By on February 14, 2014

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Exterior-001

Now and then you run into a car that just “fits”. It’s like finding a perfect shoe, or a comfy smoking jacket. Until now I have been keeping my secret love on the down-low for several reasons. First off, I’ve always thought having a “favorite car” tends to color one’s judgment when comparing cars, so I try to avoid such statements. Secondly, my dalliance with my automotive flame was fleeting. As most of us know, one-night-stands rarely hold up to the scrutiny of a long-term relationship. And lastly, coming out as a hybrid-lover has been difficult. When folks ask me “what was the best car you drove in 2013?” and my answer is “the 2014 Accord Hybrid,” they stare at me like I have three eyeballs.

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Exterior

The Accord is the mid-size sedan least likely to offend. While some call the tall greenhouse and upright proportions boring, I found them to be elegant and restrained. Indeed the Accord’s side profile reminds me a great deal of former Lexus products, a similarity that was shared by passengers during the week. Several passers by even confused the Accord with a Lexus ES. This is good news for Honda but bad news for Lexus.

Up front the Accord Hybrid wears blue-tinted versions of the regular Accord’s grille and headlamps instead of the Plug-In Accord’s enormous maw. Our Limited trim model was equipped with LED headlamps but lesser trims have to get by with halogen bulbs. Out back the restrained styling continues with hidden exhaust tips, clean lines and plenty of LEDs in the tail lamps. While there are plenty of mid-size sedans out there, the hybrid market is limited to the Accord, Camry, Fusion, Optima and Sonata. In that lineup, I find the Fusion the best looking with the Accord in a solid second place and the refreshed Optima taking third.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Interior-002

Interior

Like the gas-only Accord, the hybrid sports a double-bump style dashboard. The first “bump” houses the same tweaked instrument cluster as the Accord plug-in with a large analog speedometer, no tachometer, LED gauges for battery/fuel and a power meter. Inside the speedo is a circular full-color LCD used for the trip computer, secondary nav instructions (if so equipped) and other vehicle information. Housed in the second “bump” is a standard 8-inch infotainment display.

Front seat comfort has long been a Honda strong suit and the Accord is no different with thickly padded and ergonomically designed thrones. The seats are lightly (and widely) bolstered so larger drivers and passengers shouldn’t have a problem finding a comfortable seating position. Because the EX trim of the gas Accord serves as the “feature donor car” for the Hybrid, all models get adjustable lumbar support, 10-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, standard Bluetooth, a backup camera, keyless entry/go and active noise cancellation.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Instrument Cluster-001

Thanks to the tall green house and complete lack of “four-door-coupé” styling cues, the Accord’s rear seats are the best in the segment. On paper there’s nothing extraordinary about the rear cabin dimension. The truth is in the sitting. The Accord’s rear seats are more comfortable than a Camry and roomier than an Optima or Sonata. The seat back angle is also the most upright of the bunch allowing easier entry and exit when compared to the reclined Fusion. That reclined rear seat is how the Fusion manages to match the Accord when it comes to inches of head room, but the Accord’s rear compartment is far more accommodating.

As with most hybrids, there’s a trunk penalty to be paid. Thanks to energy dense Lithium-ion cells, the Accord only drops 3 cubic feet to 12.7 cubic feet, and I had no problem jamming six 24-inch roller bags in the trunk. The Li-ion cells mean the gas-only Accord’s smallish trunk translates in to a roomy storage area compared to the other hybrids. Sadly everyone else has managed to preserve some sort of cargo pass-through to the trunk while Honda decided to kill it. Honda wouldn’t say what the reason was, but judging by the battery position there was still room for a cargo slot capable of handling a surf board. Call that an opportunity lost.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Infotainment-002

Infotainment

Base models use physical buttons to control the standard 8-inch LCD in the dash, while up-level Accords get the two-screen layout you see above. Bluetooth, SMS voice messaging, Pandora smartphone integration and USB/iDevice control are all standard on base models as is a 6-speaker, 160-watt sound system. The 8-inch LCD handles all infotainment interactions in this base system from playlist browsing to phone dialing. Honda integrates their active noise cancellation technology into the head unit, so keep that in mind if you plan to swap into an after-market unit.

I suspect that most shoppers will opt for the mid-level “EX-L” which adds a subwoofer, 360 watt amp, and a 6-inch touchscreen for audio system controls. For reasons I don’t understand, the touchscreen is surrounded by “sparkly” plastic that looks like someone tossed in some glitter in the last moments of the plastics process. In an otherwise expertly executed cabin this “easter egg” seems out-of-place. This dual-screen setup struck me as half-baked when I first sampled it, and although I think it could still use a few minutes in the oven, I have warmed up to it. Voice commands are easy to use, the system’s layout is intuitive and responsiveness to commands is excellent. However, I still don’t understand why you use the touchscreen for changing tracks and sources, but you have to use the knob and upper screen for changing playlists. I also think it’s a pity that navigation isn’t sold as a stand alone option as you have to pony up $34,905 for the Touring trim to get it.

Front Wheel Drive Biased

Drivetrain

In many ways the Accord Hybrid shares more design themes with the Fisker Karma than a Toyota Prius. Up till now, mainstream hybrids used one of two systems, either an electro/mechanical power split device designed around a planetary gearset like the Ford, Toyota and GM Voltec hybrids, or they sandwich an electric motor between the engine and transmission (Honda, Kia/Hyundai, Mercedes, VW and everyone else). Honda went back to the drawing board and designed a true serial hybrid – as long as you stay under 44 mph. Things start out on the drawing above with a 2.0L, 141 horsepower engine mated directly to a motor/generator that is capable of generating approximately 141 horsepower (Honda won’t release details on certain drivetrain internals so that’s an educated guess). Honda says this is the most thermodynamically efficient four-cylinder engine in production, a title I have no reason to doubt. Next we have a 166 horsepower, 226 lb-ft motor connected to the front wheels via a fixed gear ratio. Under 44 miles per hour, this is all you need to know about the system. The 166 horsepower motor powers the car alone, drawing power from either a 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, or the engine via the generator and the power control circuitry. Over 44 miles per hour, the system chooses one of two modes depending on which is most efficient at the time. The system can engage a clutch pack to directly connect the motor and generator units together allowing engine power to flow directly to the wheels via that fixed gear ratio, or it can keep operating in serial mode.

When the Accord Hybrid engages the clutch to allow the engine to power the wheels directly (mechanically), power is flowing via a single fixed ratio gear set. The fixed gear ratio is somewhere around a typical 6th gear in terms of gear ratio. This improves efficiency at highway speeds because there is always some loss in power conversion from the generator to the motor. The single ratio is the reason the system must use in serial hybrid mode below 44 mph. There is another side effect at play here as well: below 44 MPH, the system’s maximum power output is 166 horsepower and rises to 196 when the clutch is engaged.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Exterior-005

Pricing

Starting at $29,155, the Accord Hybrid is nearly $4,000 more than the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. However, the Accord delivers a high level of standard equipment dropping the real margin to around $1,900. Instead of stand alone options, Honda offers just three trim levels. The next step is the $31,905 EX-L model which adds leather seats, a leather steering wheel, upgraded audio system with two LCD screens, memory driver’s seat, power passenger seat, moonroof, a camera based collision warning system and lane departure warning. While the base model fares poorly in direct cross-shops, the EX-L is a decent value, coming in essentially the same price as a comparably equipped Sonata, Fusion or Optima.

Work your way up to the top-of-the-line $34,905 Touring and you get full LED headlamps, navigation, XM Radio, an adaptive cruise control system and a snazzier backup cam. Although that’s more than a top trim Camry ($32,015), Sonata ($32,395) or Optima ($31,950), the Honda packs more features and when you adjust for the features missing in the competition the difference drops to a few hundred dollars. Meanwhile the Fusion wins the award for the most expensive in this segment at $37,200 with only a few features not found on the Accord.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Exterior-004

Drive

The Accord Hybrid’s impressive 50/45/47 MPG EPA rating (City/Highway/Combined) is even more impressive when you look at some of Honda’s design choices. First off all hybrid trims get tires one size wider (225/50R17 vs 215/55R17) than the gas-only Accord to compensate for the 230 lb weight increase. Secondly Honda chose to trickle-down Acura’s two-mode damper technology into the Accord. These two choices define how the car feels out on the road with the Accord barely nudging the Fusion out of first place when it comes to overall on-road performance. The Fusion Hybrid Titanium provides better overall grip, but the Accord has better poise and the two-mode dampers operate as advertised yielding to highway imperfections but maintaining a crisp feel on winding back roads. The take away from this is that the hybrid version of the Accord provides the best balance of grip and poise in the Accord lineup while all other manufacturers make you pay a handling penalty (albeit slight in the Ford) for the improved mileage numbers. Meanwhile the Sonata, Optima and Camry designers swapped in 205 width tires for reduced rolling resistance resulting in those hybrid models handling more like value-priced base entries.

After driving Ford’s latest hybrids, I was skeptical of Honda’s fuel economy claims. The last 47MPG Ford we tested ran between 39.5 and 41 MPG over 560 gingerly-driven miles. Keeping in mind that my commute is hilly and highway heavy I had expected the Accord’s numbers to suffer in relation as the Accord’s highway figure is 2 MPG lower than the Ford. I was wrong. I actually averaged better economy during my week with the Accord than I did at the launch event set in the Texas flat-lands (47.8 vs 45.9.) I attribute some of the difference to final tweaking of the software by Honda and some of the difference to California’s milder climate. The numbers struck me as so good I spent three days driving, filling, driving, filling only to discover the fuel economy was spot on. It is at this point I am surprised that Honda chose not to offer some sort of “eco” trim with skinny low rolling resistance tires, grille shutters and a weight loss regime for more even impressive numbers.

Honda’s new hybrid system switches between modes more smoothly than the Sonata and Optima and on-par with the Toyota and Ford systems. The smooth transitions are a good thing since the Accord spends far more time switching between EV and gasoline operating modes on level highways between 55 and 65 MPH. The system will charge the battery up, turn off the engine and run EV until the battery drops to a point that it needs to be recharged. This is different from the others that generally run engine only once you’re on the highway. Honda swiped the Accord’s brake design from their hydrogen Clarity sedan and it is easily the best I have ever driven. Stops are linear without the “grabby” feel you get in Toyota hybrid models if you transition rapidly from mild to moderate braking. Downhill driving in the Accord is also a vast improvement. Most hybrids transition to engine or 100% friction braking when the battery is full but Honda has a trick up their sleeve. Because of the Accord’s design Honda is able to continue using the traction motor to provide braking assistance. Once the battery is full, the software shuttles this energy over to the generator unit and consumes it by spinning the engine. This results in the most consistent braking feel of any hybrid so far.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Exterior-010

The Accord Hybrid drives like an EV below 44 MPH, much like a charged Chevy Volt and in sharp contrast to the Ford and Toyota hybrids. This is of course because the Accord’s electric motor is the only thing that can motivate the car below this speed. Because of the nature of this drivetrain, there there is definite non-linear relationship between the engine and the wheels. Press the throttle down and the engine catches up in a while, climb a hill and the engine will vary between a wail and a dull roar. While I’m sure that will bother some folks, I don’t mind the noises cars with CVTs make and this Accord is no different. Likely due to come software tweaks since I first drove it, 0-60 times dropped a few tenths to 7.0 seconds flat putting the Accord near the top of the pack in acceleration.

The Touring model Honda lent me featured all of Honda’s latest safety gadgets from the Lane Watch system that displays your right-side blind spot on the car’s 8-inch LCD. I honestly found Lane Watch to be a little gimmicky, even after having experienced it several times before. In a car with limited visibility it might be more useful, but the Accord’s large greenhouse and low beltline give it the best visibility in the segment. Touring trim also gets you a full speed-range radar adaptive cruise control with pre-collision warning. Honda’s radar cruise control isn’t the worst on the market but neither is it the best. The system brakes sharply, reacts slowly to traffic speeding up ahead of you and when you set a speed the car dips 5-6 MPH before accelerating back up to the speed you were driving when you hit the button.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Exterior-008

With all the numbers tallied the Accord Hybrid is an easy winner. It is more expensive than the competition but that delta shrinks when you account for feature content. The delta becomes immaterial however when you look at our average fuel economy numbers of 47.8 MPG in the Accord and 30 to mid-30s in all of the competition (including that 47 MPG Fusion.) Honda’s hybrid has the best road manners in the pack, the most composed ride, a comfy back seat and a quiet cabin. On my tally list, the Accord’s driving dynamics, fuel economy, performance and comfort more than outweigh my complaints about the cruise control and dual-screen infotainment system.

Being on the down-low, my former last word on the Accord was “The Accord may not be the best looking hybrid on sale, (for me that’s still the Ford Fusion) but the Accord’s simple lines and unexpectedly high fuel economy make the Honda a solid option. Being the gadget hound I am, I think I would still buy the Fusion, but only in the more expensive Titanium trim. If you’re not looking that high up the food chain, the Accord Hybrid is quite simply the best fuel sipping mid-size anything. Prius included.” But now I’ve decided it’s time to come clean. I’d take the Hybrid Accord period. No exceptions, no hair splitting.

 

Honda provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested:

0-30: 2.8 Seconds

0-60: 7.0 Seconds

Cabin noise at 50 MPH: 69 db

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 47.8 MPG over 835 miles.

 

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133 Comments on “Review: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid (With Video)...”


  • avatar
    wagic

    Didn’t Honda get the memo about enormous mouth-gaping grills in this segment?

  • avatar
    Ion

    I’d trust the life expectancy of a Honda Hybrid only slightly more than the VW’s. A neighbor has a previous gen Civic hybrid that beat the EPA’s numbers at first. Then came the recall which affected gas mileage, then came the battery replacement under extended warranty. I know this uses a different battery but the track record for Honda Hybrids is there.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      This is a completely different setup than the previous Honda IMA, which was only unique in that you could have had it with a manual in some cars.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        The root cause of them recalling those Civic Hybrids was because the battery was too small for the job. That made the batteries wear out sooner because in service they were more deeply discharged and discharged more often (than if Honda had simply used a larger… and more expensive battery). Hopefully Li-ions last longer than NiMH under the same conditions. The ’06-’11 Civic Hybrids that were recalled to be reprogrammed to basically use the battery a lot less came with .87kWh batteries in a 2800lb car. This Accord’s battery is 1.3kWh but in a 3500+lb car. Different battery chemistry that should last longer, sure, but in a few years we shall see if they made the right choice. (Oh, by the way, the mid-2000s Prius used a 1.3kWh NiMH in a 2900lb car.)

        That the Civic Hybrid’s battery was air cooled (as schmitt trigger pointed out below) probably didn’t help much, although the battery controllers would disable charging if the battery was too hot or too cold (I saw both of these things happen, under conditions that made it no surprise- extended hills on southwestern Pennsylvania freeways for too hot and on cold mornings for too cold).

    • 0 avatar
      schmitt trigger

      I also drove a Civic Hybrid for 8 years, and it is true that performance started to wane -significantly- with time…but it had NiMh batteries.

      The Lithium batteries are a completely different beast, performance wise
      Additionally, what I felt was detrimental on the HCH battery design was that it was air cooled.
      Better designs use liquid cooling, and that has an enormous positive impact on battery life.

      However…The review above does not indicate how the battery is cooled.
      That would make all the difference in the world.

      In all other respects, my HCH experience was absolutely fault-free.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Honda seems to have outdone themselves with this new car, marking a return to their engineering-focused heritage. Sounds like the new Accord will become a Legend of sorts.

    I’m impressed and would consider one of these for our next vehicle but my wife, like many females, has her heart set on a SUV so I look forward to what the Pilot may bring.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Looks to very sensitive to below 40 degrees with fuel economy dipping into the 30′s.

    http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/showthread.php?t=152913&page=11

    • 0 avatar
      Aleister Crowley

      Norm,
      That’s the first non Buick Encore comment I’ve read from you and it’s quite useful. When I test drove a Honda Accord Hybrid I couldn’t get over 39 mpg and I was pretty much hypermiling it (Maybe the battery wasn’t charged up). I believe the Honda Accord Hybrid will match but not exceed the Camry Hybrid in real world conditions. I’ve driven both.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Thanks for this review Alex.

    Tim Cain at goodcarbadcar.net who provides monthly sales statistics here on TTAC tested one of these Accord hybrids in conditions I’m used to – he lives only 10 miles away. 34 mpg US was all he could manage.

    So I’m thinking this vehicle is highly dependent on ambient temperature as far as mpg is concerned. If I could be sure of 40 I think I want one. Of course nobody at any dealer in Canada has seen one yet, despite it supposedly having been on sale since Oct 31. I’m number 3 on the list to drive one when it finally puts in an appearance. They couldn’t even hazard a guess.

    If anyone here would like to read a different take head over to goodcarbadcar.net

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I think many hybrids are highly dependent on ambient temp. My C-Max has been averaging 38 MPG during this horrible winter. If spring ever shows up, I’ll be back in the mid 40s. I’ve looked at both the Accord and Fusion hybrids and I wouldn’t take either over the C-Max (or Prius-V). The midsized sedan hybrids may get better fuel economy, but the goofy looking hatchwagons have much better versatility and packaging.

      • 0 avatar
        Conslaw

        My C-Max has also gone down from 44 to 36 in this constantly below freezing and often in singlie digits winter. Often the engine is running just to keep the cabin warm. You turn off the cabin heater and it goes back into hybrid mode. A brief warming spell with temperature into the 40s brought the MPG back into the 40s as well.

        The Accord Hybrid looks like a class-leader, but $37,000 is a lot of money for the average family. I’m happy that my C-Max Hybrid, with MyFordTouch, navigation, Sirius radio, heated (cloth) seats and power liftgate (list $28k-ish) was just a little over $25,000.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Temperature obviously has a huge impact, but so does driving style and the commute itself. About 20 miles of my commute is stop-and-go traffic which usually causes cars to hit their combined number in testing. Because the Accord’s city number is higher than the highway number, if your commute is 90%+ highway, then you will get lower numbers. Fuel economy also drops over 75 MPH so lead foots will get lower numbers as well.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        My issue with hybrid fuel economy is that I set cruise at 79, and sometimes I drive faster. Traffic on I-696 through Detroit’s Northern suburbs tends to move quickly. If I were to drive 70, I think I would get better MPG numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          Alex L. Dykes

          Drive any car 70 vs 79 and you’ll get better economy. Oddly enough you’re the kind of person the ZF 9HP 9-Speed was made for. The extremely high 9th gear has a 16% improvement in economy in the 80+ mph range.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I am waiting for the 9 speed that Ford will be putting in almost everything. Also, because it will let them boost the power ratings in 3.5EB FWD/AWD applications. The 10 speed should also be a great transmission on the Ford and GM trucks/truck based SUVs.

            I know I should drive more slowly. I have a problem.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            ZF’s “16% improvement” is awfully close to an outright lie even by marketing standards.

            Read the fine print in their press kit and they achieved it by attaching a 6 speed transmission to the same short axle specced for the 9 speed with its 0.48 OD. This of course had the 6 speed with a 0.69 OD turning past 3100 rpm at 80 mph.

        • 0 avatar
          musicalmcs8706

          That’s the speed you have to drive in that part of the state. My parents live by Grand Rapids and I went to grad school in Cleveland. You usually had to go at least 80 to keep up with everyone.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          One of my favorite stretches of freeway anywhere, just for that reason.

          One year back when I was a couple decades younger (and stupider), I was heading up to the Detroit area via that stretch since NB 75 was one big construction zone; came up through Ann Arbor, then M-14 to I-275 across the north to the Reuther. Middle lane of several, cruise on 80, guy in a Camaro flies by, and who am I to not respond?! In light traffic, my Civic EX is doing 115 without breaking a sweat, me following at a third of a mile behind, with no dangerous weaving or other stuff involved; could have gone higher if I would have wanted to push my luck, which I didn’t!! My personal Autobahn!

          My new Accord Touring (like all of my Hondas to date) gets much worse mileage in the winter, and it’s due to the crap winter gas!

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Ohio oxygenated winter gas does effect performance but once temperatures are up to 45-55F I can match summer gas fuel economy. Check your tire pressures as when the temperatures drop, so do the tire pressures. If not for rolling resistance but for pthole protection. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If the hybrid has an electric heater, then that could also explain it. The humans needing warmth in the wintertime start competing with the rest of the car for the available electricity, which creates more dependency on the gas motor, which burns more gas.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The Volt is the only hybrid I know of that currently has an electric heater. The drop in MPG is due to having to run the engine more frequently to keep it up to it’s min operating temp so it doesn’t have excessive emissions on restart. It is possible to suck the temp of an engine from the normal operating temp of ~200 degrees to the min of ~150 pretty quickly when the HVAC is providing maximum heat.

      • 0 avatar
        kokomokid

        High speed will hurt mpg of this Accord, relative to a Prius, because of aerodynamics. I get about 44 mpg at 75 mph with my Prius, checked over a few thousand miles of driving in the interstate. This Accord will probably get mid-high 30′s on the super slab.

        Still, when time comes to replace my Prius, the Accord hybrid would be high on my shopping list, if only they sold it as a wagon or hatch. As it is, a sedan without even a fold down rear seat, it wouldn’t work for me.

  • avatar

    I’d rather have a Sonata 2.0t or a last-gen Camry over the Accord. I don’t like ANYTHING about it.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Try driving them and see if you still feel that way. The Sonata 2.0T isn’t as fast as its power numbers imply it should be, and has typical poorly refined Hyundai road manners. The last-gen Camry feels like driving your overstuffed living room chair.

      The current Accord has that classic precise Honda feel and moves *very* well compared to its power ratings (4cyl Sport: 0-60 in 6.8… V6: 0-60 in 5.2… Hybrid: 0-60 in 7.0). It and the Mazda6 are just head and shoulders above the rest of the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I like the Fusion and Accord, better than the Mazda6. I think the 6 looks better in photos than in person, and it doesn’t drive any better than the Accord or Fusion.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The Fusion is an overweight porker, and you can feel it through the wheel and especially the brake pedal. In 2.0T form, it’s 400 pounds heavier than a four-cylinder Accord and 200 pounds heavier than a V6 Accord. Too bad, because it does look and feel nice.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I think the brakes are because Ford sometimes underbrakes vehicles (at least to my liking). All the D-platform vehicles have gone through brake upgrades over the years.

            On a daily drive, I find the Fusion to be a great car. My wife and I are down to it and an Accord for her work vehicle. It may come down to the fact that she wants integrated Navigation, and a Fusion can be had with Nav for much cheaper than an Accord. Its a $3000 difference before discounts.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Honda does need to get with the times on their approach to nav systems.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Especially now that they have an 8″ touch screen in every trim on the Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            “Especially now that they have an 8″ touch screen in every trim on the Accord.”

            IIRC, the larger screen—standard on every Accord—is a non-touch-screen, which is consistent with pretty much every Honda vehicle released after 2007. What they’ve done is, on nicer trims, offered the smaller screen at the bottom, which *is* a touch screen. I don’t see the point of the dual-screen setup on non-navigation-equipped cars. You’ll know that an Accord has navigation if it has the panel below the HVAC controls that includes those four buttons and the dial…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Thanks Kyree. You are right. Either way, they go out of the way to put an 8″ screen in there, and you have to drop $31K in order to get Nav. Its crazy. The MSRP of the cheapest nav equipped Fusion is around $26K.

            My wife likes MFT and having the Nav integrated into a car. Her car is her office now, so it comes in handy.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Honda has always done the trims, and not ala-carte options or “packages.” You’re going to have to live with leather to get factory Nav.

            The Nav is OK for what it’s supposed to do–my main complaint is the voice-command system has sucked for the past 11 years, and always WILL suck! Honda could learn from Fiatsler U-Connect or Ford SYNC. Fortunately, there are plenty of hard-buttons for HVAC, and the stereo takes only a couple days to which to become accustomed. (Software fixes have fixed most of the bugs which got the Accord V6 dinged by Consumer Reports and the like.) I suspect that some improvements will make their way into the mid-cycle changeover for 2016, if Honda doesn’t cost-cut as they did with the last Accord MMC in MY 2011.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Sure thing, bball40dtw. I still don’t understand why anyone would even *want* the dual-screen setup if the car didn’t have navigation. As far as the Fusion goes, it is a lot more flexible in terms of options. I have seen Fusion SE examples with MyFord Touch, navigation, and few other options (like cloth instead of leather)…and I’ve seen them come in at under $25K, too. What would be nice is if Ford would design the MyFord/Lincoln Touch systems so that you can just pay for the map SD card and maybe some kind of activation fee, and then you’d have nav on whatever compatible car you wanted, instead of having to find a car with with it. I think Chrysler lets you do this with the latest Uconnect 8.4 system.

            Again, speaking on the Fusion, I actually think the ribbed seats in the SE trim look cooler than those of the Titanium trim. They actually look Volkswagenesque to me, and I love Volkswagen’s restrained, formal German school of design (but I don’t like how cheap the Passat and Jetta feel). You can also get very nice wheels on the SE, and I think there’s something more ceremonial and satisfying about turning a key in the ignition than pushing a start button (the push-button start and smart key). And of course you can get navigation on the SE. The 1.6-liter engine (and probably the 1.5-liter) are perfectly fine, too. All of this is to say that you’d be hard pressed to get me to upgrade to a Fusion Titanium over a nice SE. The only thing I like better about the Titanium is the inclusion of a dual exhaust system and the nicer-looking exhaust tips.

      • 0 avatar

        I made a test drive vid on a track of the Sonata and Veloster turbo versions.

        I like them.

      • 0 avatar
        calgarytek

        In my dream, this thing had front double wishbones. When I took a corner I got that ‘OMG its so planted feeling’ from Accords long before. And then I loved the car even more, because I knew it had a heart of gold.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I owned an ’04 TSX (after the wishbones were gone) and have driven a ’13 Accord. Honestly, I don’t think the struts are much worse. The cars just have very good damping and wheel control, particularly for FWD family sedans. They’re also lightweight for the class. They really are terrific handlers, struts or not.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            To me, there’s just a little loss of precision near the limit — the car will hang with you in classic Honda fashion, but YOU have to adjust to the car — it just doesn’t HAPPEN! The EPS is also to blame somewhat from a feel standpoint.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’m approaching the age where, in an era of increasingly shitty road surfaces, I want a) a smooth ride, b) peace & quiet, c) power on command, and d) a feeling of solidity & security.

            There was a time when these things did not top my list of automotive priorities.

            Now that they do, the Accord, along with nearly any “midsized 4 banger sedan” of the ConCord class, doesn’t cut the mustard.

            I can achieve a through d above, for about $4,000 more (real world transaction price), by acquiring and driving a new Chrysler 300 with the 3.6 liter Pentastar and ZF 8 speed transmission, and truth be told, it’s even going to probably average 22mpg if I do a LOT of city driving and as much as 25mpg if I do at least 50% of my miles on the highway.

            I have driven the new Accord (non-hybrid), and while it’s a nice, well made, efficient vehicle, the ride quality can’t touch the 300′s with a 10 foot pole, and misses priority “a” above by a wide margin, so it’s out of contention for my next vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            Yup, the weakest features of the new Accord are the ride and the huge turning radius. Just like Accords of decades ago, it feels like a cork bouncing on waves even on perfectly smooth pavement, making me feel like a Mr.Bobblehead. Driving on bad pavement is a surprise because it doesn’t feel much different. A Civic rides flatter, at least a 2009 does to my body.

            But the Hybrid has the special two-stage shocks, which several reviews note gives it a better ride, although no mention is made of it here from a comparative POV by Dykes. He probably hasn’t driven a regular Accord for a year.

            That’s why I want to drive a Hybrid to see for myself, but this poor winter mileage has kind of put me off.

  • avatar
    segfault

    This is a good review, but it’s borderline unreadable.

    “The like the gas-only Accord…”
    Huh?

    “The seats ate lightly…”
    Then they’re probably not overweight.

    “Starting at $29,155, the Accord Hybrid start…”
    Start should be plural.

    “Working your way up to the top-of-the-line $34,905 Touring and you get…”
    ‘Working’ should probably be ‘work.’

    “Meanwhile the Fusion since the award for the most expensive in this segment…”
    ‘Since’ should be ‘wins.’

    “The system will charger the battery up…”
    ‘Charger’ should be ‘charge.’

    “…Honda has a trick up there sleeve.”
    ‘There’ should be ‘their.’

    Is TTAC accepting applications for a copy editor?

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      Sigh. I miss the Robert Farago days :(

      What happend to Doug? He was this site’s best (only?) writer.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Abandon hope. I no longer remember when this site had decent editorial standards. I point this out from time to time hoping for change, but it’s exhausting. It doesn’t help that most commenters couldn’t care less, and are more likely to ridicule you as a “grammar nazi” than join the push for better writing.

      For the sake of your sanity, accept this site for what it is – a blog with zero copy editing. Even the better writers have decided they aren’t interested in conforming to style guides. Always remember this when reading TTAC, or your own writing will get worse.

      • 0 avatar
        EX35

        It’s not just the grammar. The writing is terrible. Most of the time it’s impossible to understand what the writer is trying to communicate. Often it seems reviews are just cobbled together press releases. Farago ran a much tighter ship.

        • 0 avatar
          segfault

          I actually like Alex’s written and video reviews, just not the grammar gaffes, which look unprofessional.

          • 0 avatar
            EX35

            In all honesty, the reviews read and sound like something CR puts out. If I wanted that, I would read CR.

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            @segfault and Derek Kreindler

            I too like Alex L. Dykes writing. The content is excellent, and his journalistic style is very good, imho. It just needs a little boost.

            Consider the first two sentences of his report published above.

            ‘Now and then you run into a car that just “fits”. It’s like finding a perfect shoe, or a comfy smoking jacket.’

            A killer lead that contains a minor punctuation gaffe in sentence two – no comma after shoe, please. No biggie. Modern internet blog journalism often takes a few liberties with classic rules of grammar, but an unstylish and unnecessary comma is not one of them. See my definitive work on the subject: “How to Write Real Good”.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            I disagree that the sentence “It’s like finding a perfect shoe, or a comfy smoking jacket.” has an unnecessary comma after “shoe”.
            The comma introduces a “pause” which conveys a thoughtful musing, rather than a collection of facts, and seems to fit the flow of the narrative. Also, it serves to make the two items distinct.

            Now with two related items, it flows better without the comma:

            “It’s like finding a perfect pair of shoes or slippers”.

            I hope you can see what I mean – it’s not dogma, since English is such a messy language anyway. (Did I *need* the comma after “dogma”?) :-)

        • 0 avatar

          Gents,

          I know we have some copy editing issues, but I feel I should chime in here. I edited Alex’s review last night and scheduled it to post. At some point, it reverted back to the raw, unedited draft and published out. I am going to re-edit it now, but this is why you are/were seeing the draft that you did.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            TTAC robot’s revenge.

          • 0 avatar

            Ghost in the machine

          • 0 avatar
            EX35

            As someone in the publishing business, no writer should be submitting tripe like this to an editor.

          • 0 avatar

            And yet, Alex seems to have a significant following on this site. The readers are satisfied with his work, and I serve them. On the other hand, I would disagree with your estimation of Doug’s writing.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            Alex’s video reviews are excellent. Video is clearly his strength. The writing can be disappointing, but he provides enough useful information for me to try to overlook the writing. I point out the flaws to try to help, not out of hostility.

            As for Doug, I liked his stuff in small doses. He did go overboard with the attempts at humor. It was hard to find technical fault with Doug’s writing, but part of that was his style. It’s hard to make a mistake with a series of simple sentences.

            It was terrific for TTAC to have him contributing during that time though; the humor was needed.

          • 0 avatar
            EX35

            If he has any following, it’s from “new readers” who come here from a Google referral looking to see what the infotainment options are on a particular “reviewed” vehicle. If you can’t already estimate from the comments, most of your RF era commentators are gone or not posting. this should tell you something (but it won’t).

            Also, poor form critizing Doug’s writing ability, who is no longer here to defend himself.

          • 0 avatar

            Alex has been here long before I got started, and his fanbase was established when I arrived. I also did not criticize Doug’s writing. I merely disagreed with your assertion that he is the “only” writer. There are plenty of talented writers here, both among the staff and the commenters.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @DK,

            Just want to express my support of the direction of TTAC under you and JB, and also appreciation of Alex’s very thorough reviews.

            Spelling mistakes are a minor annoyance, considering what I get out of this site, and how much I pay for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            “As someone in the publishing business, no writer should be submitting tripe like this to an editor.”

            There’s a saying about glass houses and bricks.

            You should learn it.

            “Also, poor form critizing Doug’s writing ability, who is no longer here to defend himself.”

            He’s no longer here because he no longer wants to be here. His account is still valid, he still has permission in WordPress to submit articles and comments. You’re acting like he flew off to the Arctic Circle and left you clutching your autographed CTS-V Matchbox car and a handful of used tissues.

            We work with Alex to tidy up what he submits into publishable reviews. Alex is popular with the B&B and we’re committed to continuing to work with him. If you want to read Doug DeMuro, he isn’t hard to find. You just won’t find him here, and that was *his* choice, not mine or Derek’s.

          • 0 avatar
            Alex L. Dykes

            All I have to say about this is: please accept my apologies (or, apple-o-gees, if you prefer). As Derek said we had a technological blip that seems to have reverted my changes prior to submission as well as Derek’s quality control. Errors in my reviews are of course my fault, Derek’s edits or not, and my goal is to continually improve. I am sincerely sorry if I (or we if you prefer) failed to meet the highest quality goals that we all expect and deserve.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            “Derek’s quality control…”

            Blah blah, sure, OK, all right. All I’m saying is, I’m even better at this than he is.

            Let Derek do all that other important editorial shit, and I’ll fix your tyops and grammers.

          • 0 avatar
            Alex L. Dykes

            Ah, but would I drive you insane with my errors? :) We must think of our reader’s mental health.

          • 0 avatar
            Brian E

            “As someone in the publishing business, no writer should be submitting tripe like this to an editor.”

            Seriously, why do you care how the sausage is made?

            I do think TTAC could use a copy editor, but I know that it’s still a small operation and that it’s hard to find money for such things. I don’t gripe.

            Alex’s reviews, especially the videos, are fantastic because he considers details that affect what it would be like to live with the car on a daily basis. Note that he’s pretty much the only reviewer who goes in depth with the increasingly complicated infotainment systems on modern cars. A few typos are a small price to pay for that level of detail.

          • 0 avatar
            GiddyHitch

            +1, Brian. ALD’s style may lack some of the flourishes of his more stylish peers and former peers, but he always gives you a good sense of what it will be like to live with your car during a commute, running errands, on a road trip, etc. I would consider his review to be required reading for any new car I was researching.

    • 0 avatar
      CRConrad

      ““Starting at $29,155, the Accord Hybrid start…”
      Start should be plural.”

      Or perhaps even present tense.

      • 0 avatar
        kuman

        Dear all,

        As a foreigner, perhaps I’m more tolerant to grammatical and spelling errors than proper English speaking gents like you are all.

        However I would rather definitely put more effort in understanding what Alex is trying to say through his words, than placing harsh comments on his work / editorial.

        We weren’t ask to pay a dime to read this site nor to watch his reviews, yet we can be benefited from so much information, great stories, reviews and what not.

        Why must we fly rage at him and / or this site in general for grammatical and / or spelling errors. Is this how we, as gents show our gratitude?

        Give credits where its due, and when things doesn’t go where you wanted it to go, leave reminders, if you still don’t like it, I would like to reminded you of the existence of the address bar and back button.

        Grammar NAZI can find grammatically correct articles somewhere else, preferably where grammatical correctness are their forte.

        The rest of us can relax and enjoy the content, in which happens to be this site’s forte.

        Thanks to Alex & Derek for the great reviews and editorials, your work is greatly appreciated. Also for fellow commentators who keeps their comments and jokes civil. I don’t think you guys are getting as much as credits as you deserve them.

        Thank you

        Kuman

        • 0 avatar
          CRConrad

          Hey, @kuman, why was that put as a reply to *me* of all people?!? I was only pointing out that _someone else_ was being the worst kind of “Grammar Nazi[*]” — one that “corrects” someone else, but is actually wrong himself.

          You could have directed your criticism at @segfault. (Or if you necessarily had to jump me, specifically, you could have replied to some post where I was actually being one.)


          [*]: No, it’s not an acronym.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    “The Accord is the mid-size sedan least likely to offend. While some call the tall greenhouse and upright proportions boring, I found them to be elegant and restrained.”

    To me, tall greenhouse and upright proportions are practical, useful, and proper. Kudos Honda for still offering these qualities.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This. “4-door coupes” were invented by luxury makers as a way to trade off sexy styling for some practicality, while not losing the rear doors altogether. Family sedans sold for their practicality shouldn’t be styled like “4-door coupes.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I personally fail to see any practicality in a “four door coupe” as the rear seat room and head room as typically lacking due to roof curvature and wheelbase, but I agree Accord and the like should not be emulating the “four door coupe”.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    The Honda Accord has LOST one customer. I want a two door coupe w/ a manual. Honda in its “infinitesimal” wisdom, has decided that ALL manual cars can only be had in one color, BLACK!! Now, if someone could make a logical argument on what color selection has to do w/ models and equipment packages, I’m all ears. I’m still trying to decide what an acceptable substitute would be! :-(

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      V6 Mustang? Isn’t that always the answer? :)

      Ford will let you order one from the factory. Choose your color and options.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Get a V6 — that adds dark gray and red to your options. Four-cylinder manuals are indeed only in black.

      This is to minimize build and inventory combinations, which has always been a Honda obsession. I assume four-cylinder manuals are so low-volume that only one color is warranted.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        But they do build them… and ship them to Canada. that’s what has driven a lot of people nuts. They are built in those configurations and colors in the US, but not sold in the US.

        I can live with the gray, and that will probably be my next car. I miss that smooth V6 anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Didn’t know other colors were sold in Canada… that does make it frustrating.

          I’m also tempted by a gray V6/6MT coupe.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Dal,

            http:// http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR8Pha_MZv8

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            Jack there is something going on in your template that makes it impossible to mark portions of comments for copying on the iPad Safari. I can only mark the entire comment. This is frustrating because you guys have turned off HTML so links in comments don’t work. And because of this problem it’s a major pain to copy and paste URLs. Then after I submit the comment it’s back to only allowing me to mark the entire comment. Weird

            Oddly enough after I starts this reply, suddenly marking part of a comment does work. WTF?
            Can you guys at least allow links to work? Please?

          • 0 avatar
            GiddyHitch

            While we are at it, Jack, URLs completely blow up the comments column formatting in Safari on the iPhone, whereby the text spills off screen but can’t be seen via scrolling.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR8Pha_MZv8

            Jack, I see what you did there. :)

            The album art is just one color: grey. But the voice is sweet and the music good, like a manual transmission Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        kokomokid

        Why is that Chrysler was able to offer about 20 paint colors and 13 interior colors when my parents order their 1966 Dodge Coronet, but Honda is only able to offer one paint choice on the 4 cylinder manual Accord Coupe? I’d think, with today’s technology, it would be a lot easier to manage build combinations than when computers still used vacuum tubes and relays. Yes, I’m exaggerating a little. Transistors existed in 1966.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>has decided that ALL manual cars can only be had in one color, BLACK!! <<

      Four door manuals can be had in more colors. But not many.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll tell you one more thing that make no sense at all! when choosing an accord, you start with LX, plastic steering wheel, next is Sport, leather steering wheel, next is EX, plastic again!
      I gave up all what the EX have to offer just to get the leather wheel and paddle shifters, the car also looks much better with the 18 inch wheels, only on the Sport trim.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    After a string of hybrid duds, this is clearly the best hybrid car Honda has ever produced – and a real competitor in the field.

    I’ve never really been a fan of the Accord, but this is a pretty nice car – definitely worth considering.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This seems to me like the perfect way to engineer a hybrid powertrain given current technology. Smooth as silk, takes full advantage of the strengths of both the motor and the engine, and gets great results.

    I just wish there would be a ~35mpg version with a bigger electric motor and a V6 as the generator, that would accelerate like the conventional Accord V6. That would be my dream sedan.

    Unfortunately the RLX Hybrid is not using this technology but a version of IMA with a DCT, which won’t be as smooth and won’t run much in pure EV mode. It’s trying too hard to feel like a conventional luxury sedan when there is no advantage (IMO) in feeling more conventional.

    • 0 avatar
      Dawnrazor

      They actually offered just the car you described in the ’05-’07 MY. It was similarly equipped as the EX V6, but added a motor and a few tweaks to the V6(I believe the engine had different tuning as well as cylinder deactivation), and pushed close to 300hp. In the end, it provided slightly better acceleration and slightly better economy vs. the non-hybrid V6, which the marketplace apparently did not find to be worth the price premium, as it was not a good seller.

      It was cool in theory however, because it was one of the very few hybrids intended to deliver both increased economy AND increased performance vs. gas only models.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The old Accord V6 Hybrid unfortunately wasn’t the same thing at all. It had IMA — that is, a motor sandwiched in front of a conventional automatic transmission. This is a much more flexible and elegant hybrid technology, and the fuel economy reflects that.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    The Volt is an EV, series and parallel hybrid.
    EV due to the battery size.
    The most complex hybrid engineering being sold.
    The Accord, powered by an Atkinson cycle engine, next.
    Series and parallel with minimum EV.
    Surprising they went series as it cannot provide the mpg of a parallel hybrid.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’m starting to warm up to the idea of buying a Hybrid vs. a 4 cylinder/CVT model at the EX-L trim level. In addition to better fuel economy, the hybrid advantages are no CVT to replace and better looking machined aluminum wheels vs. painted aluminum wheels. My big concern would be how it drives after the battery pack ages and how much it costs to swap out the battery. However, I bet removing and reinstalling the battery pack is within my DIY skill set while swapping CVTs isn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      So far, most LiIon-based hybrids are having battery packs last the life of the vehicle. It’s unlikely you’d need to swap out the battery.

      As for driving behavior, it wouldn’t be much different with a battery that had lost some capacity, but fuel economy would suffer a bit as the engine had to run more often.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Thanks for the very good review Alex. This is a winner Accord.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The interior is vastly improved over a 2011 I’ve been in a few times. The exterior is simple and nice, and it’ll age well over the years – even if it does have Genesis tail lamps.

    However, one glaring thing bothers me. The lower “level” of the center stack is not in alignment with the upper levels. Look on the vertical axis and you’ll see what I mean. The knob with ENTER is not aligned with the hazard flasher button, which in turn is aligned with both screens above it. I would notice this every time I drove. In addition, the red on the POWER button is unpleasant and looks cheap. Why not make it blue/purple and glowing, etc?

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/dealeron/assets/inventory/photos/756/jn1cy0ap0am911217-15.jpg

    Can’t argue against those fuel numbers though, and of course the resale value will be excellent.

  • avatar

    Love the car’s technology, but I cannot get over how huge it is. I do not care for rear seats one bit. If they made a Civic with the same drivetrain, that would be something for me.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      While the Accord is huge, it’s par for the class. Honda did a great job with packaging though – at least you get a spacious cabin and great visibility in exchange for the large footprint. Compare this to something like the Buick Regal, which has similar dimensions, yet Alex can’t sit in the back without tilting his head to one side.

      Personally, there is no way I would tolerate a car that is 190″ x 73.5″, yet somehow can’t accommodate someone 6′ tall in the back. The Accord is big on the outside, but at least it is big on the inside too. Like you, I am more inclined to shop in the C-segment and let occasional back seat passengers suffer a bit; however, I would consider an Accord because you get visibility and interior space in the bargain.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I would buy a Civic if it came with Accord levels of materials, build quality, and features, sort of how the 2nd-Gen Integra felt.

      (After having lived with the Adaptive Cruise and LED headlights, those are now on my “must-have” list.

      (Alex is correct that the ACC braking is a little abrupt, and that it’s a little slow to resume speed, either from pressing “Resume,” or from moving back to preset speed after pacing traffic. I haven’t had the problem with the ACC not engaging immediately at the desired speed; my only issue is that at higher set speeds, my speedometer actually reads a touch slower than the set speed (still within Honda tolerances). Why manufacturer’s still build in the “optimism” into the speedos when they could just take the reading straight off the VSS is a mystery! Overall, the ACC is a good “v1.0″ implementation, and I’d still buy another car so-equipped.)

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      The Accord is made for families, and with a big backseat for teens over six foot, amazing reliability, good crash test scores, and a low price, it’s obvious why they sell so many.

      The Civic does all of the things listed above, except it’s geared more towards sporty people (in the Si form).

  • avatar

    Nothing wrong with having a favorite car–it’s the reason there are so many lively debates and why everyone isn’t driving a Camry.

    As much as I liked the Accord (and owned one previously) I went with the Fusion for reasons you stated above, and because I felt it was as much or more car for less money.

    But each to his/her own.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Game, set, match.

    The latest Accord really is a turn around point for Honda, getting back to their core competency of fantastic engineering. I applaud the tall greenhouse, it’s one of those times when not succumbing to the latest styling fad pays off. I think many non-car people take one for a test drive, and even if they don’t consciously note “hey this is light and airy, and has great visibility” they are left with a very positive impression from the drive. I see more 2013+ Accords than Camries or anything other new sedans in Indiana, same with Ohio.

    Between the Accord and the upcoming 2015 Fit, i think they’re on a roll. Now if they could “pull an accord” on the 9th gen Civic, they’d be all set in my eyes.

    Unrelated aside: I currently have a rental Kia Soul for work, and I gotta say, as much progress as the Koreans have made, there is still something ‘off’ about their cars. The suspension tuning manages to be both wallowy and somewhat harsh on impacts. The brakes are incredibly grabby and non-linear. Space utilization is absolutely terrible (tiny trunk due to high floor). The 1.6L sounds really rough at 3-4krpm, and has a hard time accelerating the boxy car on the highway with the 6spd auto, which does its best. I was averaging 26.5 mpg going 72 mph, seems rather low. Oh and the steering wheel has a molding-flash ridge around the outside.

  • avatar
    carguy

    As always, I appreciate the thorough review Alex.

    After some lackluster first attempts, Honda really seems to have come up with a great new approach to hybrid technology and have lost the need for a gearbox in the process. I am not really in the market for a car such as this hybrid but if I needed a near full size family sedan this would top my list.

  • avatar
    htatc

    Mazda6 sexy, Fusion aggressive. There ya go Alex i corrected that for ya.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    I stay away from Honda products for one reason: brakes. I was bitten by a brand-new Accord decades ago with front brake rotors that warped and had to be replaced (on my dime) in less than 10k miles and have never been back. And, from what I’ve read, that situation hasn’t changed all that much with their current products, either. The brakes wear out quickly and it’s at the owner’s expense to have them repaired/replaced. Scrimping on brakes (along with seats) is a classic place where auto manufacturers save money.

    OTOH, hybrids don’t utilize their front brakes in the same way because of regenerative braking so maybe a hybrid Accord wouldn’t be so bad. But I’d still be wary.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    @The Dyke: “Indeed the Accord’s side profile reminds me a great deal of former Lexus products, a similarity that was shared by passengers during the week.” Wow, you don’t say — your passengers also looked like old Lexi? No, really, that *is* what you said.

    Sorry, but I’m a language nerd and pit-nicker. I’ve offered before, and I’ll do it again: Hire me as a copy editor. For pay, I’ll be content with not having to read stuff like that in the finished product.

    [Edit:] Also, “below 44 MPH, the system’s maximum power output is 166 horsepower and raises to 196 when the clutch is engaged.” — Rises, no ‘a’. You raise something, or when you raise yourself, we say that you rise. The subject of that sentence is the power output. It doesn’t raise something else, but itself: It rises.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Alex, Quick question on the engine, do you know the thermal efficiency numbers or did Honda just claim “most thermodynamicly efficient egine ever produced?”

    Also, this seems like an incredible car, wish I could afford one, and still waiting for the day when auto manufacturers pull their respective engineering heads out of their behinds and start producing cross plane crank 4 cylinders.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Honda did provide some of the numbers at the launch event back in October, however since most companies don’t it isn’t something we can verify.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “most thermodynamically efficient engine ever produced?”

        The devil is in the details. I wonder if they are talking about efficiency during high output (wide open throttle, high rpm, max blast onramp acceleration or climbing steep hill at highway speeds), low output (off idle, loping along at city speeds), or… ? It probably depends whether you ask a salesman or an engineer.

        Something they did get right with the old Civic Hybrid’s gasoline engine was that it was a marvel of low friction which made it very efficient if you were willing to accelerate slowly (it was easy to beat the EPA numbers by quite a bit in this way). This was also very true for the engines in the original Insights.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Here’s what Honda says:

      ” In fact, at 214 g/kWh of 87-octane gasoline fuel, this engine is the most energy efficient mass produced gasoline internal combustion engine available in the world, based on internal testing.”

      Toyota claims 216 for the Prius engine. I read an article somewhere that the Honda achieves this efficiency at full load and 2500 rpm.

      Cross plane cranks on 4 cylinder inline engines? Why delberately unbalance a not particularly vibration-free engine layout if you’re not trying for the last 0.05 seconds per lap on a MotoGP engine on the overrun? According to some Japanese oracle staring at Mt Fuji for guidance. There’s no mechanical advantage whatsoever. Not a thing. Yet you get more vibration due to the uneven firing order. Tinfoil hat time.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “I read an article somewhere that the Honda achieves this efficiency at full load and 2500 rpm.”

        Thanks! Good info.

        Full load/2500rpm is probably close to an 80-90mph cruise in its direct-drive mode rather than something the typical customer will frequently use- let’s say 1500rpm +/- a bit, at part load, which is likely where the engine will spend a lot of its life. I’m curious how it stacks up to the competition, but that kind of esoteric information is interesting only to nerds like me. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was quite good though- the Civic Hybrid’s engine really shone in this way- that powertrain made a lot of efficiency gains in that way (compared to the Prius that was designed with a strategy based on an Atkinson Cycle, aka unusual valve timing plus high compression).

        Like I said, nerds.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I know this isn’t impossible (I like the Juke and it’s nothing at all like any vehicle I’ve ever owned), but I have always found it interesting that in his TTAC reviews Alex is a big fan of new technology and fuel efficiency, but his two personal vehicles are an old-style XJ8 and a Saab SUV with a 6.0L V8.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      I agree with you, however in my defense the Jaguar Super V8 wasn’t my choice… I suggested a Prius C and lost the argument. The Saab was all down to towing, if there had been a geeky hybrid tow capable something that was mid-sized, reasonably priced and got excellent economy it would have been my choice.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Copy editing? What do to think this is the New York Times c. 1982? In their pre-internet heyday newspapers and magazines were among the most profitable business around as such could afford armies of editors, copy editors, etc. We don’t live in that word anymore. At TTAC , you get what you pay for. Which is $0. So, STFU.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    I don’t understand all the “Fusion Hybrid” love in the review as well as in so many posts. Very recently, Consumer Reports gave the Fusion Hybrid very very low reliability scores. And, you get this poor reliability for a premium price. When I see the review praising a vehicle with such poor reliability, I wonder about the quality of the publication. Hard to imagine an unbiased consumer choosing a Fusion Hybrid with such poor reliability.

    Now, to the real world. Personally, I like the Accord Hybrid, but I will never purchase it. Why? The price. Mid 30s for an Accord Hybrid? I am not that stupid.

    Then, there is the Camry Hybrid. If you are a good talker, you can get one for around 23K. Bullet proof reliability. Great resale. Much faster than a Fusion Hybrid. Hard to imagine a rational person choosing any other mid-sized hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      You bring up a point that I wanted to mention as well. The only okay excuse I can think of to buy the Fusion Hybrid over any other hybrid is because it’s made by an American company. But the Accord Hybrid and Camry Hybrid are made in America; it’s a win-win situation; Toyota/Honda reliability and the joy of being built in the USA.

  • avatar
    kokomokid

    This power train is more like a Volt, than any other current or recent hybrids. If only it were a hatch or wagon, it sounds like a great, more luxurious replacement for my Prius in a few years.

    The lack of a fold down rear seat would take it completely off of my shopping list, but still, it sounds like an impressive car that should work well for a lot of people.

  • avatar
    vbofw

    No mention of the WSJ’s issue of wonky gas motor behavior. Apparently the Atkinson will rev up at all sorts of random times to charge the battery – different from the typical hybrid that revs only when the engine needs extra power, i.e. at high speeds.

  • avatar
    Mynewcar

    Why doesn’t Consumer Reports mention or like this car?

    It says that Camry Hybrid XLE is still the least expensive overall in this size class. It also says the same for the Avalon and Prius in respective classes.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    so here is a neat story. Some good friends of mine were looking at buying a new car and they have been Honda fanatics forever and wanted the new Accord Hybrid. I told them for the money it wasn’t worth the price, but they insisted on test driving the car. They did and were completely disappointed and wondered how Honda could charge so much for the car. Long story short they bought a 2014 BMW 3 Series XDrive.

    So how did my friends do a total 360 and not only didn’t buy a hybrid but didn’t buy a Honda? Value and performance. Honda’s are good cars and MPG was important to them but for what Honda wanted for a top of the line Hybrid Accord they found a 2014 3 series XDrive with 5k on it for $34k. I don’t care how much you love the earth or don’t like the pump, a slightly used BMW for the price of an Accord, why would you hesitate?

    • 0 avatar
      Mynewcar

      Because the *rush* I get from a car lasts a VERY short period of time and does not offset the *death* that it brings to my cash flows. The responsibility or worry of ‘ownership’ is just not worth anything to smart people. Cars are sunken costs. They only decrease in value. Once a person is worth a million or more in a trust fund, then they can buy stupid things like cars with their budget.

  • avatar
    user4444

    “Front seat comfort has long been a Honda strong suit….”

    Are you effin kidding me? Is that some sort of cruel joke? Hondas, and the Accord, are infamous for uncomfortable seats. There is a litany of complaints on the internet about the awful seats in the Honda Accord. People are trading in their brand new Accords for a huge loss because of the terrible seats. A decade of complaints to Honda and the seats are actually getting worse; I drove a 2006 Accord and 2010 Accord and a newer Accord, and the seat is TORTURE.

    If you enjoy the feeling of being stabbed in the back, literally, then the honda accord is perfect for you!

    I would never recommend an Accord to anyone.


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