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First drive: 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

If there’s one thing that separates the Honda and Toyota brands — and, much to their annoyance, many autojournalists lament the interchangeability of their products and, indeed, their brands — it has been Toyota’s success with hybrids.

Toyota, of course, has owned the hybrid segment for well more than a decade — the Prius nameplate alone accounts for more than half the hybrids sold — while Honda’s gas/electric combinations have not resonated with the public. Neither its Insight nor its Civic hybrids had any impact on the market and, while the CR-Z has gained some critical reviews, it remains an extremely niched sell.

This lack of public acceptance has made Honda extremely cautious about dipping its toes in the hybrid waters again. Indeed, that reluctance means that the subject of this test, a plug-in version of Honda’s Accord Hybrid, is only being sold in New York and California and has yet to be confirmed for Canadian sales. This is a pity because this is the first electrified Honda that can go head-to-head with the industry’s heavyweights.



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