And now we have two. Two hybrids that I’ve tested recently that aren’t a bore to drive. First, the Ford C-MAX. Compared to the Toyota Prius, it’s so much more engaging and fun. And now for the new Honda Accord Hybrid. Wow! A car that weighs more than 3500 pounds gets 50 miles per gallon! Officially the Honda is rated at 50 city, 45 highway and 47 combined. I can tell you that I was getting 53 mpg on my commute from Seattle to the suburbs. Pretty remarkable.
I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts of the brilliant hybrid system, but I will tell you that the 2.0-liter, 16-valve i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and the electric motor is fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. They’re channeled through an electronic continuously variable transmission. A six-cylinder engine powered the former Honda hybrid.
Besides the great MPG factor, this Honda Accord is a great driving car. It will take you a while to get used to the whining of the single speed transmission. It’s pretty weird! The rest of the driving experience will make you forget you are in a hybrid. There isn’t that jerky transition between gas and electricity that you get in a Camry or Hyundai or even the Ford Fusion. It’s seamless. Same with the stop start. No shuddering like a BMW!
I’ve talked to some other car reviewers that think the steering is a little numb. Compared to what? I felt more connected to the road in the Honda than the new BMW 3-Series.
Another thing that sets this Honda apart from the rest of the pack are the brakes. Every other hybrid has the grabby brake pedal syndrome. It’s hard to come to a smooth stop as the regenerative system kicks in when you put your foot on the pedal. Nothing of the sort with this Honda. That’s a big deal and a great leap in hybrid technology.
And the interior is typical Honda. Very high quality materials and well put together. Great feeling steering wheel. Super comfortable seats. The Accords interior looks and feels nicer than the Lexus I just drove.
The Lexus does trump Honda in the user interface department. The mouse system used in the Toyota products is the best in the business, in my opinion.
People always ask me what I would buy if I weren’t lucky enough to drive a new car every week. I would have to put this Honda at the top of the list. It gets great mileage, it’s a lot of fun to drive and it looks cool, inside and out. And for what you get for your hard earned dough, it’s a pretty good bargain at $29,000 to around $36,000 depending on what stuff you load it up with.
Boy, hybrids have come a long way and right now Honda takes the lead with the 2014 Accord.
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