By Clint Williams
The first thing that hits you when you slide behind the wheel of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and press the ignition is a dashboard display that reads:
Range 735 miles.
That is a long way. That is El Paso to Dallas without having to stop for gas.
The all-new Accord Hybrid is a delightful family sedan that also gets extraordinarily delightful fuel economy.
The Accord Hybrid uses Honda's new Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrain with a continuously variable transmission and a two-motor hybrid system blends electric-only, hybrid and engine drive modes to provide responsive and fuel-efficient performance in a wide range of driving situations. The EPA fuel economy estimates are nothing short of jaw dropping – 47 mpg overall with 50 mpg in city driving.
Your results may vary, as they say. Some tests have found the Accord Hybrid delivering fewer miles per gallon than the EPA estimate.
The Accord Hybrid, like it's more traditional siblings, is a pleasant car to drive. Nice handling and acceleration. Comfortable ride. There is a reason the Accord is among America's best selling cars.
Nifty technology isn't confined to the gas/electric drivetrain. The safety equipment in the 2014 Accord Hybrid includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, blind-spot monitoring and a rearview camera as standard. Higher trim levels also have lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems.
The LaneWatch blind-spot system uses the center console 8-inch screen to display a low and wide view of the passenger side of the car when you flick on the right turn signal. It's a great feature that we hope will make its way to other automobiles.
The Accord Hybrid isn't perfect. The gasoline engine is noisy when working hard – say driving up a steep mountain road.
But such quibbles haven't kept the newest hybrid from landing atop several green car lists.
The sticker price on a top-of-the-line Touring edition was $35,695.