2017 Honda Accord Hybrid: High Fuel Economy

By Frank A. Aukofer, October 1st, 2016

The best thing about the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid is that it's a Honda Accord.

Manufacturer photo: Featuring an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid delivers a combination of power, fuel efficiency and standard high-tech feature content and best-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 mpg (city/highway/combined)
Manufacturer photo: Featuring an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid delivers a combination of power, fuel efficiency and standard high-tech feature content and best-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 mpg (city/highway/combined)

That means that it comes with all of the good stuff that has made the Accord a favorite for 40 years, starting with the compact two-door hatchback in 1976 that was so revolutionary early buyers were willing to pay well over the sticker price just to get one.

The 2017 model is the ninth generation, grown to a roomy midsize sedan or coupe that exudes quality, class, and reliability -- and in the tested Touring version, verges on near-luxury status at a popular price.

All Accord models deliver safety, with a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a Top Safety Pick Plus crash worthiness rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Though they would not qualify as sports sedans, Accords have capable performance and handling, along with a quiet, comfortable ride and fatigue-free long-distance cruising. The combination of attributes has enabled the Accord to make Car and Driver Magazine's annual 10 Best list 30 times.

Manufacturer photo: Featuring an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid delivers a combination of power, fuel efficiency and standard high-tech feature content and best-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 mpg (city/highway/combined)

Early on, Honda developed hybrid technology that was elegant in its simplicity. Its Insight and Civic hybrid models came with low-powered four-cylinder engines paired with small pancake electric motors to boost power when needed.

Though the system worked fine, it was eventually abandoned after being overshadowed by the more complicated but surprisingly reliable Toyota Synergy hybrid system that led to more than a million sales of the Prius in the U.S.

Designing its new Hybrid, Honda engineers were shooting for the magic number of 50 miles to the gallon. With ever-stricter U.S. government testing, they fell slightly short of the goal, ending up with a city/highway/combined fuel consumption rating of 49/47/48 mpg.

It's part of a push by the Japanese manufacturer to expand its range of alternative-fueled vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell, and battery-powered electrics.

The 2017 Accord Hybrid powertrain combines a 143-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with two electric motors for a total system output of 212 horsepower. A small lithium-ion battery pack in the trunk supplies the electric power, yet allows nearly 14 cubic feet of space for cargo.

Manufacturer photo: Featuring an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid delivers a combination of power, fuel efficiency and standard high-tech feature content and best-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 mpg (city/highway/combined)

In addition to the 2017 Hybrid, you can order the new Accord with standard four-cylinder or V-6 power, and that's where things get interesting. With continuing low gasoline prices, it's hard to make a pure economic case for the Hybrid over at least one of its garage mates.

The tested Accord Hybrid Touring, fully equipped, came with a sticker price of $36,790. That's $5,285 more than a comparably equipped four-cylinder EXL-Navi at $31,505 and $1,275 more than a V-6 Touring model at $35,515. All three are top-of-the line with the Honda Sensing system that includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

The four-cylinder Accord's city/highway/combined fuel consumption is rated at 27/37/31 mpg with the V-6 at 21/34/26.

Using a formula of gasoline at $2.50 a gallon and 12,000 miles a year of driving, an owner of a four-cylinder Accord could drive 15.4 years before his fuel costs exceeded that $5,285 saving over the Hybrid. With the V-6, it would take 2.4 years to use up the savings of $1,275.

So it's likely that the Accord Hybrid will be more attractive to technology enthusiasts and environmentally conscious motorists looking to conserve natural resources. Economy-minded buyers with sharp pencils likely would gravitate toward the four-cylinder Accord.

Manufacturer photo: Featuring an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid delivers a combination of power, fuel efficiency and standard high-tech feature content and best-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 mpg (city/highway/combined)

Nevertheless, with a base price of $30,440, the Accord Hybrid looks attractive. The price is around $4,000 less than the current average transaction price of a new car.

The base car comes with all the same mechanicals as the tested Touring model, along with pushbutton and remote starting, Honda's Lane Watch camera that eliminates right-side blind spots, Bluetooth connectivity, power driver's seat, and LED daytime and taillights.

The $33,740 EX-L model adds Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, HD and SXM radio, leather upholstery, a motorized sunroof, and heated seats. The top-line Touring adds navigation, parking sensors and LED headlights, among other things.

The main Accord drawback is the paucity of buttons and switches. Most functions are controlled through the 7-inch touchscreen in the center stack. It's distracting to have to focus on the screen, and then touch and slide to perform such simple functions as tune the radio. The aggravation is mitigated somewhat by some redundant controls on the steering wheel.

Specifications

Base price $29,605 (as tested: $36,790)
Curb weight 3,483 lbs.
Displacement 2.0-liter
Engine type 16-valve 4-cyl. + electric motor
Epa mileage rating 49 mpg city, 47 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 15.8 gal.
Horsepower (net) 212 at 6200 rpm (total combined output)
Overall length 194.1 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 129 at 4000 rpm
Transmission CVT
Vehicle type 5-passenger midsize FWD sedan
2018 Ford Mustang: Performance is the Core

12/23

2018 Ford Mustang: Performance is the Core

The 2018 Ford Mustang arrives with unprecedented power, lowdown styling, a new 10-speed automatic transmission, and enough models and colors to satisfy any Mustang enthusiast.

All-New 2018 Hyundai Accent: Better Compact Ride Comfort

04/07

All-New 2018 Hyundai Accent: Better Compact Ride Comfort

The all-new 2018 Hyundai Accent's design displays sculpted body forms and smoothly contoured lines and edges resulting in a new interpretation of Hyundai's signature design language.

Honda Civic Type R: Bargain Price Performance Car

03/31

Honda Civic Type R: Bargain Price Performance Car

The Civic Type R needs no hype, so Honda's description of it as a "race car for the road" isn't required. That's because word of mouth will get the news out everywhere about this exciting automobile.

Off Lease Vehicles

Hundreds of one owner, off-lease cars, trucks & SUVs with low mileage at a great price!

Additional Resources

Most Researched

2018 Honda Accord EX
EX 4dr Sedan
2018 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
Latitude 4dr SUV
2018 Audi A4 2.0T ultra Prestige
2.0T ultra Prestige 4dr Sedan
2018 Toyota RAV4 LE
LE 4dr SUV
2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty XL
4x4 XL 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB Pickup