Third, Value: <BR>2005 Honda Accord Hybrid3. VALUE: ACCORD As pleasurable and practical as Honda’s popular sedan is known to be, at more than $30,000 there’s a high price for hybrid practicality. And the fact is that any sedan would have trouble competing in terms of convenience with the likes of a mid-sized hatch and an SUV.
Amazing as it seems, there is a Honda other than the S2000 that has little practical value -- and it’s the 2005 Accord Hybrid. Sure, there is something to be said in going fast and saving a little at the pump, but compared to the hybrid competition, this is a car for people who sorta want hybrid technology but really require a fast ride. This is not an error; the Accord Hybrid is not designed to sell to people who come to dealerships with a calculator. Offered only as a top-tier EX model, the Accord Hybrid comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and power windows, locks, mirrors, and driver's seat. There’s also dual-zone climate control, AM/FM/six-CD stereo with XM satellite radio, cruise control, remote-control door locks, and a tilting/telescoping steering column. For all of that, you pay $30,140. The lone option is a navigation system for which you will pay an extra $2,000.
But wait: this is an Accord, and there is a lot of value in buying a car that is widely viewed as one of the best made on the planet. In that regard, the Accord doesn’t disappoint: it is indeed an Accord, right down to the tight fit and comfortable finish. This sedan is simply a pleasure to drive. Yet as pleasurable and practical as Honda’s popular sedan is known to be, at more than $30,000 there’s a high price for hybrid practicality. And the fact is that any sedan would have trouble competing in terms of convenience with the likes of a mid-sized hatch and an SUV. But at that price, and with rated fuel economy at 30 city and 37 highway, there’s not much value to be had from the cabin of the 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid. Of course, going fast has value too –- but if your buying decision is based solely on going fast, there are other cars out there that will go as fast or faster, for around the same price –- and with more style.
Like Casey at the plate, it’s hard to fathom how the 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid whiffed in the value game. As an SUV with great fuel economy, it was a no-brainer –- until parked next to the 2005 Toyota Prius. Where it counts, the Prius was as good, really close or flat-out better. Differences in cargo and carry room failed to offset the Ford's $6,000 price premium, and reduced quality in terms of fabrics, materials, and construction sealed the deal.