Make us your home page
Instagram

The Daily Drivers: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

We'll be the first to admit that we don't readily associate "Honda" and "hybrid." Sure, Honda was first to the market with its quirky 1999 Insight, but it wasn't long before it was passed by Toyota and its dominant Prius. Plus, almost every automaker now seems to have a hybrid sedan. So is the all-new Honda Accord Hybrid anything special?

Appearance: The hybrid model looks like the Accord. The only hint of what's under the hood are some discreet touches of blue in the grille slats, headlight bezels and small "Hybrid" badges. The wheels are 17-inch blade-like alloys that help with aerodynamics, as does the integrated deck-lid spoiler.

Performance: The first thing that draws your attention is the EPA estimated fuel mileage: 50 mpg city, 45 highway. Those numbers are among the best in midsize hybrids, but you likely won't see such averages in real-world driving. Lead-foot Lyra got a less than 40 combined for her time with the car, which was heavy on highway driving. City commuters like Peter and more conservative drivers likely can get figures in the 40s. The Accord is powered by Honda's new hybrid system. The system pairs a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine with two electric motors, one for propulsion and one for recharging. In lower speeds, the electric motor drives the car, with great acceleration from a stop. At highway speeds, the gas engine powers it. The engine changeover was hardly noticeable. We also couldn't detect any difference in pedal feel — no mushiness or excessive grabbiness — from the regenerative brakes. We liked the electronically controlled steering, which Lyra called "delightfully effortless." Overall, the ride felt composed and comfortable, although the low-friction tires aren't as grippy as those on a regular Accord.

Interior: As with the regular Accord, the spacious cabin is well appointed, with high-quality materials and only the occasional plastic to remind you that this isn't a luxury sedan. Overall, the appearance mirrors the exterior, which doesn't play up the fact that the car is a hybrid. (The speedometer is flanked by "coaching bars" that change from blue to green depending on how efficiently you're driving.) There is plenty of head- and legroom both front and back. The leather seats are soft and supple, yet offer excellent support. The Accord comes with lots of standard features, including a rearview camera, Bluetooth and USB port. Our loaded Touring trim came with a lot of electronic safety features: Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control and LaneWatch passenger-side camera. But alas, no blind-spot monitor. One thing to note: The trunk space is smaller than the regular Accord because of the battery.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Progress: In some midsize hybrids, the powertrain feels like an add-on or afterthought. The Accord doesn't.

Braking: A natural feel and strong performance.

LaneWatch: Put on your right-turn signal and the screen shows you a view of the next lane.

Lyra Solochek

MPG: Great mileage for a midsize sedan.

Fun to drive: Acceleration from zero is strong and steady.

Cabin: Spacious and comfortable.

The bottom line: A great combination of comfort and efficiency. If fuel mileage is your priority but you need the roominess of a midsize sedan, the new Honda Accord Hybrid should be at the top of your list.









2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

Price: $29,945 hybrid base start, $35,695 as tested.

Powertrain: 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder, motor powered by Lithium-ion battery, electronic continuously variable transmission, FWD.

Horsepower: Combined 196 hp

Torque: 226 pound-feet at 0-3,800 rpm.

Curb weight: 3,602 pounds

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 109.3

Length, 192.2

Width, 72.8

Height, 57.5

Seats: 5

Fuel economy:

50 mpg city, 45 mpg highway

Fuel type:

Regular unleaded.

Safety features: Forward collision warning, lane departure warning, vehicle stability assist, traction control, airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, adaptive cruise control.

Website:

automobiles.

honda.com/

accord-hybrid.

The Daily Drivers: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring 02/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 6, 2014 1:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Florida's jobless rate looks great — but 25 other state rates look even better

    Economic Development

    No debate here: Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop — even as more people move to Florida and enter the workforce. What's not to like?

    Who remembers the remarkable lines of hundreds of people looking for construction work in Tampa back in March of 2010 at a job fair at the Encore construction site near downtown Tampa? Now the construction industry is struggling to find skilled workers to meet building demand. [
JOHN PENDYGRAFT | TIMES]
  2. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  3. Miami woman, 74, admits to voter fraud. Does jail await, or will she go free?

    State Roundup

    MIAMI — A 74-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to filling out other people's mail-in ballots while working at Miami-Dade's elections department.

    Gladys Coego
  4. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  5. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride

    Florida

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.