50 Miles Per Gallon | 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

May 2014 View more

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

Photos courtesy of ©2014 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

At the dawn of the hybrid age, achieving exceptional fuel economy demanded certain sacrifices such as the features of a modern car, the driving characteristics of a modern car, and the comfort of a modern car.

OK, so maybe that list is a slight exaggeration. Those hybrids felt modern enough, but early hybrids did not drive as well as standard cars. And for the privilege of achieving relatively stratospheric fuel economy figures, those hybrids also commanded a significant price premium over their gas-only brethren. Some still do.

Enter the all-new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. Rated at a magical 50 miles per gallon in city driving and 45 miles per gallon on the open road, it unquestionably delivers on the hybrid fuel economy promise. At a starting price right around $30,000, it hews fairly closely to the prices of comparably equipped standard Accords. Most importantly for many buyers, the Accord Hybrid is as refined and enjoyable to drive as any other new Accord.

There is a reason that Honda has sold so many Accords over the decades, and this model’s redesign ratifies that rationale. Elevated from the simple appliance that it once was, the Accord joins other basic family-sized sedans in flirting with the entry-luxury line.

Squint a bit at the Accord’s crisp profile and you will see echoes of the Lexus IS and BMW 3-Series. Settle in the optional heated leather driver’s seat, look past the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and you will see echoes of Acura. Start driving and you will recognize the taut feel of a thoroughly modern sedan.

2014 Honda Accord HybridBeyond the gratifying cabin comfort and driving dynamics, this Accord seems to pay particular attention to safety. While luxury vehicles typically have all the latest automotive technology riches, the Accord’s option list clearly benefits from the trickle-down effect. For example, the Accord has a forward collision warning system that a few years ago would have been found only on a $100,000 flagship. The system is simple and effective: If you are approaching the car in front of you too quickly, a light embedded in the top of the dashboard flashes to shake you out of your reverie.

The safety gear continues. Taking a different approach to the blind spot detectors that are rapidly proliferating on other cars, the Accord has a rear-facing camera mounted under the passenger-side outside mirror. When you put on the right-turn signal, the navigation/radio display screen instantly switches to a view of the area next to the car. A quick glance will confirm that all’s clear.

Much of the Accord’s safety set-up is invisibly baked into the car’s design. The result is a five-star overall safety rating. This, too, marks a departure from the perception of earlier hybrids that in the quest to reduce weight and increase the miles per gallon, those cars were not as safe as heavier models. The Accord, in contrast, is a solid car. It feels as fully formed as other cars that were not designed with such a critical eye on the scale.

2014 Accord HybridThat said, do not bother looking for a spare tire in the ample trunk. Whether to minimize weight or maximize the amount of cargo space available after placing the bulky hybrid system behind the rear seats, there is no spare here—just a tire repair kit and a promise of roadside assistance.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid starts at $29,155 and steps up to $34,905 for the Touring model. At the high end, the Hybrid Touring model adds just $1,500 to the sticker of a comparable gas-only model.

Photos courtesy of ©2014 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.