A Pair of Aces

Honda Accord adds all-new hybrid and plug-in models for 2014

BYJim Prueter
For 2014 Honda has added two new gasoline-efficient options to its lineup of Accord models: a hybrid ($29,155) and a plug-in ($39,780).
Those with a good memory will recall that this is not Honda’s first attempt at an Accord Hybrid. The previous model likely failed because fuel economy (30 mpg city/37 mpg highway) wasn’t much better than the nonhybrid model.
By contrast, Honda’s gone all in on the new Accords. The hybrid rated at an impressive 50 mpg city/45 mpg highway, and the plug-in hybrid achieves an impressive 115 mpg and can travel 13 miles on battery power alone before the gas engine kicks in.
Both new models utilize an all-new system that accelerates the car using pure electric power with the gas engine taking over at about 45 mph, sooner if you hammer the accelerator. Once the battery charge falls below a certain point, the gas engine kicks in to run a generator.
In the hybrid, the new system is paired with a 2.0-liter 141-horsepower engine with two electric motors — one for motivation and one for recharging — mated to an electronic continuously variable transmission.
More-than-impressive was the hybrid’s smooth start and dead-quiet low-speed driving. There were no shudders or shakes as the hybrid system moved between electric and gas power, and the vehicle never felt underpowered.
The Accord hybrid is available in three trim levels: EX, EX-L and Touring. The plug-in, which initially will only be available in New York and California, will come only as a single, well-equipped model.
While there isn’t much differentiating the looks of the Accord hybrid from the regular Accord, the distinct looks of the hybrid plug-in include a front fascia with metallic blue trim and new aero wheels.
Crash-test results for the hybrid are not available as of this writing. However, in government crash testing, the nonhybrid Accord was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Overall, the Accord has always been a good car, but the addition of the hybrid and the plug-in make it great.
JIM PRUETER, an automotive writer based in Phoenix, has provided reviews and advice about cars for more than 20 years.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Vehicle Type: 
Base Price: 
Price as Tested: 
Fuel Economy: 
50 MPG City
45 MPG Highway
The Good: 
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Never felt underpowered
  • Smooth ride
The Bad: 
  • Small trunk
  • Plug-in styling preferred to hybrid
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