What will change? Don’t expect too much. Honda redesigned its popular four-door midsize sedan and two-door coupe for the 2013 model year and added gas/electric and plug-in electric hybrid sedans for 2014. Honda is working on a new family of four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and high-pressure gasoline direct injection, but those likely won’t be ready until model-year 2016 at the earliest. A redesign of the Accord isn’t expected until 2017.
Why wait for the 2015 Honda Accord: To see if Honda adds a new paint color or two that better suits your fancy than whatever the company offers right now. With the company introducing redesigned and all-new models for 2013 and 2014, expect designers and engineers to take a breather in 2015.
Why buy a 2014 Honda Accord: To be among the first in your neighborhood to own the brand new Accord Hybrid or Plug-In. Note that the Plug-In is only available in California and New York state at the moment. If you’re not sold on the whole gasoline/electric thing, you can pick up an excellent midsize sedan that probably won’t be too different from the incoming 2015 models.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
The current Accord’s styling is based on a concept vehicle that premiered at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The Hybrid and Plug-In have specific cues designed to enhance aerodynamics while the coupe has its own profile. All models should carry into 2015 with no major changes to their appearance.
Accord’s engine and transmission options likely won’t see any updates until the car gets its 2017 redesign. Conventional (non-gas/electric) coupes and sedans should reprise availability of four-cylinder and V-6 drivetrains. The former is a 2.4-liter unit that produces 185-189 horsepower. The latter is a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter engine. Both body styles offer the choice of a manual or automatic transmission. Hybrids and Plug-Ins pair a four-cylinder gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor for a combined 195 horsepower.
The 2015 Honda Accord’s fuel economy should be no different than its 2014 ancestor. The EPA rates conventional models a bit strangely. The automatic and continuously variable transmissions have manual overrides that allow you to “shift” gears yourself. Activating this mode lowers projected fuel economy. The four-cylinder/CVT combination rates 27/36/30 city/highway combined in standard mode but 26/34/29 with the manual override. V-6 models with the six-speed automatic score 21/34/26 regularly and 21/32/25 in manual mode. Accords with the traditional manual transmission rate 24/34/28 and 18/28/22 with the four- and six-cylinder, respectively. Note that V-6 Accords with the automatic transmission include cylinder deactivation as a fuel saving measure. The new-for-2014 Accord Hybrid earns a 50/45/47 rating. The similarly new Plug-In does 47/46/46 and 115 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). The latter figure is a measurement of distance traveled per unit of energy consumed and is a rating the EPA requires for all plug-in and pure-electric vehicles.
Expect no major changes to Accord’s feature availability. It should continue to follow the brand’s model of not offering any packaged or standalone factory options. Most versions will come with a rearview camera and Bluetooth cell-phone connectivity with the ability to stream Pandora and Aha Internet radio. Upper-crust Accords will be available with leather upholstery and heated front seats. The usual complement of safety features will be included, with some models including Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot camera.
With the Accord’s roster largely standing pat for 2015, expect the sedan to offer LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. The coupe will return in LX-S, EX, and EX-L guise. Prices will likely range from $23,000-$34,000. The Hybrid comes in Base, EX-L, and Touring trims and should cost $31,000-$35,000. The Plug-In should carry a sticker price of about $40,000, less any tax incentives. All prices listed include destination fee.
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