2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Arrival
The Car of Today, Today
Everybody (e.g., NASCAR) is always on the lookout for the Car of Tomorrow. This enlightened car (tube-frame chassis and driver safety cell in NASCAR) is supposed to further "tomorrow's" technology and (hopefully) coolness into all that follow it. Unless you immersed yourself in alternative propulsion well before the "70 mpg" Honda Insight or General Motors' Impact concept, I'd totally understand if you think the new Honda Accord Hybrid was some futurist's fanciful doing.
But don't, because apart from the blue tinge splashed onto the front grille and head- and taillights, it's a pretty normal car. Exhibit A: The Accord has more seats (five) than the original Insight and EV1 (evolved from the Impact) put together (2+2). Everyday folk like you and I are snatching up more and more hybrid vehicles -- thank you, greater model availability, and Toyota Prius -- with 2013 seeing nearly half a million sold (495,685 total and up 14.1 percent over 2012, as tallied by HybridCars.com). The whittling away of communal trepidation about hybrids continues.
Our Car of Today is a $35,695 Touring, a full $5750 or $3000 more than the base and EX-L trims. Big bucks bring LED headlights matching the standard LED daytime runners, navigation, a 16-gigabyte hard drive for my whale song collection, and adaptive cruise control on top of helpful items extant including keyless entry and a multi-angle backup camera. Honda, conspicuously one of the first (and apparently few) automakers to take the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small-overlap front crash test seriously from the get-go, proudly plugs the Accord Hybrid's 2014 Top Safety Pick+ rating. The "+" is earned by virtue of the car's not-subtle-at-all Forward Collision Warning.
The Accord's two-motor hybrid system leans on an alliance forged by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4, 1.3-kW-hr lithium-ion battery, and what the company engineers call an electric-coupled CVT (featuring the two e-motors). EPA numbers of 50/45/47 mpg city/highway/combined command headlines for this size of vehicle and I've already dreamt up almost certainly overly tedious experiments to learn more about the car's fuel-consuming character with assistance from Emissions Analytics.
A closing note: Our straight outta Marysville, Ohio, Accord follows in the long-term tire tracks of two highly regarded gas-electric family sedans, the 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid and 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid (both Car of the Year delegates during their stays). No pressure come tomorrow, of course.
|2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$35,695|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||2.0L/141-hp/122-lb-ft Atkinson-cycle DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus 166-hp/226-lb-ft electric motor; 196 hp comb|
|TRANSMISSION||Cont. variable auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3569 lb (60/40%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||192.2 x 72.8 x 57.5 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.0 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.7 sec @ 85.9 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||117 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.80 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.0 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||50/45/47 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||67/75 kW-hrs/100 mi|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.41 lb/mile|