Consumer Reports finds Honda Accord hybrid fuel economy “impressive”, but short of EPA 47 mpg rating
29 May 2014
Consumer Reports fuel economy tests found the Honda Accord Hybrid delivered impressive overall fuel-economy of 40 mpg (5.88 l/100 km), tying the smaller Honda Civic Hybrid and falling below the top-performing and smaller Toyota Prius hatchback by only 4 mpg. However, Consumer Reports’ engineers cautioned that buyers expecting their car to deliver the EPA’s figure of 47 mpg posted on the window sticker might be disappointed.
We’ve found that the EPA tests often exaggerate the fuel-economy of hybrids.—Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports
Prior Consumer Reports tests of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid also found a significant shortfall between the EPA’s estimated highway fuel economy figures and those in CR’s own fuel economy tests. (Earlier post.)
The Accord Hybrid’s 40-mpg performance on Consumer Reports combined city and highway tests make it a class leader for fuel economy among mid-sized sedans. Testers found the Accord Hybrid has a very impressive hybrid system that smoothly transitions between battery and engine power.
Although the Accord Hybrid delivers improved fuel economy over the non-hybrid version, the Hybrid falls short in other areas of Consumer Reports’ testing including ride comfort, emergency handling, and quietness. As a result, the Accord Hybrid scored lower overall in Consumer Reports’ tests than the non-hybrid four-cylinder Accord while costing about $6,500 more.
Consumer Reports has also tested the new hybrid version of the Subaru XV Crosstrek, as well as new diesel versions of the BMW 3 Series and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The XV Crosstrek Hybrid underwhelmed Consumer Reports’ engineers, as testers found it to be a halfhearted hybrid. When applying the gas pedal gingerly, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid managed to creep up to 20 mph on electric power, but only if the outside temperature was above 50° F and the heat or air conditioner was turned off. Moreover, Consumer Reports found that the hybrid isn’t particularly refined. As with others, a start/stop system shuts off the engine when drivers come to a halt, but it restarts with a shudder when they’re ready to go again.
The Jeep and BMW diesels boosted fuel economy by a significant 6 and 7 mpg overall to 24 and 35 mpg, respectively compared to their gasoline counterparts, without a significant compromise in performance or refinement. With their excellent highway efficiency of 32 and 49 mpg, they provide lengthy cruising ranges of 785 and 735 miles. Both vehicles scored near the top of their classes in Consumer Reports testing.
The 35-mpg Consumer Reports averaged in the 328d, even with all-wheel drive, is eclipsed in this class only by the 40 mpg of the Lexus CT 200h hybrid, which doesn’t come close to the 3 Series in luxury, sportiness and size, according to Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports also averaged impressive 24 mpg in the diesel Gran Cherokee—a 6-mpg boost in overall fuel economy compared with the 3.6-liter gasoline V6. That ties the Grand Cherokee with the diesel-powered Volkswagen Touareg TDI as the most efficient non-hybrid mid-sized SUV.
Complete reports and ratings for the Honda Accord Hybrid, Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, BMW 328d, and Jeep Cherokee Diesel, as well as updated tests for the recently freshened Volkswagen Passat, Honda Civic and Dodge Dart are available now at www.ConsumerReports.org or in the July Issue of Consumer Reports on sale 3 June.
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