The Honda Accord Hybrid was first launched in 2005 and comes in two distinctly different generations. The first generation offers pleasing driving dynamics, but fuel economy falls short of what is typically seen in the hybrid segment. Honda improved the formula with the second generation, creating a sedan that's pleasant to drive and frugal at the pump.
2014 to Present: Honda Accord HybridIf you were to rank the attributes that are most important to hybrid buyers, fuel economy would almost certainly top the list. Honda missed this memo with the first generation of the Honda Accord Hybrid, but the manufacturer atones for past sins with the current model. Launched in 2014, the current version of the Accord Hybrid provides fuel efficiency that places it near the front of the hybrid segment.
The Honda Accord Hybrid is a midsize hybrid sedan with seating for five. Some hybrid models match their forward-thinking drivetrains with sheet metal that has one foot whimsically placed in the future, but this is not the case with the Accord Hybrid. The car shares its lines with the gas-only Honda Accord, and its presence is broad shouldered and competent, with slanting headlamps and a spare slash of fascia in front. From the back, the sedan looks solid, dependable and ready for family duty.
When it was introduced in 2014, the second-generation Accord Hybrid provided 196 horsepower from a powertrain that matched a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with a pair of electric motors. After taking a one-year hiatus in 2016, the sedan returned in 2017 with a more muscular powertrain offering 212 horsepower. Both powertrains are teamed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Some hybrids fall short when it comes to driving dynamics, but this isn't the case with the Accord Hybrid. Just like the gas-only Accord, it hits the mark when it comes to acceleration and handling. There's ample pep on tap for passing maneuvers and braking feels more natural than that offered by certain hybrid rivals. The sedan travels quietly and is responsive to driver inputs.
The cabin is just as impressive. Materials quality meets a standard usually associated with entry-level luxury models. Cockpit design is refined and sophisticated, and fit and finish is above reproach. There is abundant legroom in both rows, and backseat passengers enjoy a level of roominess that is seldom seen in this class.
The trunk holds the car's battery pack, and this brings a compromise in cargo capacity. Early second-generation models offered just 12.7 cubic feet, making the trunk three feet smaller than that of the gas-only Accord. A 2017 refresh brought a more compact battery, and this boosted trunk space to an impressive 13.5 cubic feet.
Standard features on the Accord Hybrid include alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. All Accord Hybrids also feature an audio system with an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
Higher trim levels add amenities such as a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver memory settings and a premium sound system with satellite radio and smartphone app integration.
For 2017, the Honda Accord Hybrid enjoyed revisions that include an exterior refresh, cabin design updates and the addition of standard collision mitigation technology such as forward collision warning.
The hybrid segment is sizable, and the Honda Accord Hybrid is one of many fine choices. Other strong picks include the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. These models each have their strengths, but the current Honda Accord Hybrid stands out thanks to its accommodating performance, roomy cabin and exceptional fuel economy.
Earlier Honda Accord Hybrid ModelsThe first-generation Honda Accord Hybrid was introduced in 2005. With 253 horsepower on tap, it was the most powerful Accord in the manufacturer's lineup at the time of its launch, and it combined a 3.0-liter V6 with an electric motor. Unfortunately, fuel efficiency was disappointing, and the first-generation Accord Hybrid offers only a slight improvement relative to the mileage of that era's four-cylinder gas-only Accord. Its powertrain is governed by a five-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features include heated mirrors, leather upholstery, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system.
For 2006, the Accord Hybrid received feature upgrades that include the addition of a standard sunroof and daytime running lights.
In 2007, the Accord Hybrid was placed on hiatus until the introduction of its second generation in 2014.