The main reason that anyone shops for a hybrid car is to obtain outstanding fuel economy during their daily commute. But what if the hybrid that you buy doesn’t achieve anywhere near what the manufacturer claims? If it’s a new car, then there’s a possibility that something is wrong and it will qualify for a warranty claim or perhaps cause a recall. However, for a used hybrid car, you would be out of luck. In case you might be shopping for a hybrid, and more specifically a Honda Accord Hybrid, here is the one model year that you should avoid.
Not all hybrids are created equal
Honda has made a few different iterations of the Accord Hybrid in the past. From 2006 to 2007, Honda’s first foray in making an Accord Hybrid was through using their existing V6 engine in combination with an electric motor to obtain 253 horsepower and 30 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway.
That was a big step for the brand as they only offered a Civic Hybrid and the Insight before that. However, in 2014, the brand decided to reintroduce the long-awaited Accord Hybrid as being even more efficient thanks to the combination of a 2.0-liter engine and an electric motor that produced a combined 195 horsepower and was able to achieve an estimated 50 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway.
As you can imagine, those fuel economy ratings were staggering at the time and while the 2014 Accord Hybrid went on sale after the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, it overshadowed it by a long shot as there was no need to plug it in to get such stellar numbers. The only issue was that the Accord Hybrid didn’t hit those numbers, as Consumer Reports was quick to point out at the time. As such, we recommend avoiding the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid if you happen to be in the market.
Consumer Reports wasn’t alone in finding the flaw
When Consumer Reports tests car, they typically put them through rigorous testing procedures in order to ensure their proposed quality and manufacturer claims. When they tested the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, they found that they were only able to achieve 40 mpg in combined driving. While admitting that the rating was still “impressive,” it was still shy of the project 47 mpg rating from Honda.
In addition to the reduced fuel economy rating, Consumer Reports also found the Accord Hybrid’s ride to be “choppy” and it “becomes fatiguing.” Ride quality aside, they weren’t alone in discovering the Accord Hybrid’s dismal economy ratings. A check on Carcomplaints.com reveals several complaints on the same issue.
There are currently eight different complaints from actual owners stating that their Accord Hybrid didn’t achieve close to the projected fuel economy ratings. Many of the owners reported real-world findings of around 35 to 38 mpg overall and were disappointed when Honda technicians couldn’t give them real reasons as to why their cars weren’t as efficient as advertised. One owner was even told to use “top tier” gasoline!
There’s a recall as well
In addition to the poor mileage claims, there was also a recall issued for 2014 to 2015 Accord Hybrids. The recall states that “electrical interference may cause the hybrid system to switch into ‘fail-safe mode,’ disabling the gasoline engine, limiting the vehicle’s speed to 40 mph and functioning on battery power only.” While Honda had a fix for the issue, that’s definitely a major recall for any 2014 Accord Hybrid owner or prospective buyer to be mindful of.
Just stay away
While there might be some “diamonds in the rough” when shopping for a 2014 to 2015 Accord Hybrid, we suggest staying away altogether. You can currently find one of the newer models (2018-2019) for a good price, and considering their updated technology and lower mileage, they could prove to be a much better value.