Indians love big cars. If they aren’t SUVs, they have to be long and swanky. Before the Germans came along with full force, it was these Japs like the Accord that gave us a taste of luxury, swanky saloon cars. And even though everyone runs after brands, it is these Japs that offer the best value-for-money propositions amongst the premium saloons. The new Accord furthers this case with a brand new hybrid mill in its arsenal and much more.
The Accord Hybrid measures 4,890mm in length which is 11mm longer than the Mercedes E-Class. The cabin space is humungous only surpassed by the 7 Series and their ilk. The infotainment system gets Apple Car Play as well as Android Auto for seamless connectivity with your latest smartphones. There is climate control, cruise control, power seats et al to make sure you have one of the most comfortable rides with even the suspension setup soft to ensure that.
And yes, it is as safe as it can get. The Accord Hybrid is loaded with a range of active and passive safety technologies. There’s ABS with brake assist, traction control, stability control, motion-adaptive EPS, front and side curtain airbags, multi angle cameras, front and rear parking sensors and active cornering lamps. What’s entirely new to this segment though is Honda’s LaneWatch, a camera-based system which enhances the driver’s view of side traffic. Using a camera on the passenger-side mirror, the driver can have a live feed on the infotainment screen, of the traffic or pedestrians in the car’s blind spot.
Last but not the least, as you putter around in luxury, you also make sure you are consciously saving the ecosystem as well. Bridled together, the 2.0-litre inline four naturally aspirated petrol engine works in conjunction with electric motors to ensure minimal emissions and maximum usage of every drop of fossil fuel. You can also choose from three different driving modes – EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. Good efficiency means, you will not have to spend time at the CNG gas station to tank up for your commutes.
Honda’s first foray in hybrid cars in the subcontinent was the Civic hybrid. Despite its towering price tag, it did manage to sell in a market that had no idea what a hybrid was. The Accord Hybrid is Honda’s second definitive attempt into getting hybrid technology with its flagship in India. FAME subsidy for hybrid cars is offered on cars built in India, i.e. CKDs, while there is no clarity on CBUs. The Accord Hybrid will be a completely built unit and with the lack of clarity around the government of India’s FAME initiative, the price tag might go higher.