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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Accord Hybrid deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Accord Hybrid’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The ES Series’ side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.
The Accord Hybrid’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The ES Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Accord Hybrid and the ES Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
There are over 4 times as many Honda dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Accord Hybrid’s warranty.
The Accord Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 12 more horsepower (212 vs. 200) than the ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.
On the EPA test cycle the Accord Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the ES 300h (48 city/48 hwy vs. 40 city/39 hwy).
The Accord Hybrid has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The ES Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the Accord Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES Series:
For better traction, the Accord Hybrid has larger tires than the ES Series (225/50R17 vs. 215/55R17).
The Accord Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ES Series’ standard 55 series tires.
The Accord Hybrid offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Accord Hybrid has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The ES Series doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Accord Hybrid’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The ES Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Accord Hybrid is .4 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the ES Series.
The Honda Accord Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 pounds less than the Lexus ES Series.
The front grille of the Accord Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ES Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Accord Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The ES Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Accord Hybrid a Large car, while the ES Series is rated a Mid-size.
The Accord Hybrid has 5.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ES Series (105.6 vs. 100.1).
The Accord Hybrid has 2 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear legroom, 1.2 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.
The Accord Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the ES 300h (16.7 vs. 12.1 cubic feet).
The Accord Hybrid’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.
The Accord Hybrid Touring has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The ES Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Accord Hybrid’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The ES Series’ power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.
Both the Accord Hybrid and the ES Series offer available heated front seats. The Accord Hybrid Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ES Series.
The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2018 and 22 of the last 24 years. The ES Series has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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