Review and photos by Tom Sedens

The new Honda Accord is a winner in my books. I wasn’t so sure if the hybrid version would be as satisfying so I was looking forward to spending a week with it.

The real story with this model is the hybrid drivetrain of course. Honda uses a 2.0L four-cylinder coupled with an electric motor – together, they come up with 196 net horsepower.

The Accord Hybrid does without a conventional transmission, relying instead on a set of fixed gears and the engine and motor’s speeds to accelerate and vary speeds. It drives the front wheels.

The point is fuel efficiency. The Accord Hybrid is rated at a shocking 3.7 L/100 km (64 US mpg) in the city and 4.0 L/100 km (59 US mpg) on the highway. I had it during a week of particularly cold weather, and while pushing its way through ice, snow and arctic temperatures and not being driven economically at all, it managed to average an 6.1 L/100 km (39 US mpg) – nearly twice the fuel efficiency I saw while driving the V6-powered Honda Accord.

To be honest, I haven’t been a fan of the Accord for the last couple of generations. I felt as though Honda had lost their way with this model, and something always looked a bit off to me. As if the car didn’t know what it wanted to be. I found the styling, and frankly the whole car, to be completely forgettable.

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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. Click image to enlarge

Yes, looks are subjective, but in my opinion, they got it right this time. At very least, it appears that the same team that styled the front and rear ends was also responsible for the sides of the car. The look is congruent, and although it’s all new, they have made it recognizable.

The front end gets a row of LED driving lights, and the headlights are bright LED projectors. The front grille chrome and headlight glass are tinted slightly blue to help set apart the hybrid version. There’s a significant character line – a crease – that angles up from behind the front wheel well toward the back. The wheel wells aren’t flared out much – I like how they’re integrated into the car’s lines.

I found the rear end bulkier than I expected from an Accord, but it looks good. The kink in the rear passenger window line gives the appearance of a very solid rear pillar, and the trunk lid is made narrower to help avoid a Kardashian profile.

The LED tail light pods are humungous and wrap around, seemingly heading toward the front of the car. The hybrid version also gets a small rear spoiler. The attractive 17-inch wheels on this Touring trim, shod with 225/50-sized rubber, have a kind of turbine look to them.

While it’s not a particularly exciting car to look at, Honda has made it more upscale, bolder and more substantial. And those are good things.

Honda certainly made the Accord current, even progressive, inside. The interior is spacious – it feels big enough to be comfortable, yet never too big. Headroom is good for my 5′ 10″ frame. The materials are great and fit and finish was stellar. There are soft-touch plastics everywhere, with fine textures and contrasting stitching. They’re complemented with an excellent two-tone colour scheme and splashes of brightwork that really work well together.

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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. Click image to enlarge

The heated, power-adjustable leather seats (the driver’s side has a two-position memory) are very comfortable, and offer surprisingly good bolstering for this class of car.

The dash is relatively short, and you get the impression that you’re involved in the drive from the get-go. The instrument bin houses a floating-needle speedometer (with a round driver information screen in the middle), flanked by digital gauges for fuel, battery level and power/charge activity.

The center stack uses Honda’s new trick – two screens. TWO! At the top, set into a deeper bin, is a large screen – it handles vehicle information, car settings, navigation, media, phone and back-up camera functions. Below that sits a smaller pop-out screen. It functions as a touch-screen, and it can give you more/different information regarding what’s going on up on the big screen above, and it can give you access to buttons, contextually related to what’s happening on the big screen.

Below the smaller screen is a dual-zone automatic climate control system and finally Honda’s somewhat confusing joysticky, rotary-knob button input – it’s another way to manipulate and navigate the big screen, along with some hard buttons for quickly accessing some of the core functions, like navigation, etc.




About Tom Sedens

Tom Sedens is an Edmonton-based automobile journalist, husband, dad and driving enthusiast, as well as an accredited member of AJAC.