The new Honda Accord Hybrid will have a best-in-class fuel economy rating of 50 mpg when it goes on sale later this year.
Honda released the fuel-economy figure yesterday for that vehicle, which is being assembled in Marysville.
"It's an impressive number," said John O'Dell, senior editor for Edmunds.com. "To have a good-size car with decent fuel economy is a good thing."
The gas-electric hybrid will have an EPA fuel-economy rating of 50 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and a combined rating of 47 mpg. It will have a driving range of 673 miles, which is the most in its segment.
As is often the case with hybrids, the city rating is higher than on the highway because the vehicle uses the brakes to help charge the battery in stop-and-start situations.
The Accord's fuel efficiency is the same or better than other midsize hybrids. The closest competitor is the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which has a rating of 47 mpg in the city and a combined rating of 47 mpg.
The Accord Hybrid is the first hybrid assembled in Ohio by any major automaker. Honda spent $18.8 million and added 50 jobs in Marysville to add hybrid production, the company said.
"We are extremely proud of that 50 (mpg) number," said Steve Rodriguez, engineering project leader for the Accord Hybrid. "It's great to be part of that."
He pointed to several engineering decisions that helped to reduce the vehicle's weight and improve its fuel economy. For example, the Accord Hybrid has a rear bumper beam made of aluminum instead of steel, he said.
Pricing for the vehicle has not yet been disclosed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets guidelines for automakers to test vehicles and come up with the fuel-economy figures that appear in the window sticker.
In some cases, the companies get it wrong and have to revise the numbers. That is what happened this summer with the Ford C-Max hybrid, following complaints from customers. Ford dropped the rating on the compact crossover from 47 mpg to 43 mpg and agreed to compensate buyers for the error.
"People should never take the EPA mileage rating as gospel," O'Dell said. "It's just a guide."& amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; lt; /p>
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