Honda Accord Hybrid Falls 20% Short Of MPG Ratings



In their bid to beat the Toyota Prius in the MPG wars, Honda seemed to have a winner with the hot-selling Accord Hybrid. But once again Consumer Reports has poured rain on the MPG parade, claiming that despite returning best-in-class fuel economy, the Honda Accord Hybrid still falls far short of its claimed MPG ratings.

Consumer Reports wrangled an average of 40 MPG out of the Honda Accord Hybrid in daily driving, which is less than even my admittedly lead-footed test driving of the Accord Hybrid returned. That’s high enough to make it the best-rated mid-size sedan, but it’s still 7 MPG, or about 20%, short of the “official” sticker rating. That’s a huge discrepancy, though one that seems a little less weighty when one compares the average user reported data on, where the average fuel self-reported fuel economy of Accord Hybrid owners is 42.4 MPG.

Still, that’s far short of the EPA rating, which has come under fire lately for not translating well enough to the real world. If you remember, Consumer Reports said almost the same exact thing about the Ford Fusion Hybrid/C-Max Hybrid last year, when testing came up well short of the claimed 47/47/47 MPG rating on the Blue Oval’s hybrids. Ford responded by dropping the MPG rating and refunding customers a few bucks, though sales of the C-Max hybrid have sunk sharply since the revision.

While there haven’t been calls on Honda to do the same for the Accord Hybrid yet, it  once again raises questions as to the reliability of the EPA’s testing methods. With reports from Europe of automakers rigging road tests to produce more favorable MPG results, one has to wonder if the American system isn’t also being gamed, or if the system is still too out-of-date to adapt to modern hybrids.

All that said, my time with the Honda Accord Hybrid left me with only a favorable impression, and at least one-third of drivers reporting their MPG on managed to meet or exceed the official rating. What do you think? Is Honda gaming the system, or does the EPA need to rethink the way its rates hybrid?

Source: Consumer Reports

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Jason Carpp

    Why the hell are Consumer Reports complaining? 40mpgs is quite impressive for a family sized sedan.

  • Consumer Reports are off their a**es, lately. Ever since Honda cut their ad budget or something they have beef with them. My advice: if Consumer Reports says it’s crap, you should probably buy it, immediately.

  • Markwbrooks

    A Chevy Volt is a better deal, and even if you forget to plug it in occasionally it still beats Hondas show boat but a order of magnitude. I am averaging 220 mpg and all I do is plug it into to a normal 120v socket at the end of the day and unplug it in the morning.

  • Blueberry

    Bought my Accord Hybrid a month ago. First tank (14 gal), 51 mpg. It isn’t perfect, but with any effort, you should be able to get near sticker mpg. I generally respect CR, but their review did not seem ‘on’ to me.