2014 Honda Accord Review and Prices
The 2014 Honda Accord is the best car for you if you want a recently redesigned midsize sedan successfully defending its family-car championship.
The 2014 Honda Accord sedans and coupes represent the sophomore season for the first all-new Accord since model-year 2008. This ninth-generation Accord is smaller on the outside than the car it replaces, but no smaller inside. It also retains a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines as key rivals adopt an all-four-cylinder-engine strategy. The big change for the 2014 Accord is the addition two gas-electric-hybrid sedans. One is a plug-in designed to travel 13 miles on electricity alone and take less than one hour to recharge. The other is a conventional gas-electric hybrid that won’t be quite as fuel-efficient as the plug-in, but will cost thousands less. Indeed, while other Accords are priced in the heart of the $23,000-$33,000 midsize market, the Plug-in Hybrid is the first Accord to sticker over $40,000, including the destination fee.
Should you wait for the 2014 Honda Accord or buy a 2013 Honda Accord? Wait for the 2014 Accord if you appreciate the green technology of the Accord Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. Everyone else would do well to shop the 2013 Accord. Styling, powertrains, and key features won’t change for model-year 2014. But prices are almost certain to increase.
2014 Honda Accord Changes back to top
Styling: The 2014 Honda Accord styling won’t change for the carryover models. The 2014 Accord Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid will have mild appearance tweaks to maximize aerodynamics and differentiate them from the gas-only models.
The 2014 Accord will return with two five-passenger body styles, a four-door sedan and a two-door coupe. Both got more curvaceous – and more pleasant – sheet metal in their model-year 2013 redesign. But both remain recognizable as Accords and will return for 2014 with such premium details as available LED exterior lighting.
Dimensions won’t change, leaving the 2014 Accord at the median of the midsize-car size spectrum, rather than the largest car in it. The 2014 Accord sedan will continue with a body that was shortened by 3.5 inches in overall length and by .09 inches in wheelbase compared with the 2008-2012 generation. The Accord Coupe underwent less severe downsizing and returns for model-year 2014 again slightly smaller than its sedan sibling.
Honda engineered the resizing to control fuel-economy-eroding weight and to promote Accord as the relatively sporty choice in the class. Credit designers with retaining Accord’s tradition of near-class-leading roominess; the sedan in particular is a model of family-car design. It’ll again far outsell the Accord Coupe and deliver fine headroom, generous rear-seat legroom, and large side windows that enhance the airy passenger compartment. The Coupe’s back seat is livable, but like most two-doors, racy styling and front-seat space are favored over rear-passenger comfort.
Preserved as well was Accord’s high-grade cabin décor. Materials and workmanship for 2014 should remain pleasing, with generous use of soft-touch surfaces, solid panels, and sophisticated-feeling switchgear. Trunk space also should repeat near the top of the class, at 15.8 cubic feet for the sedan and 13.7 for the sedan.
Expect the 2014 Accord sedan lineup to begin again with the volume-selling LX model. It’ll likely escalate in price and equipment through Sport, EX, and EX-L models to the flagship Touring. Look for the 2014 Accord Coupe to reprise LX-S, EX, and EX-L designations.
The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid reflects a Touring level of features and is initially available only in California and New York. It’ll feature a weight-saving aluminum hood, unique forged alloy wheels, and a special front bumper along with enhanced underbody aerodynamic treatments. It’s also limited to three exterior colors, including two standard Accord shades (White Orchid Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl) plus a model-exclusive Burnished Silver Metallic.
Expect the conventional 2014 Accord Hybrid to echo many of the Plug-in’s weight-saving and aero enhancements. It’s set for a mid-calendar-year introduction.
Mechanical: The 2014 Honda Accord will signal a second consecutive year of significant mechanical changes for one of America’s most popular cars.
The gas-engine models will return with updates they received in the 2013 redesign. These include a new four-cylinder engine, new transmissions, and a more powerful V-6.
Promoted by Honda under its Earth Dreams powertrain brand, the 2014 Accord’s four-cylinder will again be a 2.4-liter with direct fuel injection. Expect it to return with 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque (think of torque as the energy that generates acceleration, horsepower as the force that sustains it).
Expect the four-cylinder to again be available in all 2014 Accords except the Touring and hybrid sedans. Four-cylinder Accords will again be available with a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) instead of a conventional automatic transmission.
A CVT uses belt-and-pulley system rather than a finite set of gear ratios. The intent is more seamless and efficient power delivery, and Honda has engineered one of the best. It’s more responsive than CVTs used in competitors’ four-cylinder cars, and it teams with the smooth, capable four-cylinder for a powertrain perfectly suited to family-car duty.
Although the V-6 will continue to account for just 15-20 percent of sales, it helps Honda satisfy upscale Accord buyers who prefer the smoothness and easy torque of a V-6. This 3.5-liter will return with 278 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque and make for an unexpectedly lively performer tarnished only by some torque-steer – pulling to the side during brisk acceleration off the line or out of corners.
Expect the V-6 to be available in the 2014 Accord EX-L sedan and coupe and again be the standard engine in the Touring sedan. In the EX-L coupe, the V-6 should be available with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is mandatory in other applications and will again be teamed with Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system, which saves gas by idling two or three cylinders in low-demand cruising.
The 2014 Accord will be among the declining number of midsize cars available with a V-6 engine. Buyers in this class increasingly favor four-cylinders for higher fuel economy and lower purchase prices. They’re not sacrificing as much performance as in the past thanks to a new crop of high-tech four-cylinders, many with turbochargers. Indeed, among key 2014 Accord rivals, only the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Volkswagen Passat will be available with six-cylinder engines. Competitors such as the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu, and Kia Optima offer only four-cylinder engines.
With introduction of its hybrid variants, the 2014 Accord will join the Camry, Fusion, Sonata, Malibu, and Optima with models that combine gas and electric power in varying degrees.
The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is first to arrive. It’s powered by Honda’s new Earth Dreams hybrid technology. This combines a 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder engine with an electric motor that also acts like a continuously variable transmission. Net output is 196 horsepower; Honda does not list a torque figure, but does say the Accord Plug-in combines “hybrid efficiency with a powerful dose of instantaneous electric-motor torque.”
Unlike conventional hybrids, which rely on onboard self-recharging strategies, plug-in hybrids can acquire a portion of their battery charge from the electrical grid. This extends their potential range on fuel-and emissions-free all-electric operation.
As in other plug-in hybrids, the 2014 Accord Plug-in’s electric-only operation is supported by a lithium-ion battery. It’s charged via a home or commercial plug-in outlet, as well as with energy captured through regenerative braking and coasting.
Honda aims to maximize driving efficiency by enabling the 2014 Accord Plug-In to transition between all-electric EV (Electric Vehicle), gasoline-electric HV (Hybrid Vehicle), and direct-engine drive modes.
In its default start-up mode, the Accord Plug-In acts as a pure electric vehicle and has a maximum EV range of 13 miles. It remains in full-electric mode until the battery state of charge dictates an automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. In HV mode, the plug-in Accord acts as a conventional hybrid, with computers automatically blending electric-motor and gasoline-engine power to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the battery-charge level.
Even in EV mode, a demand for rapid acceleration or higher-speed driving will cause the gasoline engine to automatically kick in to provide additional power. The car’s combined gas-electric driving range is 575 miles, according to the EPA. And based on its low emissions, the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid qualifies for single-occupant carpool-lane access in California.
The Accord Plug-in comes with a center-console button that allows the driver to manually select EV mode – for example, in city traffic on stop-and-go highway driving when regenerative braking potential is increased. Also provided is a driver-selectable HV mode.
Honda says the plug-in Accord’s battery can be fully replenished from a low-charge indication in less than an hour using a 240-volt Level-2 charger -- basically an adaptor plugged into the type of outlet used by large household appliances such as electric dryers. It can be fully charged in less than three hours using the supplied 120-volt charger plugged into a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet fitted with a specialized adapter. Free to Accord Plug-in buyers is the HondaLink EV smartphone application that allows the charging state to be remotely monitored.
The conventional 2013 Accord Hybrid will use the same 2.0-liter engine and basic electric-motor system as the Plug-in. But it will not tap the electric grid for battery charging, relying instead on energy captured via regenerative braking and coasting. It’ll have the capability for electric-only propulsion but for shorter durations than a plug-in hybrid.
Regardless of engine type, every 2014 Accord will have a front-wheel-drive layout. Common to the majority of midsize cars, front-wheel drive masses the engine and transmission over the tires that propel the vehicle. Compared with rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive provides better traction in slippery conditions and leaves more space for passengers and cargo.
Accord’s 2013 redesign brought a revised suspension but no decrease in this car’s status as the category’s most satisfying to drive. The 2014 Accord will return with wonderfully athletic road manners, direct and natural-feeling steering, and ride quality that’s firm but composed.
Features: The 2014 Honda Accord will reprise a range of convenience, comfort, and infotainment features that should keep it competitive in the class – although it would be more competitive with addition of amenities found on selected rivals, such as heated rear seats, cooled front seats, and remote engine start.
Still, the 2014 Accord will return with such up-to-date technology as Honda's lane-departure and Forward Collision Warning systems. These employ a camera mounted behind the windshield to determine if the car is unintentionally wandering from its lane or headed for a potential frontal collision. Either scenario triggers a driver warning.
Returning as standard on EX, EX-L, and Touring models will be Honda’s innovative – and surprisingly effective -- LaneWatch blind-spot display. It uses a real-time video-camera system mounted at bottom of the passenger mirror. Activated by the turn signal or a manual control at the tip of the turn-signal stalk, it provides an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway.
Standard features on every 2014 Accord will again include a rearview back-up camera and Honda’s double-pane Expanded View Driver's Mirror. Cruise control, keyless entry, a tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio controls, and dual-zone automatic climate control will be included, as well. Expect all 2014 Accords with the V-6 to again come with LED daytime running lights.
Among other returning standard features will be Bluetooth hands-free mobile-phone connectivity and USB iPod linking. Same for an iPhone-compatible Pandora Internet Radio interface and an SMS text-messaging function that can read received texts from compatible cell phones aloud over the audio system.
All 2014 Accords will return with an 8-inch dashboard screen that displays audio, climate, and vehicle information. Available starting with the EX-L models will again be a voice-activated navigation system that employs the screen for mapping and programming functions.
The available HondaLink technology will also return. It works with the owner’s compatible smartphone to connect the Accord with music and media resources such as Aha by Harman, internet apps, roadside assistance and more.
2014 Honda Accord Prices back to top
Prices for the 2014 Honda Accord were not announced in time for this review but expect gas-engine models to return in the $23,000-$34,800 range. That would keep them competitive with key rivals.
At an already-announced $40,570, the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is not only the costliest Accord ever, it will likely vie with the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid ($39,495 for model-year 2013) as the most expensive car in this class. Expect the 2014 Accord Hybrid to be priced around $35,000.
Note that base prices and base-price estimates in this review include the manufacturer’s mandated destination fee. Honda’s fee was $790 for the 2013 Accord and for the initial release of 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrids.
Honda isn’t apt to shelve its policy against ala carte options. It’ll almost certainly continue a model ladder in which equipment increases along with price.
Estimated price for the 2014 Accord LX sedans is $23,760 with manual transmission and $23,870 with the CVT. LX Accords will again come with the aforementioned standard equipment, plus cloth upholstery, a fold-down rear seatback, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Expect the 2014 Accord Sport sedan to be priced around $24,780 with manual transmission and around $25,580 with the CVT. Sports should again come with 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, and a power driver’s seat with power lumbar. They’ll likely again share with the LX a 160-watt, four-speaker audio system
Prices for the 2014 Accord EX sedan are an estimated $25,995 with manual transmission and $26,795 with the CVT. EXs likely will continue with 16-inch alloys and build on LX equipment with standard features such as LaneWatch, a power front passenger seat, power moonroof, six audio speakers, and keyless entry with pushbutton start.
The 2014 Accord EX-L sedan with the four-cylinder engine will probably continue with the CVT as standard and be priced around $29,385. Figure $31,460 with the V-6 and standard six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2014 EX-L models will come with all the EX equipment, and again add such features as 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, HondaLink, and an audio upgrade with 360 watts and seven speakers, including a subwoofer. EX-L models will almost certainly again feature the Forward Collision and Lane Departure warning systems, LED brake lights, and an automatic-dimming inside rearview mirror.
Buyers who wish to add the navigation system to the 2014 Accord EX-L sedan can anticipate an estimated price of $31,385 for the four-cylinder version and $33,460 for the V-6 model.
Expect the 2014 Accord Touring to again come only with the V-6 for an estimated price of $34,820. It’ll continue as a fully equipped Accord sedan, with navigation and some exclusive standard features, including a memory driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control to maintain a set distance from traffic ahead, and LED headlamps. This equipment – sans the V-6 engine -- will be shared with the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid.
Honda has traditionally paced standard-equipment levels on Accord coupes with those of corresponding sedan models and should do so again for model-year 2014. The LX-S coupes should again be equipped similarly to Sport-model sedans, though with 17-inch wheels. Estimated prices for the 2014 Accord LX-S Coupe with the four-cylinder engine are $24,740 with manual transmission and $25,590 with the CVT.
Expect the 2014 Accord EX Coupe to be priced at $26,415 with manual transmission and at $27,265 with automatic. The four-cylinder 2014 EX-L Coupe would come only with the CVT and be priced at an estimated $29,460 or, with navigation, at $31,460.
Accord Coupes with the V-6 should again be confined to EX-L trim for model-year 2014. With either the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission estimate them at $31,740 or, with navigation, at $33,740.
2014 Honda Accord Fuel Economy back to top
EPA fuel-economy ratings for the 2014 Accord gas-engine models were not available in time for this review. But they should not change from model-year 2013 ratings, leaving the majority of Accords among the most fuel-efficient cars in the class. And using the EPA’s mpg-e (miles per gallon-equivalent) calculation for EVs, Honda claims the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient sedan in America.
With the four-cylinder engine, expect 2014 Accord fuel-economy ratings of 28/34/28 mpg city/highway/combined with manual transmission and 27/36/30 mpg with the CVT. The 2014 Accord Sport sedan with the CVT should again have a slightly lower rating of 26/35/29 mpg due in part to its 18-inch wheels and tires.
With the V-6 and the six-speed automatic transmission, expect the 2014 Accord sedan to again rate 21/34/25 mpg. The 2014 Accord V-6 coupe should remain rated 18/28/22 mpg with manual transmission and 21/32/25 with automatic.
All 2014 Accord gasoline-only models will again incorporate the Honda ECO Assist system. This provides a dashboard button to automatically recalibrate engine and transmission behavior and climate-system operation to reduce fuel consumption. The system also illuminates a dashboard icon that furnishes the driver with visual feedback to promote a more efficient driving style.
Using all sources of propulsion, the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid has an EPA rating of 47/46/46 mpg city/highway/combined. Operating on electricity only, it earns a rating of 115 mpg-e. This represents the number of miles a vehicle can go using a quantity of fuel – in this case, electricity -- with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline. Using the model-year 2013 ratings available at the time of this review, the Fusion Engeri had a 100 mpg-e and the Toyota Prius Plug-in a 95 mpg-e.
Expect the 2014 Accord Hybrid to rate around 43/38/41 mpg.
2014 Honda Accord Release Date back to top
The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid went on sale Jan. 15, 2013, at select Honda dealers in New York and California. Expect the 2014 Accord Hybrid in showrooms during summer 2013, and the balance of the 2014 Accord lineup by autumn, 2013.
The Accord Plug-in Hybrid is built in Japan, but as with recent Accords, more than 95 percent of other Accord models sold in the U.S. are produced at the Japanese automaker’s assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio.
Incidentally, the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid is the first gas-electric version of Accord since the 2005-2007 Accord Hybrid. That model, however, achieved increased performance by teaming a V-6 engine with electric-motor assist; it made 255 horsepower and was the most powerful Accord of its day
What's next for the 2014 Honda Accord back to top
Given an expected lifecycle of five model years, the next all-new Accord should arrive for model-year 2017. Look for a “midcycle” freshening around model year 2015 that would include minor appearance alterations but no change to this ninth-generation Accord’s basic shape, dimensions, or engineering.
With addition of two hybrid editions, the powertrain roster seems set for the duration, as well. But Honda acknowledges development of turbocharged four-cylinder engines to meet increasingly stringent fuel-economy standards while preserving performance. One could find its way into this generation Accord, possibly as part of the 2015 freshening. Expect Accord to retain its available V-6.
As for additional Accord body styles, Honda might try again to field some sort of crossover-wagon variant. It would need to heed lessons learned from the odd-looking Accord Crosstour, however. Launched for 2010, Crosstour was essentially an eight-generation Accord sedan with a sloped-roof hatchback body, slightly elevated ground clearance, and available all-wheel drive. It was a sales dud and was discontinued after the 2013 model year.
2014 Honda Accord Competition back to top
Toyota Camry: Accord and Camry are midsize-class archrivals in America highest volume automotive category and Camry is the only car in the U.S. that outsells the Accord. Camry was last redesigned for model-year 2012 and the 2014 version will continue its winning formula of spaciousness, refinement, reliability, and value. Camry is less athletic than Accord on the road, but runs head to head for four- and six-cylinder performance, plus an excellent conventional hybrid priced starting around $27,200 and rated an impressive 43/39/41 mpg.
Nissan Altima: Altima ranks third in the midsize-class sales derby and underwent a model-year 2013 redesign that brought evolutionary styling and retained a sporty driving feel. No notable changes are expected for the 2014 Altima, which should remain among the roomiest midsize sedans and one of the most fuel-efficient gas-only cars in the category. Expect it to reprise four- and six-cylinder engines, although Nissan is developing a gas-electric hybrid powertrain virtually certain to make its way into this generation Altima. A turbocharged four-cylinder option is possible, too.
Ford Fusion: With its European-bred road manners and suave styling, Fusion is the top domestic choice in the midsize class. All-new for model-year 2013, this sedan will return little-changed for 2014. No V-6 is available, but Fusion is available as the Energi plug-in hybrid, as a conventional hybrid, and with a trio of gasoline four-cylinder engines, two of which are turbocharged. It also offers all-wheel drive in addition to the front-wheel drive. Shortcomings include the tightest rear-seat room in this grouping, and the fault-prone MyFord Touch telematics system.