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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Review By John Heilig


PHOTO
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring


THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig

Reviewed Model: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC I4

Horsepower/Torque: 141 @ 6,200 rpm (196 total hp)/122 lb.-ft. @ 3,500-6,000 rpm (plus 226 lb.-ft. @ 0-3,850 rpm)

Transmission: CVT

Wheelbase: 109.3 in.

Length x Width x Height: 192.2 x 72.8 x 57.5 in.

Tires: P225/50R17

Cargo: 12.3 cu. ft.

Economy: 50 mpg city/45 m pg highway/32.6 mpg test

Fuel capacity: 15.8 gal.

Curb Weight: 3,602 lbs.

Sticker: $35,697 (includes $790 destination charge)

The Bottom Line: The Honda Accord Hybrid is solid in every respect. Its hybridness is essentially invisible, except when you look at the fuel economy gauge and the other “hybrid gauges” on the dash.

The ninth generation Honda Accord follows its predecessors with nice styling, a comfortable ride and, in the case of the Hybrid, great fuel economy. I still haven’t been able to match the economy of my first Honda Hybrid, the original Insight that reached more than 60 mph, but the 32.6 mpg we attained overall during out test is nothing to sneeze at. At times during our test we exceeded 40 mpg, but with my skilled driving techniques, I was able to bring it down.

Seriously, the Accord is a nice driver. We encountered some awful roads 3iith snow and ice, but the Accord still managed to pull us through. The front seats are comfortable with good side support. Side support is normally important in a more performance-minded car, but it is also important in a general driver to provide increased comfort. How often, especially in pre-seatbelt days, have you slid across the front seat while you’ve been trying to cling to the steering wheel? Of course, the seats are also heated, which doesn’t hurt in the comfort department. The rear seats have good leg room.

With the combination of a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine and the electric motor to assist, there are 196 horses at your commend. This is good power, especially in highway merges. There’s no problem moving along with the traffic.

Handling is also good on all manner of roads.

A unique feature of the Accord is the Lane Watch. Like a blind spot warning device, when you turn on the right turn signal, a camera is switched on that looks at the tragic behind you in the right lane. The output of the camera is displayed on the screen in the center of the dash. This is disconcerting at times, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great way to let you know what’s going on in your blind spot. The Accord also has a section on the outer edge of the exterior rear view mirrors that is extra concave to act as a blind spot monitor. The degree of convexity is not as severe as in some Ford products, but it does do the job. Again, you have a learning curve.

For safety, there’s also a forward collision warning that appeared too sensitive to me. It went off a couple of times as I was applying the brakes. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of radar “eyes” checking ahead.

When I’m driving on a highway, I like to use cruise control. This keeps me honest and doesn’t let my heavy foot lead to a lighter wallet. The Accord is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control that keeps you a safe distance behind the car in front. However, if you hit the accelerator to defeat the ACC or get back up to speed after you change lanes, it turns off. Acceleration after it engages is so poor that you have to hit the accelerator, and it seems to take forever for the ACC to get back on again.

The clear, “three dimensional” instrument panel is dominated by a huge speedometer in the middle that includes fuel economy among various information center outputs. There are hybrid gauges on the left in place of a tachometer that include a “power” and “charge” section to let you know how economically you’re driving. Fuel and battery level gauges are on the right.

The rest of the dash is dominated by two screens. The lower screen is devoted to audio settings, while the top screen handles all the other functions, including the right side and backup cameras. Most of the functions on this screen are controlled by a master knob on the center stack, much like a more expensive car. A small cubby at the base of the center stack has a USB plug and a 12-volt output.

While the sticker on the Honda Accord Hybrid is a bit high, it is with almost all hybrids. Still, the Accord is a solid vehicle no matter how it’s powered.

2014 The Auto Page