2014 Honda Accord PHEV Driven

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Honda Accord Electric Cars

2014 Honda Accord PHEV Driven

Aug 02, 2013

There’s something a little unsettling about driving the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid in all-electric mode. Press the push-button start, and the dash lights up and tells you the car is ready to go. But if you’re waiting for the reassuring grumble of an engine turning over, you’re going to be waiting a long time.

This Accord is riding the wave of the future, and where it’s going, you don’t need (as many) gas pumps.

Is fifteen miles of range enough?


By adopting a sedate driving style and sticking to city streets, where the Accord PHEV can make the most of its regenerative braking capability, it’s fairly easy to drive ten or more miles without engaging the 137-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine (combined with the electric motor, net system output is 141 hp). Still, we eked out a full 15 miles of battery-powered travel just once during our weekend with the Accord.

Driving at high speeds and using climate control will significantly decrease electric driving range. And forget about full-throttle acceleration. The Accord Plug-in can travel in electric mode at speeds of up to 80 mph, but anything other than light acceleration will make the gasoline engine kick in to lend a hand.

For our purposes, the Accord PHEV proved perfect. Our short commute on city streets with a 240-volt charging port at the end of it makes us the ideal customer for a plug-in hybrid. The car charges in just an hour with a 240-volt outlet and three hours with a 120-volt outlet, so by lunchtime the Accord is topped up and ready to go. (The speed of battery charging is the real differentiator in plug-in hybrids and EVs, we’ve found.) Plug it in again after lunch for the drive home, and we’ve gone 24 hours and almost as many miles without a drop of gasoline.

Honda Accord Electric Cars

Plug-in means flexibility

We like plug-in hybrids because the gasoline engine offers flexibility for drivers who sometimes need more range than a fully electric car could offer, just as in our weekend trip to darkest Indiana. Yet the Accord Plug-in is by no means a family road trip car, as we discovered. Why? Two words: trunk space.

Because of the big battery pack, there’s hardly room for a couple of overnight bags back there, so forget about packing a volleyball net or a few bags of groceries. If you’re traveling in the Accord PHEV, you’ll be traveling light.

The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in is good at what it does. It returns truly impressive gas mileage, drives well in the city and on the highway, and makes up for its short battery life with a very quick recharging time. Passengers found the ride smooth and were impressed by the car’s standard technology, like a blind-spot camera that turns on when the right turn signal is engaged.

The Accord PHEV suffers from slightly dorky Look, I’m an EV! styling — those aerodynamic wheels may help fuel economy but they’re not going to help you get a date — but its crimes of fashion aren’t egregious.

Honda Accord Electric Cars
Honda Accord Electric Cars
Honda Accord Electric Cars
Honda Accord Electric Cars
Honda Accord Electric Cars
Honda Accord Electric Cars
Honda Accord Electric Cars

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