2014 Honda Accord Hybrid: Sophisticated Mediocrity

September 24th, 2013

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Nothing illustrates how far hybrid technology has come in the last decade better than the Honda Accord.

Built from 2004-2006, the first Accord Hybrid achieved up to 33 miles per gallon and cost just over $30,000 new. It’s combined EPA rating of 28 mpg was only slightly better than a 4-cylinder gas-only Accord’s, which scored a 24 mpg combined rating and got up to 31 mpg on the highway.

Obviously, the equation didn’t work out, and people shied away from the hybrid. I remember driving one back in 2004 and noticing the split-second pause when the engine transitioned between gas and electric power. Needless to say, it wasn’t an impressive car.

Can the 2014 Accord Hybrid make up for its predecessor’s follies?

I don’t know for sure, but 50 miles per gallon is a pretty good place to start.

With the ’05 Accord Hybrid barely eking out more miles per gallon than the gas version, it’s pretty remarkable that the 2014 version will be the first midsize sedan to hit the big 5-0. In addition, it comes in three trim levels starting just under $30,000 and offers all the luxury and convenience one could want in a new, front-wheel-drive vehicle.

With leather, Bluetooth, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, alloy wheels and so much more, the Accord Hybrid should make a fine case for itself. However, with top-of-the-line pricing reaching into the mid-$30,000 range, those used Accord Hybrids suddenly make a case for themselves. Sure, there’s only around 30 mpg available for the taking, but a savvy shopper could pick one up for around $10,000. A lot of fuel could be purchased with the $25,000 difference!

Honda’s press release says,

With EPA fuel-economy ratings1 of 50 mpg city / 45 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined, the 2014 Accord Hybrid is the top rated 4-door sedan in America in the EPA city cycle. Highlighting both form and function, it blends the sophisticated exterior styling and spacious interior packaging of the Accord Sedan with a highly efficient two-motor hybrid system.

1 Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Actual fuel mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how the vehicle is driven and maintained, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors.

The only thing I’ll take issue with there is the bit about “sophisticated styling.” There’s nothing sophisticated about Accord styling, now or ever. It’s not bad, by any means, but a better descriptor might be “conventionally mediocre.”

Which Accord Hybrid is for you, the new 2014 or a used 2004?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    | #1

    Since my Prius C regularly gets mileage closer to plug-ins than most hybrids, Honda won’t be tempting me. They’ve never been able to compete with Toyota in hybrid technology, and I doubt they ever will.

  2. davis
    | #2

    The Prius C is super ugly and not a worthy hybrid and the the Accord Hybrid is better than the Camry in all respects. The PriusC is a distinct loser compared with the regular Prius.

    btw, the orig Accord Hybrid had no transition between electric and gas, it gave the 6 cylinder added boost, making it a rocket, unlike the slow Prius. Again, there was no transition, it was a V6 rocket because of added boost.

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