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2014 Honda Accord PHEV
Honda's Accord doesn't get class-leading fuel economy, but it's pretty darn close

Honda has revealed the specifications for its all-new 2013 Accord, which features a brand new lineup of "Earth Dreams" engines. The next generation Accord also features fresh styling inside and out and plenty of standard equipment, which marks a vast departure from Honda's typically stingy behavior when it comes to base vehicles.
 
When it comes to powertrains, the highlight is Honda's new 2.4-liter direct injected, four-cylinder engine that generates 185hp. When paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, it's rated at 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway (28 mpg combined). However, opting for Honda's all-new continuously variable transmission (CVT) bumps those numbers to 27 city and 36 mpg highway (30 mpg combined).
 
While those numbers are quite good for a midsizer, they still don't quite match the numbers laid down by the 2013 Nissan Altima (27 mpg city/38 mpg highway).

 
The company's 3.5-liter V6 has also been revised to deliver 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway (25 mpg combined). 
 
Other changes tucked away include a switch to electric power steering to improve fuel efficiency and a switch to a MacPherson-strut front suspension instead of the double wishbone design that has been a hallmark of the Accord. Honda claims that the move to struts improves ride/handling while also reducing interior noise levels.

 2013 Honda Accord Sport

As previously mentioned, base Hondas are typically very spartan machines with few amenities. However, Honda is changing that with the new Accord by including Bluetooth, USB/iPod integration, and a rear-view camera. However, we feel that the last inclusion is more likely due to the government's regulations on rear sight lines than its generosity.
 
Optional equipment that will be available on the 2013 Accord include Smart Entry & Push Button Start, Honda LaneWatch Blind Spot Display, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and LED projector headlights.

 
On one final note, Honda also released a bit of information on the Accord plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The Accord PHEV features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which uses the Atkinson cycle. It generates 137hp and is paired with a 124 kW electric motor (total system power is 196hp) and a 6.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Honda says that the Accord PHEV can travel 10 to 15 miles with a fully charged battery before the gasoline engine has to kick in. Maximum driving range is listed at 500 miles. 

We've also got a few pictures of the Accord PHEV. Let’s just say that it looks… interesting to put it nicely.




2014 Honda Accord PHEV

Sources: Honda, Wall Street Journal



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Cost cutting
By Masospaghetti on 9/5/2012 9:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The company's 3.5-liter V6 has also been revised to deliver 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway (25 mpg combined)


Are you sure the highway number is correct? 34 MPG is way higher than anything else in the segment and the combined number doesn't seem to match the given city/highway pair.

Also, I highly doubt Honda switched to MacPherson struts to "improve ride/handling". It's well established that the double wishbone setup is superior in suspension geometry. Struts, by design, cause a change in camber as the suspension is loaded and unloaded. This is almost certainly just cost-cutting since most folks who buy Accords aren't running them through the slalom.




RE: Cost cutting
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/5/2012 9:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, the V6 highway numbers/combined numbers are correct.
Yes, moving to struts is a cost-saving move. Did you really expect Honda to say that though? ;)


RE: Cost cutting
By robertisaar on 9/5/2012 9:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
interesting that the 2.4 and 3.5 are matched in highway economy then...

and that they're only 2MPG under the CVT.

not that i see myself in a honda anytime soon, but in this instance, why go with the significant power hit and choose anything other than the 3.5?


RE: Cost cutting
By steven975 on 9/5/2012 11:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
I think the 3.5L has cylinder de-activation now.

They had that in the Hybrid V6 model a while ago. A derivation of VTEC actually worked to keep the valves shut, cutting pumping losses when a cylinder bank was shut down.


RE: Cost cutting
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 8:00:46 PM , Rating: 3
Because the vast majority of cars see most of their miles driven in the city.


RE: Cost cutting
By freedom4556 on 9/19/2012 10:29:35 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think that's really true for more than a simple majority of people. The EPA uses a 55/45 percent city/highway split when doing the combined mileage, and do you really think they pulled that number out of their collective asses? I personally put almost all my miles on my car on the highway, and I only commute 25 miles to work one way each day. However, you'd probably be closer to right if you said most cars spend most of their time running in the city.


RE: Cost cutting
By Reclaimer77 on 9/5/2012 1:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Cost cutting
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 7:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, pretty big downgrade going to struts. Pretty much the rest of the industry is on struts though Honda was a hold out and will probably put the accord in Camry class handling.


RE: Cost cutting
By tng1 on 9/9/2012 10:50:35 PM , Rating: 3
Honda has developed a new welding technique. They are welding steel and aluminum for the front subframe. They make the claim of the new technique quoted as "It also enabled a change in the structure of the subframe and the mounting point of suspension, which increased the rigidity of the mounting point by 20% and also contributed to the vehicle’s dynamic performance."
<http://world.honda.com/news/2012/4120906Weld-Toget...
I wonder if this allows the safety of the car to exceed what is possible compared with the double wishbone.
Honda claimed safety reasons when Honda did away with double wishbone on the Civic.


WHAT?!!!!!!
By Pneumothorax on 9/5/2012 10:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
a switch to a MacPherson-strut front suspension instead of the double wishbone design that has been a hallmark of the Accord. Honda claims that the move to struts improves ride/handling while also reducing interior noise levels.


More marketing speak BS. You will give up handling limitations to going to this cheaper implementation. One of the key differentiators between the Accord and the rest is the more advanced DWB suspension. Before the , buh buh BMW has STRUTS! comments come in, it's quite different when you don't have to power/steer the same set of wheels. More cost-cutting by Honda's bean-counters that should be taken out and shot.




RE: WHAT?!!!!!!
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 8:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, kind of sad to see honda shorting on the engineering side. This is what honda used to be all about.


RE: WHAT?!!!!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 9/5/2012 8:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's not like people take their Accord's to the track or something. All this outrage over switching to struts is kind of misplaced in my opinion.

If we were talking an exotic car, absolutely. But Honda's? Nobody's going to know the difference.


Too much bloat
By 91TTZ on 9/5/2012 10:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
With all the talk about fuel economy nowadays and how automakers are focusing on how to get better MPG, I'd just like to drop this here:

http://www.mpgomatic.com/2007/10/09/1982-a-banner-...

You might wonder why cars back then got such good gas mileage (the rating system was different but they still were very fuel efficient). It turns out that the average fuel economy of cars simply follows fuel prices, driven by customer demand. When gas is over $3 a gallon people want more efficient cars.

http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/images/charts/O...

Once gas got cheaper again cars became much larger, much heavier, much more powerful, and all around much more bloated.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/26683.shtm...

The accord got the same average fuel economy almost 30 years ago. I know the accord might be a bad example because it's gotten so large, but check out the Mazda 2:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2012_Mazda_...

Compare that to their old Mazda GLC which was basically the same thing back in 1984:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/26706.shtm...




RE: Too much bloat
By Spuke on 9/5/2012 12:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
Like you said, cars are so much heavier now due to the added safety and emissions equipment. There is a push to make them lighter (supposedly the new Golf is 220 lbs lighter) but it will come at a cost. I also see the lightning as a slow process because there WILL be more safety and emissions equipment added, not less, for the foreseeable future.


RE: Too much bloat
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 7:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I bet the current civic is probably about the same size as the early 80's accord. Seems like car size wouldn't change much, once its big enough to comfortably seat 4 full size adults/maybe 5 in a pinch why go bigger?


Welcome to 2012 Honda...
By Apone on 9/5/2012 11:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
So the 2013 Honda Accord is going to have direct-injection and an optional CVT transmission? Wow Honda, because those technologies haven't been widely-adopted within the last 7-10 years or anything...Better late than never right?...




RE: Welcome to 2012 Honda...
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 8:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
Were you expecting Mr Fusion and hover mode?


RE: Welcome to 2012 Honda...
By fsd on 10/4/2012 12:11:24 AM , Rating: 2
They actually released DI engines in some Asian vehicle markets many years ago, around 7-10 years. They have videos of the engine animation too. Apparently they choose to spend time refining the DI and CVT technologies for this release. All reviews of their CVT indicate it's more impressive than others on the market.


honda
By Richard875yh5 on 9/5/2012 8:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
With a CVT it should be better gas mileage than 36 MPG. That's because with a CVT, the engine can be kept in it's sweet-spot thus giving it better gas mileage than with a conventional trans.




RE: honda
By jeffkro on 9/6/2012 1:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
Helps more with city driving than highway. Most cars are running pretty optimal running down the interstate.


RE: honda
By fsd on 10/4/2012 12:18:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not 100% sure, but I had thought I read they wanted the CVT to be smooth and responsive and put a little more priority on that over pure MPG. Altima gets higher MPG rating, but most comments on it's CVT are not positive.


They don't make them like they used to
By Rage187 on 9/5/2012 12:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
The 8th gen civic was their good last car. I've bought 5 brand new Hondas in the last 5 years and those were the only ones worth their salt.

07 Civic EX
07 Civic EX
08 Fit Sport
10 Civic EX-L
10 CRV EX-L

My CRV is too heavy and the engine too underpowered. I will not buy another crossover vehicle without either a turbo or V6.

All their new cars have been a bust. CR-Z, overpriced, unpowered and bad MPG. New Civic, over priced, ugly interior and change in engine for the last 8 years. The hybrids are awful too. Civic hybrid? Overpriced, horrible MPG and battery life. Insight? Overpriced, horrible MPG and it is fugly.

Honda has lost whatever playbook they had.




By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 8:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not my cup of tea, but the new CRV is getting extremely high reviews. But yeah Honda hasn't really hit it with several of their models in my book.

Duds
Ridgline
Pilot

Nissan has done a better job of making "desirable" cars and sales have reflected it.


Plug-in styling
By BernardP on 9/5/2012 8:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
Although the regular version looks OK, one has to wonder why Honda decided to copy the 10-year-old Volkswagen "uniframe" grille (aka "bib") for the front end of the plug-in version.




An after thought
By Dr of crap on 9/5/12, Rating: -1
RE: An after thought
By silverblue on 9/5/2012 8:53:34 AM , Rating: 1
Not only that, but 185bhp is rather unimpressive for a 2.4l 4cyl engine. Sure, it's no turbo, but still...


RE: An after thought
By steven975 on 9/5/2012 11:20:28 AM , Rating: 4
In this *segment* (meaning tuned for broad torque and high mileage), it's actually pretty good. Most others are in the 160-170hp ballpark. This one adds DI, and thus probably a higher comp ratio. Using a true DOHC VTEC head (not the econo-VTEC they use now) this could be a capable motor.

Honda's had a 2.4L engine that makes 200HP for almost 10 years now from the TSX and current Si. AFAIK, that's unmatched in the 2.4L category. Also, no one has matched their 2.0L 240HP offering that came out 13 years ago...and while many blast it for torque, it makes more than any other (non FI) 2.0L I've ever seen.


RE: An after thought
By silverblue on 9/5/2012 12:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose you're right. Guess I'm more used to smaller (diesel) cars! :P


RE: An after thought
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 7:18:49 PM , Rating: 2
The 4cyl Honda accord is built for ultimate reliability and practicality, not really for performance. 185HP and 27-34mpg in a car this size is excellent in my estimation, better than a lot of economy cars. Who wouldn't prefer driving a nicely equipped accord over a mazda 3 or Toyota carolla?


RE: An after thought
By Alexvrb on 9/5/2012 10:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
Those older Honda motors you are talking about weren't really all that efficient, so they wouldn't be welcome in a 4 cyl Accord. Also it wasn't just "not enough torque", as in peak torque as a target number. Their power curves were not so hot. This new 2.4L is a much more balanced engine designed to provide good-enough power at all times, not just WOT at high RPMs. If it was a small sports car with a stick, then it wouldn't matter quite as much.


RE: An after thought
By Marlin1975 on 9/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: An after thought
By NellyFromMA on 9/5/2012 9:48:01 AM , Rating: 1
I couldn't agree more. I'm a huge fan of 90 - 03 depending on the model but everything in the passed 10-13 years has been awful. Just bring the Honda Integra already.

Honestly though, Japan's economy went through a huge period of inflation I believe and they just couldn't offer up the deals they once had.

It's not that Honda's are overpriced or under performing it's just they aren't bargains by any means. And they're so ugly...

Also, CVT for the fail?!?


RE: An after thought
By GulWestfale on 9/5/2012 10:46:58 AM , Rating: 2
That design looks like a copy if a hyundai genesis sedan with some acura ugliness mixed in. But at least it's not as boring as a camry.


RE: An after thought
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/5/2012 10:47:32 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, the whole rear (including the taillight shape) is a complete rip of the Genesis sedan.


RE: An after thought
By GulWestfale on 9/5/2012 10:59:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah the Japanese have moved on from copying Europeans to copying Koreans.


RE: An after thought
By bah12 on 9/5/2012 11:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
What is really strange is the Koreans clearly copied the Japanese early on. Oh how the tables have turned. Never thought I'd agree that a Honda looked too much like a Hyundai. :)


RE: An after thought
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 7:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
Kia hired a German designer to sculpt the optima, which came out as one of the best looking cars in my book. So,not Japanese or Korean.


RE: An after thought
By fsd on 10/4/2012 12:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
I see it as a more modernized version of the 98-02 Accord. That model was boxy and with flat large light lens areas. This 2013 is rounded out boxy with smoothed out lens areas. The biggest trick was they maintained a fairly large interior space on this model (about 1-2 cubic foot less interior/trunk space, but a few inches shorter than the last model).


RE: An after thought
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 7:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
I worked at a Nissan dealership for a while, so was around CVT's a lot. I personally like how they drive and they didn't seem to have a reliability problem, and gave a huge boost to mileage. So what is your objection to them?


RE: An after thought
By Samus on 9/6/2012 12:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
Bring back the Prelude, the S2000 and a non-hybrid CRZ, all with a 6-speed, and you'll capture the young audience again, Honda.

Until then, they'll all just buy Scion, Hyundai, VW and Ford.


RE: An after thought
By corduroygt on 9/5/2012 11:06:16 AM , Rating: 2
Don't get the hate this Accord is getting. Its looks are third behind the visibility-challenged Fusion and the excellent Passat, and it'll be more reliable than either of them. Camry, Altima, Koreans don't look any better than this Accord.

Not a bad choice for a family car.


RE: An after thought
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/5/2012 1:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
The regular sedan looks handsome. It's the PHEV that looks like it got beat with an ugly stick, pushed down two flights of stairs, then puked on by Lardass from "Stand by Me"


RE: An after thought
By GulWestfale on 9/5/2012 6:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
the hyundai sonata is in my humble the best-looking car in this class by faaaaar.


RE: An after thought
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 7:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
yup my looks rating

1 Fusion
2 Optima
3 Passat
4 2013 accord
5 2011 altima - not big on the brand new one

Still, I love Honda reliability and you can't just go on looks.


RE: An after thought
By Jeffk464 on 9/5/2012 7:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
Oh thank god, saw that first picture and nearly lost my lunch. What an eye sore, the rest of the photos look good, conservative in accord fashion but good.


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