Gasoline costs should be comparatively low and customary vehicles’ gasoline effectivity retains rising, however that does not imply there is not any cause to contemplate a hybrid. A hybrid powertrain’s vitality recuperation can add as much as a number of financial savings on the pump, particularly for drivers who do a variety of stop-and-go driving.
With the 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid, you do not even must make any main sacrifices to reside with a hybrid. We love the common Accord midsize sedan, and all of its virtues — a roomy inside, a wonderful function set and class-leading highway manners — carry over to the hybrid model. It is an impressive each day driver that additionally occurs to publish improbable gasoline financial system figures.
Intelligent and environment friendly powertrain
The center of the Accord Hybrid is Honda’s two-motor powertrain that mixes a 2.Zero-liter fuel engine, two electrical motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. The fuel engine is rated for 143 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. The drive motor provides up 181 horsepower and 232 pound-feet, and the whole system output is pegged at 212 horsepower.
More often than not, the fuel engine is not related to the entrance wheels in any respect, as a substitute spinning a motor-generator that then sends electrical energy to the traction motor. At different occasions, the automobile drives on electrical motivation alone. In some conditions on the freeway, although, a lockup clutch permits the two.Zero-liter to drive the entrance axle instantly. What which means is that the Accord Hybrid drives and accelerates with the supple smoothness of an electrical automobile: No lag, no hesitation, no lurching. It is just about silent when driving in all-electric mode, and nonetheless calm and civilized when the fuel engine kicks in to supply some help.
The hybrid has the identical sensible, clear design language of the usual 10th-generation Accord.
An Econ change slackens throttle response, an EV mode button forces engine-off operation (at low speeds, assuming the battery is charged sufficient) and a Sport mode retains the engine on for optimum responsiveness. The powertrain’s operation is so well-tuned for all sorts of driving, although, that you just’re finest off simply leaving it to its personal units and ignoring the drive modes.
It’s also possible to regulate the extent of regeneration once you raise off the throttle by the use of paddles mounted to the steering wheel. By default the automobile coasts very like a non-hybrid, however pulling the left paddle engages progressively stronger regen. If it fits your driving type, that might enhance your effectivity.
The lone letdown is that the engine makes the identical type of moaning noises when pressed. It jogged my memory of vehicles which have a constantly variable transmission. With its revs hovering and hanging when merging onto the freeway, the vocalizations are lower than nice. Fortuitously the engine’s output is muted general, and it is solely below onerous acceleration that you’re going to actually discover the strained sounds.
Honda’s two-motor powertrain slickly combines the outputs of a 2.Zero-liter fuel engine with electrical drive motors.
It is not onerous to recollect the Honda Accord Hybrid’s gasoline financial system ranking: Each trim degree is rated for 47 miles per gallon metropolis, 47 mpg freeway and 47 mpg mixed. The thriftiest non-hybrid Accords, with a 1.5-liter turbo engine and CVT, return 30/38/33 mpg, so there are real gasoline financial savings available by going hybrid. As ever, your mileage could differ. Driving the way in which I normally drive to the locations I normally go, with a mixture of freeway and suburban mileage, I managed simply 39 mpg. That is nonetheless actually good for such a well-rounded midsize sedan, even when it is off the mark from the official quantity.
These are additionally severely aggressive numbers within the class. The Toyota Camry Hybrid initially seems to trounce the Accord in EPA assessments, with rankings of 51 mpg metropolis and 53 mpg freeway. However it’s price noting that is just for the LE trim degree, and the heavier, better-equipped Camry Hybrid XLE/SE ship 44/47 mpg. The Accord does handily beat the financial system of different midsize hybrid sedans: The Ford Fusion (43/41 mpg), Hyundai Sonata (40/46 mpg), Kia Optima (39/46), Chevrolet Malibu (49/43 mpg).
Not solely is the Accord’s cabin roomy, it is well-designed and purposeful.
As a result of the Accord Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery pack now lives beneath the rear seats, trunk house is strictly the identical as within the non-hybrid. Meaning a wholesome 16.7 cubic toes of room, simply expandable by reducing the usual 60/40 break up rear seats. In contrast, the 2017 Accord Hybrid had simply 13.5 cubes of baggage house as a result of its battery intruded into the trunk. Head- and legroom are in abundance for each rows of seats, too.
The remainder of the automobile and driving expertise can be good as a result of, nicely, it is identical to different 2018 Accords. The Hybrid drives with ease and maturity. Its cabin is remarkably quiet even at pace, whereas its experience high quality helps me overlook the crumbling state of my native roads. Visibility is often Honda-like, that means unobstructed in each path.
Even the steering and brake-pedal really feel are past reproach. The latter, usually a bugbear of hybrids for the inconsistent really feel between regenerative and friction braking, has zero studying curve and permits for chauffeur-smooth stopping out of your first mile on the helm. If the dealing with combine is not precisely thrilling — blame, partly, the low-rolling-resistance Michelin Vitality Saver A/S rubber — a minimum of it’s by no means imprecise, wallowing or unpredictable. That is, briefly, a automobile that simply does what you inform it to.
All of the know-how you might need
The latest HondaLink infotainment system, on an Eight-inch touchscreen supplemented by bodily quantity, tuning and shortcut buttons, is one in every of our favourite techniques on sale as we speak. (A less-impressive 7-inch display screen is customary on the bottom mannequin.) Its responses are swift and its graphics crisp. The simple dwelling menu has daring tiles, whereas a row of shortcuts on the prime of the display screen permits for issues similar to altering audio sources or swapping to the cellphone menu simply. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each supported, and built-in navigation is obtainable as an possibility.
A semi-digital instrument cluster permits for displaying all the things from navigation directions to gasoline effectivity within the left-hand aspect of the gauges. My Touring tester additionally includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, wi-fi cellphone charging and a vibrant, shade head-up show. One other uncommon function is NFC cellphone pairing. It is signalled by a small brand on the passenger aspect of the middle stack. Merely maintain your NFC-equipped cellphone as much as the emblem and you will get an on-screen immediate to pair with the automobile’s Bluetooth. Cool, sure, however it would not save that a lot time over pairing by means of the touchscreen — and let’s be trustworthy, how usually are you actually pairing a brand new cellphone to your automobile?
Honda has finished a wonderful job of democratizing security tools throughout its mannequin line, and the Accord Hybrid isn’t any exception. Each model options Honda Sensing as customary. That is the suite that features pre-collision warning and braking, lane-departure warning, road-departure mitigation, lane-keep help, adaptive cruise management, site visitors signal recognition and computerized excessive beams. All however the base Hybrid trim additionally has blind-spot monitoring. The help techniques all work flawlessly and might simply be enabled or disabled by means of the instrument cluster menus or steering wheel buttons. Most of all, it is nice that you do not have to improve to costly trim ranges or possibility packages to get these options.
This is likely one of the easiest-to-use infotainment techniques you will discover in a brand new automobile.
How I would spec it
As pretty because the loaded-up Touring mannequin is, one of many nice issues in regards to the Accord Hybrid is that many of the must-have options — active-safety tech, stellar infotainment system — can be found on extra reasonably priced trim ranges. For me, the $29,780 Accord Hybrid EX hits the candy spot between the bottom $25,990 Hybrid and the $35,600 Touring. I can do with out the non-compulsory navigation accessible on EX-L and above as a result of CarPlay/Android Auto is accessible. Whereas the Touring’ chrome door handles, head-up show, wi-fi cellphone charging and cooled entrance seats are nice-to-haves, I would not essentially improve to that dear trim degree.
Irrespective of which Hybrid you get, the value premium over an equal customary Accord is greater than affordable: $1,525 for the bottom Hybrid versus an Accord LX, $1,145 for the EX, $1,465 for the EX-L and EX-L with Navigation and simply $905 for the Touring. Meaning the breakeven level at which your fuel financial savings will outweigh the additional price of shopping for the hybrid should not take too lengthy to achieve for many drivers.
That solely underlines the truth that the Honda Accord Hybrid is a superb midsize sedan with only a few sacrifices. Identical to the usual mannequin, that is one probably the most satisfying mainstream sedans you should buy as a result of it’s simple to make use of, unerringly nice to drive and a powerful worth.