Car Review: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Review By Larry Nutson
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
Style, Safety and Sips fuel
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The timing was perfect for my test-drive week with the 2017 Accord Hybrid. My wife and I had a road trip planned from our Chicago home to Southeastern Michigan to celebrate a family birthday as well as to pay a few short visits here and there.
I knew from my experience last Fall with the 2017 Accord Touring V6 that I could expect good road manners and a comfortable interior for our trip. After all, the Accord Hybrid is not something oddly shaped and stripped down for max. economy. It’s a quite nice looking and well-appointed traditional 4-door sedan.
It’s hard to believe that the Accord has been around the U.S. for 40 years. Now in its ninth-generation, it was significantly updated in 2016 with freshened styling, new technology and additional equipment.
There was no hybrid for 2016 but for 2017 the Accord Hybrid returns. It features an all-new version of Honda's two-motor hybrid powertrain technology with both class-leading power and fuel economy ratings.
Honda's two-motor hybrid system is combined with a 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle engine and achieves a peak combined output of 212 HP. That’s up 16-percent from the 2015 model and Honda says it’s the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan. EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 48 mpg combined, with 49 city mpg and 47 highway mpg.
When it comes to comparing Accord models, the Accord Hybrid has significantly better EPA ratings than the 2.4-L CVT equipped models rated at 27 city, 36 highway and 30 combined.
When you compare to the top-of-the-line Touring trim, that only comes in the V6 with EPA ratings of 21 city, 33 highway and 25 combined. The additional $1,125 for the hybrid may be well worth it if you are a high-mileage driver and especially if you do lots of city driving.
During my week’s time I ended up driving the Accord Hybrid a total of around 900 miles. On my interstate road trip east and back west I averaged near 37 mpg. Admittedly, that’s a bit shy of the EPA ratings and is attributable to my heavy right foot and the constant higher speed traffic flow on the 70 mph interstate.
In a mix of local driving I was easily achieving 44 to 46 mpg. Other auto writers I know, who have driven the very same car I drove, have seen 52 mpg averages.
At lower city speeds driving is in the all-electric mode. With the gear selector in the B-mode regenerative braking is maximized to recharge the battery and slow the Accord without much use of the service brakes.
The 2017 Accord Hybrid is offered in three trims - a base trim for $29,605, EX-L for $32,905 and Touring for $35,955.
New features for the 2017 Accord Hybrid, depending on model and trim, include remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, heated rear seats and auto high-beam headlights. Unique Hybrid features include a special aluminum hood and unique alloy wheel design, blue highlighted LED headlights and taillights and "Hybrid" exterior badging. A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to 13.5 cu.-ft., not much smaller than the standard Accord.
As I mentioned we were quite comfortable in the Accord Hybrid on our road trip. It’s quiet making for easy conversation as well as music listening. I’m in love with Honda’s lane watch system – the camera in the right side outside mirror that displays what’s along side you in the center display screen when you turn on the right turn signal or activated with the stalk button. It’s marvelous for checking for bicyclists on a crowded city.
Even though we had heated front and rear seats, I was missing a heated steering wheel that we love in cold Midwest winters. The audio system doesn’t have volume or tuning knobs that many have voiced dissatisfaction about. The steering wheel controls work well for the driver, but the passenger is left fumbling. We expect Honda to add knobs down the road with a future updates, as they have already done on some other newer models in their line-up. Another positive note, the red color of the start button makes it very easy to locate.
More info and specs on the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid can be found at www.automobiles.honda.com. You can read my write-up on the Accord V6 I drove right here.
And read another viewpoint on the Accord Hybrid right here from our publisher. http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2016/10/20/296330-2017-honda-accord-hybrid-ex-l-review.html
Along with the low fuel consumption, the Accord Hybrid is plenty quick. There’s nothing lacking in highway merging and passing. Handling is precise and the Accord does well carving turns. Overall it’s pretty sporty.
Accord Hybrid is also up-to-date with all the latest in driver-assistance safety features. Standard is Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning with automatic braking, Lane Keeping Assist, and Road Departure Mitigation.
The Honda Accord Hybrid was named to the "Greenest Vehicles of 2017" list from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for being one of the most environmentally responsible nameplates available to consumers for the 2017 model year.
There are a number of hybrids on the market today and we can expect to see more and more. The trend is to combine an internal combustion engine with an electric motor to give us the power and performance we expect while reducing fuel consumption. Gasoline may be relatively cheap now, but don’t hold your breath.
© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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