2014 Honda Accord PHEV
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: January 2013
Expected Pricing: $39,780
One of the world's most mainstream cars gets a decidedly non-mainstream powertrain in the form of the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid. In the works for years but finally confirmed earlier this year, the PHEV version of Honda's top-selling midsize sedan uses the same ninth-generation body as the gasoline-powered car, with some extra touches added especially for the electrified four-door.
Features and styling cues specific to the Accord PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) include a unique front grille, LED headlights with blue accents, a lighter, aluminum hood and standard 17-inch alloy wheels. Underneath, there are additional aerodynamic treatments, as well as a different rear bumper cover that decreases drag and aids fuel economy.
Unlike the single-motor design used in the Honda Civic, CR-Z and Insight hybrids, the Accord PHEV plug-in uses a two-motor system: a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine paired with a 124-kW electric motor.
The 2014 Accord PHEV is EPA-rated at an impressive 115 mpg equivalent (MPGe), higher than the Chevrolet Volt, Prius plug-in or Ford C-MAX plug-in. Honda says the Accord PHEV is expected to have a range of 10-15 miles in pure EV mode, with a total driving range of more than 500 miles, depending on driving style.
Honda also says the Accord PHEV will fully charge in less than one hour with a 240-volt fast charger, or only three hours with a standard 120-volt household. Those are bold claims, considering other plug-in hybrids can take more than twice that long to charge.
In the cabin, the Accord PHEV has cloth bio-fabric seating surfaces and a special instrument cluster that displays the hybrid functions. It also includes Honda's new LaneWatch system, which shows the driver a video view of the blind spot on the center monitor, courtesy of a tiny camera housed in the passenger's sideview mirror. It's replete with other electronic babysitters, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
California and New York will get the Honda Accord PHEV in January 2013. Only one trim level will be offered, and it will be available in just three colors: black, white, or silver. Prices start at $39,780, about on par with the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in.