Honda has taken its share of criticism in recent years for such uninspiring vehicles as the Crosstour and CR-Z and the 2012 Civic. And its powertrains -- the heart and soul of its identity -- have lacked innovation. For example, the company has been slow to adopt six-speed automatic transmissions.
Honda's hybrid vehicles also have lacked the fuel efficiency and packaging prowess of rival Toyota's.
So it's a good sign that Honda engineers have developed an innovative powertrain on the redesigned 2014 Accord Hybrid that achieves an eye-popping 50 mpg in the city. It's just one car that has yet to be tested in the marketplace. But it means that Honda knows how to get its mojo back.