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Hybrid Hyper Miles: 2014 Honda Accord

By Arv Voss, October 26th, 2013

The all-new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid midsize sedan gets 50 mpg in city driving -- and that's just the average. Some hyper-mile drivers will go into 70-plus mpgs.

The Accord Hybrid's efficient two-motor hybrid system is part of a growing lineup of Honda Earth Dreams Technology powertrains that blend electric-only, hybrid and engine drive modes in addition to powerful regenerative braking. This combines to provide responsive and efficient performance across a wide range of driving situations.

Fuel efficiency is further aided by an all-aluminum front subframe, which replaces the steel-and-aluminum subframe used on the conventional Accord, and an aluminum rear bumper beam, helping offset the additional weight of the rear-mounted battery pack while improving front-to-rear weight balance.

The 2014 Accord Hybrid comes in base, EX-L and Touring models priced at $29,155, $31,905 and $34,905, respectively. I drove the three models and can tell you the 50-mpg claim is modest. It is actually capable of achieving considerably higher mileage, even in real world driving conditions.

During the national press launch in San Antonio, the Honda team set up three separate drive loops designed to demonstrate the Accord Hybrid's mileage capability. The routes included both city and highway driving scenarios with varying traffic conditions. The drivers were invited to test the Accord Hybrid models in a competition to determine who could achieve the best mileage rating in primarily city, as well as combined city/highway driving.

The city route obviously allowed for the better mileage, but the combined route also delivered some high numbers. I selected the combined route and encountered some not-so-ideal traffic conditions that didn't allow me to drive conservatively on a consistent basis with a low battery charge to start, yet I still managed to finish the competition with 50.5 mpg.

The winner on the combined course finished with more than 74 mpg, and the city winner came up with an astounding 82.5 mpg -- probably some hyper-miling involved there, but impressive none-the-less.

The Accord Hybrid delivers a smooth ride, agile handling attributes with healthy and satisfying acceleration, especially for a four-cylinder hybrid. It is not discernable from a conventionally powered sedan at all. Some drivers are not fond of CVT transmissions, but the Accord Hybrid's 2-motor system is quite smooth and delivers pleasant results.

The Accord's hybrid technology employs a number of key new features including: Honda's Two-Motor Hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive System; a 2.0L four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine; a Continuously Variable Transmission; a High-output Lithium-Ion battery pack; an electric water pump; Electric-servo regenerative braking system; and Amplitude Reactive Dampers.

The i-MMD combines with Earth Dreams engine technology coupled with a maintenance-free AC Synchronous Permanent-Magnet Electric Motor with a Lithium-Ion battery. The Electric Motor system delivers torque of 226 lb.-ft. from 0 to 3,857 rpm. The gas engine delivers 141 horsepower along with 122 lb.-ft. of torque.

The transmission features a console-mounted straight-gate shifter that may be operated in two different fully automatic modes. The D (Drive) mode is ideal for most driving situations, combining fuel efficiency with smooth operation and responsive power. The B (Brake) mode offers substantially increased regenerative braking. There's also an EV button located immediately behind the shifter that enables the driver to select purely electric operation.

The 2014 Accord Hybrid combines crisp styling and aerodynamic efficiency with a high degree of practicality and extraordinary structural strength. Several styling accents distinguish the Accord Hybrid from the gasoline Accord. Up front, there is a blue-accented upper grille along with evocative blue-accented headlights and bright LED daytime running lights.

The Accord Hybrid is equally distinctive in the rear with dramatic blue-accented LED taillights and a trunk lid spoiler. The lower rear fascia features a unique diffuser for additional aerodynamic efficiency.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid in all trims is an attractive 5-passenger 4-door sedan that is reasonably priced, exceptionally comfortable and highly efficient, delivering an estimated $6,000 savings in fuel costs over a five-year period, making it a real no-brainer.


Base price $34,905 (as tested: $35,695)
Curb weight 3,602 lbs.
Displacement 2.0-liter
Epa mileage rating 50 mpg city, 45 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 15.8 gal.
Horsepower (net) 141 at 6200 rpm/Electric: 166 at 3857 rpm
Motor type Atkinson 4-cyl. + Electric Motor
Overall length 192.2 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 122 at 3500 rpm/Electric: 226 at 0-3857 rpm
Transmission CVT
Vehicle type 5-passenger FWD midsize sedan
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