The 1970s brought disco music, Star Wars, and the age of Atari to the masses. The 1970s also saw the release of the Honda Accord–one of the most revered sedans ever created. Of course, nearly everything is different now than it was fifty years ago, and yes, the 1970s were fifty years ago. The goal of this article isn’t to make anyone feel old per-say, but it’s difficult to deny some vehicles have been on the market for seemingly a lifetime. Today’s focus is related to the Accord, but it isn’t quite the same. You see, thirty years after the release of the Accord, a hybrid variant was introduced, and nobody could have possibly imagined just how capable the 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid would become.
When the Honda Accord Hybrid was introduced, traditional gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles still dominated the scene. Hybrid vehicles, with their promise of exceptional fuel efficiency, were acknowledged by the masses as a potential alternative in the future. The keyword there is “future,” which we just so happen to be experiencing this very moment. Nowadays, hybrid vehicles don’t require as many concessions, and the Accord Hybrid makes this clear with comparable performance but far greater fuel efficiency than its non-hybrid Accord counterpart. That’s what we’ll be discussing today, and we’ll take a closer look at what makes the Accord Hybrid tick.
The Hybrid Powertrain
As you’d imagine, the main difference between the Accord and the Accord Hybrid is, well, its hybrid powertrain. For reference, the regular Accord can be fitted with one of two turbocharged engines: a 1.5L I-4 or a 2.0L I-4. Inside of the Accord Hybrid is a non-turbocharged 2.0L I-4 engine, but this engine is paired with two electric motors to improve its performance and save on fuel. The hybrid powertrain inside of the Accord Hybrid includes a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone with a history of driving vehicles of this class.
The 2.0L I-4 hybrid powertrain was present in last year’s Accord Hybrid, and this year we see the same 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. It’s worth noting this will actually give you better performance than the base powertrain in the regular Accord with its turbocharged 1.5L I-4 engine. That powertrain creates 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, also comes paired with a CVT, and is available at a slightly lower cost. Because of the performance increase, you can expect better performance if spring for the hybrid when you’re purchasing your 2022 Accord. This can be seen as an incentive to take the plunge into the world of hybrid automobiles.
Of course, the real benefit to the driver when it comes to hybrids is in fuel efficiency. The advantages of not having to seek out a gas station nearly every day will save you both time and money. With a hybrid, you don’t have to get too chummy with the store clerks because they won’t be seeing you as often. Alright, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
The base 1.5L turbocharged powertrain for the Accord has EPA-estimated ratings of 30 MPG city and 38 MPG highway. The fuel economy decreases to 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway when you opt for the stronger 2.0L turbocharged engine. The Accord Hybrid, on the other hand, gets EPA-estimated ratings of 48 MPG city and 47 MPG highway. It goes without saying, but this is phenomenal for any automobile, hybrid or not. This is as good a moment as any to mention that the regular Accord already performs exceptionally when it comes to fuel economy, which further solidifies the Accord Hybrid’s place within the lineup as an alternative, not a concession.
The earliest hybrid models felt ahead of the curve in a few ways beyond the powertrains they used. Technology has always had a significant say in a hybrid’s success, and that’s because monitoring the components of the vehicle is fundamental, which requires a slew of modern tech. This trend has carried over to most current hybrids on the market, and the 2022 Accord Hybrid is no exception. There are a couple of features exclusively designed for Honda’s hybrid not found on the regular Accord model, the first of which is a selection between three drive modes.
When driving your Accord Hybrid, three buttons can be found under the shifter, and these buttons will be listed “ECON,” “Sport,” and “EV.” If you want a driving experience more reminiscent of the punchy nature of the regular Accord, then putting your Accord Hybrid into Sport mode will sharpen handling and response. This driving mode gives you the best of both worlds, but at the cost of fuel efficiency.
On the other hand, if you want to keep your fuel going as long as possible, then switching on the ECON mode will relax the engine response and moderate climate control to reduce fuel burn. However, if you prefer to travel without using any gasoline at all, then switching EV mode on will use the electric motors without the engine being utilized at all. Understandably, this drive mode offers the least amount of performance but can be useful in situations that call for it, such as when you have to be mindful of the fuel you’re burning between fill-ups.
Another piece of tech that helps hybrid owners gauge their vehicle’s vitals is the Hybrid Driver Information Interface, which you’ll find inside of your Accord Hybrid. Appearing on the giant display on your dashboard, you can monitor your average fuel economy ratings in real-time, and you’ll have a visualization of how many miles you can travel before you need to refill the vehicle. This revolutionizes the age-old fuel gauge on the odometer, although that’s still present, of course.
Times Are Changing
Times are changing. The reasons why you should purchase a hybrid vehicle keep gaining momentum, and every year the value to performance proposition becomes harder to ignore. Purchasing a new vehicle is a giant investment; we completely understand that. Because of this, it’s understandable why you may be a bit wary of purchasing your first hybrid vehicle from a brand new lot. You don’t have anything to worry about–the 2022 Accord Hybrid will feel both new and familiar. Everything Honda has become so well known for can be found in this hybrid: phenomenal reliability, ample performance, and a modern design.
It’s not only when you look at Honda’s lineup where the Accord Hybrid shines bright, but compared to other hybrids on the market, the Accord Hybrid is doing a fantastic job at keeping up with the competition. Manufacturers from around the globe have begun producing hybrids and electric vehicles, and this keeps the industry feeling fresh, giving engineers a constant goal to achieve the next best thing. Hybrids are safer for the environment, which was the ideology that kickstarted hybrid models and remains the best benefit of the technology. Nowadays, however, hybrids not only emit far fewer harmful emissions into the air, but they don’t lose any functionality or performance. If you’re convinced a sedan is what you want, then why not spring for a vehicle with the future in mind?