There’s a new hybrid sedan in Honda’s stable, the Grace Hybrid

Today Honda Motor Co., Ltd. began sales of the new Grace hybrid sedan at dealerships across Japan.

Honda declared the all-new Grace fuses together the easy handling and excellent fuel economy of a compact vehicle with the spacious cabin, stately styling, high visibility and tactile qualities and agile driving experience of an upper-middle-class sedan.

Although classified as a compact sedan, space for rear seat occupants is said by Honda to come close to that of the Accord Hybrid, a result of a long wheelbase.

The Grace is powered by Honda’s SPORT HYBRID i-DCD one-motor hybrid system. This system allows the driver to start in EV mode and combines a 1.5 liter Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC four cylinder engine, seven-speed DCT with built-in high-output motor and the IPU with a built-in lithium-ion battery.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid Review

Fuel economy, according to Honda, is rated under the Japanese JC08mode rating at 34.4 km/L (80.91 mpg), which is said to be the best among all hybrid sedan models in the market.

Interestingly, for the first time as a compact hybrid sedan in the Japanese 5-number size category, the Grace offers a 4WD version in its lineup, through the use of a lightweight and compact viscous coupling-type 4WD system.

The Grace will be available in Japan in three trim levels, DX, LX and EX and all three are available either in front-wheel-drive or AWD. On top of these, Honda said a special needs vehicle equipped with a rotating front passenger seat was added to the lineup.