Consumer Reports Says Honda Accord Hybrid Fails 47 MPG Label

May 29, 2014 4:16 pm ET

(Updates with closing ADR price in final paragraph.)

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co.’s gasoline-electric Accord is the most fuel-efficient U.S. mid-size sedan yet doesn’t get its window sticker average, Consumer Reports found, making it the latest hybrid to fail the magazine’s road tests.

The 2014 Accord Hybrid, priced from $29,155, averaged 40 miles (64 kilometers) per gallon of gasoline in combined city and highway driving, Consumer Reports said today in a statement. That may disappoint buyers expecting the car to achieve its Environmental Protection Agency city/highway window sticker rating of 47 mpg, the magazine said. Such labels are intended to show the actual fuel economy for new cars and trucks.

“We’ve found that the EPA tests often exaggerate the fuel economy of hybrids,” said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. The magazine also said Honda’s hybrid scored lower than the four-cylinder engine gasoline version due to ride comfort, emergency handling and cabin noise issues.

The lackluster review comes after Consumer Reports found a significant shortfall in the fuel economy of Ford Motor Co.’s Fusion and C-Max hybrids in 2012. While the Yonkers, New York- based magazine and other reviewers say EPA tests don’t accurately reflect real-world driving conditions, particularly after Ford, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. restated fuel ratings for some models, the agency hasn’t revised its methods.

“We’re very happy to see that in Consumer Reports’ testing, they confirmed that its 40 mpg average ranks it as the most fuel-efficient four-door mid-size sedan that they’ve measured in at least the last 10 years,” Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman, said today. “Actual Accord Hybrid owners have reported even better mileage in their real world experiences.”

Accord Hybrid owners are getting an average of 42.4 mpg, according to the U.S. government’s fueleconomy.gov website, where drivers can log their mileage.

U.S. sales operations for Tokyo-based Honda are in Torrance, California. The company’s American depositary receipts rose 0.8 percent to $34.87 at the close in New York. They’ve declined 16 percent this year.