2014 Honda Accord Plug in Hybrid
Honda has previously teased Accord fans with hybrid prototypes,
but they are finally making good on the pledge with the 2014
Accord plug-in hybrid. The lineup in 2014 will also include
V6 and 4-cylinder models and a hybrid that's not a plug-in.
Test drivers have discovered that the Accord plug-in does behave
as you would imagine an Accord would. Its new LaneWatch system
is appreciated, but the drive systems were a bit of a mystery.
Even though Honda has made hybrid vehicles for some time, it's
something of a challenge to increase the level of efficiency
in the Accord to meet current demand from consumers. Inside
a normal looking car, there is a lot of new technology in the
The popular look of the Accord has been updated, in addition
to the plug-in technology. It has less drag, so the fuel economy
gets a boost there. The plug-in Honda Accord gets a different
front end, to give it a more unique look, as compared to gas-powered
models. The grille is different and it has a lower fascia.
The aerodynamics are improved with a new rear bumper cap. LED
headlights are standard, which is a step up from gas-only models,
where they are an upgrade. The interior is as functional as
Hondas' usually are. It has a display cluster that is exclusive
to the hybrid.
The LaneWatch system on the Honda Accord plug-in hybrid uses
a small, built-in camera on the passenger side's mirror to show
you the driver's blind spot. You can turn it off if it's too
distracting, but it's a good safety feature. You can see the
mirror and the screen at once.
LaneWatch is not the only way Honda has made driving this new
vehicle easier. There are differing uses of powertrain and modes,
and the terminology is confusing to even reviewers of new vehicles.
Honda's answer to their questions? There are Drives and modes,
and one isn't the same as the other.
When you start off with the battery pack full, the gas engine
won't kick in when you're driving city speed until you deplete
the battery pack. That is usually after about 10 or 15 minutes.
If you want faster acceleration or higher speeds, the gas engine
will power up to give you that added power. The top speed officially
in EV drive is about 80 mph.
In hybrid drive, you may mistake the Accord for a Chevy Volt.
Hybrid drive mainly gets your engine running so that it can
send electricity to its electric traction motor. Whenever you
engage the HV mode, the car will know that you are trying to
keep the battery level at the point where it currently is.
The battery pack is small in size and only takes an hour for
a full recharge with a Level 2 charger. That equals three hours
in your home's standard outlets. The car is even efficient enough
to use the special lanes for "green" vehicles in California.
Even though the plug-in model is the heaviest of the Accord
vehicle line, it will still handle well for the average driver.
The controls are user-friendly, and the car provides a predictably