At first glance one isn't blown away by the visual attributes of Accord Hybrid. Other than the placement of a small Hybrid notation and custom blue outlined halide headlamp assemblies, the hybrid model retains the classic look of the Honda line. It’s not that it isn't a good looking automobile, it is. But when visually compared to Ford Fusion, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon, those that don’t count themselves in the growing corp of Honda fans will not be taken aback by Accord exterior styling .
The first time I buckled into an Accord Hybrid, pushed the keyless ignition start button and headed down the drive, I was as giddy as a cheerleader at prom night. looking into the rear view mirror, I was stared back at by a Cheshire Cat grin wearing inner child enjoying his first drive in Honda’s premier hybrid sedan.
Although I’d driven and reviewed Honda’s CR-Z Hybrid a few weeks earlier, and found it to be fun to drive and eerily quiet in EV only mode, today I drove a midsize sedan with no apparent comfort or performance shortfalls.
Unquestionably the finest North American Accord offering to date
Let's set the I.C./EV codependent engine and E-CVT activated drivetrain aside for a moment while we look to the interior comfort, ride and utility of 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid. Looking to the interior fit and finish we discovered an up-ticked and very refined version of what we've grown to expect from Honda Accord. This is Honda’s premium Accord offering and priced appropriately.
With a beginning MSRP of $29,305 the base model Accord Hybrid is comparably priced to the Accord gasoline fueled EX-L CVT. This is Honda’s top of the line 4 cylinder CVT variant, nicely equipped, reasonably priced and well equipped with head of class personal connectivity, passive and active safety and noise reduction features. But, Accord EX-L is a 4 cylinder based CVT sedan with Civic characteristics offering acceptable performance(185 hp/181 ft-lb torque) and fuel economy(27 city/ 30 highway,) nothing class setting in the performance, fuel economy category.You may find full Honda Accord specifications here.
We found the 4 cylinder Accord variant to be slightly noisier than the V6 and experienced a very busy CVT(continuous velocity transmission) when accelerating onto the freeway. At this price level the 2015 Accord Hybrid is a relative bargain.
Accord Hybrid offers all of the standard features of the gasoline only Accord EX-L, featuring 3 drive modes, best in class combined fuel economy(50 city/ 45 highway,) while achieving superior EV only mid range torque. Accord Hybrid is a viable option for those drivers(Eco -conscious or not) that wish to drive something a little different than the passing crowd. You may read our performance review here.
At the top of the Accord Hybrid line up we find the “Touring” Priced at $35,055 + all applicable fees and sales tax, this is Honda’s top of the line hybrid 5 place sedan with all the bells and whistles in Honda’s arsenal. You can spend this much on Accord Hybrid but it’s not necessary to enjoy the overall driving experience and fuel efficiency advantage offered through this Honda.
Note: There’s a fun factor and game-like challenge to 2015 Accord Hybrid. It’s fun experimenting with the drive mode and the fuel efficiency tools built into Accord Hybrid. We've read from Torque News readers of exceptional commuting fuel economy approaching 60 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
For me the fuel economy of this hybrid is secondary to the overall driving experience. Test drive one if you can find one: Due to consumer demand and relatively low production numbers(battery module is manufactured and imported from Japan)locating an Accord Hybrid for a test drive can be a bit of a challenge.
As to my Toyota loving associates: Yes, I've driven all variants of Toyota Prius. While the Accord hybrid doesn't offer the utility of a hatchback, I find it to be a superior overall driving experience. As to the Toyota Avalon(apples to oranges) and Camry Hybrid? Nice cars; check them out, I’m a Honda man.
Tomorrow we take a closer look at 2015 Honda Civic Si.