New for 2017
The Accord Hybrid returns after a one-year hiatus with an upgraded, more-efficient powertrain and other changes previously applied to the rest of the Accord lineup.
A Better Hybrid
The previous-generation Honda Accord Hybrid was one of the best-kept secrets in green cars. It had a sophisticated hybrid system that delivered impressive fuel economy, but Honda kept production volumes low. That’s not the case with the 2017 Accord Hybrid though. With this updated model, Honda is aiming for wider availability by not just upping production, but improving the product. The 2017 Accord Hybrid is more efficient than before, but also more powerful, stylish, and sophisticated.
The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid incorporates lessons learned from the previous Accord Hybrid. The powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with Honda’s i-VTEC variable valve timing system. It works with two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 212 horsepower, which is sent to the front wheels. That’s 16 more than the last Accord Hybrid, but at the same time Honda anticipates higher fuel economy for the new model.
Official EPA ratings aren’t available yet, but Honda expects the 2017 Accord Hybrid to achieve 48 mpg combined (49 mpg city, 47 mpg highway)*. Honda adds that this is as measured using stricter testing procedures the EPA plans to implement for the 2017 model year. Adjusting the 2015 Accord Hybrid to the new testing regimen, the 2017 model nets increases of 1 mpg combined, 1 mpg city, and 2 mpg highway.
The Accord’s hybrid drive system remains one of the cleverest in the industry. It eliminates the need for a conventional transmission by using the two electric motors to directly drive the car most of the time. Even in hybrid mode, the gasoline engine primarily acts as a generator; it clutches through the electric drive motor to directly power the wheels only under certain circumstances.
The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid is a four-door, five-seat midsize sedan. It goes on sale later this year in three trim levels: Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L, and Hybrid Touring. Pricing will be announced closer to the Accord Hybrid’s launch later this year.
Across the three trim levels, the 2017 Accord Hybrid will feature a higher level of standard and available equipment than the previous model, with new features taken from other Accord models that were refreshed for 2016. New standard features include a wide-angle rearview camera and remote engine start. New optional features include a 7.0-inch Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors.
The full list of features will likely be similar to certain trim levels of the non-hybrid Accord, but we’ll have to wait until the Accord Hybrid goes on sale to confirm that.
As in other areas, the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid is a major improvement over the already-competent 2015 model. The last Accord Hybrid was a handsome car, but the design was fairly nondescript, and didn’t feature many cues to distinguish the hybrid model from other Accords. Flying under the radar is nice sometimes, but the 2017 Accord Hybrid makes more of a statement.
The Accord Hybrid borrows styling elements from the rest of the recently refreshed Accord lineup, including a bolder grille and redesigned headlights. These combine with hybrid-specific features like a special aluminum hood and wheels, and blue highlighted LED lighting to create a more stylish sedan than before. The Accord Hybrid still isn’t ostentatious, but it shows what it is a little more clearly now.
On the inside, the Accord Hybrid gets a technology upgrade. The Display Audio system with 7.0-inch screen is slicker than the system in the old Accord Hybrid, and makes the perfect platform for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These systems project smartphone applications onto the car’s infotainment system, with the same graphics and interface as the phones. Honda also managed to shrink the Accord Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery pack, allowing for a generous 13.5-cubic feet of trunk space.
Standard safety features on the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, the aforementioned wide-angle rearview camera, and a full array or airbags. Also standard is the Honda Sensing suite of driver aids, which encompasses a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Warning.
The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid is better than ever, thanks to an improved hybrid powertrain, more stylish exterior, and greater available technology.
*Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition and other factors.
Image Credit: Honda