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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.4

The automotive press is wowed with the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid’s performance. They like that its handling is composed and a bit athletic in turns. They also like the way the regenerative brakes feel strong without being grabby. They agree the powertrain delivers plenty of power, especially from a stop, but the thing they gush over the most is the power source transition, saying it is so silent and smooth that you can barely tell it’s changing between gas and electric power.

  • "Built on the 2013 Accord platform, the new hybrid delivers solid performance whether hypermiling or just cruising in a more traditional fashion." -- Motor Trend
  • "Pleasingly, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid drives, well, like an Accord. It is peppy, stable and responsive around turns and pretty comfortable and quiet." -- Edmunds
  • "With all that hype, I almost expected the Accord Hybrid to fall short, kind of a too-good-to-be-true situation. But on my two-hour morning drive I matched the 47 mpg combined rating (our drive was mostly on country roads with 55-mph speed limits), and on an afternoon city driving loop I saw indicated fuel economy numbers in the mid-60s. Some other journalists got 70 or 80 mpg on the same loop." -- Jean Knows Cars
  • "Ride quality is everything we have grown to like about the Accord." -- Left Lane News
  • "So, let's start there, with the powertrain. It's a complicated mess to understand if you're not a Honda engineer (and maybe even then), but it's a complicated mess that works well." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and electric motor that combine to make 196 horsepower, as well as a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Accord Hybrid earns an EPA-estimated 50/45 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class.

Test drivers are very impressed with the Honda Accord Hybrid’s transition between power sources, saying it is so quiet and seamless that you can hardly tell when it’s switching between the electric motor and the gas engine. They also say the start-stop feature, which shuts the engine off when the car is at a stop to conserve fuel, operates smoothly, which is not always the case with these systems, as reviewers often say they’re abrupt when turning the engine off and on. Critics say the hybrid powertrain delivers good power, especially from a stop. The CVT is liked by most reviewers, who say it is quiet and feels like a traditional automatic transmission, though some say it hesitates to give you more power when you need it.

  • "There's good power to be found here -- it's just that the CVT, a contemporary Accord staple, is reluctant to let you use it. … The Accord Hybrid is smooth, nearly silent at highway speeds, using an utterly invisible powerplant that whisks occupants with as little apparent effort as possible." -- AutoWeek
  • "The car's hybrid powertrain is fairly quiet except under hard acceleration. And Honda's powertrain engineers have done a masterful job of integrating the gas engine and electric propulsion systems: The interaction among the parts is seamless. Even the engine idle-stop (also called auto stop-start) operates with nary a stutter or shudder." -- Edmunds
  • "Lovely and instant electric torque is available when you get going, but instead of that great EV silence when you stomp on the gas, an engine whine that will sound familiar to Prius drivers filters its way into the cabin. When you're not demanding much acceleration (that is, most of the time in daily commuting), you won't notice the engine kicking in or turning off." -- Autoblog
  • "It's only noticeable that you're in EV mode via a light on the dash. Otherwise, it's almost impossible to tell when the gas engine is running and when it is not because the Accord is so quiet. … The electronic continuously variable transmission also works better than most CVTs. It avoids heavy whines and provides nice pauses during heavy acceleration to give it a feel of a regular gear-based slush box." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

Auto critics say the Honda Accord Hybrid has secure handling, and some report that it’s even a bit sporty on a winding road. Some test drivers think the Accord Hybrid’s steering delivers good road feel, while others say it feels a little vague. Reviewers say the regenerative brakes are strong without being touchy, which they like.

  • "Braking is smooth and without the slow-speed grabbiness some hybrids and EVs exhibit as a side effect of the switch from regenerative to mechanical braking. The only potential downside is that the ride quality is a bit stiffer than most competitors, but unless you're really expecting a cushiony ride, it's not likely to be an issue." -- Edmunds
  • "The Accord Hybrid may not be the kind of car you'd drive around the winding roads of Texas hill country if you could pick anything, but it was stable and sure-footed, and it handled the bends in the road with the composure of a much sportier car." -- Jean Knows Cars
  • "We spent more time paying attention to the nicely weighted steering that kept us true on the highway but was responsive enough that we felt we could avoid any surprised that might dart out into the road." -- Autoblog
  • "The steering is a little numb and the return to center did not have much snap, but my expectation for most midsize sedans is not one of sports-car feel." -- Motor Trend

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