We’ve now had the 2014 Honda Accord PHEV for two months, and what a lovely two months it’s been. Over the last couple years, the team here has shared quite a few long-term test vehicles, but none have consistently kept as wide a smile on our faces as this car. No long-term tester has ever been such a favourite pick from the garage for the daily grind.
During our time with the Accord PHEV, we kept a notebook inside the car to log any notes, observations, questions, or complaints that we may have during our time with it. As we get into the conclusion of this long-term test, here are some of the highlights of the test:
- Overall fuel consumption over the two months was 4.5L/100km
- The Accord PHEV has a surprising amount of pick-up-and-go for a plug-in hybrid. The added torque from the electric motor helps the car accelerate from a stop with no nonsense
- “HV Mode”, accessible by the button located just below the gear selector, maximizes use of the gas engine and actually charges the car. It is in this mode that the most fuel is consumed by the Accord, but this negates out as the car charges to fill up its electric range fairly quickly
- When the conventional gas engine is running (even in HV mode), the Accord is still surprisingly quiet. At highway speeds, it is so quiet that you’re actually able to hear whispers or cell phones on “vibrate” mode
- The most range we were able to extract in full EV mode before the gas engine kicked in was 29.8km. This was achieved on an exceptionally warm day and the car was feather-footed to attain this number
- Rear seat occupants are treated to a decent amount of legroom, and were very surprised at the addition of rear heated seats. Despite the lack of a full leather interior, the Accord PHEV’s seats were made of a very pleasant eco-friendly material and were very comfortable and supportive for long jaunts
- The notebook was filled with people asking about Honda’s new LaneWatch camera system. Introduced across the Accord line for the 2013 model year, the system turns on a camera mounted on the bottom of the passenger side mirror when the right turn signal is enabled. This in turn projects a display of everything in your blind spot onto the multimedia screen. It’s a nice touch, but by no means should drivers rely solely on it
- Honda includes a standard 110W charger that plugs into any household outlets to charge the car. It’s important to note that while the side that plugs into the side of the car is reasonably water-resistant, the unit itself is not, and therefore should not be left out in the rain
- Other than the sole “Hybrid” badge on the trunklid, unique wheels, the blacked-out front grille, and the plug port located on the front fender of the car just ahead of the driver’s door, there is nothing indicating that the Accord PHEV is anything special. It’s part of the subtle “blend-in” look that most manufacturers are going for, but we would like to see a bit more
Honda has announced that there are no current plans to bring the 2014 Honda Accord PHEV to the Canadian market. This of course means that the PHEV does not make Ontario’s list of vehicles approved for Green license plates, so our test car was fitted with a regular plate. It’s a shame really, because this is the perfect car for the morning commute, and allowing single-passenger use of the HOV lanes would sweeten the deal even more.
There wasn’t much at all that we didn’t like with the car. For the price point they sell it for in the United States, a few dollars shy of $40,000, we would like to see a sunroof offered. Obviously this addition would increase the overall weight and have a detrimental impact on the efficiency of the car, but it’s a sacrifice that consumers would like the option to be able to make. Many of the Accord’s competitors offer a hybrid in our market (namely the Hyundai Sonata, the Toyota Camry, and the Kia Optima), but other than the Ford Fusion Energi, nobody offers a plug-in in this segment.
I personally am glad that we opted to do a long-term test with the 2014 Honda Accord PHEV – it’s the type of car that’s hard to gauge whether it’s truly viable or justifiable without spending an extended period with. We’re happy we took this time, because we came out of our two months with nothing but compliments about this great midsized sedan – now the only thing we lack is the ability to actually buy it here. Please Honda, give us this one!