We took a road trip with the all-new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring through the mountains of Colorado for a good test of this new hybrid model from Honda. We encountered a number of unique things along the way that made it an interesting trip. If you live at altitude, you know the weather can change in an instant. That’s what we encountered as we headed west over Vail pass on our way to Glenwood Springs for a long weekend.
What’s new for 2014?
A new hybrid version joins the newly redesigned Accord lineup for 2014. The Honda Accord Hybrid Touring ($34,905) we tested is all-new. For 2014, the all-new Accord Hybrid sedan joins the lineup boasting an EPA-estimated 50 mpg city rating from a smooth, advanced two-motor gas-electric hybrid powertrain.
As we headed out for the long weekend to spend time in the resort town of Glenwood Springs, we climbed aboard the new 2014 Honda Hybrid Touring and found the cabin to be comfortable, functional, and attractive. There was plenty of room in the large truck for our suitcases and gear we took for the trip. The front seats proved comfortable and supportive and offered different degrees of adjustability, and along with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel it provided the perfect driving position for the three-hour trip.
This hybrid tester was well equipped with cloth upholstery, dual-temperature climate control, rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB port, split-element driver-side mirror, 8-inch display, Pandora, SMS text messaging, automatic headlamps, active noise cancellation, variable intermittent wipers,and AM/FM/CD/aux 160-watt stereo with speed-sensitive volume.
Honda Accord Hybrid on the road
Heading onto I-70 West, we could feel the gasoline-electric two-motor hybrid system. The Accord Hybrid seamlessly blends electric-only drive, gas-engine drive, and a combination of the two. The result is excellent fuel economy and smooth cruising on the highway. Accord Hybrid is EPA-rated at 50/45 mpg city/highway. The hybrid system works like any other car, you simply fill it with gas and go about your life.
On the trip, we were enjoying the comfortable ride on I-70 and began heading up Vail pass as we passed Copper Mountain ski resort. We could see some snow clouds ahead, but knew we had front-wheel-drive and goods tires on the tester. But as we approached the summit at 10,500 feet, we encountered a blinding snow storm. We continued on slowly until we saw traffic stopped up ahead. The Colorado State Patrol had just closed the interstate due to a multi-car accident up ahead. We could see tow-trucks passing us on the shoulder as they tried to get to the wrecks ahead.
Accord Hybrid is stingy on fuel
We sat for 90 minutes as the wreckers cleared the road, and we experienced the advantage of the hybrid system at work. It was 27 degrees outside and we left the car running with the heater on. The gas/electric system cycled from gas to electric and kept the car nice and warm as we sat and waited. But we hardly used any fuel because the engine would kick on for just a short time and then went back to fully electric mode. Under normal conditions the hybrid model offers a range of 673 miles. We got excellent mileage with the tester even with sitting for 90 minutes with the car running the whole time.
The gasoline engine and the electric motors kicked in and out so seamlessly that we could barely detect the transition. But after the long wait, we were on our way over a very icy and slick road heading down the other side of the pass. The Honda Accord hybrid with front-drive did exceptionally well in the adverse conditions. On the winding highway we could feel the regenerative braking that changes the driving character a bit. It was very handy on the winding mountain pass because it engages the regenerative braking more and slows the car on downhills when you take your foot off the accelerator.
After we got down the pass, we were thrilled to see we had barely used any fuel. The rest of the trip was a joy as the roads were just wet and the Accord hybrid was smooth, easy to operate and enjoyable to drive. The cabin was comfortable and the ride was relaxing.
On the way back home after a relaxing time in the Glenwood hot springs pool, the trip was uneventful under bright sunny skies. The Accord is arguably one of the best midsize sedans available in a crowded field. Overall, the Accord Hybrid is a very enjoyable car to drive and would be easy to live with. Choose the hybrid and you will get excellent fuel mileage.
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