2005 Honda Accord Hybrid

Rear Drivers Side View

Honda has been selling its Insight since December 1999 and its Civic hybrid since March 2002, but in the past year, the second-generation Toyota Prius has been the hybrid getting all the attention, and not just from the paparazzi at the Academy Awards. For 2005, Honda strikes back with a hybrid version of the Accord, a full year before Toyota is scheduled to hybridize its bestselling Camry. On sale late this year, the gasoline-sipping Accord will use the same Integrated Motor Assist technology as in Honda's other hybrids, applied for the first time to a six-cylinder engine. The 3.0-liter V-6 uses variable cylinder management to deactivate three cylinders during highway cruising, yet it will have better horsepower and torque figures than the current V-6-powered Accord's 240 hp and 212 lb-ft, with fuel economy on par with the four-cylinder Civic (about 32/38 mpg city/ highway). Honda will ask for a $2500 to $3000 premium over the top-of-the-line EX L sedan, so Accord fans who want to go green should prepare to part with about $30,000.

ON SALE: Late 2004
PRICE: $30,000 (est.)
ENGINE: Gasoline-electric hybrid, 245-hp (est.), 3.0-liter V-6
BOTTOM LINE: Beating the Camry at Toyota's own game.

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