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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Long-Term Update 6

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/12/2015 Benson Kong, Motor Trend Staff

We've engaged in discourse covering what it's like to live with a Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, from the acceleration to the cabin execution to (my personal favorite topic) fuel economy. There hasn't been much to dislike. If I chose two items to be addressed, I'd want smarter adaptive cruise control and a softer rear center seat. I know, I know, because the topline Touring trim makes up about a quarter of Accord Hybrid sales, my desired faster-reacting adaptive cruise is such a 25-percenter need.

In fact, the missus claims I have a hard time conversing about the Accord Hybrid without wearing rose-tinted eyewear, which I of course deny. This update will be a catchall for the odds and ends from our loan then, curated to highlight lingering details that owners may have. According to Honda, the current Accord Hybrid customer averages into a 40- to 60-year-old professional or engineer type. Welcome, everyone.

The engine is turning on but the "EV" indicator is lit up on the instrument cluster.

Owners driving in hillier areas may hear the engine turning while the car signals it's in EV mode. It's by design, says Honda:

"When driving downhill on steeper grades and depending upon battery charge need, the electric generating motor [one of the two motors in the two-motor hybrid powertrain] provides resistance to help control the downhill speed while it charges the battery in regeneration mode. If the battery is fully charged, and therefore regeneration is not required, the gasoline engine is coupled to provide compression (engine) braking. When this occurs, the gasoline engine is not using any fuel and therefore the EV lamp turns on."

The ledge space directly in front of the topmost center-stack display is large enough to support this 76-ounce Ziploc container© Provided by MotorTrend The ledge space directly in front of the topmost center-stack display is large enough to support this 76-ounce Ziploc container The radiator fan is loud.

With just one fan to move air through the radiator and air-conditioning condenser, it races when A/C is requested on days 90 degrees and hotter. The fan can only be heard when the sedan is stationary. Non-Hybrid Accords have two fans over the radiator.

Does the engine braking sometimes vanish?

Testing director Kim Reynolds has driven pretty much every mainstream hybrid since the first Prius and has deemed the Accord Hybrid impressive. That said, his main objection centers around a random surging characteristic on the highway. When lifting off the gas pedal in Engine Drive, which should allow for re-entry into EV Drive, the ever so slight gap in time between the 2.0-liter inline-four shutting off and the electric drive motor taking control of the front wheels momentarily makes the drive feel like the transmission is in neutral with less deceleration than expected. Using cruise control mitigates the surging.

© Provided by MotorTrendThere's an odd electric motor noise.

Hybrids produce different noises from their conventionally powered brethren, but we're looking into a sound that surfaced when the 30,000-mile mark was crossed. When driving in EV or Hybrid Drive modes with sufficient battery charge, what sounds like the electric motor has begun generating a high-pitched whine that only lasts for about a second. It sort of impersonates the shriek of straight-cut gears, except nowhere near as shrill or long lasting. The e-motor must be able to accelerate the car without too much engine help or else the engine noise will drown out the motor. Stay tuned to learn if my ears have gone haywire.

More on our long-term 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring:

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