Video Review: The Manual and V6 Are Gone, But Is The 2023 Honda Accord Still Fun to Drive?

There's plenty to like about the new Accord, but what will it be like to live with?

(Image: TFL Studios)

Without a manual, V6 or even a 2.0-liter turbo, can the 2023 Honda Accord still be fun?

Like any long-running nameplate, the midsize Accord’s changed quite a bit over its 47-year lifespan. This eleventh-generation’s styling, technology and overall value are arguably the strongest they’ve ever been. That doesn’t mean much, though, if your brand-new car is exceedingly dull to drive. So, does this 2023 Honda Accord spoil Honda’s past efforts to try and liven up their iconic sedan?

As an enthusiast, at least, it’s tough to break through the mental block here: No V6, no manual and not even a 2.0-liter turbo for a more fun option? What gives? In the video below, Roman takes a closer look at Honda’s latest efforts (including full driving impressions) to find out what’s at play in this latest version. Honda invited the TFL team out to California to sample the new car

Beyond just looking at it through an enthusiast’s lens, though, it’s important to consider this car’s overall mission statement. The few sedans that remain on the market are fighting to stay relevant, and you need a mix of solid styling, clever tech, decent efficiency and a value-minded price tag to pull people toward this than their beloved crossovers.

2023 Honda Accord

What doe the new Accord bring to the table?

Before getting into the details below, let’s cover the highlights. The 2023 Honda Accord comes in six trims, from the base LX through the EX, Sport, EX-L, Sport-L and Touring. The lower two trims come with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine making 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. The other trims, including the Touring Roman’s driving here, house a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine mated to a small battery and an electric motor. The Accord Hybrid gets 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, and both powertrains are yoked to a continuously variable transmission.

2023 Honda Accord

The upshot with the hybrid, at least, is that you can get a remarkable 51 mpg for the EX-L. It may not quite have the oomph to soundly defeat, say, a Toyota Camry TRD, but the eleventh-generation Accord rides on the brand’s new global architecture, with better ride and handling characteristics as well as improved steering feel over the previous model.

If you enjoy tons of tech, then the 2023 Honda Accord Touring will bring a fun amount of kit to the table. you get a Google-integrated infotainment system, while Honda has Accord buyers covered on safety too. You get collision mitigation braking, road departure warning, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist across the entire range. The Touring goes a step further with low-speed braking control and parking sensors, as well as wireless phone charging and a 12-speaker Bose stereo system.

It’s still reasonably accessible

While even compact crossovers are easily crossing the $40,000 mark these days, another good point for that the 2023 Honda Accord is that it doesn’t. Even the top-end, hybrid Touring tops out at $38,985 including Honda’s $1,095 destination charge. At the lower end, the LX starts off at $28,390.

At the end of the day, is the 2023 Honda Accord still fun? This car focused on improving the core aspects of the Accord’s appeal rather than shoot for those enthusiast niches like a V6 Coupe or a detuned Type R with a manual transmission. That said, while this is more of your everyday commuter, Honda at least still makes cars that offer up powerful turbocharged engines.

Check out Roman’s full impressions on the new Accord below: