This week came news that Honda has dropped the hybrid version of the Accord from its lineup. If you find this sad, you’ve never driven an Accord hybrid. The regenerative braking system felt stiff and unresponsive, the car shook noticeably when the gasoline engine turned on and off, and it looked just like a boring ol’ Accord.
But what really killed the Accord was its mediocre gas mileage—about 30 mpg in normal driving. That’s fine for a traditional car, but the Accord hybrid sold for a $4,000 premium over its non-hybrid brethren with practically the same mileage efficiency.
The bright spot in all of this? Honda plans to replace the hybrid with a clean-burning diesel model.
Remember: Hybrids are just a technological trick that reuse some of the energy lost when driving. They can make your car use less gas or boost its power. Diesels do the same thing for less money (no need to mate an electric motor to a gasoline engine), diesel fuel costs less than regular, and new diesel tech is far cleaner than what you remember from the smokers of yore. The proof: Honda’s new diesel will get up to 60 mpg and be available for sale in ultra-clean California. —Michael Moyer