Cars

Fuel-Saver Flashback: 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid

The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) sedan was Honda’s one-hit-wonder or, shall we say, “one-year wonder.” Honda released the Accord PHEV right before the regular Accord Hybrid as somewhat of a testbed for the hybrid powertrain. Unfortunately, it didn’t do as well as they hoped. Let’s take a closer look at the Accord Plug-in Hybrid that was quickly unplugged.

History

In the latter part of 2012, Honda announced that they were releasing the Accord Plug-in Hybrid in early 2013, ahead of the standard Accord Hybrid that was going to join the lineup later in the summer.

It was an interesting move by the brand because, typically, automakers release plug-in hybrid models were after the standard hybrids in order to act as an auxiliary option to any prospective buyers. Basically, if consumers were interested in a hybrid, then they might be more interested in a plug-in option that could suit their commute even better, thanks to the EV-only driving capability.

However, this might have backfired as the sales of the Honda Accord PHEV plummeted during the time it was in production. In fact, for that 2014 model year, the highest sales month for the Accord PHEV topped out at 71, while in the slowest month only were sold. Needless to say, in 2015 the Honda gave the Accord PHEV the ax.

Powertrain and Body

The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid was based on the ninth-generation Accord sedan, however, with some modifications. Since the battery pack was big, it took up a lot of the trunk space, only leaving about 8.6 cubic feet of storage area and the inability to fold the rear seatback down. For reference, the current Accord Hybrid cargo area measures in at 16 cubic feet and the rear seat can be folded down.

The powertrain in the Accord PHEV consisted of a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and powered by a lithium-ion 6.7-kWh battery pack. This combination produced 166 horsepower and 226 lb-ft of torque and was able to achieve up 47 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway.

The main highlight of the plug-in model was the ability for it to be driven using the electric motor only and charge times were quick; three hours on a 120-volt charge and about an hour on a 220-volt charger. The real kicker was that it was only good for about 13 miles of all-electric driving range, after that, it switched over to the regular hybrid powertrain.

It is worth it to buy one now?

When the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid was new, it was priced at $40,570. Doing a quick nationwide search on Cargurus reveals Accord Plug-in Hybrid pricing from $11,000 to $16,000, which can vary depending on the condition, location, and mileage.

While the price depreciation does make the car a great deal, we would more likely recommend a pre-owned Accord Hybrid instead. The very short, all-electric range on the Accord PHEV just isn’t worth it and considering the steep residual value drop, you probably wouldn’t get much for it if you wanted to sell the car later on.