim levels: LX, EX-L, Sport, Sport Special Edition (SE), and Touring. The SE grade is new for 2021 and replaces the EX trim. There's also a revised Accord Hybrid.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda has restyled the front of the Accord to feature a wider, less segmented-looking grille. The look adds sophistication and draws comparisons to the Mazda6 and Audi. With the redo, the Honda Sensing suite of safety technology's radar unit is now housed in the grille. Flanking the grille are new LED high- and low-beam headlights with longer and wider illumination. The fog lights are now housed in smaller offerings.

Honda differentiates the Accord Sport and Sport SE from the other trims by adding a rear trunk lid spoiler, trim-specific 19-inch wheel design, LED fog lights, dark-chrome grille, and chrome exhaust finishers.

The Accord Hybrid is set apart from the rest of the crowd stylistically with a blue H-mark on the grille, adds its own unique touches to the styling updates made to the entire 2021 Accord lineup, including a blue H-mark on the grille and Hybrid badges on the front fenders and trunk lid. This year, Accord Hybrid Touring grade features 19-inch wheels, giving it an upscale and sporty appearance.

Accord LX, EX-L, and Touring receive new alloy wheel designs. The Sport, SE, and Touring trim levels have a new available wheel color: Sonic Gray Pearl.

The Accord Hybrid has gotten a powertrain update designed to improve the car's performance. Engineers have recalibrated the hybrid system for a more immediate throttle response. The car's acceleration will now feel more traditional and this should follow a trend that is seeing automakers offer more responsive performance from their hybrid models. It will also spend more time operating solely on electric power than competing hybrid models.

The Accord Hybrid has a total peak output of 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. It achieves 48 mpg combined. Honda was recently named the most fuel-efficient automaker in the North American market.

The cabin of the Accord remains relatively the same. It now includes a standard 8.0-inch Display Audio infotainment touch screen. Accord EX gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which requires a cord to connect a smartphone to the system, while Accord EX-L and Touring get wireless versions of the same tech.

The Accord's USB ports have been moved to the front of the center console. Accord Sport and higher trim levels now include dual 2.5-volt USB ports for rear seat passengers. A wireless charger is available.

For 2021, the new Accord Sport SE replaces the Accord EX 1.5T. It builds on the Sport trim adding leather seats, heated front seats, a four-way power passenger seat, 12-way power driver's seat, heated mirrors, Smart Entry, and remote engine start. Its dual rear USB ports, leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, leather-wrapped shift knob, and an eight-speaker audio system will carry over from the EX 1.5T model.

All Accords also get rear seat reminder technology while upper trim levels get Honda's Low Speed Braking Control system.

The 2021 Accord goes on sale October 13. It has a starting MSRP of $24,770.

The 2021 Accord Hybrid starts at $26,370.

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New minivan

Honda announces new Odyssey Sport

Sport is a new trim for the Odyssey minivan.

Honda

The Honda Odyssey may not be the most exciting vehicle in the world, but it's getting a new Sport model that at least makes it look the part. Honda will release the model for the 2023 model year, and the Odyssey line overall will be offered with a new Honda Service Pass, which includes two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

The Odyssey Sport slots into the Honda catalog between the EX-L and Touring trims. It comes with gloss-black exterior trim and black 19-inch wheels outside, and black leather with red stitching inside. The cabin comes with red accent lighting on the dash and in the footwells, and the roof pillars and headliner are both black. Under the hood, the Odyssey Sport gets the same 3.5-liter V6 from years past. It makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, and comes paired with a ten=speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

2023 Honda Odyssey SportThe Sport comes with dark exterior trim and unique leather upholstery with red stitching inside. Honda

All Odyssey models come with Honda Sensing safety equipment, which includes adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection. The 2023 van hasn't been crash-tested yet, but the 2022 model earned a Top Safety Pick + award, so it's likely the new model will be rated similarly.

Honda Service Pass is a new program for 2023+ Honda vehicles. It covers routine scheduled maintenance for up to two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Under the program, buyers get free oil changes, tire rotations, and multi-point inspections.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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