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Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 review

Dylan Campbell

Need a hybrid sedan but can’t bring yourself to buy a Toyota Camry? Honda’s impressively accomplished new Accord e-HEV RS could be for you

Good points

  • Very impressive fuel efficiency
  • Seamless hybrid powertrain
  • Lovely-feeling steering and brakes
  • Decent dynamics to back up RS badge
  • Spacious back seat
  • Big boot with massive opening

Needs work

  • Engine could be quieter
  • We’d prefer softer suspension
  • Multi-function dial poor in execution
  • Still room for refinement improvement
  • No split-fold rear seat
  • Limited rear seat headroom

Before the SUV came along, Australia loved a big sedan. We bought them in droves, adored them for their big boots and spacious back seats, and even raced them around some sort of panoramic mountain in country New South Wales.

Of course, things have changed. There aren’t many sedans left.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 front 3/4 2

One of the few companies offering them, however, is Honda. Its new, 11th generation Accord has landed in Australia – a vehicle that was first launched here in 1977. That’s something that makes us want to give it a big cuddle, given the sometimes unsettling unfamiliarity of all the brands new to Australia, most of them from China.

The Accord continues to be sold all around the world and remains reasonably popular in the USA – which somewhat explains its very American styling.

In Australia, Honda will offer just a single variant of the Accord for now – the hybrid e-HEV RS we’re reviewing today. Its $64,900 drive-away price is fixed nationally at every Honda dealer around the country.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 rear 3/4 2

That represents a $3000 increase over the previous model, which bowed out of Australia in 2023. Compared to some other brands who’ve done a full Coles and Woolworths with their price increases, that’s actually not too bad. For that, you get a car that’s grown in length, packs a lot more tech and a more advanced hybrid system.

As for rivals, in the Aussie market, the Accord is considered a mid-size sedan and its only real competitor is the best-selling Toyota Camry hybrid ($51,417 before on-road costs in top-spec SL Hybrid guise).

Other mid-size sedans include the Mazda 6 ($52,440 before on-roads for the top-spec Atenza, although not a hybrid) and Skoda Octavia ($52,590 before on-roads for the driver-focused RS). Hyundai also recently introduced the sexy Sonata N-Line for $55,500 before on-roads, again without a hybrid powertrain.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 badge

The new Accord is notably large in the metal, with an obviously very lengthy wheelbase. At 4975mm long, 1862mm wide, 1449mm tall and with its 2830mm wheelbase, it’s 75mm longer, 2mm wider and 1mm lower than the previous-generation car. While the wheelbase is the same, the Accord is now longer than a VF Holden Commodore.

Chasing Cars tested the new Honda Accord e-HEV RS on the roads in and surrounding Melbourne, Victoria.

What are the Accord e-HEV RS’s features and options for the price?

For $64,900 drive-away, you get a fair bit of standard equipment. On the mechanical front, Honda includes its e-HEV series-parallel hybrid system which means this Accord is sort of like a petrol-powered electric car.

An electric motor does the majority of the driving, while a small battery is charged – very regularly, sometimes constantly – by an internal combustion engine.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 interior 2

The Accord’s engine runs on the Atkinson cycle meaning it’s very efficient. There’s no transmission, however the engine can power the wheels directly as load demands, such as going up hills and on the motorway.

The system comprises the following:

  • 1993cc naturally aspirated inline-four producing 108kW/182Nm
  • Two electric motors producing 135kW/335Nm
  • Combined output of 152kW
  • Front-wheel-drive

Moving to the interior, for the Accord e-HEV RS, Honda offers the following equipment highlights:

  • Black leather-appointed upholstery
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
  • Alloy pedal covers
  • Eight-way electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • Head-up display
  • 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 12.3-inch central infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wireless Android Auto
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Bose 12-speaker audio system
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Connected services (to a Honda app)
  • Over-the-air updates

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 wheel

Exterior highlights include: 

  • LED headlights with active cornering
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Active shutter front grille
  • Gloss black exterior elements
  • Black boot lip spoiler
  • Black mirror caps
  • RS badges

The new Accord is available, somewhat uninspiringly, in just four paint schemes, none of them actual colours. They are white, silver, dark grey and black.

Even though it’s a top-spec model, the e-HEV RS misses some equipment that you’d consider standard fare for the richest grade. For example, there’s no heated and ventilated front seats, there’s no heated steering wheel, no tri-zone air-conditioning and no electrically opening and closing rear boot.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 headlight

There is a model in America which gets heated and ventilated seats and the electrically openable boot, and additionally 19-inch wheels and a 60/40 splitfold rear seat. The Touring, as it’s called, could be imagined to work in Australia as the VTi LX e-HEV, however Honda has said nothing of this – it’s just a figment of our imagination for now.

The new Accord is built in Thailand.

How does the Accord e-HEV RS drive?

The Accord e-HEV RS is enjoyable and very easy to drive, with lovely-feeling controls and surprisingly good handling – even if its hybrid powertrain is not quite as inspiring by comparison.

In the urban environment, the Accord is powered only by its electric motor (it’s front-wheel-drive) which means it’s appreciably smooth, responsive and has reasonable torque even from lower speeds. And when the on-board battery has enough charge, it also means you’re just driving around using the electric motor a lot of the time.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 thumbnail

The hybrid system works reasonably seamlessly, although one little black mark we’d put against the Accord e-HEV RS’s refinement is you can hear the engine kicking in and out quite obviously – we’d certainly prefer it to be quieter.

From a refinement perspective, if Honda ever wanted to call the Accord a luxury vehicle it would also need to reduce the amount of harshness reaching the cabin from the road. On coarser patches of roads, there’s quite a lot.

On the plus side, the controls, such as the brake pedal and steering, are a delight – perfectly judged in the best possible Goldilocks way, and a joy to use. Hondas have always excelled in this regard, bested in the entire business by perhaps only one brand – Porsche. Praise, specific though it may be, doesn’t get much better than that.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 driving side 4

The ride quality is good but hardly plush, and we suspect because of the RS badges, the engineers have had to err a few notches down the sportier end of the ride-handling spectrum. That said, the ride quality is hardly rock-hard – and it doubtless benefits from Honda’s decision to fit the Accord with 18-inch wheels, despite being almost small by 2024 standards.

The Accord comes with a dedicated EV mode accessed by button, although it’s capricious – a few times it wouldn’t let us select it for various reasons, such as the engine not being warmed up enough – and hardly turns the Accord into a plug-in hybrid. It’s probably only suited for motoring around a flat, underground car park at low speeds.

Find yourself approaching a bit of snaking bitumen and there are four driving modes on offer – Individual, Sport, Normal and Econ. The Individual drive mode offers customisation for Powertrain (Econ, Normal and Sport), Steering (Normal and Sport), Adaptive Cruise Control (Econ and Normal) and the cluster display (Normal and Sport).

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 driving front 3

Put your foot flat to the Accord’s carpet and even though there’s no transmission, the car will simulate changing up through gears with the engine’s revs, an interesting sensation given there’s not a cog or gearbox in sight. The Accord accelerates reasonably briskly, although your adrenal glands are unlikely to be too bothered.

There are steering wheel paddles but only for adjusting the brake regeneration (with six levels available) – and despite the Sport mode, there are no fake gears here.

While the powertrain is clearly off worrying about economy and efficiency, there’s at least some substance about the handling to justify the fitment of the racy RS badges.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 engine

The steering is direct and feels great, and as you get stuck into a few corners you feel grateful for the slightly sporty passive suspension tune. Being a lower-slung sedan, the Accord’s handling is inherently better than an SUV, and the e-HEV RS sits flat through corners which it relishes taking.

Ultimately its agility is blunted by its long-ish wheelbase, and the dynamic endgame is predictable understeer from the lower-grip Michelin ePrimacy 235/45 R18 tyres. But there’s a little bit of driver DNA buried in this car. It also helps that it only weighs 1609kg, as does the independent rear suspension.

If you did away with the uninspiring hybrid powertrain – which at times feels indistinguishable from a CVT – and retrofitted the Civic Type R’s turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder and six-speed manual gearbox, the Accord e-HEV RS’s chassis is fun enough that you’d probably have quite a decent driver’s car on your hands.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 driving side 2

Back on the motorway, the Accord’s advanced driver assist system (ADAS) is excellent, maintaining the vehicle’s course confidently within its lane on the motorway and requiring only one hand on the steering wheel.

The Accord’s ADAS also supports traffic jam semi-autonomy, meaning it can brake itself to a stop and then accelerate again, dramatically reducing the pain of being stuck in road congestion. That’s a big, green tick from us.

Parking is a breeze thanks to not only the 360-degree camera but also that the Accord has a superbly tight turning circle – an underrated and oft-unachieved thing.

What is the Accord e-HEV RS’s interior and tech like?

The Accord e-HEV RS’s interior is spacious, smartly designed and comfortable, although imperfect in some surprising ways.

Getting into the driver’s seat, there’s lots to love. The front seats are very comfortable, the driving position is good and we appreciate the thin-rimmed steering wheel wrapped in lovely, soft leather.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 interior

The build quality feels rock-solid and the material choices give a premium, if-not-luxurious vibe. There’s black leather and racy red stitching, but based on its interior, the Accord feels like a sensible purchase with some niceties without going overboard.

There’s nothing overindulgent about it – it’s a place you’d call smart, rather than posh.

It’s a feeling aided and abetted by the design of the native Honda infotainment and cluster graphics, which use very practical, clear and pragmatic fonts and icons. Function clearly rules the various Honda design teams over form, at least in the Accord’s case.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 interior screen

Those very sensible graphics are housed in the central 12.3-inch screen sitting atop the dash, while there’s a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and large, 11.5-inch head-up display.

The Accord’s infotainment runs both Honda’s native user interface (UI) and built-in software from Google. That means Google Maps can be displayed natively either in the central display, or even in the digital instrument cluster – and nice and large, from edge-to-edge, which we really like.

You can have Google Maps displayed in the binnacle and Spotify in the central screen via Apple CarPlay, which is very cool. And what cars used to be like!

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 digital dash

In what could be in deference to the Accord’s traditional buyer, the Apple CarPlay resolution is quite large. If long ago you went into your smartphone and turned the font size to maximum, you’ll love this about the Accord.

One curious feature of the new Accord’s interior is the large, silver, rotary multi-function controller, with its own little TFT display, that sits proudly in the middle of the dash where you’d traditionally find the heating and cooling controls.

Clicking mechanically and satisfyingly – a welcome tactile addition, as more car-makers delete hard buttons and dials and move more setting to tactile-less screens, ostensibly to save money – this physical dial can be used to adjust all sorts of things as something of a fancy shortcut button.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 interior dial

We like the idea, although either we’re impatient learners or Honda has overcomplicated the concept somewhat. It’s a little bit fiddly and not exactly intuitive – something that will have you reaching for the user manual, that’s for sure.

It would make sense to use it to scroll between temperature, fan speed and even volume. In our test vehicle, when not in use it defaulted to an awkwardly-placed analogue time display. With a bit more playing around, we’d hope to discover it could simply default to the fan speed or volume.

And if any Honda software designers are reading this, please change the home menu so that when you tap on the air-conditioning recirculation icon, it immediately activates recirculation – rather than taking you to an HVAC menu, where you need to tap on yet another icon to fulfil the request.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 front seats

UIs should always prioritise minimising the time your eyes are off the road.

We would have also loved to see the sleek, minimalist and lovely-to-use shift-by-wire transmission controller module, as seen in the Civic e-HEV LX. In the Accord e-HEV RS, Honda fits a tall, old-school, cheap-feeling transmission selector – which also takes up a tonne more space.

There’s somewhat less whinging on our part from the back seat. It’s spacious with tonnes of foot, knee and shoulder space, although head-room is oddly in short supply. This 174cm road-tester would struggle to wear a thick beanie in the back without touching the ceiling.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 badge 2

We do love the built-in window blinds however (a rarity in a sedan) while there’s a centre armrest with built-in cup-holders, dual USB-C chargers and two air-vents with manual airflow control. It’s a slight surprise not to see tri-zone temperature control back here.

There are two sets of ISOFIX points on the outboard rear seats, and three top tether anchorages.

Moving to the boot, the boot itself opens manually (electric assistance wouldn’t make too much of a difference, compared to an SUV with its heavier tailgate) and, at 570 litres, is lovely and enormous. The boot opening itself is also pleasingly huge and wide.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 rear

The boot benefits from a ski-port in the backrest of the rear seats, and there’s a boot-situated lever to dislodge the rear seat backrest, although there’s no 60/40 splitfold – the whole backrest comes down in one piece.

There’s no spare wheel at all, only a puncture repair kit and, Honda would point out, five years’ complimentary roadside assistance (like most other manufacturers). Got a flat? Call someone to come fix it for you.

Overall, however, the Accord e-HEV RS’s interior is a nice place to find yourself. And by way of a footnote: the Bose 12-speaker sound system is very good.

Is the Accord e-HEV RS a safe car?

The Accord e-HEV RS is a very safe car, although it’s not been crash-tested by the local Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), nor its European equivalent, Euro NCAP.

The New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) tested the 2024 Honda Accord and gave it a five-star rating.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 static

The Accord e-HEV RS comes with the following safety features as standard:

  • Eight airbags (although no front-centre airbag)
  • Advanced adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Lane departure warning with steering assist
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Autonomous emergency braking with cyclist, pedestrian and motorcyclist detection
  • Automatic speed limiter
  • Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (an external speaker that, at low speeds when the car is operating in EV mode, warns pedestrians it’s approaching with a quiet hum)
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rear view and surround view parking cameras
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Driver attention monitor
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Automatic high beam including the ability to individually control each headlight to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers
  • Rain-sensing wipers

All active safety systems worked well during our testing without being annoying or intrusive.

What are the Accord e-HEV RS’s ownership costs?

If you do a lot of urban driving, the hybrid Accord e-HEV RS will likely be superbly efficient.

In terms of fuel efficiency, Honda claims the e-HEV RS uses 4.3L/100km on the combined cycle, 2.4L/100km in the urban jungle and 5.4L/100km on the freeway.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 tail-light

Based on our own testing, we think overall fuel consumption of about 5.1L/100km is about right. And that the Accord e-HEV RS would be more economical in the ’burbs than on the open road.

We completed 16km of highway fuel efficiency testing with the cruise control fixed to 100km/h, and in ‘Econ’ mode, and recorded 4.9L/100km averaged over both directions of our highway circuit – besting the claim – with it dropping to as low as 3.8L/100km.

The potential for very impressive urban fuel economy exists. Over an 8km urban testing circuit with speeds mostly under about 70km/h, and a lot of stop-starting, we saw 2.3L/100km, again besting the claim (although we would still expect closer to 5.0L/100km longer term).

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 driving

The Accord e-HEV RS also runs on the cheapest 91RON unleaded petrol. Some hybrids in 2024 rely on at least 95RON premium unleaded, somewhat offsetting any savings.

Servicing is also very cheap, costing $995 over five years – using Honda’s capped price servicing. Intervals are 12 months or a relatively short 10,000km, whichever comes first.

Honda includes a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, five years of roadside assistance and five years’ subscription to its Honda Connect app.

The honest verdict on the Accord e-HEV RS

There’s still so much to be said for buying a sedan over an SUV. The Accord delivers plenty of backseat space and a huge boot, but with dramatically better dynamics than any equivalent passenger SUV.

That all said, the RS in this Accord’s name is a curious thing to us.

Honda Accord e-HEV RS 2024 rear far 2

You can tell the engineers have added a bit of handling substance within the passive suspension, but it’s hard not to wonder if the average Accord buyer would have preferred nicer ride quality. Honda might sell more if it offered a VTi LX e-HEV with plusher suspension.

With its excellent back seat, large boot and impressive efficiency, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t think Honda mad for not offering a stripped-out, cloth-upholstered lower-spec variant for the rideshare market. But maybe we need to wash our mouths out with soap for even thinking that.

Ultimately, we’re sure the Accord loyalists who love a larger sedan will enjoy this new one – and especially the clearer conscience that comes with owning a hybrid, and an effective one at that.

Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

1993 cc
108kW at 6100rpm
181Nm at 4500rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
48 litres
4.3L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
1116km (claimed)
Front Wheel Drive
Single gear
4975 mm
1862 mm
1449 mm
Unoccupied weight
1585 kg

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