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2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid: First Drive

We haven’t seen a Honda Accord Hybrid since the mid-2000s — and Honda might want to forget its seventh-generation effort, which eked out just 22/31 mpg (city/highway) in adjusted 2006 EPA figures. Two generations later, the Accord Hybrid is back, this time based on the redesigned Accord. It uses a four-cylinder, not the old hybrid’s V-6, and it comes in regular and plug-in form. The Accord Plug-in Hybrid hits dealerships in early 2013, with the Accord Hybrid following later in the year.

Honda is mum on full details for either car — or any details at all on the Accord Hybrid, for that matter. But at last month’s media drive for the Accord, the automaker had a plug-in hybrid prototype available for short drives.
Accord_hybrid_nose2

Already, reactions on Twitter to the car’s styling range from “sick” (as in good, not bedridden) to “really, really ugly.” The sentiments are more negative than positive, but the vitriol doesn’t begin to approach what happened when Honda introduced the Accord Crosstour three years ago. The Crosstour subsequently made the list of Cars.com’s 10 ugliest cars from the past three decades.

The Accord Plug-in Hybrid is no Crosstour redux. In person, it looks OK. The styling departs from the regular Accord, with a unique grille that sort of tumbles into a lot of black bodywork below. It’s a little overdone, perhaps, but far from an eyesore.
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