Honda Offers Appealing New Accord Plug-in Hybrid
Honda welcomed a new addition to its lineup for 2014: say hello to the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid. The new addition makes Honda one of the few automakers to offer a midsize family sedan with a plug-in hybrid configuration.
The Accord Plug-In utilizes an all-new hybrid system that can operate the vehicle using a pure electric power. It has a 6.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers the electric motor and provides an estimated electric-only range of up to 13 miles before it switches over to normal hybrid operation. In hybrid mode, the vehicle gets an estimated 46 mpg combined (47 city/46 highway).
With some hybrids, performance is a concern. Yet don't worry about performance because the Accord Plug-in Hybrid delivers surprising power in multiple driving situations. It has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 196 horsepower. It has been clocked at 0-60 mpg in 7.5 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest mainstream hybrids.
If the Accord Plug-in Hybrid sounds appealing, beware it's only sold in two states - California and New York. There is only one trim model for the Plug-in Hybrid, which has an estimated sticker price of $39,780.
2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid
- Performance: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 196 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 46-47 mpg
- Estimated price: $39,780
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
Rivals include the Ford Fusion Energi, which also employs a plug-in package. Toyota Prius has a Plug-in Hybrid and so does the Chevrolet Volt.
Introduced in 1976, the Honda Accord arrived with very little fanfare - it was a modest two-door hatchback. Who could have predicted that 38 years later the Accord would become the benchmark for midsize sedans?
The Accord went through a redesign in 2013, becoming the ninth generation. Very little has changed in 2014. The "new" Accord is now slightly smaller and lighter than previous models. That went against Honda's normal redesign playbook for its high-volume selling sedan/coupe.
In previous revamping years, the Accord would typically be bigger, longer and heavier. More bulk was obviously not part of the latest redesign scheme.
The redesign incorporated interior refinements (better audio, improved dashboard) and convenience. There were performance upgrades as well, with a new four-cylinder engine and updates for the V6 offerings.
There are some nice interior changes that result in an upgraded cockpit. Practically all the materials are high quality and the center stack has been redesigned with more bells and whistles. The Accord continues to provide impressive interior room and comfort. But note that the trunk space -8.6 cubic feet - is very limited in the Plug-in Hybrid.
The Honda ride is still solid in all models. The Accord delivers a refined ride that gives any driver an added feeling of confidence behind the wheel. The feel is almost sporty and there's little apprehension when taking a corner a little faster than the speed limit. The braking is solid and the Accord has practically no noise issues.
Honda has always been an innovator and continues that trend with the Accord Plug-in Hybrid. It's an impressive vehicle with high gas mileage, good performance and the overall Honda quality.
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