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

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

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

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.

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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