The Honda Accord Hybrid Plug-in is equipped with a completely new and unique hybrid powertrain, the Two-motor Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi Mode Drive (iMMD). One motor is geared to drive the front wheels at all times. The second motor is geared directly to the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine and used as a generator/starter. At low speeds, this generator provides current to the big motor, but when needed, a clutch engages the engine to the main motor for a combined total of 196 horsepower.
A gear train connects the motors and engine to the drive wheels, but there is only one drive-gear ratio, so the transmission does not shift gears. This contributes to the drivetrain’s overall efficiency, helping this 3,800 mid-size sedan return 47 mpg in town and 46 mpg on the highway.
When plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet, the battery will charge in only three hours, while Honda’s 220-volt charger will do the job in less than one hour. Still, the car can travel no more than 13 miles on electric power alone, and that’s with a large battery pack that reduces trunk space significantly compared with the non-hybrid Accord (not to mention the almost $6,000 new-car price difference).
Some of the body panels and chassis pieces are made of aluminum, but otherwise the cars are almost identical. Even the base model is packed with smart technology and safety features. In fact, this generation Accord boasts one of the best safety ratings in the industry.
Honda has issued several software updates for the powertrain, power steering and the audio and navigation systems. A recall was issued in September 2015 for a sensor and software glitch that may force the car into electric-drive fail-safe mode, limiting speed to 40 mph and severely limiting driving range. By now all the affected vehicles should have been repaired with new software and/or a new high-voltage battery pack.
The hybrid powertrain and electric-servo brake system make this is a rather unconventional vehicle. Still, any repair shop that’s properly equipped to service a Honda can also handle normal service and most repairs on this Accord. ACDC gives this hybrid two thumbs up.
To find a hybrid vehicle service shop near you, go to shop finder on this web site.