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Car Review: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Review By John Heilig


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THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring


ENGINE: 2.0-liter DOHC I-4
TRANSMISSION: ECVT
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 212 total horsepower/232 net lb.-ft. torque 
WHEELBASE: 109.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 194.2 x 72.8 x 37.5 in.
TIRES: P225/50R17
CARGO CAPACITY: 13.5 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 49 mpg city/47 mpg highway/42.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 15.8 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,483 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid
STICKER: $36,790 (includes $835 delivery)

BOTTOM LINE: The Honda Accord Hybrid is a well-designed solid hybrid with all the bells and whistles for a superb ride with excellent economy.

Normally, my wife and I are the only passengers in our road test vehicles. Such is the life of empty nesters. But with the Honda Accord Hybrid, we had a chance to fill up the back seat with two adults and a big teenager. They all reported comfort back there with no complaints about legroom or seat space. There were even no complaints about the center hump.

Midsize cars are the biggest market segment in America simply because they are a good size for people moving. Occasionally you’ll want your midsize to stow stuff as well,  but for the most part the m midsize is for people.

And the Honda Accord does a great job at its main function. It also does a great job for the person behind the wheel because of its excellent fuel economy thanks to its second generation two-motor hybrid system. We averaged 42.5 mpg in our test, and while it didn’t approach the EPA estimates, it was still impressive. Please note that we did a lot of highway driving that week. With fully charged batteries it is also possible to run in pure electric mode for a short distance.

Our test Accord had a healthy sticker, but it also was fully loaded with just about every option in the Honda warehouse. Among the suite of safety features were Lane Keeping Assist (with a steering wheel that vibrated every time you strayed across a line), Lane Watch Camera (that projects on the screen a view of what’s in the right lane, sort of like a blind spot monitor), a left outside mirror that was split with the outer quarter more convex, a backup camera with three choices of view, adaptive cruise control, and a collision  mitigating braking system that will alert you if there’s imminent danger of a crash. Personally, I prefer a more conventional blind spot monitor, but the projected right lane view is good.

I mentioned rear seat comfort, especially with a full rear seat, but front seat comfort is very good with good support all around. All seats are heated.

Hybrids are great because of their power. Even with a small gasoline engine, the assist by the electric motor results in more power than you’d expect. For example, in the Accord Hybrid, the gasoline engine is a 2.0-liter four that generates 143 horsepower. Add the electric motor and that jumps to 212 total horsepower, more than enough for the 3,483-pound car. Torque jumps from 129 lb.-ft. to 232 with the electric assist, and that extra torque is available instantly.

Two screens comprise the infotainment system. The bottom screen is primarily for audio, while the upper is multi-functional. The default mode is a second audio screen plus fuel economy - for the present trip and overall. The upper screen is also the navigation screen. The nav system gave good directions, but it can be hard to program, but that may have been due to my fat fingers. 

The driver faces a “3D” instrument cluster with a large central speedometer, ringed by a “charge meter” on the left and battery and fuel level on the right. deeper inside the speedometer is the information panel. Surrounding the speedometer is a green or blue light, depending on whether or not you are using power or regenerating.

The interior is loaded with features. For example, the lobby in the ben tee stack has 12-volt and USB outlets. Another cubby below it has room for sunglasses, and the deep center console/arm rest has additional 12-volt and USB outlets. The trunk is good at 13.5 cubic feet, but as far as I could tell, the rear seat backs don’t lower to expand capacity.

All four doors have room for water bottles with the standard pair of cupholders between the front seats.

Accord is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017 and is doing it with styling improvements such as quad LED headlamps and extensive use of LED exterior lighting. And I love economy figures that exceed 40 mpg.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate 

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