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Found 7 results

  1. According to Autoblog, Honda started production of their 2019 Insight Hybrid car. This will be slotted between the Civic and Accord Hybrid. This brings the Honda family of Green Cars to the following 5 models: Clarity Fuel Cell Clarity Electric Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Insight Hybrid Accord Hybrid These are all cars in the age of CUVs & SUVs. Does it make sense for Honda to be building all these new car models when the newest Honda Accord is sitting on the lots with 104 day supply at the end of March and now at over 145 day supply Honda is idling for 2 weeks the 4,200 employees at the Marysville Ohio plant. This is in comparison to the average of just 70 days for all other car models out for sale. EPA rating are not out yet, but Honda expects to get 55 mpg equal to the Toyota Prius and hyundai Ioniq for City driving and no word on Highway driving. Does it make sense that Honda is continuing to invest in cars at a time that the public is ignoring them as they move to trucks / CUVs / SUVs? Autoblog story
  2. Honda is getting serious with its green cred as they have announced an updated Accord Hybrid for 2017 and two more models joining the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. We'll begin with the 2017 Accord Hybrid. The model took a break for the 2016 model year as Honda updated the Accord lineup with a revised look and new tech. But the Hybrid as a 2017 model with all of the changes seen on the 2016 model - updated exterior and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The big news is with the Accord Hybrid's powertrain. The 2017 model uses the next-generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with a revised 2.0L i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, a more compact electric motor, and improved electronics. The changes increase horsepower from 196 to 212. Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Accord Hybrid stand at 49 City/47 Highway/48 Combined. These numbers are slightly different from the 2015 model which boasted 50 City/45 Highway47 Combined. This is due to Honda having to certify the fuel economy numbers under new, stricter EPA drive-cycle test requirements for 2017. Standard equipment includes a backup camera, remote start, and Honda Sensing (suite of safety tech such as collision avoidance braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, etc). Higher trims get a new 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. Pricing hasn't been announced, but Honda says the 2017 Accord Hybrid will be arriving at dealers towards the end of spring. Honda Clarity To Get Two New Members Honda hasn't even started selling the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. (specifically California), but they have announced two new variations of it. For 2017, Honda will offer a fully electric and a plug-in hybrid version. Details are scarce on both models, but Honda says the Clarity EV will be sold in California first before moving to other markets. The Clarity plug-in hybrid will be sold in all 50 states and offer 40 miles of electric-only range. Source: Honda Press Releases are on Page 2 The Best Gets Better: More Powerful, Fuel Efficient and Technologically Advanced 2017 Accord Hybrid Launching this Spring Apr 21, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif. Next-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain expected to receive class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings; including 49 mpg city Most powerful and refined midsize hybrid sedan with 212 total combined horsepower Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies standard Doubled production capacity for expected sales increase Honda will bolster its Accord lineup with the launch of the 2017 Accord Hybrid this spring, featuring a more powerful and efficient second-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain that has the highest EPA fuel economy ratings of any midsize hybrid sedan and delivers the most power. With improved production methods and supplies of hybrid components, Honda is anticipating significant growth in sales of Accord Hybrid and is targeting annual sales to be more than double its previous best of just under 14,000 vehicles in 2014. "The new Honda Accord Hybrid is the ultimate Accord – the most refined, technologically sophisticated and, of course, most fuel efficient in the lineup," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With Accord already America's most popular car three years running and the best-selling midsize car to younger buyers, we think this new hybrid model will add considerable momentum for the Honda brand." In addition to its more powerful and fuel efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid carries the substantial upgrades made to the entire Accord lineup for model year 2016. This includes the latest technology Honda has to offer, including the available Display Audio with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, and the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, to be offered as standard equipment on all new 2017 Accord Hybrids. Hybrid-exclusive design features include a special aluminum hood and wheels, blue highlighted LED headlights and taillights and "Hybrid" exterior badging. A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to a midsize hybrid class-leading 13.5 cu.-ft. Combining the next generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with an ultra-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle engine, the 2017 Accord Hybrid powertrain will achieve peak combined output of 212 horsepower, the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan and up 16 horsepower over the 2015 Accord Hybrid. EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 (city/highway/combined)1 put the Accord Hybrid at the top of the class for ratings, making it the most powerful and fuel efficient midsize hybrid sedan in America. These EPA fuel economy ratings are based on new, more stringent ratings requirements enacted by the U.S. EPA for the 2017 model year. Based on the new requirements, Honda estimates the 2015 Accord Hybrid ratings would be 48/45/47 (actually rated at 50/45/47 under the previous method), indicating a +1/+2/+1 increase for the 2017 model over the previous version. The Accord Hybrid's two-motor hybrid powertrain takes an elegant and innovative approach to hybrid power, eliminating the need for a conventional mechanical transmission. The Accord Hybrid's powertrain seamlessly transitions between three operations: EV Drive – using its electric propulsion motor and lithium ion battery pack drives the front wheels for short distances under light loads (with the engine turned off) Hybrid Drive – the electric propulsion motor drives the front wheels while the gasoline engine powers a second motor/generator to supplement electrical current drawn from the battery pack Engine Drive – using a lock-up clutch mechanism to connect the engine and propulsion motor, the front wheels are driven by both the motor and gasoline engine. With its next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and Honda Sensing™ technology, the 2017 Accord is anticipated to receive the highest available crash safety rating from the U.S. government – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA – and a similar top rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2017 Accord Hybrid will be available in three trims – Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L and Hybrid Touring – and all grades will feature increased levels of standard and available equipment. New standard features include a wide angle rearview camera, remote engine start and Honda Sensing™, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Available new features on upper trims include a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlayâ compatibility, heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. The Accord has been named a Car and Driver magazine "10Best" an unprecedented 30 times and has been the most popular car in America with retail car buyers for three consecutive years.2 The Accord is on track to earn a fourth straight year as America's most popular car with sales up 12.3 percent through the first three months of 2016. Accord also is the most popular midsize car with Millennials and has been #1 with under-35-year-olds for four consecutive years and leads all other cars in America, except Honda's own Civic, in sales to under under-35 car buyers since 2010.3 The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid will make its first public appearance at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the aquarium's Earth Day weekend celebrations on April 23-24. Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series; Fuel Cell, Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Variants to Leverage Common Platform Apr 21, 2016 - DETROIT Clarity Fuel Cell gets two electrified siblings – the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – both launching in 2017 New trio of Clarity vehicles provide unparalleled choices to customers through three different electric powertrain options All Clarity vehicles will offer spacious, five-passenger seating, premium features and interior appointments; consumers can learn more at http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity DETROIT – Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform, offering Honda customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices to suit their individual tastes and driving needs. Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017. The Clarity Electric will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features. The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode. With elegant exterior styling, the Clarity series of vehicles will also offer spacious interiors outfitted with premium, environmentally-responsible materials and thoughtful, stylish design cues. The Clarity series will also feature advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ as well as standard Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technology. "The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs," said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda's future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales." All of the Clarity models will leverage the platform that has enabled the Clarity Fuel Cell's low, wide and aerodynamic proportions and spacious five-passenger cabin. This shared platform strategy also enables flexibility in responding to infrastructure and market developments, and the ability to provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs while expanding the market for Honda advanced technology products. The first of the Clarity Series to launch will be the Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda's most technologically advanced vehicle ever, slated to begin deliveries to customers in select California markets in late 2016. The Clarity Fuel Cell will have a targeted monthly lease price of under $500. Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell include a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fit entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five adult passengers. The new Clarity Fuel Cell will feature an anticipated U.S. EPA driving range in excess of 300 miles, with a refueling time of approximately three to five minutes, roughly equivalent to customers' experience with gasoline refueling. In addition to the Clarity series, a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid will go on-sale this spring, delivering both top-of-class power and fuel efficiency in a midsize hybrid sedan, as Honda seeks to grow sales of electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. On a global basis, Honda is aiming to have electrified vehicles account for two-thirds of its vehicles sales around 2030. Customers interested in the Clarity vehicles are encouraged to visit http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity where they can receive more information and sign up for the opportunity to become a Clarity Fuel Cell customer.
  3. Honda is getting serious with its green cred as they have announced an updated Accord Hybrid for 2017 and two more models joining the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. We'll begin with the 2017 Accord Hybrid. The model took a break for the 2016 model year as Honda updated the Accord lineup with a revised look and new tech. But the Hybrid as a 2017 model with all of the changes seen on the 2016 model - updated exterior and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The big news is with the Accord Hybrid's powertrain. The 2017 model uses the next-generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with a revised 2.0L i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, a more compact electric motor, and improved electronics. The changes increase horsepower from 196 to 212. Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Accord Hybrid stand at 49 City/47 Highway/48 Combined. These numbers are slightly different from the 2015 model which boasted 50 City/45 Highway47 Combined. This is due to Honda having to certify the fuel economy numbers under new, stricter EPA drive-cycle test requirements for 2017. Standard equipment includes a backup camera, remote start, and Honda Sensing (suite of safety tech such as collision avoidance braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, etc). Higher trims get a new 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. Pricing hasn't been announced, but Honda says the 2017 Accord Hybrid will be arriving at dealers towards the end of spring. Honda Clarity To Get Two New Members Honda hasn't even started selling the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. (specifically California), but they have announced two new variations of it. For 2017, Honda will offer a fully electric and a plug-in hybrid version. Details are scarce on both models, but Honda says the Clarity EV will be sold in California first before moving to other markets. The Clarity plug-in hybrid will be sold in all 50 states and offer 40 miles of electric-only range. Source: Honda Press Releases are on Page 2 The Best Gets Better: More Powerful, Fuel Efficient and Technologically Advanced 2017 Accord Hybrid Launching this Spring Apr 21, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif. Next-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain expected to receive class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings; including 49 mpg city Most powerful and refined midsize hybrid sedan with 212 total combined horsepower Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies standard Doubled production capacity for expected sales increase Honda will bolster its Accord lineup with the launch of the 2017 Accord Hybrid this spring, featuring a more powerful and efficient second-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain that has the highest EPA fuel economy ratings of any midsize hybrid sedan and delivers the most power. With improved production methods and supplies of hybrid components, Honda is anticipating significant growth in sales of Accord Hybrid and is targeting annual sales to be more than double its previous best of just under 14,000 vehicles in 2014. "The new Honda Accord Hybrid is the ultimate Accord – the most refined, technologically sophisticated and, of course, most fuel efficient in the lineup," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With Accord already America's most popular car three years running and the best-selling midsize car to younger buyers, we think this new hybrid model will add considerable momentum for the Honda brand." In addition to its more powerful and fuel efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid carries the substantial upgrades made to the entire Accord lineup for model year 2016. This includes the latest technology Honda has to offer, including the available Display Audio with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, and the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, to be offered as standard equipment on all new 2017 Accord Hybrids. Hybrid-exclusive design features include a special aluminum hood and wheels, blue highlighted LED headlights and taillights and "Hybrid" exterior badging. A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to a midsize hybrid class-leading 13.5 cu.-ft. Combining the next generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with an ultra-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle engine, the 2017 Accord Hybrid powertrain will achieve peak combined output of 212 horsepower, the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan and up 16 horsepower over the 2015 Accord Hybrid. EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 (city/highway/combined)1 put the Accord Hybrid at the top of the class for ratings, making it the most powerful and fuel efficient midsize hybrid sedan in America. These EPA fuel economy ratings are based on new, more stringent ratings requirements enacted by the U.S. EPA for the 2017 model year. Based on the new requirements, Honda estimates the 2015 Accord Hybrid ratings would be 48/45/47 (actually rated at 50/45/47 under the previous method), indicating a +1/+2/+1 increase for the 2017 model over the previous version. The Accord Hybrid's two-motor hybrid powertrain takes an elegant and innovative approach to hybrid power, eliminating the need for a conventional mechanical transmission. The Accord Hybrid's powertrain seamlessly transitions between three operations: EV Drive – using its electric propulsion motor and lithium ion battery pack drives the front wheels for short distances under light loads (with the engine turned off) Hybrid Drive – the electric propulsion motor drives the front wheels while the gasoline engine powers a second motor/generator to supplement electrical current drawn from the battery pack Engine Drive – using a lock-up clutch mechanism to connect the engine and propulsion motor, the front wheels are driven by both the motor and gasoline engine. With its next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and Honda Sensing™ technology, the 2017 Accord is anticipated to receive the highest available crash safety rating from the U.S. government – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA – and a similar top rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2017 Accord Hybrid will be available in three trims – Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L and Hybrid Touring – and all grades will feature increased levels of standard and available equipment. New standard features include a wide angle rearview camera, remote engine start and Honda Sensing™, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Available new features on upper trims include a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlayâ compatibility, heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. The Accord has been named a Car and Driver magazine "10Best" an unprecedented 30 times and has been the most popular car in America with retail car buyers for three consecutive years.2 The Accord is on track to earn a fourth straight year as America's most popular car with sales up 12.3 percent through the first three months of 2016. Accord also is the most popular midsize car with Millennials and has been #1 with under-35-year-olds for four consecutive years and leads all other cars in America, except Honda's own Civic, in sales to under under-35 car buyers since 2010.3 The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid will make its first public appearance at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the aquarium's Earth Day weekend celebrations on April 23-24. Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series; Fuel Cell, Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Variants to Leverage Common Platform Apr 21, 2016 - DETROIT Clarity Fuel Cell gets two electrified siblings – the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – both launching in 2017 New trio of Clarity vehicles provide unparalleled choices to customers through three different electric powertrain options All Clarity vehicles will offer spacious, five-passenger seating, premium features and interior appointments; consumers can learn more at http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity DETROIT – Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform, offering Honda customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices to suit their individual tastes and driving needs. Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017. The Clarity Electric will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features. The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode. With elegant exterior styling, the Clarity series of vehicles will also offer spacious interiors outfitted with premium, environmentally-responsible materials and thoughtful, stylish design cues. The Clarity series will also feature advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ as well as standard Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technology. "The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs," said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda's future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales." All of the Clarity models will leverage the platform that has enabled the Clarity Fuel Cell's low, wide and aerodynamic proportions and spacious five-passenger cabin. This shared platform strategy also enables flexibility in responding to infrastructure and market developments, and the ability to provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs while expanding the market for Honda advanced technology products. The first of the Clarity Series to launch will be the Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda's most technologically advanced vehicle ever, slated to begin deliveries to customers in select California markets in late 2016. The Clarity Fuel Cell will have a targeted monthly lease price of under $500. Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell include a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fit entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five adult passengers. The new Clarity Fuel Cell will feature an anticipated U.S. EPA driving range in excess of 300 miles, with a refueling time of approximately three to five minutes, roughly equivalent to customers' experience with gasoline refueling. In addition to the Clarity series, a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid will go on-sale this spring, delivering both top-of-class power and fuel efficiency in a midsize hybrid sedan, as Honda seeks to grow sales of electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. On a global basis, Honda is aiming to have electrified vehicles account for two-thirds of its vehicles sales around 2030. Customers interested in the Clarity vehicles are encouraged to visit http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity where they can receive more information and sign up for the opportunity to become a Clarity Fuel Cell customer. View full article
  4. Next in the wrap-up in 2014 vehicle reviews, I take look at green vehicles. In this case they all happen to be the hybrid variety. 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring The second time is the charm? That’s the hope for Honda with the 2014 Accord Hybrid. The previous incarnation of the hybridized Accord was a sporty model that really didn’t see any improvement in fuel economy. This in turn caused it to be a flop.Honda went back to drawing board and have introduced an Accord Hybrid that promises best-in-class fuel economy. Can it right the wrong of the previous model? The Accord Hybrid looks for the most part like your standard Accord sedan with a two bar grille, large greenhouse, and a short rear end. The differences are mostly cosmetic as certain chrome pieces and the headlights have a blue tint. Theres also a set of hybrid badges on the front fenders, and a set of seventeen-inch wheels. Inside is the same story as the exterior, with the only real changes for the Accord Hybrid are a new instrument cluster to display information about the hybrid system and a EV button to put the vehicle into a fully electric mode. Getting inside, you find a nice selection of quality materials and loads of space for front and rear passengers.My Touring tester came with Honda’s dual-screen infotainment system which features an eight-inch screen sitting on top of the dash and a smaller touchscreen to change stations/tracks or whatever audio input. There’s also a set of buttons and a knob sitting right above the transmission tunnel to take you to different parts of the system. As I wrote in my first drive of the Accord Hybrid in 2013, the system is a bit of a mess. The touchscreen is slow to respond when you’re trying to change stations or switch from the radio to the USB input. Also, reaching for the controls towards the bottom is quite a reach. Honda really needs to go back to the drawing board with their infotainment system. The Accord Hybrid features Honda’s newest hybrid system called Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system. This system is comprised of, 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 Impressive to say in the least. It’s even better when the system is engaged. The Accord Hybrid never felt lacking in power as the electric motor and 2.0L engine worked together to provide enough thrust for whatever situation I found myself in. More impressive was the seemless transition from electric only to hybrid power. There was no sign of the change over unless I was watching the gauge cluster. Fuel economy is rated at 50 City/45 Highway/47 Combined. I got close to those numbers with an average of 42 MPG for the week. I think I could have matched or even surpassed those numbers if given another week with the Accord Hybrid.On the ride and handling front, the Accord Hybrid is very similar to the standard Accord. The suspension is able to cope with bumps and imperfections with no problem at all. On the curves, the Accord Hybrid is a joy as it keeps you grounded and provides little body roll. Steering has good heft and feel. Wind noise is kept to a decent level, but road noise is very apparent. I would put some of the blame on the low-rolling resistance tires. The Accord Hybrid puts Honda in a good position within the midsize hybrid sedan class with an impressive powertrain layout placed in the well-regarded package that is the Accord. Its going to take something big to knock off the Accord Hybrid as the best in class. Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Accord Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Honda Model: Accord Hybrid Trim: Touring Engine: Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: Gas Engine - 141 @ 6200, Electric Motor - 166 @ 3857-8000 Torque @ RPM: Gas Engine - 122 @ 3500-6000, Electric Motor - 226 @ 0-3857 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 50/45/47 Curb Weight: 3,602 lbs Location of Manufacture: Marysville, Ohio Base Price: $34,905 As Tested Price: $35,695 (Includes $795.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A Next: 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In Advance There are some cars that your’s truly finds impressive and would gladly buy, but knows that he wouldn’t recommend it because of some issue. That’s the case with the 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In, a model that somehow I liked after spending a week in it, but has a key problem that makes it hard to recommend. The Prius Plug-In looks for the most part like the standard Prius. The only differences between the two is Plug-In Hybrid badging on the front fenders, new wheels, and a additional fuel filler door on the passenger side where the charging port lives (more on that in a moment). As for the interior, my tester came fully loaded with such items as leatherette, infotainment system with a JBL audio system, and heads-up display. Nice items for the most part, but I should warn that the leatherette feels very synthetic and nasty. I would go with the cloth. On the plus side, the Prius Plug-In does feature a lot of room for your passengers and cargo.Under the hood, you’ll find the almost the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain as in the the standard Prius. A 1.8L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder paired up to a 60 kW electric motor delivering a total output of 134 horsepower. The difference is in the batteries. While the standard Prius has a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery, the Plug-In gets a Lithium-Ion battery. The new battery allows the Prius Plug-In to travel up to 11 Miles on electric power alone. During my week, I found myself using the EV mode a lot as it provided decent power to get around town and was very quiet. On the range front, I was able to get around 10 to 12 miles per charge. As for the charging port I mentioned earlier, that allows the Prius Plug-In to charge in 1.5 hours when plugged into a 240V charger or 3 hours when plugged into a 120V outlet). For other situations such as the freeway, I left the vehicle in the hybrid mode. This highlights a couple problems with the Prius. First it takes a few seconds longer for it to get up to speed. Second is the amount the noise that comes up when you decide that more power is needed. It sounded like a weed-whacker was being thrashed under the hood. As for fuel economy, I got around 51 MPG for the week. On the ride and handling front, the Prius Plug-In is much the same as the standard Prius; providing a comfortable, albeit noisy ride. So while I liked the Prius Plug-In, there is a big problem; price. A base Prius Plug-In will set you back $29,990 which seems somewhat reasonable. My tester which was the Advance model and came to an as-tested price of $38,907 with options. No that is not a misprint. Now the Prius Plug-In does qualify for a few tax incentives which helps offset the price somewhat. But for around the same money, you could get into a Chevrolet Volt. You do lose some practicality, but gain more in EV range.So the Prius Plug-In is a vehicle I like, but the pricetag makes it one I would pass on.' Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius Plug-In, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Toyota Model: Prius Plug-In Trim: Advance Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive (1.8L DOHC 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder, 60 kW Electric Motor) Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: Gas Engine - 98 @ 5,200, Electric Motor - 80 @ N/A, Total Output - 134 Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 4,000, Electric Motor - 153 @ 0 Fuel Economy: 95 MPGe, 50 MPG Curb Weight: 3,216 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tsutsumi, Japan Base Price: $34,905 As Tested Price: $38,907 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Technology Package - $2,610 Illuminated Door Sill - $279.00 Carpeted Floor Mats & Trunk Mat - $225.00 Cargo Net - $49.00 First Aid Kit - $29.00 Next: 2014 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport The Lexus CT 200h F-Sport is an intriguing idea. A luxury compact hatchback that is fuel efficient and sporty. So while the idea seems ok in theory, how does it work in the real world? The CT 200h in my eyes happens to be black sheep in Lexus family mostly because of how it looks. A five-door hatchback with a long front end and a new spindle grille which you either love or hate it. Around back is a flat rear tailgate which I think makes the CT a bit ungainly to look at. A set of seventeen-inch alloy wheels and F-Sport badging on the front fenders which come as part of the F-Sport package finish off the look. Inside is a nicely trimmed interior with supportive leather seats and handsome trim. The layout of dashboard is easy to understand and controls are in easy reach for the driver and passenger. The optional Lexus Inform infotainment system has been updated to look a bit fresher and improve user experience. However, the Lexus Remote Touch controller makes using the system a frustrating experience as it seems to be really sensitive. On the plus side, the CT 200h is spacious for back seat passengers and cargo.Power comes from Lexus Hybrid Drive which pairs a 1.8L four-cylinder and 60 kW electric motor to produce a total output of 134 horsepower. This is paired up to a CVT. Now most reviews of the CT 200h say its painfully slow, but I care to disagree. Despite a curb weight of 3,130 pounds, I found the powertrain to be adequate as it took a few ticks longer for the CT to get up to speed than other comparable models. I should warn that if you decide to slam the pedal to floor, the engine and CVT will make a horrific noise that will make you think twice of doing that. As for fuel economy, the EPA rates the 2014 CT 200h at 43 City/40 Highway/42 Combined. I saw an average of 39 MPG. Now this particular CT 200h was equipped with the F-Sport package which adds a sport tuned suspension and that’s about it. Compared to other Lexus models equipped with F-Sport package, I felt the CT F-Sport was somewhat lacking as the suspension was the only real mechanical change to it. Maybe there was some limitations to it being a hybrid, but I think there is room for improvement. The revised suspension means there is a noticeable difference in how the CT handles. Body roll and lean is decreased somewhat when compared to the standard CT. Steering is decent with good weight, but those hoping for an improvement in feel will be disappointed. For day to day driving, the CT 200h F-Sport is a bit more stiff than the standard CT, but not to the point where you’ll be crying uncle.So for the most part, the CT 200h F-Sport succeeds in its mission of providing a fun to drive luxury hatchback that is also ok on fuel. I would like to like to see Lexus do some more with the F-Sport package such as adding more sport goodies to the drivetrain and suspension. Maybe that’s in store for the next-generation. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the CT 200h, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Lexus Model: CT 200h Trim: F-Sport Engine: Lexus Hybrid Drive(1.8L DOHC 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder, 60 kW Electric Motor) Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: Gas Engine - 98 @ 5,200, Electric Motor - 80 @ N/A, Total Output - 134 Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 4,000, Electric Motor - 153 @ 0 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 43/40/42 Curb Weight: 3,130 lbs Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan Base Price: $32,050 As Tested Price: $39,030 (Includes $910.00 Destination Charge) Options: Navigation System - $3,490 F-Sport w/NuLuxe Interior - $1,180 F-Sport Premium Package - $900.00 Intuitive Park Assist - $500.00
  5. Next in the wrap-up in 2014 vehicle reviews, I take look at green vehicles. In this case they all happen to be the hybrid variety. 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring The second time is the charm? That’s the hope for Honda with the 2014 Accord Hybrid. The previous incarnation of the hybridized Accord was a sporty model that really didn’t see any improvement in fuel economy. This in turn caused it to be a flop.Honda went back to drawing board and have introduced an Accord Hybrid that promises best-in-class fuel economy. Can it right the wrong of the previous model? The Accord Hybrid looks for the most part like your standard Accord sedan with a two bar grille, large greenhouse, and a short rear end. The differences are mostly cosmetic as certain chrome pieces and the headlights have a blue tint. Theres also a set of hybrid badges on the front fenders, and a set of seventeen-inch wheels. Inside is the same story as the exterior, with the only real changes for the Accord Hybrid are a new instrument cluster to display information about the hybrid system and a EV button to put the vehicle into a fully electric mode. Getting inside, you find a nice selection of quality materials and loads of space for front and rear passengers.My Touring tester came with Honda’s dual-screen infotainment system which features an eight-inch screen sitting on top of the dash and a smaller touchscreen to change stations/tracks or whatever audio input. There’s also a set of buttons and a knob sitting right above the transmission tunnel to take you to different parts of the system. As I wrote in my first drive of the Accord Hybrid in 2013, the system is a bit of a mess. The touchscreen is slow to respond when you’re trying to change stations or switch from the radio to the USB input. Also, reaching for the controls towards the bottom is quite a reach. Honda really needs to go back to the drawing board with their infotainment system. The Accord Hybrid features Honda’s newest hybrid system called Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system. This system is comprised of, 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 Impressive to say in the least. It’s even better when the system is engaged. The Accord Hybrid never felt lacking in power as the electric motor and 2.0L engine worked together to provide enough thrust for whatever situation I found myself in. More impressive was the seemless transition from electric only to hybrid power. There was no sign of the change over unless I was watching the gauge cluster. Fuel economy is rated at 50 City/45 Highway/47 Combined. I got close to those numbers with an average of 42 MPG for the week. I think I could have matched or even surpassed those numbers if given another week with the Accord Hybrid.On the ride and handling front, the Accord Hybrid is very similar to the standard Accord. The suspension is able to cope with bumps and imperfections with no problem at all. On the curves, the Accord Hybrid is a joy as it keeps you grounded and provides little body roll. Steering has good heft and feel. Wind noise is kept to a decent level, but road noise is very apparent. I would put some of the blame on the low-rolling resistance tires. The Accord Hybrid puts Honda in a good position within the midsize hybrid sedan class with an impressive powertrain layout placed in the well-regarded package that is the Accord. Its going to take something big to knock off the Accord Hybrid as the best in class. Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Accord Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Honda Model: Accord Hybrid Trim: Touring Engine: Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: Gas Engine - 141 @ 6200, Electric Motor - 166 @ 3857-8000 Torque @ RPM: Gas Engine - 122 @ 3500-6000, Electric Motor - 226 @ 0-3857 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 50/45/47 Curb Weight: 3,602 lbs Location of Manufacture: Marysville, Ohio Base Price: $34,905 As Tested Price: $35,695 (Includes $795.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A Next: 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In Advance There are some cars that your’s truly finds impressive and would gladly buy, but knows that he wouldn’t recommend it because of some issue. That’s the case with the 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In, a model that somehow I liked after spending a week in it, but has a key problem that makes it hard to recommend. The Prius Plug-In looks for the most part like the standard Prius. The only differences between the two is Plug-In Hybrid badging on the front fenders, new wheels, and a additional fuel filler door on the passenger side where the charging port lives (more on that in a moment). As for the interior, my tester came fully loaded with such items as leatherette, infotainment system with a JBL audio system, and heads-up display. Nice items for the most part, but I should warn that the leatherette feels very synthetic and nasty. I would go with the cloth. On the plus side, the Prius Plug-In does feature a lot of room for your passengers and cargo.Under the hood, you’ll find the almost the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain as in the the standard Prius. A 1.8L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder paired up to a 60 kW electric motor delivering a total output of 134 horsepower. The difference is in the batteries. While the standard Prius has a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery, the Plug-In gets a Lithium-Ion battery. The new battery allows the Prius Plug-In to travel up to 11 Miles on electric power alone. During my week, I found myself using the EV mode a lot as it provided decent power to get around town and was very quiet. On the range front, I was able to get around 10 to 12 miles per charge. As for the charging port I mentioned earlier, that allows the Prius Plug-In to charge in 1.5 hours when plugged into a 240V charger or 3 hours when plugged into a 120V outlet). For other situations such as the freeway, I left the vehicle in the hybrid mode. This highlights a couple problems with the Prius. First it takes a few seconds longer for it to get up to speed. Second is the amount the noise that comes up when you decide that more power is needed. It sounded like a weed-whacker was being thrashed under the hood. As for fuel economy, I got around 51 MPG for the week. On the ride and handling front, the Prius Plug-In is much the same as the standard Prius; providing a comfortable, albeit noisy ride. So while I liked the Prius Plug-In, there is a big problem; price. A base Prius Plug-In will set you back $29,990 which seems somewhat reasonable. My tester which was the Advance model and came to an as-tested price of $38,907 with options. No that is not a misprint. Now the Prius Plug-In does qualify for a few tax incentives which helps offset the price somewhat. But for around the same money, you could get into a Chevrolet Volt. You do lose some practicality, but gain more in EV range.So the Prius Plug-In is a vehicle I like, but the pricetag makes it one I would pass on.' Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius Plug-In, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Toyota Model: Prius Plug-In Trim: Advance Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive (1.8L DOHC 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder, 60 kW Electric Motor) Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: Gas Engine - 98 @ 5,200, Electric Motor - 80 @ N/A, Total Output - 134 Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 4,000, Electric Motor - 153 @ 0 Fuel Economy: 95 MPGe, 50 MPG Curb Weight: 3,216 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tsutsumi, Japan Base Price: $34,905 As Tested Price: $38,907 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Technology Package - $2,610 Illuminated Door Sill - $279.00 Carpeted Floor Mats & Trunk Mat - $225.00 Cargo Net - $49.00 First Aid Kit - $29.00 Next: 2014 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport The Lexus CT 200h F-Sport is an intriguing idea. A luxury compact hatchback that is fuel efficient and sporty. So while the idea seems ok in theory, how does it work in the real world? The CT 200h in my eyes happens to be black sheep in Lexus family mostly because of how it looks. A five-door hatchback with a long front end and a new spindle grille which you either love or hate it. Around back is a flat rear tailgate which I think makes the CT a bit ungainly to look at. A set of seventeen-inch alloy wheels and F-Sport badging on the front fenders which come as part of the F-Sport package finish off the look. Inside is a nicely trimmed interior with supportive leather seats and handsome trim. The layout of dashboard is easy to understand and controls are in easy reach for the driver and passenger. The optional Lexus Inform infotainment system has been updated to look a bit fresher and improve user experience. However, the Lexus Remote Touch controller makes using the system a frustrating experience as it seems to be really sensitive. On the plus side, the CT 200h is spacious for back seat passengers and cargo.Power comes from Lexus Hybrid Drive which pairs a 1.8L four-cylinder and 60 kW electric motor to produce a total output of 134 horsepower. This is paired up to a CVT. Now most reviews of the CT 200h say its painfully slow, but I care to disagree. Despite a curb weight of 3,130 pounds, I found the powertrain to be adequate as it took a few ticks longer for the CT to get up to speed than other comparable models. I should warn that if you decide to slam the pedal to floor, the engine and CVT will make a horrific noise that will make you think twice of doing that. As for fuel economy, the EPA rates the 2014 CT 200h at 43 City/40 Highway/42 Combined. I saw an average of 39 MPG. Now this particular CT 200h was equipped with the F-Sport package which adds a sport tuned suspension and that’s about it. Compared to other Lexus models equipped with F-Sport package, I felt the CT F-Sport was somewhat lacking as the suspension was the only real mechanical change to it. Maybe there was some limitations to it being a hybrid, but I think there is room for improvement. The revised suspension means there is a noticeable difference in how the CT handles. Body roll and lean is decreased somewhat when compared to the standard CT. Steering is decent with good weight, but those hoping for an improvement in feel will be disappointed. For day to day driving, the CT 200h F-Sport is a bit more stiff than the standard CT, but not to the point where you’ll be crying uncle.So for the most part, the CT 200h F-Sport succeeds in its mission of providing a fun to drive luxury hatchback that is also ok on fuel. I would like to like to see Lexus do some more with the F-Sport package such as adding more sport goodies to the drivetrain and suspension. Maybe that’s in store for the next-generation. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the CT 200h, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Lexus Model: CT 200h Trim: F-Sport Engine: Lexus Hybrid Drive(1.8L DOHC 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder, 60 kW Electric Motor) Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: Gas Engine - 98 @ 5,200, Electric Motor - 80 @ N/A, Total Output - 134 Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 4,000, Electric Motor - 153 @ 0 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 43/40/42 Curb Weight: 3,130 lbs Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan Base Price: $32,050 As Tested Price: $39,030 (Includes $910.00 Destination Charge) Options: Navigation System - $3,490 F-Sport w/NuLuxe Interior - $1,180 F-Sport Premium Package - $900.00 Intuitive Park Assist - $500.00 View full article
  6. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. View full article
  7. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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