Test driving the 2014 Honda Accord hybrid

The Honda Accord EX comes with cloth seats that can be upgraded. (WTOP/Mike Parris)

WASHINGTON – The holidays are over and so is driving my own car for a while.

The first car for 2014 is the new Honda Accord EX hybrid. This popular mid-size sedan is looking to make a big impact with a very fuel efficient sedan starting under $30,000.

I’m in the middle of a week of 48-mpg commutes and trying to achieve 50 mpg. I know it can be done.

It’s impressive that a car this size has an EPA rating of 45 mpg highway and 50 mpg city.

I enjoy trying to extend the range by operating on electric power for short periods of time.

The new hybrid system is called “Earth Dreams Hybrid system” a new system that combines a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine and a CVT transmission, which takes some getting used to. The transition from electric to the gas engine is near seamless. It’s a really neat system.

The Accord is on the big side of the mid-size sedan segment with a large back seat and plenty of legroom.

Honda Accord Ex (WTOP/Mike Parris)

The Honda Accord EX lets you know how many miles you are getting to the gallon. (WTOP/Mike Parris)

The ride is close to sporty for a big Honda but it does a good job of soaking up some of the new potholes showing up everywhere lately.

I found it very simple to sync my phone and it took me less than a minute to connect.

My base EX model has a cool safety feature. It comes with rearview camera called Honda Lane Watch which has a camera on the right side mirror that turns on when you use the turn signal and displays the view on the 8-inch center console screen.

The EX comes with cloth seats that had me little antsy after an hour of driving. But you can spend another $2,000 for the next trim level EX-L and add heated leather seats, a power moonroof and some added safety features.

Spend just under $35,000 and add navigation and adaptive cruise control to a long list of features. The trunk space is cut down to around 13 cubic feet with batteries taking up some of the room, but it fit everything from my recent home improvement and big box store trip.

I come away impressed with my time in the new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It has room for five and is easy on the wallet when it comes to skipping the gas pump for up to 600 miles at a time.

Editor’s Note: Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by STI ,FMI or Event Solutions for the purpose of this review.

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