The new Honda Accord Hybrid will debut a range of new technology for the Japanese brand – and in doing so it will join a number of luxury rivals with similar innovations.

While there are no world exclusives on the new Honda Accord Hybrid, it does have a range of features that, for now, are only available in certain Teslas, Polestars and electric BMWs.

In Australia there is only one version of the 11th generation Honda Accord Hybrid – and it is the most advanced car introduced by Honda to date (excluding the experimental Honda Clarity hydrogen vehicle).

Key highlights include a Digital Key (to unlock, lock and start the car using a smartphone, as per Tesla).

And in great news for parents who loan their cars to the kids, they will be alerted if the vehicle exceeds a pre-set speed limit.

As with many electric cars – most notably Tesla – the new Honda Accord Hybrid also has remote start functionality, the ability to set air-conditioning temperature before you get in the vehicle, and you can also check the status of the fuel level before you go.

The Honda Accord Hybrid is priced from $64,990 drive-away in Australia, which puts it in Tesla Model 3 territory – and makes it dearer than the most expensive version of the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Honda Australia says it has modest sales expectations for the Accord Hybrid as it is primarily intended to preview and learn about technology that will eventually trickle down to other Honda vehicles.

Also of note, unlike earlier Honda hybrid systems, the Accord Hybrid can move from rest on electric power alone for up to 1km in ideal conditions (similar to a Toyota Camry Hybrid or Toyota RAV4 Hybrid).

Earlier Honda hybrid systems could only provide electric assistance once the vehicle was already underway and up to speed, and the technology was not as efficient.

The official fuel consumption rating label for the Honda Accord Hybrid is 4.3L/100km (versus 4.5L/100km for the Toyota Camry Hybrid), though we are yet to test the Honda to see how close we can get to this number in real-world driving.

The Honda Accord Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine versus the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine.

One other small but noteworthy difference: the Toyota Camry Hybrid has a space saver spare tyre, the Honda Accord Hybrid has no spare tyre.

Here is a list of the key highlights on the 2024 Honda Accord Hybrid:

Electric energy harvesting

Drivers in the new Honda Accord Hybrid can press the EV button in the centre console for two seconds when travelling at freeway speeds, to harvest energy and top-up the battery for later use in stop-start traffic.

Digital key (via Bluetooth) 

The driver can start the engine and operate the vehicle by using digital key functions linked to their phone, without having the original car key. The system, via the app, also reminds drivers about critical functions, such as unlocked or open doors, boot, or bonnet.

Remote start 

The driver can control certain functions remotely from a smart phone, such as door lock/unlock, engine start/stop, air-conditioning settings, lights and/or horn activated (to find the car in a car park). The response time for each function using the phone is now closer to 10 seconds rather than 30 seconds, as it was previously.

Remote immobiliser

The vehicle can be prevented from being started, even where the original key is being used. In the event of theft, the Honda Connect App can be used to track the vehicle and stop the engine from restarting.

Automatic crash detection 

Similar to Toyota and Ford systems, the Honda Accord Hybrid will alert a central number in the event of a crash. This call centre, in turn, alerts emergency services if required. 

Three widescreen displays

There is a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as an 11.5-inch heads-up display reflected into the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight.

Embedded Google maps

Honda says its embedded Google Maps system (which runs on a Telstra 4G and G5 SIM card that comes with the vehicle) has more detail than the Google Map interfaces found on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Waze can still be used via the smartphone mirroring in the infotainment screen.

Edge to Edge maps in the instrument cluster

The embedded Google Maps can be viewed on both the 12.3-inch infotainment screen and the 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as certain instructions appearing on the 11.5-inch heads-up display reflected into the windscreen. However, Apple Maps and Android Auto maps can only be viewed on the infotainment screen.

Embedded Google Home voice control from the car

If you have Google Smart Home technology you can control certain devices by voice control from the comfort of the car.

Remote speed detection

Parents who lend the car to their kids can’t track the speed or location of the vehicle in real time, however than can get an alert if the car exceeds a certain speed. The driver is not notified by the car they have been busted.

Radar cruise control with low-speed follow 

When driving on a highway, the system supports acceleration and braking operation to reduce the load on the driver. However, Honda says, the new camera and radar system improves the smoothness of acceleration and deceleration of Adaptive Cruise Control with a “more natural brake feel and quicker reactions” to changes in traffic. 

“It also responds more quickly when changing into an open lane from behind a slower car, and better maintains a constant vehicle speed in downhill situations,” says Honda. 

“With Low-Speed Follow, the system follows a preceding car automatically by controlling acceleration and deceleration at the speed from 0 km/h to the pre-set speed. 

“If the preceding car stops, then the Accord also stops to keep the pre-set distance. When starting behind the preceding car, the Accord starts by pressing resume button, or stepping on the acceleration pedal.”

Matrix high beam

The headlights when on high beam reduce dazzle of oncoming vehicles by masking individual headlight beams as other traffic approaches. 

Rear seat reminder (to prevent kids accidentally being left in cars)

When engine is switched off, a rear seat reminder appears on the driver information screen and an alert will sound to warn drivers to check the rear seating area for children, pets or other precious cargo when exiting the car.

This is an increasingly common feature but a first for the Honda Accord.

Premium audio

There is a 12-speaker Bose audio system. To keep devices charged, there are four USB-C charge ports (two front, two rear).

Safety suite

The list of advanced safety technology includes a ‘pop-up’ pedestrian detection bonnet, lane-keeping assistance, blind zone warning, rear cross-traffic alert, speed sign recognition, tyre pressure monitors, 360-degree camera. There is a driver’s knee airbag but no centre airbag between the front seats.

The Honda Accord is yet to be tested by independent crash test authority ANCAP so its safety score out of five stars is yet to be announced.

Colour options

There are four colours available: white, silver, grey, and black. This selection is also known in the car industry as the “German rainbow”. Understated colours that preserve resale value. Would you buy a yellow Honda Accord? Exactly.

Fast facts: 2024 Honda Accord Hybrid

  • $64,900 drive away
  • $199 per service for five years 
  • 5-year warranty
  • 5-year roadside assistance
  • 5-year Honda Connect subscription
  • Claimed consumption average 4.3L/100km
  • No spare tyre
  • Can drive up to 1km on battery power alone in ideal conditions
  • EV harvesting mode