Honda Accord Hybrid

So, what's your idea of good fuel economy?

So, what’s your idea of good fuel economy?

If your ride were a big truck, getting better than, say, 12 L/100 km (23.5 mpg), would be a dream come true (as if …).

If you traded the truck for something that does 9 L/100 km (31 mpg) or better, you’d probably be ecstatic.

My own benchmark for acceptable fuel economy, however, starts at 7 L/100 km (40 mpg). That basically means a compact or subcompact car with manual transmission — and even most of them aren’t that frugal in real-life driving.

Alternatively, consider the Accord Hybrid. I drove 918 km in one recently — about two-thirds highway driving and one third urban, all in hot weather with frequent use of the air conditioning — and averaged a genuine 7.2 L/100 km (39 mpg). (Incidentally, despite all we hear about the inaccuracy of government fuel-consumption tests, my 7.2 correlates well with the official figures of 7.9 city, 5.9 highway).

Ironically, the supreme smoothness of the Accord’s 3.0-litre V6 almost works against itself in the Hybrid. If the engine was a bit rougher, maybe you wouldn’t be so aware of the slight shunts and clunks as the Hybrid powertrain does its thing — switching between three- and six-cylinder modes, engaging and disengaging the regenerative braking, and so on.

Still, that’s a small price to pay for almost 40 mpg in a roomy, refined, and fast (0-100 in 7.8 sec) midsize sedan.

Why on earth aren’t people buying more of these things?

    Show Comments