When it comes to gas mileage, Honda is about to shake up the world of midsize cars with the hybrid version of its hit Accord midsize sedan.
The Accord Hybrid is expected to be rated at 49 miles per gallon in the city, 45 mpg on the highway for a combined average of 47 mpg when it goes on sale in October.
By comparison, the Accord Hybrid’s chief rival, the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE gets an average of 41 mpg. But the Accord Hybrid will still fall short of Toyota’s top hybrid, the Prius, which gets an average of 50 mpg.
The high mileage of the new 2014 Accord Hybrid will be a turnabout from Honda’s last attempt to successfully bring the technology to the popular sedan. The previous Accord Hybrid never caught on with consumers because the electric drive system was paired with a V-6 engine, which didn’t result in astounding mileage.
This time, Honda is using the same two-motor hybrid powertrain that it uses in the plug-in hybrid version of the Accord, which has been on sale since January. The gas engine will be a modest 2-liter four-cylinder powerplant. It will be paired with a lithium-ion battery, another step up from the less sophisticated battery in the previous Accord Hybrid.
What’s yet to be seen is where Honda prices the Accord Hybrid. In Japan, Bloomberg News says the Accord Hybrid is being priced at $38,000, far more than Toyota Camry Hybrid. In the U.S., Camry Hybrid starts at $26,140 before delivery charges.