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    Thread: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid vs. 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

    1. Member overst33r's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 08:15 AM #1
      In a desperate plea to make this the least boring of the many fuel-miser comparison tests in which it has competed, the 2013 Volkswagen Passat did the unlikely: It bettered the EPA's combined fuel economy estimate by 4.8 mpg.

      Whether this is a result of unusually light editorial feet, excessive highway miles or straight dumb luck isn't clear. But one thing is certain: The Passat needed to bring its "A" game to beat the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid.

      After all, the new Accord Hybrid recently won the gnarliest fuel-saver skirmish in the history of fuel-saving skirmishes: The Great Honda Accord Throwdown of November 2013.

      So as you can see, this is an honest, no-nonsense comparison of utilitarian technologies — one proven and one an all-new take on a modern theme. Forget about vanity, frills and flourish. This is the pragmatic-man's comparison test and all it will deliver are the facts.

      Like these...

      If All You Care About Is MPG
      Despite the Passat's EPA-besting success, the Accord Hybrid utterly dominated all aspects of fuel saving in this test. During the hundreds of miles covered in each, the Accord's 46.3 mpg handily trounced the Passat's 39.8-mpg average.

      The domination continued on our 116-mile test loop, where the Honda snubbed the Passat by 3.1 mpg (47.5 mpg vs. 44.4 mpg). The EPA, too, acknowledges the Hybrid's miserliness. At 47 mpg combined (50 city/45 highway) according to the Feds, there's little reason to think the 34 mpg combined (30 city/40 highway) Passat was going to equal that performance.

      The foundation of the Accord Hybrid's powertrain is a 141-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that runs on 87-octane gasoline. In place of a conventional transmission are two electric motors. One motor acts as a generator to charge the battery while the other drives the wheels. When necessary (primarily at freeway speeds), the gas engine is locked to the drive wheels via the electric motor. A 1.3kWh lithium-ion battery resides in the trunk. Combined output of the gas engine and electric motor is 196 hp and 226 pound-feet of torque.

      This novel approach to power delivery allows the Accord Hybrid to run in three modes: full EV mode up to 74 mph, series-hybrid mode where the engine is powering the batteries for the electric motor that is driving the wheels and gasoline-only mode for those long, steep climbs.

      The Passat, for its part, delivers 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque from a thoroughly modern 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine lashed to a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

      The only clue that there's anything unconventional about the Passat's powertrain comes on cold mornings when there's a slight delay between when you push the start button and the engine fires. From behind the wheel the Passat is quiet and torque-rich.

      Do They Feel Like Fuel Misers?
      You'll not want to rush either of these sedans onto the freeway in front of a charging tractor-trailer. However, should you find yourself in such a circumstance you'll be better served in the Accord, which hits 60 mph a full 1.6 seconds before the Passat (7.4 seconds, or 7.1 seconds with 1 foot of rollout as on a drag strip vs. 9.0 seconds [8.7 with rollout]). The lighter German (3,500 pounds vs. 3,569), however, closes the gap to 1.1 seconds at the quarter-mile. Its 16.7-second pass is off the pace of most four-cylinder gasoline-powered midsize sedans, while the Accord Hybrid is slightly better than average at 15.6 seconds.

      As important as the outright speed, though, is the way both cars deliver power. There's plenty of midrange torque in the Passat, but it arrives only after turbo boost builds and the transmission finds the right gear ratio. It helps a little to drive the Passat around in Sport mode, which awakens the transmission to a small extent. Whichever setting you choose, it's a powertrain that's as smooth and quiet as it is forgettable in everyday use.

      In the Accord, however, there's an immediate response to throttle input that's both welcome and usable. The combination of instantly available electric torque and the lack of a need to downshift gets the credit here.

      Handling tests were a virtual wash despite the Passat's larger 18-inch rubber. Only 0.1 mph separated the two in the slalom (Accord 63.7, Passat 63.6 mph), while the Passat eked out a small advantage in lateral acceleration at 0.85g to the Accord's 0.83g.

      Similar Size, Different Feel
      Though its wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer, the Passat is marginally shorter in overall length and narrower than the electrified Accord. Inside, both cars do an admirable job of accommodating even large passengers in either the front or rear seats. The Passat, though its measured interior volume is smaller, wins any comparison of perceived interior space. Credit here goes to the Volkswagen's less sculpted dash, pushed-back pillars and better legroom front and rear.

      There's also 3.6 additional cubic feet in its trunk, which isn't burdened with carrying batteries. With this benefit comes a split-folding rear seat, too.

      But the small compromise the Accord makes in utility it gains back in style, quality and personality. Put plainly, the Passat isn't as nice inside. We applaud Volkswagen's use of three knobs (Honda uses buttons) to manage the Passat's dual-zone climate control, but its mix of wood and plastic is dull at best. Even configured without the wood trim, the Passat's sterile interior is no match for the Accord's finely finished materials and coherent style. Honda brings together soft-touch black plastic, leather and satin trim to elegantly finish the Accord.

      Drive Them Both Before You Decide
      When it comes to effortless efficiency in the daily task of moving people, both cars make a strong case. If your intended use includes disproportionate amounts of highway time, the Passat is very good. During one highway-heavy tank on this test we drove 128 miles and then noticed its range indicator predicted 623 miles still remaining. Few backsides or bladders will desire more miles per tank.

      It's in long, stopless road-trip legs that its diesel power plant shines most brightly, offering long-haul capacity coupled with virtually nonexistent noise and harshness. It's a diesel, but it's a quiet, smooth diesel.

      If the Accord has a weakness it's on the freeway where its gas/electric transition — while cruising between 60 and 70 mph — results in a small but perceptible drivetrain surge. Though many buyers won't even notice, this will, for some, be an annoying deal breaker.

      Still, if there's an athlete here, it's the Honda. Its steering is quicker and its response to inputs more welcome than in the Passat. And it offers these benefits without a corresponding deficiency in ride quality. What's more, in all-electric mode, you'll not find a quieter midsize sedan.

      Cost vs. Benefit
      Both cars in this test are feature-laden examples and include navigation, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, rearview back-up cameras, keyless entry and ignition as well as power front seats. Both offer leather seating, though the Passat adds suede inserts and a memory function that isn't present in the Accord.

      But the Accord's feature list is more heavily stacked. It also offers LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, front collision alert and Honda's Lane Watch, which displays the rear-quarter view on the center screen when the right turn signal is activated.

      Unsurprisingly, with this functionality and efficiency comes a higher price tag. At $35,695 the Accord Hybrid Touring cost $1,985 more than the range-topping Passat TDI SEL Premium, which tallied $33,710.

      2nd Place
      It's hard to condemn the Passat given its relatively impressive fuel economy, its admirable daily driver practicality and its substantial comfort and utility. But there's no denying that it falls short when compared to what's probably the best hybrid sedan in the world today.

      In the Passat we have a large, comfortable sedan with bladder-busting range, a family-size backseat and enough trunk space to accommodate multiple international-size suitcases. Its size and weight are a liability if you ever need to really hustle, but that's not a task we find ourselves needing often in midsize sedans.

      Though the price difference is less than $2,000, you'd need 11.5 years with the Accord (assuming 15,000 miles annually) to save that much in fuel cost. That's longer than most people keep their cars and it's a solid reason to opt for the Passat. Plus, that's $2,000 you pragmatic folks can sink into your kids' college funds. Speaking of pragmatism, many will find comfort investing in proven diesel power and reliability over hybrid technology. Or maybe you just want to cruise at 80 mph for hours on end. If so, the Passat is your car.

      Meanwhile, we'll drive the winner...

      1st Place
      It's not what the Accord Hybrid does that wins it this test. Rather, it's what it doesn't do. Finally, we have a sedan that fully embraces hybrid technology without boastfully displaying it in every detail. In fact, the nuances differentiating it from the standard Accord are subtle enough that only those in the know will notice. And that's a good thing.

      More importantly, from behind the wheel, the Accord is a hybrid that doesn't require a full restructuring of your expectations about how a car should drive. Sure, you'll notice its nuances if you're paying attention. But you don't have to. It's a hybrid you can drive like a normal car, should you choose. And if you're so inclined, the Accord provides sufficient indulgence to satisfy even the most fuel-pump-averse hypermiler.

      Yes, it costs more than the 2013 Volkswagen Passat, but in every area except cargo space and range, you get more. And if fuel economy is the main priority in your next vehicle it's hard to do better. The bottom line is that the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is as impressive as a fuel-saving sedan as it is as a family sedan. And we can't ask for more than that.
      http://www.edmunds.com/honda/accord-...son-test1.html

      Last edited by overst33r; 12-17-2013 at 08:46 AM.


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    2. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 08:45 AM #2
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    3. Member overst33r's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 08:47 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by zhenya00 View Post
      Source?
      http://www.edmunds.com/honda/accord-...son-test1.html


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      12-17-2013 08:50 AM #4
      Honda absolutely knocked it out of the park and into the water beyond right field with the current Accord. Not surprised to see it beat the relatively ordinary Passat TDI.

    5. 12-17-2013 08:54 AM #5
      Accord, raping one competitor at a time.

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      12-17-2013 09:01 AM #6
      All models of the new Accord look really great. I think the only thing keeping the hybrid from being a big seller is the steep price premium it is commanding. My co-worker just bought a new Accord and didn't even give the hybrid a second look.

      Can't wait to see the new Civic!
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      12-17-2013 09:21 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by zhenya00 View Post
      All models of the new Accord look really great. I think the only thing keeping the hybrid from being a big seller is the steep price premium it is commanding. My co-worker just bought a new Accord and didn't even give the hybrid a second look.

      Can't wait to see the new Civic!
      If you consider the time it would take in, gas savings, to recoup the price premium over the regular gasser, maybe it didn't deserve that second look.. especially when most don't keep cars long enough to see that savings realized.

      Classic VW... a day late and a dollar short. They'll get it "2013 right" in 2018

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      12-17-2013 09:28 AM #8
      So the Accord was nicer inside, 1.5s faster to 60mph, and more fuel-efficient.

      I like the Passat as I stated in another thread recently, but...

      Also, was surprised to read this from a major media outlet:

      Quote Originally Posted by Edmunds
      the Passat's sterile interior is no match for the Accord's finely finished materials and coherent style. Honda brings together soft-touch black plastic, leather and satin trim to elegantly finish the Accord.
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      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

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      12-17-2013 09:32 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Honda absolutely knocked it out of the park and into the water beyond right field with the current Accord. Not surprised to see it beat the relatively ordinary Passat TDI.
      I agree with this if the Honda hybrid will actually follow through and not come short, in the very soon future, as it did before.

      Quote Originally Posted by article
      When it comes to effortless efficiency in the daily task of moving people, both cars make a strong case. If your intended use includes disproportionate amounts of highway time, the Passat is very good. During one highway-heavy tank on this test we drove 128 miles and then noticed its range indicator predicted 623 miles still remaining. Few backsides or bladders will desire more miles per tank.

      It's in long, stopless road-trip legs that its diesel power plant shines most brightly, offering long-haul capacity coupled with virtually nonexistent noise and harshness. It's a diesel, but it's a quiet, smooth diesel.

      If the Accord has a weakness it's on the freeway where its gas/electric transition — while cruising between 60 and 70 mph — results in a small but perceptible drivetrain surge. Though many buyers won't even notice, this will, for some, be an annoying deal breaker.
      And it's not like the Passat is doing poorly, in comparison, at highway drives.
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      12-17-2013 09:38 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by PiSSAT4motion View Post
      If you consider the time it would take in, gas savings, to recoup the price premium over the regular gasser, maybe it didn't deserve that second look.. especially when most don't keep cars long enough to see that savings realized.
      One of the reasons we got 2.5 Passat over TDI. $3k extra upfront and 1.9% instead of 0% plus over 40c/gal fuel price just wasn't worth the mpgs.

      I would be surprised if new Accord didn't beat a 2yr old Passat. It just gives VW something to do and strive for.
      When Passat came out, it was car of the year(was it twice?). Honda took notice and produced a kick azz Accord, its time VW take notice.
      I would be more interested in SE versions of both cars.

      PS I don't think VW was late w Passat, but it needs to change it up since all competitors have new models come out since 2012. 5yr cycle doesn't seem to be a norm these days. OEMS are doing atleast a refresh every 2yrs to keep up w the competition.
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      12-17-2013 09:48 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by feels_road View Post
      I agree with this if the Honda hybrid will actually follow through and not come short, in the very soon future, as it did before.
      I'd love to know what this non sequitur means.

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      12-17-2013 09:49 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Ross1013 View Post
      So the Accord was nicer inside, 1.5s faster to 60mph, and more fuel-efficient.

      I like the Passat as I stated in another thread recently, but...

      Also, was surprised to read this from a major media outlet:
      as a fairly picky driver the surge between 60 and 70 i hope is not as bad as they say. My VCM accord has this weird area between 55-65 that due to the torque hole doesn't quite have enough juice to maintain 3cyl mode easily and therefore you'll want to either cruise at 70+ or under 50 to keep it meaty. I do like that full size hybrids are finally delivering and hopefully all this competition will drive prices down in the future.
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      12-17-2013 09:57 AM #13
      I would take the Accord, but this worries me:

      If the Accord has a weakness it's on the freeway where its gas/electric transition — while cruising between 60 and 70 mph — results in a small but perceptible drivetrain surge. Though many buyers won't even notice, this will, for some, be an annoying deal breaker.
      I pretty much drive 55-75, and average 65 mph. There would be a lot of times that I would dip to lets say 55 and then accelerate back up to 70 then 75. That transition, if it is as they describe, would drive me insane.

      I would have to take multiple test drives to look into the surge.
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      12-17-2013 10:11 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by TM87 View Post

      I would be surprised if new Accord didn't beat a 2yr old Passat.
      I think the Accord design is already 1 year old - only the Hybrid option is new. So it's not like the Accord is THAT much fresher than the Passat. Honda had to be way into the development cycle by the time the Passat even came out.

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      12-17-2013 10:12 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by feels_road View Post
      I agree with this if the Honda hybrid will actually follow through and not come short, in the very soon future, as it did before.
      The previous hybrid fell short because it was a POS.

      This new one is easily the best non plug-in hybrid you can buy today. It is astonishingly good.
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      12-17-2013 10:16 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by feels_road View Post
      I agree with this if the Honda hybrid will actually follow through and not come short, in the very soon future, as it did before.
      s.
      Same could be said of VW - but the new Honda hybrid system is comprehensively different than anything they've done before and there's precisely zero reason to assume that it will be problematic in the same ways.
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      12-17-2013 10:18 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      I would take the Accord, but this worries me:



      I pretty much drive 55-75, and average 65 mph. There would be a lot of times that I would dip to lets say 55 and then accelerate back up to 70 then 75. That transition, if it is as they describe, would drive me insane.

      I would have to take multiple test drives to look into the surge.
      It would bother me too, but that is usually the kind of thing that can be fixed with software.

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      12-17-2013 10:40 AM #18
      I'm looking forward to see the reliability of this system. If things go well I'll be looking at something like the this hybrid a few years from now.

      I like my Prius, but it feels like a cheap toy... It is reliable though. My 3 yr old '07 Accord 4cyl with almost double the mileage was still very nice, and was probably the second best car I have ever owned. I looked at the hybrid version at that time and hated it.
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      12-17-2013 11:59 AM #19
      Other than MPGs and efficiency, I'm not surprised a bit by these results. My uncle has a new Accord with the V6. I'm not sure if it's completely loaded with all options, but it's probably close. My impression, after looking all around the car, feeling the interior materials and fit and finish, was that if Honda starts doing this treatment with the rest of their lineup (appropriate for respective segments, of course), they are headed in the right direction. It's not the most exciting car, but it's what a Honda should be in terms of quality feel. Good job to Honda.

    20. 12-17-2013 12:33 PM #20
      Is there a non-touring Accord Hybrid? I mean, if the $2k price difference is significant, step down a level.

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      12-17-2013 12:38 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Captain 'Murica! View Post
      Is there a non-touring Accord Hybrid? I mean, if the $2k price difference is significant, step down a level.
      That I'm aware of, the Hybrid is its own trim level, there isn't like an LX Hybrid or a Touring Hybrid.
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      12-17-2013 12:42 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Crimping Is Easy View Post
      That I'm aware of, the Hybrid is its own trim level, there isn't like an LX Hybrid or a Touring Hybrid.
      No, there is.
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      12-17-2013 12:43 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Captain 'Murica! View Post
      Is there a non-touring Accord Hybrid? I mean, if the $2k price difference is significant, step down a level.
      No, and that's the issue, imo. Most Hybrids sold are relatively low trims, yet Honda is only offering fairly high-level trims of the Hybrid and the Plug-in.
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      12-17-2013 12:44 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      No, there is.
      Checked. I'm an idiot.
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      12-17-2013 12:47 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Crimping Is Easy View Post
      Checked. I'm an idiot.
      I'll say you're an idiot. Sheez. You don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of every major manufacturer's trim levels and drivetrain availability for every single model? For shame, sir! For shame!



      I only know because I checked out the Honda website earlier.
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      12-17-2013 12:49 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by zhenya00 View Post
      No, and that's the issue, imo. Most Hybrids sold are relatively low trims, yet Honda is only offering fairly high-level trims of the Hybrid and the Plug-in.
      Well, that's not without precedent - it's same with the TDIs and the hybrid versions of the Camry and Fusion. They always come bundled with mid- or top-range equipment levels.
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      12-17-2013 01:01 PM #27
      The Accord Hybrid is available in three trim levels:

      -Hybrid
      -Hybrid EX
      -Hybrid Touring...

      This irks me to death..minor and anal on my part but it still irks me considering Edmunds says they take these cars out for extensive drives and does these long reviews...

      Cost vs. Benefit
      Both cars in this test are feature-laden examples and include navigation, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, rearview back-up cameras, keyless entry and ignition as well as power front seats. Both offer leather seating, though the Passat adds suede inserts and a memory function that isn't present in the Accord.

      But the Accord's feature list is more heavily stacked. It also offers LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, front collision alert and Honda's Lane Watch, which displays the rear-quarter view on the center screen when the right turn signal is activated.

      Unsurprisingly, with this functionality and efficiency comes a higher price tag. At $35,695 the Accord Hybrid Touring cost $1,985 more than the range-topping Passat TDI SEL Premium, which tallied $33,710.
      The Accord in all "EX-L" and higher trims comes standard with memory seats...even the Coupe does if I'm not mistaken...small mistake for sure. Also, one could easily go for an Hybrid EX-L, which comes with leather, sunroof, and every option except Navigation and comes in a little under $33K...and that nets you LED tailights and projector beam headlights, features the $34K Passat TDI lacks.

      Outside of the impressive fuel economy and the large backseat, the Passat is dreadfully dull to me...even compared to the likes of the Accord.
      Last edited by rlaltiowner05; 12-17-2013 at 01:03 PM.
      Past: 2005 Nissan Altima 2.5S, 1991 Honda Accord EX
      Present: 2007 Honda Accord EX-L 5MT
      Future: 2014 Ford Fusion SE 1.6t

    28. Member BLK9GEN's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 01:21 PM #28
      Spending 10 days in a 2013 Malibu rental really cemented my admiration and respect for the Accord. It's not a sexy car, but it does nearly everything well. If I had it to do all over again I would still pick the Accord over the competition. Something I could not say for my Sonata approx. 1 year into ownership. And my fiance's brother owns a 2012 Passat that has already seen significant time in a dealer's service bay - needless to say I still don't trust VW.

      Last edited by BLK9GEN; 12-17-2013 at 01:28 PM.

    29. Member makasay's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 03:25 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by rlaltiowner05 View Post
      The Accord Hybrid is available in three trim levels:

      -Hybrid
      -Hybrid EX
      -Hybrid Touring...

      This irks me to death..minor and anal on my part but it still irks me considering Edmunds says they take these cars out for extensive drives and does these long reviews...



      The Accord in all "EX-L" and higher trims comes standard with memory seats...even the Coupe does if I'm not mistaken...small mistake for sure. Also, one could easily go for an Hybrid EX-L, which comes with leather, sunroof, and every option except Navigation and comes in a little under $33K...and that nets you LED tailights and projector beam headlights, features the $34K Passat TDI lacks.

      Outside of the impressive fuel economy and the large backseat, the Passat is dreadfully dull to me...even compared to the likes of the Accord.
      The trims are actually:

      -Hybrid
      -Hybrid EX-L
      -Hybrid Touring

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      I know...it is sheer insanity to want minimal to zero problems with my cars.
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    30. Member Lifelong Obsession's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 03:51 PM #30
      The Accord Hybrid looks very promising.

    31. Member Sir. Loin's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 03:57 PM #31
      Hmm, I'm sure a few small mods would jack the passat mpg up.

    32. Senior Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 04:12 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by WilliamGTI View Post
      Hmm, I'm sure a few small mods would jack the passat mpg up.
      Like what?

      Also spending money to get more fuel economy is idiotic unless it is for maintenance purposes.
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    33. Member Blonde Guy's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 04:20 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Captain 'Murica! View Post
      Is there a non-touring Accord Hybrid? I mean, if the $2k price difference is significant, step down a level.
      There is a lower priced Accord hybrid, and a lower priced Passat TDI. I think we're a few months from a new TDI engine from VW that will make the MPG about even and the power a better match. I think Honda has room to decrease the price of the Accord hybrid.

      I wonder if Honda has plans to put this hybrid in a mini-van or in the Crosstour?

    34. Member TM87's Avatar
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      12-17-2013 05:06 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by BLK9GEN View Post
      2012 Passat that has already seen significant time in a dealer's service bay - needless to say I still don't trust VW.

      What kind of problems?? Curious

      I love the frontal of the Accord. Just so mean looking in black.
      "Your pants too tight,your wheels too bright"

    35. 12-17-2013 06:15 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Not surprised to see it beat the relatively ordinary Passat TDI.
      So ordinary that it got almost beaten by itself.
      http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find....33948&id=33945

      EPA fuel cost is only 50$ cheaper for the TDI.
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