Honda received plenty of acclaim for its redesigned 2013 Accord, and adds extra versatility to the lineup with a plug-in hybrid for 2014. While the new Accord can operate in pure electric mode, its gasoline engine eliminates range restrictions commonly associated with traditional electric vehicles.
The Accord Plug-In Hybrid features a 2-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 196 horsepower. The standard continuously variable transmission (CVT) sends power to the front wheels. Electric-only range is limited—Honda estimates 10 to 15 miles—but in gas-electric mode hybrid technology pumps fuel economy to 47 mpg city and 46 mpg highway. Active systems—such as braking—help recharge the 6.7 kWh battery pack.
The Plug-In Hybrid is well-equipped with a variety of features and technology. It includes a smartly-designed cabin with high-end finishes. An 8-inch display screen resides in the center console, which has a simple and effective tiered layout.
The latest Accord is slightly smaller than previous models, but legroom and headroom are sufficient—front and rear. The quietly-operating hybrid system reduces noise in the cabin, as does a noise-cancellation system. There's one interior drawback, though: the presence of a battery pack prevents the rear seats from folding.
The Accord Plug-In Hybrid offers three driving modes: full electric, gas and hybrid. Owners will use the full electric mode for errands around town. The hybrid mode functions like any other hybrid on the market, switching back and forth from electric to gasoline as needed. The gasoline mode, finally, is primarily for high speeds or when quick acceleration is needed.
There's only a single trim level for the Accord Plug-In Hybrid. It features an inline 2-liter four-cylinder engine with a 6.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are standard. Features include: 17-inch alloy wheels; rearview camera; adaptive cruise control; auto-dimming rearview mirror; dual-zone automatic climate control; tilt-and-telescoping steering; heated front and rear seats; eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and memory; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; Bluetooth; an 8-inch touchscreen; a navigation system; an eight-speaker audio system; a satellite radio; an iPod interface; and lane departure and blind spot warning systems. Options are nearly non-existent.
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|Build & Price|
Fuel efficient with an extended electrical range, but features a cramped interior
Features a hybrid electric and gasoline engine with great technology options, but interior is somewhat lacking
Amazing fuel economy with a spacious interior, though interior is uncomfortable and austere
More affordable option with a spacious interior, but only available as an all-electric model