Honda Aims Hybrid Resurgence at 50 mpg Accord

Detroit Free Press

Hon­da Motors plans a gaso­line-elec­tric line­up over­haul start­ing with a 2014 Accord Hybrid flag­ship sedan rat­ed at 50 mpg that goes on sale Octo­ber 31.

Find out more about the Accord Hybrid and rivals from Ford and Toy­ota.

Hon­da plans a gaso­line-elec­tric line­up over­haul start­ing with an Accord Hybrid it says tops Toy­ota and Ford sedans as it seeks rel­e­van­cy in the seg­ment.

The 2014 ver­sion of Honda’s flag­ship sedan goes on sale Oct. 31, with a base price that’s com­pa­ra­ble with a V6 engine ver­sion of the Accord and rat­ed as get­ting 50 m.p.g. in city dri­ving. That’s just the start, said John Mendel, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the U.S. unit.

Hon­da needs bet­ter-sell­ing hybrids. Cur­rent mod­els, includ­ing the Insight hatch­back, CR-Z coupe and a ver­sion of the Civic, gen­er­ate a frac­tion of Prius deliv­er­ies. Honda’s Insight beat the Toy­ota hybrid to the U.S. by about six months. Yet the com­pa­ny that led U.S. fuel econ­o­my rank­ing for years stum­bled in design­ing a com­pelling chal­lenger to Prius.

“Accord is a great place for us to stop the sci­ence exper­i­ments and real­ly make a name for our hybrids,” Mendel said in an inter­view in San Anto­nio last week. “We’re known for fuel econ­o­my, but in hybrids, it’s about rel­e­vance and vol­ume. We think Accord can do that.”

The Accord Hybrid’s label rat­ing, a com­bined 47 m.p.g. in city and high­way dri­ving based on U.S. gov­ern­ment tests, ranks it behind only Prius, a mid­size car that aver­ages 51 m.p.g. in the city, 48 m.p.g. on the high­way and 50 m.p.g. com­bined, the best of any non-recharge­able vehi­cle in the U.S.

While Ford’s Fusion hybrid is also rat­ed 47 m.p.g. com­bined, Ford faces law­suits claim­ing the car’s mileage is over­stat­ed. Toyota’s hybrid Cam­ry aver­ages a com­bined 41 m.p.g.

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