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2015 Honda Accord Hybrid REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: Smallish trunk lacks depth and a fold-down seat feature; intrusive engine noise at times.

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Interior: With a few exceptions, the materials in the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid have a high-quality look and feel. The overall design is elegant, and the cabin's tight construction gives a much stronger impression than you'd expect from a workaday family car.

At the top of the dash is the 8-inch display that offers varying levels of information and, depending on the trim level, audio and navigation interfaces. Below that, the base version has simple but effective audio controls, but the EX-L and Touring get a touchscreen interface (in addition to the top display) that relocates the controller knob underneath the climate controls. The touchscreen is sleeker-looking, but you lose the traditional tactile buttons, and the menu structure can be confusing or needlessly complicated at times. This is a sentiment shared by many current owners.

Occupants in both the front and the rear will find plenty of legroom and shoulder room. The backseat is one of the best in this class due to its combination of space and comfort. Road and tire noise are noticeably low, thanks in part to active noise-cancellation systems. We're also fond of the clear outward visibility afforded by the fairly low beltline, relatively slim roof pillars and generous amount of glass -- all traits that are increasingly rare in modern automobiles. As a downside, though, we've found the Accord's front seats less comfortable on long drives than others in this segment.

The only other negative worth mentioning is the Accord Hybrid's rather skimpy 12.7-cubic-foot trunk. It's only 3 cubic feet smaller than nonhybrid Accord sedans, but it's not shaped for optimum usefulness. And it's also unfortunate that there's no fold-down or pass-through functionality built into the rear seat to improve utility. If you think you'll have to frequently carry long cargo items, the Fusion Hybrid or Camry Hybrid might be better choices because of their folding rear seats.

Body: The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid sedan is available in three trim levels: base, EX-L and Touring. The plug-in version of the car, the Accord Hybrid Plug-In, is reviewed separately.

The EX comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, full power accessories, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, an 8-inch video display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot display (a camera vision of the car's right side pops up in the central display when the right turn signal is engaged), cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB audio interface and Pandora functionality.

With the Accord Hybrid EX-L you'll also get a sunroof, leather upholstery, forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems, a more sophisticated rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver memory settings, heated front seats, a four-way power passenger seat and a premium seven-speaker sound system with its own 6-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio and smartphone app integration (HondaLink).

The Accord Hybrid's top-level Touring trim has all of the above, plus LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and a navigation system with voice recognition.

Driving: With its strong electric motor and gasoline engine working together, the 2015 Accord Hybrid accelerates briskly for a nonluxury-brand hybrid. The CVT also works very well and allows the powertrain to quickly respond to your gas pedal inputs. However, the Accord Hybrid's engine makes more noticeable noises than its competitors' do -- especially the Fusion Hybrid. Accelerating briskly or tackling a long highway grade causes the engine to drone quite noisily.

We do like how the 2015 Accord Hybrid strikes a near-perfect balance between a supple ride and engaging handling. It's well-balanced around turns and the steering gives you a decent feel of the road.

What’s New: The Honda Accord Hybrid is unchanged for 2015.

The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor. Together, they can send as much as 196 horsepower to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). In Edmunds performance testing, an Accord Hybrid accelerated from 0-to-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, making it one of the quickest non-luxury hybrids on the road.

The EPA rates the 2015 Accord Hybrid at a combined 47 mpg (50 mpg city/45 mpg highway). In extensive Edmunds fuel economy testing, we've effectively verified these numbers.

Safety: The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid comes with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, blind-spot monitoring (LaneWatch) and a rearview camera as standard. Lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems come with the EX-L and Touring trim levels.

The LaneWatch blind-spot system instantly switches the 8-inch screen's display to a low, wide view of the passenger side of the car when the right turn signal is engaged. A camera in the side mirror provides the confidence-inspiring view; learning to snatch a glimpse in the center-dash display while preparing to turn in that direction is quick and natural.

In government crash testing, the 2015 Accord Hybrid earned five out of five stars for overall protection. It received four out of five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars in the side-impact tests. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the conventionally-powered Accord sedan the best possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset and small-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. The Accord also earned a "Good" rating in the side-impact, roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.

Pro: Excellent fuel economy; strong acceleration; roomy and high-quality interior; responsive handling; user-friendly interior controls.

Edmunds Say: Honda fields a true all-star midsize hybrid sedan with its 2015 Accord Hybrid. The Hybrid offers all of the advantages of the regular Accord along with 47 mpg fuel economy.

Introduction: Not long ago, if you wanted hybrid-grade fuel efficiency -- i.e., 40-plus miles per gallon in combined fuel economy -- you had to make some substantial sacrifices in the size, comfort or power of your vehicle. Honda has made those trade-offs a thing of the past. With the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid, you give up virtually nothing in return for its outstanding fuel economy rating of 47 mpg. The Accord Hybrid doesn't even cost that much more than the gasoline-only model.

First and foremost, you don't have to jam the family into some too-small or goofy-looking hatchback. The 2015 Accord Hybrid is a ridiculously roomy midsize sedan in which five people can comfortably travel. And should you not necessarily want a lot of undue attention, the Accord Hybrid is just as discreetly handsome as every other Accord in the lineup.

There's pretty substantial power available when the gasoline engine and electric motor team up to deal out 196 horsepower, yet if you drive a lot in the city or suburbs, you can attain well in excess of 50 mpg; our own testing eked out slightly more than 55 mpg in suburban driving. Apart from the rare times when you demand everything its 2.0-liter gasoline engine and electric drive motor have to give, the Accord Hybrid is also as refined and peaceful inside as any well-insulated family sedan.

The Edmunds.com top "A" rated Accord Hybrid also happens to be one of two superior midsize sedan hybrids on the market for 2015. The other is the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid. It is impressively refined and more stylish than the Accord, but it doesn't quite put up the big mpg numbers of Honda's hybrid. You might also want to check out the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid if you happen to like its updated styling this year but, again, its fuel economy isn't quite as good. Also capable but not quite as desirable are the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid and 2015 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid.

Ultimately, you're just not going to go wrong with a car that's the most efficient hybrid midsize sedan out there and the best by most other measures, too. Welcome to the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid.

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