Engineers have also developed a new continuously variable transmission for peak fuel economy. When paired with the CVT, the four-cylinder yields 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. Those numbers mark an increase of four mpg city and two mpg highway over the old automatic, but land the Accord behind the 38 mpg of the 2013 Nissan Altima.
While the new direct-injection system and transmissions account for a large portion of that increase, tricks like an electric power steering system and reworked aerodynamics also help. Sport trim bumps power up to 189 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque with no significant fuel economy penalty. Buyers who step into the 278 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with its 252 lb-ft of torque can look forward to 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. That's an increase of one and four mpg, respectively, which helps push the six-cylinder to 25 mpg combined.
Efficiency numbers for the plug-in version are not yet available, but we expect them around the time of the Los Angeles Auto Show.