2006 Honda Accord and Civic Hybrids
If you′re in the market for a hybrid, Honda is good starting point. The Civic and Accord utilize Honda′s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, which supplements the gasoline engine with electric power. The IMA boosts the gas engine for quick starts or additional passing power. While cruising, the system increases fuel efficiency and extends driving range. When the brakes are applied, the electric motor recharges the batteries. While stopped, the gasoline engine shuts down, reducing fuel consumption; stepping on the accelerator activates the gas and electric power plants for a brisk restart. Most impressively, the IMA put to rest any doubts about hybrid power and performance.
In both models, the 8-inch thick battery pack, covered by an 8 year/80,000 mile warranty, sits snugly behind the rear seat without severely reducing cargo space.
Unfortunately, the limited test drive period was not sufficient to determine accurately actual fuel economy for either model.
Both models were equipped with the Honda navigation system, featuring voice recognition. It proved to be very simple to program, and to prevent driver distraction, it is not manually programmable while the vehicle is in motion.
The Accord′s sleek, smooth lines enhance its aerodynamic appeal, and, as with the Civic Hybrid, the only distinction between the hybrid and gasoline engine models is the hybrid tag mounted on the trunk lid.
The IMA is coupled to a 3.0 liter 6 cylinder engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission which produce power to spare. The Accord jumps off the line quickly and crisply and accelerates smoothly as it seamlessly alternates to and from the electric assist mode.
Overall, the Accord has advanced into the luxury vehicle class. Leather trimmed upholstery and the leather-wrapped steering wheel give the Accord an elegant feel. Forward compartment seats, yes they are heated;provide solid lumbar support and comfort, and rear passengers enjoy the same pleasurable ride in deep seats which increase leg and head room. Dual-zone climate controls and illuminated visor vanity mirrors are among the long list of comfort features.
The electric power assisted rack and pinion steering and double wishbone suspension enable smooth handling and maneuverability on winding roads or in tight parking areas.
The many standard safety features include front compartment dual stage airbags, driver′s and passenger′s side airbags and side curtain airbags.