• Expected 49 mpg city fuel economy rating
  • Gasoline, all-electric and hybrid drive modes
  • Available October 2013

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is expected to achieve a city fuel economy rating of 49 miles per gallon, according to the automaker. The latest Accord Hybrid, which uses a 4-cylinder gasoline engine along with two electric motors, is capable of running in three different modes: electric-only, gasoline-only and hybrid, which blends electric and gasoline power. The new model includes design details unique to the hybrid and arrives at Honda dealers in October of this year.

Like other popular gas-electric hybrids, the new Accord uses its electric power and batteries to improve fuel efficiency, especially in city driving. A 49-mpg city rating represents a huge 80 percent increase in comparison to the thriftiest conventionally powered Accord, which has a fuel economy rating of 27 mpg city. Official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings for the Accord Hybrid are not yet available, but Honda expects a rating of 45 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined.

Fuel economy for the conventional, gas-powered Accord varies depending on engine and transmission choice, but highway and combined fuel economy tops out at 36 mpg and 30 mpg, respectively.

At low speeds and with enough energy reserves in its battery pack, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid can operate in electric-only mode. The gasoline motor does not run -- and uses no gasoline -- in that mode. At higher speeds, the Accord Hybrid's 2-liter 4-cylinder engine exclusively powers the car. Finally, both the gas and electric motors provide power in hybrid mode, which is used in acceleration and stop-and-go traffic. Drivers can monitor the flow of energy from the various sources on a dash-mounted display.

Several distinctive design features differentiate the Accord Hybrid from its gas-only sister model. These include a unique wheel design, blue-accented grille and exterior light lenses and a deck lid spoiler. The hybrid also has standard LED running lights.

Of course, there are a few disadvantages to the Accord Hybrid in comparison to the regular Accord sedan. The hybrid model gives up some trunk space to accommodate its battery, so it offers 12.7 cu ft of space versus 15.8 cu ft for the gas-only version. Also, Accord Hybrid buyers will likely have to pay a premium, though pricing for the hybrid has not yet been announced.

What it means to you: If you want all the passenger space of the Honda Accord but with better fuel economy, check out the 2014 Accord Hybrid when it arrives this fall.

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Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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