2015 Honda Accord Hybrid Review
The all-new 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid offers a mixed bag of goodies for buyers looking for an energy-efficient midsize sedan. The key highlights of this vehicle include the spacious interior, quiet cabin, full hybrid system, and engaging driving dynamics.
The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid features a 16-valve 141-horsepower I-VTEC DOHC (dual overhead camshaft) 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle inline four-cylinder engine augmented by a 166-horsepower AC permanent-magnet electric-drive motor. Two motors (generator motor and electric drive motor) directly serve as a transmission (one-speed, direct-drive transmission). The engine can achieve a torque of 122 lb-ft at 3,500 RPM. The drivetrain is front-wheel drive. In addition, the new hybrid employs a much smaller and lightweight 1.3-kW battery unit, which cedes about 200 lbs of the vehicle’s tare weight and offers an extra 4.1 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk.
Technically, the new Accord Hybrid doesn’t have a transmission. Instead it creates a virtual continuously variable transmission through a system of two motors that directly serve as the transmission, doing away with the drive clutch, torque converter, pulleys, and belts.
The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid offers three propulsion modes: electric, gasoline, and gasoline plus electric.
- Electric drive: Upon startup, the Accord runs on an electric-only mode; the power stored in the lithium-ion battery drives the vehicle’s front wheels via the electric drive motor. However, the battery’s limited energy storage capacity makes the all-electric propulsion suitable only for short-distance and lower-speed driving.
- Gas-plus-electric (hybrid) drive: If you step on the accelerator firmly, the engine kicks on. However, the gas engine remains decoupled (i.e., the engine and drive wheels have no mechanical connection until a speed of 43 mph or more is achieved). In principle, the hybrid propulsion mode is still all electrical, with the only distinction that the gasoline engine is running, turning the generator motor to facilitate battery charging and at the same time providing on-board electric propulsion energy.
- Gasoline/engine drive: On achieving highway speeds (43 mph and over), the electric drive motor and generator motor are connected via the lock-up clutch, channeling the engine’s propulsion power directly to the front wheels. In this case, only the gasoline engine is propelling the car and charging the battery.
The new Accord Hybrid comes with a state-of-the-art infotainment display, which allows for different phone and audio options. These include a 6-inch touchscreen display with HondaLink smartphone app integration, Adaptive Cruise Control, navigation, Lane Departure and Forward Collision Warning, a rearview camera, satellite radio, a passenger-side blind spot camera, hands-free text messaging, Pandora Internet radio compatibility, USB input, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Bluetooth. The lower trims come with a standard 6-inch touchscreen display, with much of the conventional buttons remaining untouched. The higher trims, however, offer a new 8-inch infotainment touchscreen display without the conventional buttons.
Honda has used a variety of high-quality materials to build the Accord Hybrid’s interior. In addition, the car design gives both the driver and passengers excellent outward visibility. Other than that, the interior is visually appealing, spacious, and well built. The roomy backseat makes the car comfortable, even for tall passengers. The car comes with an appropriately sized trunk but doesn’t allow you to increase cargo space, which is usually achieved by folding the rear seats.
The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid offers comfort and engaging driving dynamics. The jounce and rebound response offered by the amplitude-reactive shocks ensures the suspension is stiff enough for hustling over back roads but soft enough for heading around town. In addition, the car comes with electrically assisted brakes, perfectly re-engineered to offer easy-to-modulate but crisp top-of-pedal response.