Friday, November 14, 2014

2014 Honda Accord Touring: Makes Major Splash With The Return Of A Segment-Leading Hybrid System



Highlight: The Accord Hybrid is only available as a sedan.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $35,695 (base model $29,945)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; an exclusive LaneWatch right lane changing warning system; a lane departure warning indicator; a back up camera; a tire repair kit; LED brake lights; ABS; stability control; traction control; a heated driver’s mirror; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (base model): 17-inch wheels; cloth seats; a power driver’s seat; dual zone ventilation system; push-button keyless ignition starter; a keyless entry system; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel; illuminated vanity mirrors; a trunk lid spoiler; hybrid gauges; and a blue accented grille


Upgraded Features On Hybrid Touring Model:  automatic LED headlights; a forward collision alert system; auto dimming rearview mirror; a leather steering wheel; leather seats; a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory control; power front passenger seat; a radar-activated cruise control; an 8-inch multi informational display screen; a navigation system; a 7-speaker, 360-watt audio system; satellite radio; a touch screen audio system; and a power moonroof


Other Trim Level:

Base Hybrid
EX-L Hybrid
Gasoline Models
Plug-In (Gas/Electric)

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 160-watt, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD 

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

iPod connectivity: Yes
                                                                                                        
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Hybrid Warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/141-hp

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded

Standard Fuel Mileage: 50-city/45-hwy



What’s New:  After being absent for several years, the Accord returns with its much improved second generation hybrid system. The first generation Accord hybrid made a brief appearance during the 2005 to 2007 model years.

Pros: The redesign ninth generation Honda Accord hit the streets in 2013. Joining the line up for the 2014 model year is the return of the Honda Accord hybrid system, which is available in three trims. Not only does the vehicle return with an improved hybrid system, which last appeared during model year 2007, it’s also available as a hybrid plug-in.

Honda Accord’s previous IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid system was replaced by a completely new hybrid system for 2014. The current generation’s hybrid system is smaller and runs off a more compact lithium-ion battery that charges via the Accord’s 2.0-liter gasoline engine, regenerative braking or a combination of the two, which obviously equates to a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

In fact, the first generation Accord hybrid became the segment leader kicking out 28-mpg in the city and 35-mpg on the highway. Almost a decade later, the return of the much improved hybrid system in the Accord pushes out a whopping 50-mpg in the city and 45-mpg on the highway. Thus again, with the return of the hybrid system, this makes the Accord the most fuel efficient vehicle in the segment. Added to that, the Accord hybrid has the highest expected driving range in the segment, 743 miles, according to fueleconomy.gov.

In addition to the return of the hybrid system and the Accord being a solid family vehicle, the high end Touring model we reviewed was surrounded by such driving aids as a lane departure warning system to Honda’s exclusive signature lane watch (lane change) system.

Cons:  With this being a hybrid, there is no room for a spare tire. As a result of this, Honda has equipped the hybrid with a spare tire kit. The cargo space in the hybrid is reduced to 12.7 cu. ft. in the Accord, unless one has the upgraded EX and Touring models, which is then reduced to 12.3 cu. ft. To put this in perspective, the gasoline (non hybrid) Accord had a cargo capacity of 15.8 cu. ft, while the hybrid plug-in is approximately about 8 cu. ft.
Moreover, just like with the non hybrid model, the brand’s exclusive signature LaneWatch system only monitors the right side of the vehicle, when lane changing occurs, as opposed to both the right and left sides of the vehicle just by looking at the larger screen located in the center of the dashboard.

Verdict: While the starting price of the base Accord hybrid is priced higher than its nearest competitors, Honda buyers can expect segment leading miles per gallon along with the longest driving range too on a tank of gas.

Furthermore, Honda buyers can expect a vehicle with a solid reputation for being associated with quality. More importantly, depending upon the trim level selected, Accord buyers will have access to the latest high tech safety driving aids to literally fuel, no pun intended, this five passenger family sedan.

Competition: Ford Fusion hybrid; Hyundai Sonata hybrid; Kia Optima hybrid; and Toyota Camry hybrid

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