Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2023 Honda accord is shown parked near a coffee shop after visiting a Honda dealer.

A Honda Head-To-Head: Accord vs Civic

Honda is no one-hit wonder, consistently producing top-selling vehicles that know how to dominate their segments. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly sedan, a well-equipped SUV, or an impressive truck, you are sure to find one at your local Honda dealer, and chances are that it is a fan favorite. Take, for instance, the Honda Accord and the Honda Civic. Both vehicles have played an important role in Honda’s success and have developed a devoted fan base.

The Honda Accord was first introduced in 1977 and was a near-instant hit. Spacious on the inside, the Honda Accord was perfect for families or those looking for a little extra legroom. Over the years, the Accord continued to grow, both in size and popularity. With time came technology, and the Accord was granted many upgrades. As of 2023, the Honda Accord has shown up on Car and Driver’s 10Best list no fewer than 37 times, proving it has what it takes to go the distance.

Shortly before the Accord hit the market, Honda had rolled out the Honda Civic. The 1970s were good for Honda, with the Civic wowing the public in 1973. Cost-effective, reliable, and full of bite, the Honda Civic was a fun and feisty front-runner in the compact segment. The Civic was more of a thrill ride than the Accord, which was represented by its multiple sporty editions throughout the years.

The Civic comes in a variety of flavors, including the Civic Sedan, Civic Hatchback, Civic Si, and Civic Type R, all of which have landed on at least one “top ten” list. Combined, the Civic has received accolades from Car and Driver, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and many more, a clear indication of its impact on the public. The Civic continues to impress, offering an experience that puts the thrill into driving.

The black interior and dash of a 2023 Honda Accord is shown.

Cabin and Cargo

Although similar in many ways, the Honda Accord and Honda Civic have a few major differences that set them apart, making it easier to compare the two and decide which one is right for you. One of these differences comes in the form of space. The 2023 Civic Sedan offers 14.8 cu.ft. of cargo volume, while the 2023 Honda Accord offers 16.7 cu.ft. of cargo volume. While these numbers are specific to this model year, the Accord is larger and more spacious than the Civic. If you are in the market for a vehicle with a little more hauling capability, then the Accord is the way to go.

The same goes for the passenger room, with the 2023 Accord offering up to 105.7 cu.ft. of volume in its cabin. The front row enjoys 42.3 inches of legroom, while passengers in the back can stretch out with 40.8 inches of legroom. On the flip side, the 2023 Honda Civic Sedan tops out at 99 cu.ft. of passenger volume. It has the same 42.3 inches of front legroom but only 37.4 inches of legroom in the second row. Comparing cargo and cabin space, the Accord is the better option for those looking to stretch out a bit.

A red 2023 Honda Civic Type-R is shown driving on a racetrack.

Excitement and Thrill

Honda is no stranger to the racetrack and is known for offering performance vehicles to the public. The base Civic Sedan and Civic Hatchback may not quite hit the notes to be considered a performance car, but the Civic Si and Civic Type R sure do. These models offer a more exhilarating driving experience, with 200 hp in the 2023 Civic Si and 315 hp in the 2023 Civic Type R. Rather than hitching these powerful engines to a CVT, the performance models get a standard six-speed manual with Rev-Match Control.

A CVT puts the shifting into automatic, taking away a lot of the hands-on driving that so many enthusiasts enjoy. By mating the turbocharged engines in the Civic Si and Civic Type R with a manual, drivers get to take back control. The addition of Rev-Match Control provides a smoother transition when shifting and helps lessen wear and tear, making it a great option for those longing to experience the thrill of the drive.

The Honda Accord is designed for comfortable cruising rather than racetrack performance. The 2023 Accord comes standard with a slightly more powerful version of the 1.5L turbocharged engine that powers the higher trims of the 2023 Civic Sedan and Civic Hatchback. Meanwhile, the upscale versions of the Accord place even more emphasis on efficiency with a standard hybrid powertrain. Commuters will likely prefer the performance of the Accord, while gearheads will gravitate towards the sportier Civic models.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency matters, especially if you are looking for a commuter or family car. Luckily, both the Honda Accord and the Honda Civic offer pretty great mileage. The question, of course, is which one is better? The 2023 Honda Accord is available with either an inline-four turbo or a hybrid setup. The hybrid uses two electric motors along with the gasoline engine for better fuel efficiency. The traditional gasoline engine gets an EPA-estimated 29 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway, while the hybrid sees up to 51 MPG in the city and 44 MPG on the highway.

The 2023 Civic Sedan varies quite a bit in terms of mileage, with the most efficient models getting an EPA-estimated 33 MPG in the city and 42 MPG on the highway. For the sportier 2023 Civic Si, the numbers drop to 27 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway, getting closer to the gasoline version of the Accord. Taking the hybrid option out of consideration, the Civic rules in fuel efficiency. However, once we consider the hybrid, the Accord takes the cake, making this category a tie.

A red 2023 Honda Civic SI is shown from a rear angle driving on a road.

Price Point

If price matters, which it does to most buyers, then this is an important category to consider. The 2023 Civic Sedan starts at $23,750 for the base LX trim. With this trim, owners get to enjoy the Honda Sensing Suite, plenty of connectivity features, and fantastic fuel efficiency. Moving up the trims adds luxury features like leather upholstery and a premium sound system. The top Touring trim starts at $30,350 and offers all the latest and greatest.

For those looking to hit the racetrack, the 2023 Civic Si comes in somewhere in the middle with a starting price tag of $28,800. About five grand more than the bottom-tier Civic Sedan but still coming in under the top-tier trim, the Civic Si is a pretty good bargain. However, to experience the thrilling 2023 Civic Type R will cost you $43,795, putting it out of reach of any but the most committed Honda enthusiasts.

On the Accord side, things start at $27,295 for the base 2023 Accord LX. If you want the ultra-efficient hybrid powertrain, you will have to upgrade to the Sport trim at $31,895, and the top-trim Accord Touring will run you $38,985. For the price jump, you can expect to see features like heated seats, Google Built-In, and a wireless phone charger.

It seems like a lot of money, but considering it is a hybrid, it’s hard to judge it too harshly. Stretching your dollar when it comes to the gas pump could definitely make up for the extra cost upfront. On the other hand, the Civic Sedan offers great gas mileage for a much smaller price tag. An important question to ask here is if the hybrid is worth it; otherwise, the Civic may be the way to go.

Which Honda Takes the Win?

Most comparisons offer one clear winner. Unfortunately, this is not like most comparisons. To say that one of these cars is better than the other is like saying an orange is better than an apple. Both options may be fruits, but an orange is tart, great as a sherbert, and fun to eat, while an apple is sweet, crunchy, and goes great in a pie. The same can be said for the Honda Civic and the Honda Accord.

The Honda Accord offers hybrid options and ample space for family and friends, while the Honda Civic provides excellent fuel efficiency, a fun drive, and a great price. Neither vehicle wins, yet neither loses, showing there is a driver for each car and a car for each driver. If you are trying to choose between the Honda Accord and the Honda Civic, you need to decide what features matter most to you and what style of vehicle best fits your needs because they are both great cars.