Is the regular Honda Accord better than the Hybrid Accord?

Consumer Reports checks it out

CLEVELAND - The Honda Accord stands out as Consumer Reports’ top pick mid-sized sedan. The basic LX 4-cylinder gets an impressive 30 miles per gallon overall and is relatively inexpensive at around $23,000.

The Honda Accord Hybrid is pricier, starting at over $29,000, but its window sticker cites a whopping 47 miles per gallon.

It didn’t measure quite that high in Consumer Reports’ tests. It got an overall of 40 miles per gallon — impressive but not the 47 miles per gallon on the sticker. Plus the Hybrid Accord costs $6,500 more than the basic Accord, so you’re paying a lot of money up front to save gas. And the Hybrid scored much lower in Consumer Reports’ performance tests. It doesn’t drive as well as a normal Accord. The ride is much stiffer.

The parking is not as good. And the handling in emergency situations is not nearly as secure. Also, the battery robs you of some cargo room in the trunk, and there’s no room for a spare tire. You’ll only get a tire repair kit.

Bottom line, the regular Honda Accord is actually a much better deal. But if you prefer a hybrid sedan, Consumer Reports says you’re better off with the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which starts at $27,000 and gets 38 miles per gallon overall. It doesn’t have all the compromises the Accord Hybrid does.

Want another fuel-efficient option? Consumer Reports says to try the Volkswagen Passat Diesel. It gets 37 miles per gallon overall and an extremely impressive 51 miles per gallon on the highway.

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