If orders at dealerships in Japan are an accurate premonition, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is an instant hit. Honda's initial target was 1000 units per month, and more than 7000 orders have been placed. Why? A leap forward in mileage in a car that drives rather like an electric car. The Japanese company came out swinging in the fuel economy battle with the announcement that its all-new Accord Hybrid had reached the Ford Fusion Hybrid for EPA combined fuel economy, with a rating of 47 miles per gallon. Not only that, the Accord Hybrid did this with a 50 mpg rating in city driving, which tops the Fusion’s 47 mpg figure. However, Ford has the upper hand for the highway, with 47 mpg compared to Honda’s 45 mpg.
Unlike Honda's other hybrids such as the Insight, the new Plug-In has a hybrid system that's capable of accelerating the car using pure electric power. And as its name would imply, the Plug-In can be recharged externally (which minimizes gas usage). The Japanese producers claim the Accord Plug-In provides about 10-15 miles of pure electric range, after which point it switches over to normal hybrid operation.
The sedan's powertrain combines an 124 kilowatt electric motor and a lithium-ion battery with a 2.0-liter Atkinson four-cylinder engine. It can operate in fully electric mode, gasoline only or, as you would expect, in hybrid mode (combined). Honda says it's suitable for an estimated driving range of 673 miles.
Pricing for the hybrid has not yet been announced. It's expected to fall somewhere between the conventional Accord -which starts at $21,955- and the Accord plug-in hybrid -starting at $39,780-.
The production got underway at the assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio. The first units will arrive in showrooms in October. The 2014 Accord is Honda’s second hybrid produced in the USA, along the Civic Hybrid.
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