NEW FOR 2014:
– New model.
It’s been seven years since Honda last sold an Accord Hybrid in Canada. In those seven years, a lot has changed. Gasoline has become a lot more expensive, many new rivals have entered the hybrid scene, and Honda’s hybrid technology has taken a big step forward. Where the old Accord Hybrid was more or less the range-topping V6 model enhanced by a beefier version of the Integrated Motor Assist setup found in the Civic Hybrid, the latest version starts from scratch with an all-new hybrid system. It’s also one of the most advanced hybrids you can buy today.
What makes the Accord Hybrid a groundbreaking vehicle is its powertrain. Unlike just about any other modern car, the Accord does away with a traditional transmission. Instead, it uses two electric motors, and has a 6.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that’s used to power them. The first motor is a 166-hp, 236 lb-ft of torque AC unit which drives the front wheels; the other is a generator, and serves as an intermediary between the first motor and the 2.0-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine that runs the lean-burning Atkinson cycle. Honda refers to the Accord as having an eCVT, although there’s no actual CVT to speak of.
Despite the complicated sounding setup, the Accord Hybrid works seamlessly. Like most other hybrids, it can drive on electric power alone, on gasoline alone, or on a combination of the two. The setup is refined in operation, with little detectable NVH when the gasoline motor starts up and shuts down, and no CVT lag under hard acceleration. It also bests its rivals from Ford and Toyota in the fuel economy department.
The Accord Hybrid is offered in two trim levels – Hybrid, and Hybrid Touring.
The Hybrid comes standard with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, tire repair kit, Econ mode button, acoustic vehicle alert system (for pedestrians), security system, chrome grille with LED illumination, chrome door handles, body-colour door mirrors with integrated turn signals, LED daytime running lights, power heated folding mirrors, active noise cancellation, air conditioning with air filtration, power locks, power windows with auto-up/down driver’s window, remote entry system with power trunk release and power window control, proximity key with push-button start, LaneWatch blind-spot system, cruise control, multi-angle reverse camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, exterior temperature indicator, auto on/off headlights, smart maintenance minder, tilt/telescopic steering column, eight-way power driver seat, four-way manual front passenger seat, rear console ventilation, heated front seats, and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio with HondaLink touchscreen audio, text message and email capability, USB and auxiliary input.
The Hybrid Touring adds leather upholstery, heated rear seats, driver’s seat position memory, Homelink, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, power moonroof, LED headlamps, satellite navigation, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 360-watt seven-speaker AM/FM/CD and satellite radio, lane departure warning and forward collision warning.