Honda Accord Hybrid: Better than the Accord?

The Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry are battling it out over which is the top-selling car in America. In Consumer Reports' tests, the 4-cylinder Accord edges out the 4-cylinder Camry. So if the Accord is so great, the Honda Accord Hybrid should be even better, right? See what Consumer Reports found.

The Honda Accord stands out as Consumer Reports' top pick midsized sedan.

The basic LX 4-cylinder gets an impressive 30 miles per gallon overall and is relatively inexpensive at around 23-thousand dollars. The Honda Accord Hybrid is pricier, starting at over 29-thousand dollars, but its window sticker cites a whopping 47 miles per gallon.

It didn't measure quite that high in Consumer Reports' tests, says the director of auto test, Jake Fisher.

"We got an overall of 40 miles per gallon. That's really impressive. But not the 47 miles per gallon that was claimed by the EPA," Fisher said.

Plus, since the Hybrid Accord costs 65-hundred dollars more than the basic Accord, you're paying a lot of money up front to save gas. And the Hybrid scored much lower in Consumer Reports' performance tests.

"It just doesn't drive as well as a normal Accord. The ride, it's much stiffer. The braking, it's not as good. And the handling? Well, in emergency situations, it's not nearly as secure," Fisher explained.

Also, the battery robs you of some cargo room in the trunk, and there's no room for a spare tire. You'll only get a tire repair kit.

Bottom line -the regular Honda Accord is actually a much better deal. But if you prefer a hybrid sedan, Consumer Reports says you're better off with the Toyota Camry Hybrid. It doesn't have the same compromises the Accord hybrid does. It starts at 27-thousand dollars and gets 38 miles per gallon overall.

Want another fuel-efficient option? Consumer Reports says try the Volkswagen Passat Diesel. It gets 37 miles per gallon overall and an extremely impressive 51 miles per gallon on the highway.

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