by Tony West and Sommer Thornton
The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is a 27k 50 mpg sedan with enough luxury amenities and style inside and out to compete with cars twice the price. I can confidently say the Honda Accord Hybrid Touring model we reviewed is one of the coolest mid-size whips I’ve driven this year. Fully loaded, the Accord Hybrid features exterior style that elevates the brand and interior comfort and luxury amenities that will make drivers think they’re in a full-size luxury sedan. We had the Accord Hybrid Touring for eight days for our review, and after over 500 miles used, I still had nearly ½ a tank of gas. [divider]
Contemporary Style Refines the Accord
The 2014 Honda Accord simply looks better than some of its competitors. Advancing on an already evolving design, the new Accord combines sophistication with stout aerodynamics. The new Accord is just a little taller and more sloped in the rear. Now it looks more grown and sexy with a spacious backseat and trunk.
[divider] Also cool is the LED headlights with blue chrome bezels, wrap-around tail lamps, decklid spoiler, and 18 inch alloy wheels. The Hybrid model adds a futuristic electric blue lighting trim in the headlights and the grille. The Honda Accord Hybrid’s grille is a tad smaller. Three air intakes add umph at high speeds.[divider]
Stunning Powertrain and Road Presence
The Honda Accord Hybrid is a knockout on the road. Standard is the Intelligent Multi Mode Drive powertrain, which makes it a pleasure to drive. The Accord Hybrid Touring uses Honda’s new two motor hybrid powertrain. The Multi Mode Drive powertrain offers three involuntary drive modes. EV mode utilizes the lithium-ion battery to run the Accord Hybrid in electric-only mode at low to medium speeds, even in high speed cruising. Hybrid Drive mode uses both the electric motor and the 2 liter DOHC iVTEC 4-cylinder engine. And Engine Drive mode uses purely gas to power the front wheels.
The innovative 2-motor strategy employed by the Multi Mode Drive system is what gives the 2014 Accord Hybrid class-leading fuel economy; 50 mpg city, 45 mpg highway, and 47 mpg combined. The Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder has a driving range of 673 miles, more than 46 miles further than any other mid-size sedan. Some hybrids may sacrifice performance for efficiency-not the Accord Hybrid. The Accord Hybrid sits among the likes of the Mazda 6 and the Lexus ES 300h, lux sedans that have style, efficiency, and outstanding performance.
The Accord Hybrid accelerates great, with the dash turning blue to indicate the driver is in Engine Drive mode and green when cruising in EV mode. The ambient meter displays regenerative braking on the driver information display. Regenerative Braking adds more efficiency by charging the battery when braking. Auto Engine Stop/Start shuts the engine off to further enhance fuel economy. While the suspension and braking is precise and resilient, cornering is not as precise.[divider]
Sophisticated Innovative Interior
The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring’s flair doesn’t stop with efficiency. The interior is full of comfort and safety technology with premium functionality. The fully-loaded Accord Touring is leather trimmed with heated front seats, a moonroof, dual zone climate control, and a very cool rearview camera.
Drivers use an 8 inch color multi information display (MID) that’s part digital/ part hybrid meter. The dash displays helpful info like batter charge, oil life, the cool power flow monitor, average speed, average fuel economy, and range. Driver feedback shown in the MID gives efficiency points or leaves even showing a lifetime score.
The driver also has a leather wrapped steering wheel with controls for the MID as well as media, phone, voice command, cruise control, and safety features. The 2014 Accord Hybrid Touring also has an innovative dual screen system in the center stack. The touchscreen has controls for media, climate, and infotainment. Infotainment features are accessed using cloud based HondaLInk with Bluetooth, Satellite radio, and Pandora. Navigation is displayed on the 2nd screen that doubles as a wallpaper display and as a display for the multi angle view cameras. The rearview camera can be adjusted to wide, high, or low angles.
A side view camera takes the place of a conventional blind spot monitor and is also displayed on the navigation screen. The side view camera is an innovative new feature I haven’t seen in a sedan at this price. The side view camera auto activates when the driver activates the right turn signal. But drivers can also see the side view any time with a press of a button. Honda Accord’s navigation was better than the MDX navigation system. I’m a fan of the dual screens because I didn’t need to take my eyes off the road to switch from the navigation screen to change my audio.
While the 7 speaker sound system is decent, it could have been more pristine. And there should be more available pre-sets for radio stations. The Accord Hybrid also has USB ports and available location based services, even social media. [divider]
Safety features employ radar and camera based technology. Standard is the lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane watch/blind spot display, and new SmartVent front-side airbags. Adaptive Cruise Control is also available.
The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid at $34,000 fully loaded has more amenities than some luxury sedans. The great thing is that this stylish, very practical vehicle doesn’t compromise performance or interior flair.