Review of 3 Popular Plug-In Hybrids Cars: Chevy Volt v. Honda Accord v. Ford Fusion

Chevy Honda Ford Plug in Electric Cars

Did you catch the Los Angeles Times’ article Battle of the Plug-In Hybrids? It’s a long one, so as your San Diego electric car charger installation providers and general go-to experts on all things electric vehicles, we’ve condensed the most important points here.

While the Chevrolet Volt rated highest in efficiency because of the electric-only range of about 38 miles, the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion came out ahead for high-end fit and finish.

Chevrolet Volt

Where Chevy Wins:

1)    Highest Efficiency: has an electric-only range of 38 miles, triple the range of the Honda Accord and double that of the Ford Fusion.

2)    Costs Less: base price of $34,995 for 2014 Models

3)     1.4 Liter gasoline engine to ensure range

4)    Decent engine power, silent and stable ride

5)    After the charge runs out, the gasoline rage extender kicks in, and gets 35 miles per gallon

6)    The engine charges the battery, which powers an electric motor that turns the wheels

7)    Best bet for getting your money’s worth over the long term. Also, has lowest sticker price of the 3 models.

Chevy Drawbacks:

1)    “Feels cheap” by comparison to the Honda and the Ford in terms of driving experience

2)    Cramped interior covered in cheap, shiny plastic with too many tiny, touch-sensitive controls. Seats are too cramped because of the large T-shaped battery positioned underneath, which limits available seats to 4.

3)    Battery placement of the car contributes to the dull exterior styling, with tall doors and windows.

4)    Windows, when down, produce unbearable wind noises similar to a helicopter landing on a roof.

5)    149 horsepower is substantially less than Honda Accord and Ford Fusion Energy

6)    Engine doesn’t always rev when you step on the accelerator. Sometimes it even revs at a high idle when the car is stopped.

Honda Accord

Where Honda Wins

1)    High efficiency, high-end fit and finish.

2)    Shorter, sportier, and larger than older Honda Accord models.

3)    Exterior styling is simple, with clean lines flowing slightly downward from the trunk to the front grille.

4)    Has 4 heated seats, a back-up camera and adaptive cruise control.

5)    The Honda Accord plug-in excels after the charge runs out, with an average of 50MPG.

6)    The combination of the 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder engine, and its lithium ion battery produces a high 196 horsepower.

Honda Drawbacks

1)    Honda built the car more as an engineering exercise than a sales leader, with hopes of selling only 1,100 of them from 2013-14, and only in California and New York. In August, 44 plug-in Accords were sold, compared with 1,152 plug-in Fusions and 3,351 Volts sold.

2)    Only gets about 13 miles out of a charge – about a third of what the Chevrolet Volt gets.

3)    The Accord’s interior consists of mismatched faux-metal trim pieces as well as a cheap-looking plastic wheel.

Ford Fusion Energi

 Where Ford Wins:

1)    Out of the three models, proves the winner in style and comfort, and it paralleled the Honda Accord in driving dynamics.

2)    Has the feel of an expensive luxury car with comfortable cross-stitched leather seats and well-placed metallic and piano-black trim pieces throughout the interior. Also, the Dash controls and entertainment system come in a simple layout and is easy to maneuver.

3)    Distinguished itself in quality and fit and finish. Also keeps out wind and road noises.

4)    Feels heavy when driven, retains stability over bumps with less feel and noise.

Ford Drawbacks:

1)    Ford Fusion proved to be the least efficient of the three models by a good margin, achieving 37MPG over a week of driving, along with an electric-only range of 16 miles.

2)    Has 195 Horsepower, a little below that of the Honda Accord plug-in.

3)    Many customer complaints about the low city and highway driving efficiency, only has 43 MPG.

Author Brian Thevenot concludes that the technology behind hybrids, battery electrics, fuel cells, turbos, hydrogen powered cars will eventually converge. In the meantime, the hybrid model aims to maximize the car’s range with a gas power option, but minimize the costs and pollution of gasoline through use of electric power.

Whichever Electric Vehicle You Choose, Mathewson Electric Handles Your Electric Car Charger Installation

When it comes to cost savings and personal attention, Mathewson Electric beats the dealers every time. San Diego’s premier electric car charger installers, we have the permitting, installation and charging process down for ALL brands: Aeroinvironment, Clipper Creek, Leviton, Blinq and more. We’ve had the privilege of helping new owners of the Nissan Leaf, Fisker Karma, Chevy Volt, Ford Max and Escort,Toyota Prius and even the Tesla S, get out on the road fast. Still contemplating the electric car decision? Feel free to follow our blog, our Facebook page or Google Plus. We review electric cars from time to time and keep owners up on the latest car charging stations to be added in San Diego as well as nationwide legislation pertaining to electric vehicles. We help you get all the benefits from your electric vehicle.



Dan Mathewson is in charge of the electric vehicle services of this website and company services here in San Diego. Call us today at 619-246-6159!

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