2005 Honda Accord Hybrid

Hybrids are still viable contenders as gas prices continue to hover just under $4 a gallon and no relief in sight. Alternative energy vehicles have a very checkered and infamous past, most notably with General Motors EV-1, which by most accounts was a pretty cool automobile until they abruptly canceled the program. It wasn't the first time GM pulled a weird move that resulted in several conspiracy theories.

Only a couple years later however, the Japanese marched in with the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. The first generation Insight was truly cool, using expensive high-strentgh but ultra-lightweight steel, and super aerodynamic design to achieve a new level of efficiency. Then the four door-Prius came along and found a spot in garages across American suburbs.

Honda introduced a Civic Hybrid, but it didn't have a hatchback or "hip" status like the Prius, which Hollywood celebrities drove to award ceremonies. Then Honda rolled out an Accord Hybrid. This was based on the North American seventh generation Accord. Hondas are frustrating cars. You feel like there's potential for a really great car, but they always seem to settle for just good. Unfortunately, "just good" meant they still had flaws. One of the things that has always bothered me about Hondas is ride quality and road noise, two things competitor Toyota seemed to care about and try refining.

Flaws aside, the Accord Hybrid seemed like a good idea. If you couldn't stand the dingy looks or compact size of the Civic but still wanted fuel savings, the Accord Hybrid was an option.

One of the things that made it interesting was the pairing of 6-cylinders and an electric motor. The 1st-gen insight only had three cylinders and the Prius just four. 6-cylinders seemed to address hesitations about hybrid performance while still utilizing the electric motor for efficiency. In fact, the combination produced 15 more horsepower and made the '05 Accord Hybrid faster than the gasoline V6 Accord. There was just one problem: the 29/37 mpg wasn't that much better than the regular Accord and not great as far as hybrids go in general.

Not surprisingly, since it looked like a regular Accord, drove like a regular Accord and was $3k more than a regular Accord, the Hyrbid Accord didn't take off, and wasn't offered after 2007.

The seller of this example seems to be a former Marine who "just got married at age 66" and took exceptional care of the car. With just 57,008 miles on the clock, they also barely drove it. Accord Hybrids were positioned at the top of Honda's lineup, so they usually come very well-equipped, and this one has nice leather seats and a bunch of other goodies.

Honda just reintroduced an Accord Hybrid for 2014, but until now this was the only Accord Hybrid, and it still remains a rare and interesting alternative energy car. Being a hybrid, it still bears a price premium, but it's a good design and will still be mostly efficient and very reliable transportation for a long time. Or, at least until it needs a new electric battery (every 10 years).

Available here on ebay for $12k.

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