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    2014 Honda Accord Hybrid



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    October 9, 2013

    While Toyota gets most the of spotlight when talking about hybrid vehicles, it is Honda that deserves a lot of credit for introducing hybrids to North America. In 1999, the Japanese brand introduced a weird looking two-seater vehicle called the Insight. The egg-shaped vehicle hid a very unique powertrain for the time; a gas engine paired with electric motor and a set of batteries. This combination helped the Insight get amazing fuel economy numbers.

    But since the first-generation Insight, Honda has played second-fiddle to Toyota in the hybrid marketplace. It isn't due to Honda sleeping on the job. It's more due to the majority of vehicles being flops. There was the 2004 to 2007 Accord Hybrid which put performance as the big priority and not fuel economy. There's also the second-generation Insight which looks very much like the Toyota Prius, but doesn't get the same or better fuel economy. Finally, we have the CR-Z which caused outrage because it wasn't anything like the original CR-X. The only real success since the first-generation Insight has been the Civic Hybrid which does decently in fuel economy and sales.

    But that isn't stopping Honda at all. Last year, the company announced two new hybrids for the Accord lineup; an Accord Plug-In Hybrid that would compete with the Ford Fusion Energi and a return of the Accord Hybrid. This time, the Accord Hybrid's main focus is fuel economy. Can the Accord Hybrid help boost Honda's credibility in the hybrid marketplace? To find out, Honda flew me down to Columbus, Ohio to investigate.

    gallery_10485_699_79441.jpg

    Honda is making a big break with their past on the 2014 Accord Hybrid; you will not find the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system found in many of their hybrid vehicles. Instead, the Accord Hybrid gets the new Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system that made its debut in the Accord Plug-In Hybrid. Sport Hybrid i-MMD is comprised of five different components:

    • 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder Atkinson-Cycle engine producing 141 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque
    • Two 124 kW electric motors - One acting as a propulsion motor, one acting as a generator
    • 1.3 kWh Lithium-Ion battery
    • Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT)
    • Power Control Unit

    gallery_10485_699_344268.jpg

    These five pieces help the Accord Hybrid produce a total output of 196 horsepower and EPA fuel economy ratings of 50 City/45 Highway/47 Combined.

    To pull those numbers off, the Accord Hybrid has three different drive modes:

    • EV Drive Mode: Uses the electric motor to power the vehicle in light acceleration and cruising. The gas engine is decoupled from the drivetrain via a clutch to help reduce friction and increase fuel economy.
    • Hybrid Drive Mode: Electric motor and gas engine work together to provide power.
    • Engine Drive Mode: Engine is coupled back up to the drivetrain via a clutch and helps provide power during heavy acceleration and high speeds.

    You can also put the Accord Hybrid into a EV mode via a button on the center console. Once the battery is depleted to a certain point or the vehicle reaches a certain speed, the hybrid system will kick back on and charge the battery.

    Even with all of this technology, the Accord Hybrid is still very much an Accord in its design. You'll find blue accents on the grille and headlights for the Accord Hybrid. You also have a unique set of seventeen-inch wheels and hybrid badges on the front fenders and trunk lid to help it stand out from other Accords.

    gallery_10485_699_16875.jpg

    Inside, the Accord Hybrid is almost the same as the standard model. The only difference between the Hybrid and the standard model is a new gauge cluster that displays information about the battery and other information about the system. Otherwise, the Accord Hybrid has the same nicely appointed interior with soft touch materials and wood trim. The front seats were comfy with a fair number of power adjustments on EX-L and Touring models. The back seats provided excellent head and legroom.

    gallery_10485_699_2051482.jpg

    Controls are somewhat of a mixed bag. The steering wheel controls and climate control system are easy to understand and use. Then there is Honda's i-MID infotainment system. It begins with a large, eight-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the base model, you have a set of large buttons and a knob sitting just below the screen to move around. EX-L and Touring models push the buttons and knob towards the bottom of the center stack. In its place is a small screen that controls the radio presets and hands-free calling. My first impression with this system wasn't good. It took me a few moments to find the button to move from the radio to hybrid information. Trying to get those controls is a bit of a reach as well. Then there is the touchscreen which is not always the fastest nor most responsive when changing stations. If I had more time to play with the system, maybe my tune would change.

    Now that I have given you a lesson on the Accord Hybrid, it's time to see how it works on the road.


    During my time behind the wheel, I was impressed by how seamless the system would transition between the three different modes. Unless I was paying attention to the gauge cluster, I wouldn't notice the change of drive modes. That is less true under hard acceleration or when EV recharge mode is needed. One worry I did have is that engine was very loud when it turned on. I hoping this is an oddity with the pre-production models we're driving.

    Aside from this, the hybrid powertrain is able to get up to speed at a very decent clip. Leaving a stop or merging onto some of Ohio's highways, I found that I wasn't wanting to more power. The Accord Hybrid had enough to keep up with traffic.

    gallery_10485_699_494652.jpg

    Fuel economy wise, the Accord Hybrid was able to meet the EPA fuel economy ratings. During my time behind the wheel, I saw an average of 48 MPG. Out on the highway, I was able to see 50 MPG. 50 MPG out a midsize sedan?! Yeah, I was pretty impressed.

    The Accord Hybrid's ride was on the comfortable side with expansion joints and potholes being mostly ironed out. Wind noise is kept down, but the same cannot be said for road noise. Driving on rural roads or the highway, there was a noticeable amount of tire noise coming inside. Steering in the Accord Hybrid provided good weight and feel.

    One other feature I should point out is Honda LaneWatch. Mounted on the bottom edge of passenger's side view mirror is a camera that give you a view of what's to the right of you. You can activate LaneWatch by either pressing a button on the turn stalk or by signaling right. The system will pop up on the screen with a shot the road to let you know if its safe to pass or not. Its a creative solution, but I'm wondering why Honda doesn't also add a blind spot system to go with it as well.

    gallery_10485_699_2056381.jpg

    As for pricing, the Accord Hybrid sits between the Accord and Accord Plug-In Hybrid. The base Accord Hybrid starts at $29,945 (includes $790 destination charge) and will come with dual-zone climate control, power locks and windows, LaneWatch, and Bluetooth. Next is the Accord Hybrid EX-L which starts at $32,695 and comes with leather, upgraded audio system with a subwoofer, moonroof, backup camera, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Finishing off the Accord Hybrid lineup is the Touring which begins at $35,695 and includes navigation and adaptive cruise control.

    After spending some time with the Accord Hybrid, I think Honda has a very credible contender in the class. It has the performance and fuel economy that either matches or beats all of the competitors in the class. Plus, the value for the money equation is very strong here.

    But this is a big question looming for the Accord Hybrid: Can it be the model to put Honda as one the front runners in the hybrid class once again? We'll have to wait and see on that.

    gallery_10485_699_465227.jpg

    Disclaimer: Cheers & Gears was invited to a first drive event by American Honda and provided the travel, vehicles, breakfast, and lunch for the event.

    Year - 2014

    Make – Honda

    Model – Accord Hybrid

    Engine – Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD): 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine, two 124 kW electric motors,

    Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT)

    Horsepower @ RPM – 141 @ 6200 (Gas Engine), 124 kW @ N/A (Electric Motor), 196 (Total Output)

    Torque @ RPM – 141 @ 6200 (Gas Engine), N/A (Electric Motor), N/A (Total Output)

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 50/45/47

    Curb Weight – 3,550 lbs (Accord Hybrid), 3,595 lbs (EX-L), 3,602 lbs (Touring)

    2014 Accord Hybrid Pricing*:

    • Accord Hybrid - $29,945
    • Accord Hybrid EX-L - $32,695
    • Accord Hybrid Touring - $35,695

    *Includes $790 Destination Charge

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Excellent write up, nice to see their extensive line up choice and to read what the differences are for the price. I can see this pulling some sales away from Toyota for the Asian car fans. Honda will do well with it I suspect.

    Personal feeling on the inside dash is Honda still has a sliced and diced mix bag of styling and needs to bring someone in that can develop a coherent design language. Not feeling it for the interior mess or the bland exterior. But then there are many conservatives that will be happy with this car.

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    Nice idea and very good execution. But 30K for an Accord Hybrid will not cut it in today's marketplace. A $20K Insight will all of this tech would scare the Prius out of its complacency in a heartbeat because an Insight (with the new hybrid setup) would actually directly compete against it.

    Honda is being too rational again. Put that in a TLX or RLX, and it would work very well. Put that in an Insight so that the eco-conscious can brag about their MPG. Unfortunately, this is a well-executed idea that fails to adjust to the fact that many new car buyers want to make a statement a middle schooler would understand. A Prius does that; an Accord Hybrid does not.

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    Well trimmed Accords have always been a little pricey but if I'm paying that much, I'm ponying up a little more and getting the v6 and its sub 6 second 0-60 performance :).

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    Great article! It seems that Honda has lost its way in this brave, new world. I remember the insight briefly but since then I haven't really heard much of interest from Honda in regard to green tech.

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    On paper, the Hybrid is a no-brainer if you're shopping for an Accord EX and up. The hybrid pays for itself pretty much immediately.

    The $3,635 premium ($28,270 for an EX-L, $31,905 for an EX-L Hybrid) over a 72-month 1.49% interest loan amounts to $52.80 per month.

    If you drive 1,250 miles per month, the standard car costs $166.66 per month in fuel (assuming 30 MPG, $4/gal), while the hybrid costs $106.38 per month in fuel (assuming 47 MPG, $4/gal). Overall, the hybrid saves $7.48 per month.

    Once the loan is paid off, you save even more. And chances are, come resale time, the hybrid will be worth more than the gasoline-only car. Hybrids also have longer maintenance intervals and use up brake pads less frequently, and in CA emissions states, hybrid components are covered for 10 years, 150,000 miles.

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    The problem is that you can see those same, or close to the same MPG numbers for thousands less. The only way the hybrid Accord makes financial sense is in a vacuum.

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    True, as Diesels and alternative fuels take off with Higher and higher MPG, Hybrids loose out their value.

    Honda has their Civic CNG which comes fully loaded for $29K and at almost 40mpg, the cost of fueling is half what Petrol is at fast fill stations and if you fuel from home most times less than a $1 a gallon. Hard to justify this, I would rather take a fully loaded accord, convert it to CNG and get the same MPG with more Torque and HP at greatly reduced fueling cost.

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    Does anyone know when the public will see other models of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid? It was released in October and still nothing on the market other than the top Touring model released to the dealers and that was only one. I also know this was a rolling release, probably Honda assuring this hybrid will take off vs others in the past. It's unfortunate this vehicle can't be purchased at this time.

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      Honda's codeword for the 2018 Odyssey is consistency. Debuting today at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2018 model may not look all that different from the current model aside from a new front grille, more distinctive character line, creases along the side, and an updated rear end.
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      Source: Honda
      Press Release is on Page 2


      All-New 2018 Honda Odyssey Minivan Makes World Debut at 2017 NAIAS; Takes Family-Friendly Design, Performance and Technology to the Next Level
      Jan 9, 2017
      Advanced connectivity and entertainment with new Display Audio, CabinWatch, CabinTalk & streaming video with 4G LTE Wi-Fi New CabinControl app enables smartphone control of key vehicle systems, audio and rear entertainment features New Magic Slide™ second-row seat provides the ultimate in family-friendly versatility and comfort New 10-speed transmission joins DI V-6 engine in powertrain lineup Honda Sensing™ standard on trims expected to represent 95 percent of sales DETROIT – Honda today took the wraps off a sleek, sophisticated and innovative new 2018 Odyssey minivan, launching at dealerships nationwide this spring. Already the most popular minivan with individual American car buyers for seven years running, the next-generation Odyssey brings a host of new features and technologies for 2018, including a uniquely versatile new Magic Slide™ second-row seat; new CabinWatch and CabinTalk technologies; new Display Audio touchscreen with Honda-developed OS; 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity; new Rear Entertainment System with streaming video; and Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, now offered standard on EX and above trims.
      "This new Odyssey raises the stakes for family-friendly packaging, performance and technology in the minivan segment," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "In all aspects of its design, the new Odyssey is made to keep every member of the family happy, no matter the seating position, no matter the destination."
      Sophisticated and Family-Friendly Design
      The Odyssey's sophisticated and modern new styling adopts Honda's signature flying wing front grille flanked by available LED front headlights. The bold and sporty front fascia also conceals a new Active Shutter Grille for improved fuel efficiency when cruising. The Odyssey's signature lightning bolt beltline now provides an even more elegant design element with the sliding door tracks hidden in the lower portion of the rear quarter windows. At the rear there are LED taillights and an available new hands-free power tailgate with foot activation.
      Inside, the new Odyssey features high-grade materials including a soft-touch instrument panel. The driver's meter features a new 7-inch, full-color TFT display, and in the center of the dash there is an available 8-inch high-resolution Display Audio touchscreen interface (EX and above). In upper grades, stain-resistant leather first- and second-row seating surfaces and door trim and black carpeting and black seatbelts are designed to conceal stains, while a new grooveless tambour lid on the spacious and versatile center console resists the accumulation of crumbs and debris.
      In-vehicle Connectivity
      In-vehicle connectivity is taken to a whole new "family connectivity" concept.  Old-fashioned family connectivity – sometimes called a conversation – is made easier than ever with the quietest cabin in the class, and is augmented with a multitude of new connected-vehicle features and technologies, including:
      New Display Audio – featuring a new Honda-developed operating system, more intuitive menus and customizable app tiles, this 8-inch high-resolution (720P) touchscreen interface serves as the nerve center for a multitude of new audio and telematics options, including Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, and adds a physical volume knob for improved usability. System updates – users can download available updates to the Display Audio operating system and rear entertainment system at their convenience via 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, or USB. CabinWatch – using a camera, CabinWatch lets the driver and front passenger keep tabs on passengers both day and night via the 8-inch Display Audio screen. CabinTalk – enables the driver to talk to second - and third-row passengers though the second-and third-row speakers and rear entertainment system headphones. Connected Rear Entertainment System – second- and third-row passengers can enjoy streaming video on the ceiling-mounted, 10.2-inch WSVGA Rear Entertainment System, including PBS Kids, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more, through the available in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi, public Wi-Fi or user's cellphone data plan. A new "How Much Farther?" app lets passengers track the family's trip progress. CabinControl – using a downloadable app, users can use a smart phone to control the rear entertainment system, rear cabin heat and air conditioning, and send destinations to the embedded Honda navigation system. Social Play List – part of CabinControl, Social Playlist operates like a virtual jukebox, allowing up to eight family members to upload their music choices to the audio system via their smartphones. Cabin quietness is enabled by new features and technologies including triple door seals, available acoustic front and side glass, and increased use of sound deadening materials under the floor, in the engine compartment and under the fenders, along with standard Active Sound Control technology.
      New Magic Slide™ seats
      A major innovation to family-friendly cabin seating flexibility is the Odyssey's new Magic Slide™ second-row seat, easily reconfigurable for optimal passenger comfort, people- and cargo-hauling flexibility, and easy access to third-row seating – even when one or two rear-facing child seats are placed in the second row. Use modes include:
      Easy Access mode – with the center seat removed, the outboard seats slide laterally through five selectable positions, allowing for easy access to the third row even with one or two rear-facing child seats installed in the second row. And with the center-most seat slid forward, a child is put within easy reach of the front seat occupants. Super mode – like Easy Access mode but with the driver's side seat set to walk-in position (slid full forward with the seatback tilted) for maximum access to the third row. Wide mode – with the center seat removed and two outboard seats in their outer most positions, providing a wide center walkthrough to the third row (and no more "Dad, he's touching me again!"). Buddy mode – with the center seat removed and two outboard seats abutting one another in the center of the vehicle, putting two people in close proximity and within easier reach of the front seat occupants. Safety for the Family
      All 2018 Odysseys in EX and above trims, expected to comprise about 95 percent of all Odyssey sales, will feature the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Combined with the Odyssey's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and advanced airbags, including new driver and front passenger knee airbags, the Odyssey targets the highest available safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.
      Additional Features and Technologies
      Additional new standard and available features include LED headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, heated side mirrors and steering wheel, auto high-beam headlights, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot information (on all models with Honda Sensing), front and rear parking sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Electric Parking Brake with Brake Hold, three-zone automatic climate control, wireless device charging, multi-zone audio, Sirius 2.0, Pandora compatibility, HD Radio™, and HondaVac® in-vehicle vacuum.
      Advanced new powertrains, body and chassis
      The 2018 Honda Odyssey will be powered by a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC™ V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™). Peak engine output is 280 SAE net horsepower (+32 HP) and benefits from the advanced capabilities of its two available new transmissions – a 9-speed automatic and, for upper grades an all-new, Honda-developed 10-speed automatic, the first of its kind in a minivan, providing more confident and refined performance.
      These advanced new powertrains, together with a more rigid and lightweight body, new chassis technology, and Odyssey's sleek and aerodynamic new design are expected to result in class-leading performance and top-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings. Honda's Intelligent Traction Management system adds normal and snow modes and combines with Agile Handling Assist and a more powerful braking system for improved all-weather traction and control.
      Advanced new body and chassis
      An all-new body and chassis design underpins the new Odyssey's incredibly quiet cabin and class-leading steering precision, handling prowess and ride comfort. The Odyssey body utilizes advanced materials, including ultra-high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium to simultaneously minimize weight and improve body rigidity. Vehicle weight is down by up to 96 pounds, depending on trim, and torsional body rigidity is up 44 percent from the outgoing model.
      New chassis features include a highly-responsive new Dual-Pinion Electric Power Steering (EPS) with .44 fewer turns lock-to-lock for increased response and easy maneuverability; and a compact new trailing arm rear suspension with stabilizer bar that not only enables improved handling and ride comfort, but also provides for the most spacious rear cargo area in the class.
      Design, Development and Manufacturing
      The all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey was designed and developed by Honda R&D in North America. The Odyssey and its 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine will be manufactured exclusively at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. The new 10-speed transmission will be produced at the company's transmission plant in Tallapoosa, Georgia. The 2018 Odyssey is the second generation Odyssey to be designed and developed in North America and the fourth generation to be manufactured exclusively in North America.
    • By William Maley
      UPDATE: The folks at Temple of VTEC were able to find the quote from Car Magazine that the CivicX forums referenced.
      "Doubtless power will continue to be transmitted by today's magical six-speed manual gearbox, with its tightly packed ratios. There's no indication of a dual-clutch gearbox for the Civic: the announced automated option is a CVT, although engineer Kariya hastily adds that he's tried to head-off the typical rev-metal thrash by making the cooking engines tractable at low revs."
      We can see how some may think the Civic Type R could be getting a CVT from reading this (emphasis ours). But there is one key thing to be aware of. The line bolded mentions the Civic, not the Civic Type-R.
      To put this story to rest, Temple of VTEC reached out to Honda for comment. Honda said that the Type R would only come with a six-speed manual. Those worried that Honda was going mad can breath a sigh of relief.
      Source: Temple of VTEC
      We're finally getting our chance to sample some forbidden fruit in the form of the Honda Civic Type R when it launches later this year. For awhile, we've known that the Type R would be coming with a six-speed manual transmission only. But it seems there is another transmission option on the horizon and one that will disappoint a number of enthusiasts. (SEE UPDATE ABOVE).
      In the November issue of Car Magazine (via the CivicX forums), the publication spoke with three senior Honda folks,
      Mirsuru Kariya - Head engineer of Civic Daisuke Tsutamori - Head designer of Civic Katsushi Inoue - Head of Honda Europe One interesting bit of information that came out of this was the Type R getting the option of a CVT transmission. Yes, we can already hear the cries of those who believe Honda is watering the vehicle down. First, this an option as the manual will be standard. Second, engineers have reportedly tuned the transmission for low-end acceleration.
      Source: CivicX

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