2018 Honda Accord Hybrid review: The efficient sedan that does it all, and well

    Gasoline costs should still be comparatively low and customary vehicles’ gasoline effectivity retains rising, however that does not imply there is no motive to contemplate a hybrid. A hybrid powertrain’s power recuperation can add as much as plenty of financial savings on the pump, particularly for drivers who do lots of stop-and-go driving.

    With the 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid, you do not even have to 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 superb function set and class-leading street manners — carry over to the hybrid model. It is an excellent each day driver that additionally occurs to put up incredible 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 gasoline engine, two electrical motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. The gasoline 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 gasoline engine is not linked 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 automotive 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 automotive: No lag, no hesitation, no lurching. It is just about silent when driving in all-electric mode, and nonetheless calm and civilized when the gasoline engine kicks in to supply some help.

    The hybrid has the identical sensible, clear design language of the usual 10th-generation Accord.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    An Econ swap 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 simply’re greatest off simply leaving it to its personal gadgets and ignoring the drive modes.

    You may also modify the extent of regeneration whenever you elevate off the throttle by the use of paddles mounted to the steering wheel. By default the automotive coasts very like a non-hybrid, however pulling the left paddle engages progressively stronger regen. If it fits your driving fashion, that would enhance your effectivity.

    The lone letdown is that the engine makes the identical form of moaning noises when pressed. It jogged my memory of vehicles which have a repeatedly variable transmission. With its revs hovering and hanging when merging onto the freeway, the vocalizations are lower than nice. Happily the engine’s output is muted total, and it is solely underneath onerous acceleration that you will actually discover the strained sounds.

    2018 Honda Accord Hybrid2018 Honda Accord Hybrid

    Honda’s two-motor powertrain slickly combines the outputs of a 2.Zero-liter gasoline engine with electrical drive motors.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    Hybrid benefits

    It is not onerous to recollect the Honda Accord Hybrid’s fuel economy rating: Each trim stage 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 might fluctuate. Driving the best way 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. Nevertheless it’s value noting that is just for the LE trim stage, 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).

    2018 Honda Accord Hybrid2018 Honda Accord Hybrid

    Not solely is the Accord’s cabin roomy, it is well-designed and purposeful.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    As a result of the Accord Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery pack now lives under the rear seats, trunk house is strictly the identical as within the non-hybrid. Meaning a wholesome 16.7 cubic ft of room, simply expandable by reducing the usual 60/40 cut up rear seats. Against this, 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 automotive and driving expertise can also be good as a result of, effectively, it is identical to different 2018 Accords. The Hybrid drives with ease and maturity. Its cabin is remarkably quiet even at velocity, whereas its experience high quality helps me neglect the crumbling state of my native roads. Visibility is often Honda-like, that means unobstructed in each route.

    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 Power Saver A/S rubber — at the least it’s by no means obscure, wallowing or unpredictable. That is, in brief, a automotive that simply does what you inform it to.

    All of the expertise you may need

    The most recent HondaLink infotainment system, on an Eight-inch touchscreen supplemented by bodily quantity, tuning and shortcut buttons, is one of our favorite systems on sale right this moment. (A less-impressive 7-inch display is customary on the bottom mannequin.) Its responses are swift and its graphics crisp. The simple residence menu has daring tiles, whereas a row of shortcuts on the prime of the display permits for issues corresponding to altering audio sources or swapping to the telephone 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 every part from navigation directions to gasoline effectivity within the left-hand aspect of the gauges. My Touring tester additionally contains a Wi-Fi hotspot, wi-fi telephone charging and a shiny, colour head-up show. One other uncommon function is NFC telephone pairing. It is signalled by a small emblem on the passenger aspect of the middle stack. Merely maintain your NFC-equipped telephone as much as the brand and you will get an on-screen immediate to pair with the automotive’s Bluetooth. Cool, sure, however it would not save that a lot time over pairing by the touchscreen — and let’s be sincere, how usually are you actually pairing a brand new telephone to your automotive?

    Honda has accomplished a superb 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, visitors signal recognition and automated 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 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.

    2018 Honda Accord Hybrid2018 Honda Accord Hybrid

    This is without doubt one of the easiest-to-use infotainment techniques you will discover in a brand new automotive.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    How I might spec it

    As beautiful because the loaded-up Touring mannequin is, one of many nice issues concerning the Accord Hybrid is that many of the must-have options — active-safety tech, stellar infotainment system — can be found on extra inexpensive 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 optionally available navigation obtainable on EX-L and above as a result of CarPlay/Android Auto is obtainable. Whereas the Touring’ chrome door handles, head-up show, wi-fi telephone charging and cooled entrance seats are nice-to-haves, I would not essentially improve to that dear trim stage.

    Regardless of which Hybrid you get, the worth premium over an equal customary Accord is greater than cheap: $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 gasoline financial savings will outweigh the additional value 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. Similar to the usual mannequin, that is one essentially 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.

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