2014 Honda Accord Hybrid
Details about this fall’s new Accord Hybrid are starting to trickle from Honda in the form of official images and a boast about the new midsize sedan’s 47 mpg combined rating. The Hybrid model leverages the advanced Sport Hybrid battery systems, new engine and aerodynamic tweaks from its pricier Plug-in Hybrid Accord sibling.
Luckily, the Accord Hybrid benefits from the latest LED styling outside and new high-tech eco displays inside – without the questionable new nose Honda grafts onto the PHEV (as well as this regular Accord Hybrid outside the U.S.)
There is still blue-tinted lighting and badges galore, but this time it is not trying to disguise old halogen bulbs like on the CR-Z.
Pricing and final stats for the Hybrid’s smaller lithium-ion battery pack are not yet available and will directly influence the showroom costs. The Accord PHEV’s $40,000-plus pricing has raised some eyebrows, but the new Hybrid will be built on the regular Ohio assembly line for the first time – hopefully bringing savings versus the Japanese-built Accord PHEV.
Pricing in the low $30,000 range will put the new Honda about $2,000 above similarly equipped Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans. Buyers are still lapping up the base $23,000 Prius hatchback’s mileage and ease of use. Even so, the the real sales prize will be winning over not just early adopters but mainstream sedan shoppers with an eye on fuel economy and cruising refinement.
Click past the jump for the full preview of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid with details on the all-new 2.0-liter engine and twin-motor Sport Hybrid system ahead of the Accord Hybrid’s arrival at Honda dealers this October.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid
Horsepower @ RPM:140 @ 6200
Torque @ RPM:118 @ 4900
0-60 time:7.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:117 mph (Est.)
The exterior of the Accord Hybrid is a blend of the standard Accord’s grille and bumper details paired with the cool LED headlamps from the Plug-in Accord. These low-energy lights use small squared lenses for the high-powered white LEDs that provide lighting power. The design stands out on the road because it runs four lamps –- two on each side –- in typical low-beam driving.
Conventional reflector halogens serve as the high beams, turn signals and fog lamps – but all the assemblies are tinted blue to convey the Honda’s advanced technology.
LED driving lights line the bottom half of the headlamp in a tasteful way, and LED blinkers on the mirrors add a touch of class. The standard Accord bumper and grille are very welcome with a tasteful chrome bar forming a smirk in just the upper grille opening.
The Accord PHEV’s nose adds a line of blue LEDs in the central grille area in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Mercury Sable of the late 1980s.
Despite the tacky shield grille on the PHEV, it does not score any better in the wind tunnel than the basic Hybrid model here. Both score a 0.29 cD that is just one click better than base Accords and significantly behind the best from Toyota and Mercedes-Benz, with each now offering cars with 0.25 and lower aero scores.
The LED enhancements continue in the rear, which also gets a body-colored trunk spoiler and the up-level LED taillights shared across the better-equipped Honda Accord family of models.
The Hybrid runs similar low-drag forged 17-inch alloy wheels but drops the five-spoke shrouded shape for a curved turbine style with a machined surface like the wheels from the VW GTI and others.
The curb weight of the forthcoming Hybrid Accord is the real question mark. Clearly it will fall somewhere between the 3100 pounds of the base Accord and the 3800 pounds of the PHEV – with most bets on the high side of 3400 pounds.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||62.8|
|Track - Rear (in.)||62.7|
|Weight (Pounds)||3475, est|
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid – Exterior Features:
- Fin-Type Roof-Mounted Antenna
- LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Security System with Smart Entry
- Body-Colored Decklid Spoiler
- LED Headlights with Auto-On/Off and Blue-Tinted Chrome Bezels
- Fog Lights
- LED Brake Lights with Blue-Tinted Chrome Bezels
- Chrome Door Handles
- Heated, Body-Colored Power Side Mirrors with Integrated LED Turn Indicators and Expanded View Driver’s Mirror
The Accord Hybrid follows the path of the Plug-in Hybrid Accord and comes with a large roster of changes over standard Accord sedans. These primarily involve the Eco Assist computer mileage functionality and the giant infotainment unit that is typically optional on base models.
The Accord Plug-in is seriously loaded and comes with a large suite of advanced safety technology like lane departure and active cruise control as standard. The bulk of these items, as well as the HondaLink telematics that comes standard to monitor the plug-in’s charge status, will go on the options list of the regular Hybrid model.
The Hybrid is still one of the best-equipped Accords out there, however, with dozens of helpful features included as standard that are either unavailable or optional on lesser Hondas. These features include heated front and rear seats, power lumbar support for the driver’s seat, eco-friendly interior fabrics and trim and a HDD-based 180-watt stereo with 16GB of built-in storage space.
The only place that Accord Hybrid owners lose out to regular Accords is in total trunk space. The PHEV Accord can fit just 8 cubic-feet in its non-folding trunk – less than half the normal amount with rear seat backs folded. Figures on the Hybrid’s trunk are not yet released but projected at 11.3 cubic-feet with another non-folding seat. Stay tuned for updates as information becomes available.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||39.1|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||37.5|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||42.5|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||38.5|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||58.6|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||56.5|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||55.6|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||54.7|
|EPA Cargo Volume (cubic-feet)||11.3, est|
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid – Interior Features:
- Electric Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control with Air-Filtration System
- Bluetooth HandsFreeLink; SMS Text Message Function
- Bluetooth Streaming Audio, USB Audio Interface, MP3/Auxiliary Input Jack
- i-MID with 8-Inch High-Resolution WVGA (800x480) Screen and Customizable Feature Settings
- Audio Touch-Screen: Hard Disk Drive (HDD) including 16-GB Audio Memory, Pandora Compatibility, Song By Voice (SBV), Aha Compatibility; 180-Watt AM/FM/CD Audio System with 6 Speakers
- Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition, HondaLink Real-Time Traffic and Interface Dial
- Smart Start and Smart Entry
- Honda LaneWatch: Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition
- Multi-view rearview camera
- HondaLink telematics system
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Expanded-view driver’s mirror
- Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
- Illuminated Steering Wheel-Mounted Cruise, Audio, Phone, i-MID and Navigation Controls
- HomeLink Remote System
- Honda Bio-Fabric-Trimmed Interior
- Driver’s Seat with 10-Way Power Adjustment, Including Power Lumbar Support
- Heated Front and Outboard Rear Seats
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The new Accord Hybrid’s claim to fame is its stunning fuel efficiency: Honda’s quotes of 50 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway are nothing to sneeze at.
The actual hybrid propulsion system is brand new and shared with the PHEV model. It consists of a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine making 140 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and a twin-motor electric powerplant that is rated at the same 124 kW (55 horsepower) as the Plug-in model.
A smaller li-ion battery pack makes up the cost and efficiency difference – the Hybrid can achieve barely half of the PHEV’s stats when it has a full wall charge.
The Plug-in is quoted with a max combined power of 196 horsepower and achieves a 7.8-second 0-to-60 mph time. The lighter Hybrid model is expected to beat this time with a 7.5-second run estimated. This time is pretty quick and beats the Fusion and ties the Camry Hybrid. It will likely be outpaced by 2014’s supercharged Nissan Altima Hybrid.
Honda’s Sport Hybrid system addresses a number of failings of the previous Integrated Motor Assist design. Mainly, the difference is a new level of electric power and responsiveness. The new motors rely on quicker-charging Li-ion batteries to deploy more of the juice in daily driving scenarios.
The Accord Hybrid will finally be able to able to cruise in a dedicated EV-only mode at low to medium speeds via a three-option drive mode selector that operates the same way as the PHEV model.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid – Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||2.0-liter Atkinson DOHC 16-valve I-4 With Sport Hybrid And i-VTEC|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||141 @ 6200|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||118 @ 4900, est|
|Peak torque - Electric (Pound-feet)||125, est|
|0-to-60 mph||7.5 seconds, est|
|Top Speed||117 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Combined/Highway)||50/47/45|
The Accord Hybrid shares the latest Accord’s advanced crash structures and Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. The Accord is also a five-star car from the NHTSA and comes with six standard airbags.
The advanced safety features are a nice addition but can quickly add thousands to the total cost of the car – money not likely to be recouped at sale time.
The Accord Hybrid and PHEV both sacrifice trunk cargo space to the battery pack. They also lose the integrated mini spare tire that otherwise comes on all Accord sedans. It is replaced by a tire repair kit with roadside assistance.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid – Safety Features:
- Tire Repair Kit (TRK) with 24-Hour Assistance
- Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
- LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) II Body Structure
- Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)
- SmartVent Front Side Airbags
- Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
The pricing of the Accord Hybrid is the biggest question mark. Despite the high list pricing for the Accord PHEV, the level of incentives and discounts on that model are unprecedented for Honda. Trouble moving the cars means rebates of up to $5,000 are not uncommon on the $40,000 PHEV model.
The Hybrid is expected to be a mid-range Accord priced below the V-6 models. If Honda decides to make the 8-inch-screen radio optional, base prices in the $28,500 are plausible.
More likely, the touchscreen and backup camera will be standard at $32,000 or $33,500 with navigation. Prices updated as news breaks closer to the car’s October arrival.
The Fusion Hybrid enters the fray as a mid-priced hybrid option below the plug-in Energi model at the top of the range. The Fusion Hybrid comes nicely equipped at $30,000 with navigation, touchscreen, backup camera and eco gauges. It effectively ties the Accord Hybrid’s EPA ratings but is a few clicks slower to 60 mph.
The Camry Hybrid is about $3,500 cheaper than the Ford and Honda but runs an older Ni-Mh battery that only offers 43 mpg in the city and 39 mpg in the highway. The Camry scores with a relatively quick 7.3-second 60-mph dash but drives very poorly under heavy throttle with lots of squirming from the steering wheel and endless droning from the CVT automatic.
The Accord Hybrid adds nearly all the technology from the Plug-in model and looks set to become a real player in the Accord line for the first time. Previous Accord Hybrid’s never topped 5 percent of total sales but the new model hopes to double that for up to 30,000 buyers in its first full year.
Among sedan shoppers, the initial outlay for hybrid systems is a real stumbling block and barrier to purchase. After all, every Honda Accord is pretty frugal on gasoline already.
The trick to turning the tides for Honda and all mid-size sedan makers is to tout the hybrids as both efficient and the most luxurious models in the lineup. There are thousands of buyers who will love the smooth and quiet EV running style of these hybrid sedans as much as they love the low gas bills.
The Accord Hybrid shows that Honda sees the competitive landscape heating up and responded with a clean-sheet redesign. If the MPG stats are paired with a value price and seamless refinement, Honda will have no trouble selling this handsome, roomy and easy-driving technology flagship.
|Driving||B||Comfy And Spacious Cabin With Big Seats Front And Rear|
|Performance||B||Hybrid System MPG Is Great - But Adds Big Weight|
|Look||B+||Best Of Both Accord Worlds With Hybrid LED Lights|
|Value||C||Accord Hybrid May Have Price Premium Over Ford And Toyota|
|Overall||B||Finally, A Hybrid System That Matches Honda’s Engineering Skills|