This is a tale of two Honda Accord hybrids. The original Accord Hybrid, based on a V6 Accord sedan, delivered strong performance but fuel economy well below what most people expect from a hybrid. It was also expensive, and few shoppers bought one. But Honda's second Accord Hybrid squarely hits the mark. It provides stellar fuel economy along with relatively spirited performance. It's also an excellent car overall as it offers all the room, comfort, safety, high-tech features and quality construction that have made the Honda Accord a longtime favorite. If you're shopping for a midsize hybrid sedan, the newest Accord Hybrid is certainly worth considering.
Current Honda Accord Hybrid
The Honda Accord Hybrid is an all-new model for 2014, and it features a new type of hybrid powertrain for Honda. Unlike the Civic Hybrid, for instance, which always relies on its gas engine for motivation, the Accord Hybrid has a more sophisticated powertrain that allows it to move solely with electric power at slower speeds. The result is improved fuel economy.
This powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, two electric motors, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and a trunk-mounted lithium-ion battery pack. All told, it makes a combined 196 horsepower and posts an impressive 47 mpg combined EPA rating. The Accord Hybrid can also sprint from zero to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, making it one of the quickest non-luxury hybrids on the road.
The current Honda Accord Hybrid sedan comes in three trim levels: EX, EX-L and Touring. Standard equipment highlights of the EX include dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitoring display, a power driver seat and a six-speaker sound system with an iPod/USB audio interface. Added perks of the EX-L include a sunroof, leather upholstery, forward collision and lane departure warning systems, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, an upgraded sound system and smartphone app integration (HondaLink). The Touring features LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and a navigation system.
In reviews, we've been impressed with the Honda Accord Hybrid. Its interior design is elegant, and the cabin's tight construction gives the impression of an entry-level luxury car, rather than a workaday family car. Both front and rear occupants will find plenty of legroom and shoulder room, and the backseat is arguably best in class with its combination of space and comfort. We also like the Hybrid's strong acceleration and secure handling around turns. There are a few downsides, such as a somewhat firm ride quality, a smallish trunk and above-average amounts of engine noise during acceleration, but overall, the Accord Hybrid is a great choice for a hybrid family sedan.
Used Honda Accord Hybrids
The previous-generation Accord Hybrid was produced from 2005-'07. Its hybrid system was less advanced than the current model but was meant for sporty performance rather than maximum fuel economy. Its combination of a 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor produced a total of 255 hp. The sole transmission was a five-speed automatic. The EPA's estimated fuel economy varied by year, ranging from 25-28 mpg in combined driving. This was better than either the regular four-cylinder or V6 Accord of the time, but not exceptionally so.
This Accord Hybrid came in one well-equipped trim level whose standard feature highlights included leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and an in-dash CD changer. The Hybrid differed from other Accords via its unique front grille, rear spoiler and instrumentation that let drivers keep track of the status of the hybrid powertrain. For 2006, a power sunroof, stability control and daytime running lights joined the standard features list.
In reviews, we enjoyed the Accord Hybrid's brisk acceleration, which at the time was enough to outgun pretty much any V6-powered family sedan. The downside was the disappointing fuel economy, which in our testing experience was consistently below the EPA's estimates. This original Accord Hybrid was pleasant to drive, however, as the precise steering and the well-tuned suspension provided a comfortable ride while still allowing the driver to feel confident when going around turns.