As the vagaries of international finance are once again turning the U.S. into an increasingly strong manufacturing solution for foreign automakers, one of the pioneers is expanding its presence here once again: Honda has now announced that the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid will be built at its complex in Marysville, Ohio, before heading to dealerships this fall. Of course, the news really shouldn’t be much of a surprise, since the facility has been building Accords for more than three decades now.
As explicated by Jeff Tomko, the Marysville plant manager: "With more than 30 years of continuously building eight generations of the Honda Accord close to our customers, our team now is using its experience and flexibility to add this sophisticated Accord Hybrid model. At the same time, we are continuing with our commitment to manufacture new models in Ohio, along with the resulting growth in jobs."
Speaking of which, the automaker is expected to add about 50 new team members to its workforce to support the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, backed by an investment of $23 million. All told, the automaker has invested $800 million in Ohio over the past three years to expand its American manufacturing presence, and the company now runs four manufacturing plants in the state, employing more than 13,500 associates and boasting enough capacity to produce 700,000 vehicles—and 1 million engines—each year.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid: Hybrid Sedan Comparo
Not to be confused with the Accord plug-in hybrid that is now in (very) limited production for an equally limited number of markets, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid features a new two-motor hybrid system that propels the car using a combination of all-electric, hybrid-drive, and direct-drive power to ensure optimum efficiency in all driving scenarios. Also helping matters is that the 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle I4 engine that joins those two electric motors features Honda’s “Earth Dreams” powertrain technology—an important suite of efficiency enhancers that’s found in the Accord’s other engines, too. (And it’s worth mentioning that both those two powerplants, a 2.4-liter I4 and a 3.5-liter I6, earned spots on this year’s list of Ward’s 10 Best Engines.)
Now, the EPA has yet to release official ratings for the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, but the automaker is projecting a line of 49 mpg city/45 mpg highway/47 mpg combined. That’s the same combined fuel-economy mark achieved by the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, although the Blue Oval product also gets 47 mpg in the other two phases of EPA testing, while the Accord Hybrid’s other top rival, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, posts an EPA line of 43 mpg city/39 mpg highway/41 mpg combined.
And at this stage, with no news on the horizon about the 2013 models of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or Kia Optima Hybrid, the Accord, Fusion and Camry are the only family-sized hybrid sedans on the market. But if you do want to try a compact, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid actually bests the smaller Honda Civic Hybrid, capable of 44 mpg in all EPA measures, as well as the VW Jetta Hybrid, coming in with a combined fuel-efficiency rating of 45 mpg.