We are a penny-pinching, low-balling kind of society. We don’t necessarily save all our money, but we want to get the most out of our dollars, as in: pay the very least for the best. It’s made for the consumerism we know today; endless choices, knock-offs, and everyone and their mother trying to get the best deal possible for every single thing they buy.
So, when it comes to saving on the cost of fuel, getting the most out of our tank of gas, and going further on fewer dollars, we are all on board (even if we have to dish out more in the beginning to get it -- more on that in a bit).
The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid checks all the right boxes when it comes to stretching your dollars at the pumps. Already a relatively fuel-efficient vehicle, the Accord heightens its attraction in Plug-In Hybrid guise, but is it worth the extra to get one?
How is the Accord Plug-In different from the Hybrid-only version?
Essentially, it’s a hyped up hybrid version that extends the EV range via a plug-in option to recharge the onboard battery even more quickly.
As a standard hybrid, the Honda Accord is great. Fuel efficiency numbers are right where you want them to be with a combined rating of 5.0L/100km, according to Honda. The idea of a hybrid vehicle is burn as little fuel as possible, and that’s just what the Accord Hybrid does. So, when the anty is upped with a plug-in version available, you’d think those numbers would skyrocket and the decision to buy a Volt or a Fusion Energi over the Accord Plug-In Hybrid would be a moot point.
Well, that’s where things get a bit dicey for the Accord Plug-In Hybrid.
Honda Canada hasn’t even really decided if it wants to sell the Accord Plug-In Hybrid in Canada yet. At the moment, it retails in the States for about $40k (with incentives). Right now, you can head to your local Canadian dealer and get a Honda Accord Hybrid for under the $30,000 mark.
But doesn’t the added electric drive mode make it worth it?
You might think so, but with only approximately 20km of electric range available with the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid it becomes less about fuel efficiency and saving the planet and much more about the badge and bragging rights for you when you get to complain about finding parking spots near outlets and how “green” you are.
While I didn’t drive the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid long enough to see proper fuel numbers, Honda claims it should do between 2.0-4.6L/100km. By comparison, I saw numbers in the 2.0L/100km range when I drove the Chevrolet Volt a few years ago.
So, as an electric vehicle, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid isn’t as stellar as it could be. As a hybrid? Mint. However, I’m not sure paying the extra for that added plug is really worth it.
Thankfully, it still drives like a Honda
And that’s what’ll keep it relevant and on the streets. While I was behind the wheel of the Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, I never felt like I was driving anything other than a standard Accord. Of course, when the engine would turn off and full EV mode was engaged things got a bit quieter, but even the reactivation of the engine was smoother than some I’ve felt in the past and much less jittery.
Speaking of engine, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid is equipped with a 2.0L Atkinson cycle i-VTEC 4-cylinder along with a 1.3 kWh HEV battery that offers up a combined power rating of 196 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque.
Throttle response is pleasant in the Accord Plug-In Hybrid, unless you happen to feel the need to press that little green leaf button to the left of the steering wheel. That’ll bog down your throttle response and make sure take-offs are smooth (even if you don’t want them to be) so revs never climb too high and the engine stays in optimal “green” gas-saving mode.
And while I’m normally not a fan of CVTs, I quite like the Honda’s Electronic CVT, almost as much as I like the responsive steering and ride quality.
Inside and out, it’s still a Honda Accord
That’s another winning point for the Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid. While all these manufacturers feel the need to make their hybrids and EVs look “different” (and I use that word loosely and oh-so kindly), Honda kept the Accord Plug-In Hybrid looking exactly like its gas-powered brethren, and that’s mint.
There’s a reason the Honda Accord won our 2014 Auto123.com Midsize Car of the Year, and it wasn’t just about the drive. This is a handsome vehicle outside and in. Comfort up front is fantastic, and there are gobs of room in the rear. Although the battery eats into the trunk space (there’s about 100L less than the non-green version at just 348L), it’s not unusable.
Leave it as a hybrid Honda
My two cents? The Plug-In version isn’t necessary. Being a hybrid is enough to garner the money-saving public’s attention. We all want to pay less for gas, and the Honda Accord Hybrid will do just that, and won’t cost a bomb initially.