The 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid we tested features an all-new 4th-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain with 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. In our test vehicle it’s rated by the EPA at 46 mpg city, 41 mpg highway and 44 mpg combined.
The powertrain is comprised of an all-aluminum 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection and variable cam timing. It’s mated to a new hybrid drive system with larger and more powerful electric motors now mounted side-by-side in the assembly. The new traction motor itself offers up 181 horsepower which affords the Accord Hybrid strong electric only operation.
The engine itself features an electric water pump and the air-conditioning compressor is powered by the high voltage battery. As the generator motor in the transmission takes care of all charging of the battery, this means there are no belt driven accessories on the engine.
Thermal efficiency and low emissions are also major features of this engine which has a cooled exhaust-gas recirculation system clearly visible at the front. There also a new low-temperature active catalyst with a low level of noble metals that drops NOx emissions by 24%, and total hydrocarbon emissions by 22%, giving Accord hybrids a LEV3 SULEV 30 rating.
Following the airflow, the intake charge starts at the front of the engine compartment at the top of the radiator and then travels through an ornate intake plenum mounted on top of the hybrid transmission and control unit.
From there it travels down into a compact air filter box at the rear of the engine compartment and then into a composite plastic intake manifold at the rear of the engine. Coming over the top, all four-spark plug coil packs are easily seen and accessed. Much of the direct fuel injection system is hidden from view.
Once the combustion process is complete, exhaust-gas exits through an integral exhaust manifold built into the head and directly into the aformentioned catalyst system.
Serving the Accord Hybrid in DIY maintenance is pretty straight forward. The air filter does take some effort to get into but can be changed with common tools and about 15 minutes of effort.
The oil filler cap is located at the top of the engine on the passenger side, the bright yellow oil dipstick just ahead of it in plain view. The oil filter is only reachable from below. Checking and topping off coolant and windshield washer fluid is handled at the passenger side front of the engine compartment.
The main 12-volt battery is located at the drive side front of the engine bay, the engine control unit just next to it. Further back to the right is a sizeable fuse box. Brake fluid can be topped off or checked at the driver side rear of the engine compartment.
As with all hybrid cars, do avoid mis-handling the orange high-voltage wiring as it carries enough voltage to injure you or even cause death if the right conditions exist. Most of those components aren’t user servicable anyway.
Additionally, looking forward you can see the electric cooling fan behind the radiator. Always be mindful that it can start at any time if the vehicle has been driven and is warm. Watch your hands.