The Honda Accord has been rocking a hybrid model since the 2005 model year. The hybrid edition of the vehicle has been an on-and-off again offering from Honda over the years, but more on than off. For the start of the eleventh generation Honda Accord, the company is positioning the Accord Hybrid as one of the premier vehicles for the 2023 model year lineup. They’re hoping that car shoppers will look at a Honda Accord Hybrid for sale at their nearest dealer as opposed to a Camry or Malibu. In fact, they’re banking heavily on the Accord Hybrid as a potential top sales earner for 2023. But why?
The company has some big ambitions for the year, but part of it comes as a re-evaluation and repositioning following the disappointing sales for supposed top models during the 2022 model year. You might still be wondering why the Honda Accord Hybrid, though? What does this particular model have to offer that could help with rebounding Honda’s position on the market, and why would they want to put their eggs in the hybrid market instead of the electric or hydrogen fuel cell market? Well, it’s both simple and more complicated than you might think.
Downturn in 2022, High Expectations in 2023
Nearly every auto magazine and online news outlet has been reporting on the turbulent time currently rocking the automotive industry. It’s been an up-and-down rocky ride for the last three years, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon. The pandemic threw a massive wrench into the plans of almost every automaker in the world, and there have been major disruptions in both sales and supplies. Honda, unfortunately, has been one of the victims of this market turbulence. While many automakers saw their biggest dips in sales during 2021, Honda actually saw a pretty big shakeup in 2022. That, alone, is quite interesting, because a lot of brands started to stabilize and make a big comeback in 2022 as supply chain woes and demand began to even out. It didn’t quite work out that way for Honda.
As recently reported, Honda saw a 24% sales drop in year-over-year sales for the Honda Accord. The popular midsize sedan was on a significant decline coming off of an already paltry sales year in 2021, which was coming off one of the historically low sales years in 2020. Basically, since the pandemic hit, Honda’s midsize sedan has been hit with turbulent times, one year after another, with 2022 being the worst sales year for the Accord ever.
A three-year sales decline was enough to cause Honda to preemptively shift focus, even before it reached the historical lows in 2022. The company decided that they were going to go big for 2023 and recoup those losses with a powerful lineup of proper offerings across different segments. One of the big focal points for 2023 for the company has been increasing the volume of hybrid sales throughout the year and the near future. This includes the CR-V Hybrid, the Civic Hybrid, and the Accord Hybrid.
A Bigger, Better, More Acclimated Accord Hybrid
If sales have been down for the last three years for the Honda Accord, what makes 2023 different from the previous years? Honda is banking on drivers wanting something sleek, affordable, and most importantly, fuel efficient. The big selling point for the 2023 Honda Accord is its fuel efficiency. Someone looking to get a Honda Accord Hybrid for sale over the competition might be lured in by the miles per gallon that the updated hybrid sedan offers. Performance has also been improved for the Accord Hybrid to lure in those who want something both fuel efficient and very agile on the road.
Honda has slightly improved the specs by a small margin, with the 2.0L hybrid setup of an electric motor and internal combustion engine having a 6% torque increase from 232 lb-ft of torque for the outgoing model year, to 247 lb-ft of torque for the latest model year. This means better acceleration, despite a drop in horsepower from 212 to 204, thanks to the linear shift control being fine-tuned for the newest Accord Hybrid. They’ve also improved the hybrid control system for better overall power management, which should help with how the Accord Hybrid feels for those driving both in close-quarter city streets and on long stretches across the highway.
The new changes for the latest generation also include a longer overall profile, with the front of the car now having a more sports-luxury aesthetic not unlike the Volvo S60. It’s an interesting design change that might certainly lure in those looking for a midsize vehicle that isn’t just steeped in the typical guise of an economical daily driver. The new eleventh generation Honda Accord Hybrid almost looks like it could sit among the likes of higher-end cars from Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus.
Honda’s Hybrids Will Account For 50% Of Available Sales Models
Honda has serious plans to bolster sales, in large part by increasing the availability of hybrid models. In fact, they are ensuring that 50% of available sales throughout 2023 will be from their hybrids. This means that the Honda Accord Hybrid has a tall order to complete in terms of meeting the expected sales projections. Will it actually meet these projections? It all depends on how the market receives the updated, new generation Accord and its hybrid alternative.
It’s only really been the last three years where Honda saw the downward trend in sales for the Accord, so it’s not like panic mode should set in just yet. But it’s good to know that the company is already attempting to correct its course. Given the unpredictable nature of the auto market at the moment, it’s really anyone’s guess how things could turn out for the Accord and its other Honda siblings this year.
However, Honda bracing for sales from those looking for a fuel efficient and feature-rich midsize sedan could be a good call. A lot of it also depends on how gasoline prices fare throughout the year. Oil prices going down could mean that Honda could see higher sales from the gasoline-based Accord models. Alternatively, an upward swing in oil prices could mean that customers looking to save at the pump would look for vehicles with alternative fuel, and a hybrid is a good middle-ground between relying solely on a combustion-powered vehicle or going full electric.
Good Reviews Set a Positive Outlook for 2023
The Honda Accord already has good leverage for turning things around from the sales drought of the last three years. The new generation of the Accord and its hybrid alternative have already garnered some of the best possible reviews you could potentially ask for, with a 10 out of 10 handed out by Car and Driver.
The only thing that Honda needs more than good review scores are positive sales figures to follow. Based on the feedback from critics, Honda positioning the Accord Hybrid as a prime target for economic and middle-market shoppers makes a great recipe for success. Those looking for an affordable midsize sedan with sports and luxury appeal, all while also looking to save a lot of money at the pump, have practically every reason to look at a Honda Accord Hybrid.
Honda has taken every measure possible to make the new generation Accord a great sales success. But taking steps toward success doesn’t always guarantee success. This leads into the important question of will this perfect mixture of great styling, improved engineering, and cost-effective fuel economy pay off? We shall see. But there are certainly interesting times ahead, and Honda seems geared to make the best of their situation with a great midsize sedan in the 2023 Honda Accord.