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Honda Accord Hybrid - worth the extra $$$?

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Munchikins? I sat in an Accord at the auto show this weekend and was astounded by the rear-seat legroom. It was almost limo-like. But I am "only" 5' 9.5"--a munchikin next to you six-footers I guess. If you need hat room, there's lots of vehicles on the market styled "tall". The Accord is styled more like a traditional sedan, with a lower roofline--which I personally prefer to the "tall" look. If I want tall, I'll buy an SUV or minivan.
  • russ5russ5 Posts: 9
    I couldn't believe that you thought the HAH was too tight for tall people. I am 6'1" and I just went out to check the head room in my HAH. My head was at least 2 inches below the ceiling. When you tried the showroom car the seat must have been set at its heighest position for someone short.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I am 6 foot 4 and the Accord fits me better than just about any sedan. Certainly any sedan in the price range. My height is my legs though - 36" inseam.

    In fact, the Accord, the Odyssey and the Ridgeline are the only Hondas that fit me comfortably. I wish the CR-V, Element and Pilot fit but my legs always end up tangling with the steering wheel.

    What saves the Accord for me is the tilt and telescoping wheel.

    I would think the HAH would better for long torsoed people too since it does not have the moon roof which reduces headroom.
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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,021
    link courtesy of larsb

    Make no mistake, the Hybrid Accord leaps off the line, leaving the non-hybrid in its dust. Yet fuel economy compared to the Accord V-6 is officially an impressive 31 per cent better in the city and 21 per cent better on the highway.

    That's good, but not good enough to justify the price premium. The Accord Hybrid sells for $36,990, $3,390 more than a comparably equipped non-hybrid V-6 Accord EX. So even with gas averaging 84.9 cents/litre (according to M.J. Irvin & Associates) and destined to soar higher as crude oil goes past $53 (U.S.) a barrel, it could take as many as 10 years for the hybrid system to pay for itself at the pump.

    At least for the average driver.

    http://www.globetechnology.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050317.gtwhaccord17/BNStory/Technolog- y/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,021
    In fact, the Accord, the Odyssey and the Ridgeline are the only Hondas that fit me comfortably.

    That is interesting. When the salesman showed us the HAH I sat in the drivers seat and my hand laying flat on my head touched the headliner. I mentioned that the car did not have much headroom to the salesman and he nodded that it was true. I sat in another Accord EX and the same headroom. Then we went out and looked at the Odyssey EX-L and I could lay my hand sideways on my head and not touch the headliner. It was a good 5 inches more headroom. Here is what I question. Edmund's specs on the HAH & Odyssey have the Accord with 40.4 inches of headroom and the Odyssey with only 39.2 inches. Something ain't right.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    The Accord Hybrid sells for $36,990,...

    Where? Other posters have noted the HAH is selling below MSRP. MSRP is $30,500 for non-nav. Why would anyone pay $6000 over MSRP?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    The HAH like other Accords has a height-adjustable seat. How high was the seat of the Accords you sat in?
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Backy,

    The article was a Canadian review. The $36,990 is the Candadian MSRP :)

    Look at the gas comsumption in L/km

    Happy St. Pat,

    MidCow
  • Same Old Story.

    The car reviewers have been using this line since 2000.

    troy
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    positives:
    1) better mpg
    2) slightly more power
    3) higher resale at trade
    4) lower emissions
    5) saving money every time you fillup the tank
    6) hybrid-only dashboard instruments allow you to more closely monitor your driving habits to achieve better efficiency
    7) the emotional boost of knowing you are helping the environment
    8) no emissions at all when stopped at a red light

    negatives: (see my comments after yours in the parentheses)

    1) higher MSRP (getting more car for the money, will be returned at trade time)

    2) less likely to be discounted or have low APR (not in the future when they become commonplace - that's the cost of being an "early adopter" of ANY new technology - look at the prices of LCD televisions today versus 18 months ago - when you buy early, you usually get no or low discounts - this is not AT ALL solely a Hybrid car phenomenon.)

    3) less choice in what's on the lot (actually, they are pretty much limited in options and colors anyway - most come loaded with only the Navigation system optional. You can always ORDER EXACTLY the config you want.)

    4) Higher weight - which using the same braking system is likely to increase stopping distances (and exactly how many times in your LIFE have you had to make a full braking high speed emergency stop? I have driven more than a million miles in my life and I have not ever had to do that. Don't buy a car based on stopping distances unless you are a madman who does emergency stops on a normal basis.)

    5) mechanics unfamiliarity with the hybrids (most modern cars require dealers to fix them - this is not a hybrid phenomenon.)

    6) a hybrid system adds extra parts - statistically have increased the probability of components to fail. (not a problem when the car is under warranty. do what I do and buy an extended warranty and be worry free for 100K miles)

    7) smaller trunk. (not an issue if you dont need the extra space, or buy a roof carrier. In the 13 or 14 cars I have owned, I made do with the space I had. Again, if you are buying a car because of trunk space, it would seem like you need a wagon.)
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    you: 7) the emotional boost of knowing you are helping the environment.

    me: you aren't "helping" the environment in any way when you buy a vehicle and run it. There are other cars and modes of transportation which are just as clean and efficient.

    And tell the environment to stop polluting the environment - that Mt. St. Helens and its relatives make a bit of air pollution, and all those lightning strikes which cause forest fires that burn millions of acres every year. You're worried about tiny little cars, and our impact on the environment, when you should be worried about the environment killing us off - Yellowstone supervolcano.

    I think hybrids will sell to the mainstream buyer when you can get any premium back in gas savings in 2-3 years of usage. Right now I'd say I'd pay $1500 extra for a hybrid over a non-hybrid. And I don't want it to be on a $30K car. A 1.8S Sentra auto sells for $11K around here. Sell a hybrid Sentra for $12.5K and I'd try it. Or a hybrid Focus, or Neon.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I think it is funny that if you tell most people you want to buy an Acura TL instead of a Honda Accord it is almost universally and instantly understood that having a slightly more exclusive car is probably worth the premium.

    But try to explain you want an Accord Hybrid instead of an Accord V6 and people whip out their mental spreadsheet and start tallying savings. Maybe because the cars are so similar (hybrid v non-hybrid accord).

    I also think in this culture it is easier to explain spending more to one up others on luxury than compete in the arena of perceived enviro-friendliness. Whether the hybrid really is more or less enviro friendly we could debate all day.

    My point is social posturing via conspicuous consumption is more readily understood than posturing via having the perceived greenest or most enviromentally friendly car. It tells you something about ourselves.

    I agree that if the pay back on a hybrid is quick, you will get more takers. It is always easier to appeal to enlightened self interest rather than an appeal to advancing the common good. Just the way we are wired or socialized, I guess.
  • The Accord Hybrid sells for $36,990,...

    Where?

    Canada
  • Don't forget the tax savings from the IRS.
    $2,000.00 a year deduction.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I think it is a one time $2000 deduction from income (not every year). If your marginal federal rate is 28%, that is worth $560 to you. A nice bonus but not enough to push you one way or another in many instances.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Didn't think the TL premium was worth it so bought 6-speed Accord Coupe instead. By the same token, I do not think the Hybrid premium is worth it.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Aw common MidCow. With all of your comments about Borla exhausts and 6-speed sticks, you know that you wouldn't have considered the Honda Accord Hybrid. It's a 4-door sedan with a slushbox.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,730
    yeah mid... even flowmasters wouldn't help when running in electric mode. :)
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    Hello all,
    I have a "gas guzzler", 1999 BMW 740i that is paid for.. mostly..80% by company I used to work for. I wonder how many miles I would have to drive with my car (300HP V8) to justify the purchase of anything "new". I do want to help the environment. I think the Honda Hybrid is a great car (drove one). Auto manufacturers and research in general needs to do a much better jog re: alternative fuel sources (Hydrogen?). We have not invested wisely as a nation for gas has been relatively cheap for a long time. Now we (rightly so) are seeing emotions that spurred the emergence of the small car "fad" back when we had our last gas crisis. We need to get going and get American "know how" moving on vehicles we would "love" to drive that run on alternative fuels. My 3 cents:)
  • "I think it is funny that if you tell most people you want to buy an Acura TL instead of a Honda Accord it is almost universally and instantly understood that having a slightly more exclusive car is probably worth the premium."

    .

    Not really. I and most of the people I know, don't think it's worth the +$10,000 pricetag just to have "acura" on the car. Waste of money.

    troy
  • I'm thinking about purchasing a HAH but have some concerns. My biggest concern is the warranty on the battery. I am a contract worker, and I have to commute 200 miles round trip each day (90% highway). So figure that's 50K miles per year. The warranty on the battery is what 80K? Any ideas when the battery will actually go and have to be replaced? What if the battery goes on my way? Will the car be inoperable if the battery dies or will the car operate as a normal car until I replace the battery?
    If I don't get an HAH I was thinking about the EX 4 cylinder since it only gets 3 mpg less than the hybrid (EPA anyway, at least its a standard to compare). Or, maybe even a 2004 EX 4 cylinder.

    Any comments/suggestions?
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    200 miles (3 hours) a day !? Makes my back hurt just thinking about it
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I don't think you'll ever make up the cost difference between a EX 4 cylinder (go with a 2004 if you can get it with SABs/SACs) and the HAH, given almost all of your miles will be on the highway. Assuming for example you could get 35 mpg on the EX and 40 on the HAH (this is just an example, folks...), that's only $660 in savings in gas @ $3.00/gallon per year. Plus as you point out, the X-factor is the life of the battery and its replacement cost. It may last the life of the car, but if it doesn't that's a major cost.

    Plus cruising on the highway you won't really get to take advantage of some of the HAH's best features, like the extra power and the auto-stop.
  • I don't work for these people but EnergyCS company is developing a higher capacity battery for Hybrids. For Prius it takes it from 1.3 kw to over 9 kw (over 5 times the capacity).

    Weight increases by roughl7 170 lbs. Cost increase is guessed around $3 - 5K.

    Question; Would you pay your friendly Honda dealer an additional $3 - 5K for having 5+ times the battery capacity put into your HAH?
  • "I am a contract worker, and I have to commute 50K miles per year. The warranty on the battery is what 80K. I was thinking about the EX 4 cylinder since it only gets 3 mpg less than the hybrid"

    .

    Don't worry. With your driving style, you'll barely use the battery. It will still be like-new when the car starts falling apart at 300,000 miles. (You can then use the rechargable D cells in your radios) ;-)

    As for saving dollars, if that's your goal, why don't you get a Civic HX? It costs only ~$17,000 and the manual version gets 44mpg highway.

    troy
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Would you want to drive 200 miles a day in a Civic? I don't know that I would. If that's acceptable, then the way to go is buy an Insight 5-speed (sllightly used if possible), easily good for 70 mpg on the highway (and much more is possible).
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,021
    Would you want to drive 200 miles a day in a Civic?

    That would be more driving than I would like for sure. How comfortable is the Insight on long drives? Any of you owners. I notice there are a quite a few on the greenhybrid with over 100k miles. Also people with very long commutes.
  • Sure why not? I think driving is relaxing. Pop-in a book-on-tape, lean back, and just cruise. I drove my insight 1000 miles w/o stopping several times. It was better than sitting at home and drooling in front of the TV! :)

    Anyway, back to the original poster's...
    QUESTION: "I drive 200 miles and want to save money."
    ANSWER: You can buy a cheap Civic HX for ~$17,000 and it will give you 40+ mpg highway. That's what I would do.

    troy
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Actually the HX is very limited supply and hard to find meaning you special order and pay MSRP; air conditioning is not standard. It is rated very high mpg 36/44 A manual shift Corolla would probably be the best bet at under $12K and it is still rate for pretty good mileage 32/41 and very peppy for than mileage around 9.6 seconds 0-60.

    Insights are rare (especially manual) and you have to pay MSRP of around 21K. HCH are not much better priced. The old new 2005 Jetta Diesels can still be had at around $18K but still you are paying more than a Corolla and relability is somewhat iffy.

    Again for a long-term economical reliable car a Corolla is a good bet!

    crus'n in 6th Manual shift man,
    MidCow

    P.S.- Man troy you are amazing, I get tired just driving form Houston to Tulsa and that is only 500 miles and it takes me 8 hours. I need several stops for food, gas and bathroom breaks. 1,000 miles is some 14-16 hours of driving I am inpressed. However I did go 100 miles this past weekend on 0 gallons what great mileage you get on a bicycle:)
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