The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid will carry an EPA rating of 50 mpg in the city, 45 on the highway and 47 combined — putting the Accord back in the battle among mid-sized sedans over fuel economy.
The 2014 model’s 50 mpg city rating is more than double that of the last Accord Hybrid, which was sold in the 2005-07 model years and was rated at only 24 mpg in the city. The car was discontinued after just three model years.
The new Accord Hybrid’s powertrain uses two electric motors instead of the one used in the previous model; lighter, more powerful lithium ion batteries replace the nickel metal hydride battery pack used on the 2005-07 Accord Hybrid.
Among hybrid mid-sized sedans, the Accord tops the Ford Fusion’s 47 mpg city rating. But both cars carry an identical 47 mpg combined rating. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is EPA rated at 43 mpg city/39 highway and 41 combined.
Volkswagen’s Jetta Hybrid still holds the title of highest highway fuel economy at 48 mpg.
“Even before it hits showrooms this fall, the Accord Hybrid is already surpassing the competition and claiming segment leadership,” Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda, said in a statement.
The mid-sized sedan segment has cooled, with sales rising just 3 percent this year to 1.82 million units through August, while the total U.S. market has gained 10 percent. Competition remains fierce among a slew of recently redesigned models that include the Mazda6, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, and Chevrolet Malibu in addition to the Accord and Camry.
U.S. sales of the Accord have climbed 18 percent this year to 256,926 through August, making it the No. 2 selling car behind the Camry.
Honda says the Accord Hybrid will also be able to travel further on a single tank of fuel — 673 miles — than any other mid-sized family sedan.
The Accord’s high fuel economy rating puts Honda in an awkward situation: the bigger and heavier Accord gets better fuel economy than the smaller and lighter Civic Hybrid.
The Civic Hybrid is rated at 44/44/44. Compact cars usually get higher fuel economy than mid-sized cars.
Honda began producing the Accord Hybrid at a plant in Marysville, Ohio, last week. It goes on sale later this fall. Pricing will be announced at a later date.