In the battle for bragging rights in the high-mileage category, Honda has landed a solid blow against the competition, with its 2014 Accord Hybrid delivering an EPA-certified rating of 50 mpg in city driving.
That's a full three miles per gallon better than the previous king-of-the-fuel-economy-hill for midsize sedans, the 47 mpg Ford Fusion Hybrid. The Toyota Camry Hybrid comes in at 43 and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid at 40.
But to put Honda's achievement in another perspective, the 2014 Accord Hybrid gets about 10 percent better fuel economy around town than the original Toyota Prius, a dedicated gas-electric model that used all sorts of tricks, including a super-aerodynamic, ultralight body to maximize mileage.
As with other hybrids, Honda's latest is likely to appeal most to motorists doing a lot of stop-and-go driving, where its batteries routinely get recharged to boost fuel efficiency. Gas-electric vehicles tend to be less effective on the open road because the batteries don't get recharged as often, and that's reflected in the fact that the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid gets "only" 45 mpg on the highway, with the EPA giving it a 47 mpg combined rating.