Hybrid Battles: The Honda Accord Plug-in vs. The Ford Fusion Energi

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The battle for electric vehicle supremacy has officially hit American soil, with nearly every major vehicle manufacturer having a player in the game. Thanks to tax incentives and an increased awareness of CO2 emissions’ impact on our environment, hybrids and electric vehicles are quickly becoming customer favorites. A quick look at the success of models like the Toyota (NYSE:TM) Prius point to an evolving consumer preferences on what types of vehicles people are buying, and what features will propel sales.

Previously, we compared two popular electric vehicles currently making rounds on American streets — the Toyota Prius Plug-in and the Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Volt. The Prius Plug-in triumphed handily over the Volt in that head-to-head match up, and this time, we’re bringing two new contenders to face off. The Honda (NYSE:HMC) Accord Plug-in and the Ford (NYSE:F) Fusion Energi are two spinoffs of immensely popular models, sure to cater to fans of the originals while offering the advantage of an electric option.

Read on to see our comparison of the Honda Accord Plug-in and the Fusion Energi across five categories, and see where each car’s strengths and weaknesses lie.

Accord EV

1. Cargo & Passenger Space

Space can be a big deciding factor for many customers when shopping for a new car, and consumers generally aren’t happy to sacrifice cargo and passenger space for added fuel economy. When it comes to passenger seating, both the Fusion Energi and the Accord Plug-in offer seating for five. As far as actual passenger volume, the Accord Plug-in supplies 103.2 cubic feet, while the Fusion Energi comes in just short of that number, with 102.8.

For cargo, Honda comes in ahead by a hair again with 8.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The Fusion Energi falls short with a close 8.2. While both cars have very similar dimensions, the Accord Plug-in edges out the Fusion Energi to win the category, but just barely.

Winner: Accord Plug-in

HondaAccordPlugIn

2. Fuel Economy & Range

Fuel economy and range are the core factors in what has people interested in electric cars. However, when selecting an electric vehicle, there are several things to take into account. First off, as far as maximum EV mode, or electric-only, the Accord Plug-in has a maximum driving range of 13 miles. The Fusion Energi vastly outlasts it, able to achieve 21 miles on a full battery. In gasoline-only mode, the Accord trumps the Fusion when it comes to fuel economy, hitting 46 miles per gallon combined compared to approximately 42 miles per gallon.

In the all-important miles-per-gallon of gasoline-equiquivelant, or MPGe, the Accord Plug-in once again edges out the Fusion Energi, with 115 MPGe against the 100 MPGe achieved by the Fusion. In the fuel economy category, the Accord Plug-in comes in ahead.

Winner: Accord Plug-in

Honda Accord Features

3. Features

Features can be a difficult category to compare and contrast, as most vehicles offer the same standard equipment in some form or another. There are some variations from make to make, with which it can become easier to discern the superior product. Honda outfitted the Accord Plug-in with cool extras like an Intelligent Multi-Information Display, Eco Assist, and heated bio-fabric seats, all wrapped in a sleek and aerodynamic exterior. The Fusion Energi is fully-loaded with Ford’s Smartgauge technology, a reverse sensing system and the available Sync program with MyFord Touch. The Fusion’s exterior also presents a futuristic appearance, sure to turn heads.

With similar exterior components and complementary interior technology, it’s hard to say which vehicle holds the edge in the features category. However, the complete list of the Accord Plug-in’s technology does deserve some recognition. The Fusion comes close, but the Accord earns a slight edge ahead of the Fusion once again when it comes to features.

Winner: Accord Plug-in

FusionEnergiCoke_03_HR

4. Warranties

As with any other vehicles, warranty information can be difficult to navigate. From the new vehicle warranty list compiled by Cars.com, Ford offers a basic warranty of 3 year, 36,000 miles, as does Honda. In fact, the two companies new car warranties are identical with the exception of roadside assistance, which Ford offers for 5 years, or 60,000 miles. Honda doesn’t offer it as a part of their package. The new vehicle warranties also cover corrosion and powertrain as well.

Honda offers limited warranties on the Accord Plug-in for the battery pack and replacement parts, which can vary. Honda does cover replacement parts for 1 year. Ford offers a variety of extended service plans, that include part replacements and are honored by dealers across the country.

While the warranties are very similar, Ford holds a slight advantage. Thanks to the added roadside assistance and reach of its extended service plans, the Fusion Energi outdoes the Accord Plug-in in the warranty category.

Winner: Ford Fusion Energi

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30998987@N03/

5. Price

The Honda Accord Plug-in starts with a suggested retail price of just under $40,000, giving the edge in the price category to the Ford Fusion Energi, which clocks in at $34,700. Both come in with sticker prices a bit above competitors like the Prius Plug-in, a potential setback for customers looking to for a lower-priced, dependable electric vehicle. Cars from other manufacturers have EV options with prices starting in the the $35,000 range, so Ford is coming in at about average with the Fusion Energi’s sticker.

With options and various trim availability, prices can vary, but with a nearly $5,000 edge in price, the Fusion Energi comes out a clear winner.

Winner: Ford Fusion Energi

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