When you obtain the hybrid version of a sedan—as hostile a fanatical hybrid just like the Toyota Prius—you’re primarily commerce area for fuel economy. however like any negotiation, you should not be too fast to allow away an excessive amount of. With Honda’s freshly-updated 2017 Accord Hybrid, you get ample area while not gifting away a lot of fuel economy, and that, in our opinion, makes this hybrid sedan a awfully sensible selection so.
Let’s take simply a flash to debate what makes Honda’s hybrid system completely different (and, in our opinion, better). Most hybrids have a ICE, a battery-fed motor, and a few kind of mechanical transmission that links them along. Toyota uses the ICE and electrical motors as inputs to the transmission; Hyundai/Kia (and Honda’s previous IMA system) sandwich a motor between the engine and transmission. What they need in common is that each power sources deliver power directly (i.e. via mechanical means) to the wheels.
Honda’s i-MMD will things differently: In most things, the gas engine’s solely job is to show a generator, whereas the wheels ar driven by an electrical motor. Power for this motor comes from the battery, the engine/generator, or a mix of each. With solely the electrical motor delivering power.
Fuel Economy: Best in school
There is, by the way, one exception to the electric-drive-only rule: Honda puzzled out that at steady speeds of around sixty MPH, it’s additional fuel-efficient to let the ICE drive the wheels directly. therefore below those conditions, the engine is connected on to the drive wheels (actually to the motor that drives the wheels). once the automotive moves out of that speed envelope, the engine is disconnected and it’s business as was common. (For the record, the Chevrolet V will one thing similar.) The clutching/de-clutching is totally seamless, and that we ne’er noticed it happening.
Thanks to a series of enhancements for 2017—including smaller and lighter motors, physical science Associate in Nursingd battery that yield an improvement in total system power to 212 hp—the Accord Hybrid trounces the competition on EPA-rated fuel economy, with estimates of forty nine MPG town, forty seven MPG route, and forty eight MPG combined. Compare that to the Environmental Protection Agency combined estimates for the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid (46 MPG), Ford Fusion hybrid (42 MPG), Hyundai serious music hybrid (41 MPG), and Toyota Camry hybrid (40 MPG). Our take a look at drive on the rear roads close to Chinese cabbage, California, wasn’t long enough to induce an honest real-world fuel economy figure, however we tend to averaged a powerful forty five MPG within the previous model, and that we ar assured that the new edition can deliver real-world MPG at or getting ready to its Environmental Protection Agency combined figure.
A Hybrid with drive
One factor our Chinese cabbage take a look at drive did offer USA an opportunity to do was the Accord Hybrid’s passing power. we tend to usually detest to do fast passes in an exceedingly 4-cylinder hybrid, however one thing concerning the Honda Accord told USA it would be value a strive. therefore once we encountered a slow rile, we tend to determined to floor the pedal and see what happened. And what happened was impressive: The Accord’s a pair of.0-liter engine instantly aroused to its maximum-torque speed and stayed there, whereas the pc referred to as in most juice from the battery. The Accord Hybrid apace picked up another twenty MPH, giving USA the speed we would have liked to induce round the slow sedan. it had been a performance that belied the hybrid system’s 212-horsepower rating (which, tho’ not a awfully massive variety, is best in class). The passing maneuver did not do a lot of for our fuel economy, however it’s sensible to understand the Accord Hybrid will deliver the juice once you want it.
Updated within and Out—But Still No Volume Knob
Along with the upgraded hybrid system, Honda has created variety of changes to the Accord Hybrid for 2017, most of that echo the updates created to conventionally-powered Accords for the 2016 model year. The front and rear ends feature new styling with additional chrome (blue-tinged on the hybrids, apparently, tho’ we tend to had bother seeing the color). If we’re aiming to be honest—and why wouldn’t we?—the new styling will the Accord no favors; it’s a touch over-adorned, sort of a person carrying an excessive amount of makeup, particularly on higher trim levels with diode headlights.
Inside, the middle stack and shifter are shuffled around to produce additional cupboard space, and Honda currently offers a wireless phone charging pad as a dealer-installed accent (which we tend to applaud—this could be a fantastic feature, however there’s no sense paying for it if your phone doesn’t support it). we tend to just like the relative simplicity of the driving and climate controls, however we’re not fans of the 2-screen layout found in higher-trim Accord Hybrids. Honda has additional robot automobile and Apple CarPlay compatibility to those models, however their show stereo still lacks a volume knob, that includes a touch-pad and steering-wheel buttons instead. (We’re not the sole ones WHO realize this annoying; Honda tells USA that the quantity knob can come, however not this year.)
More space within the one place it’s required.
No changes are created to the Accord’s back seat, and so none were needed—this is one in all the roomier midsize sedans on the market. however the 2017 Accord Hybrid will get some much-needed trunk area because of the smaller hybrid battery. (One of the drawbacks of a hybrid sedan, as hostile a fanatical hybrid, is that the battery sometimes chuck up trunk area.) Trunk volume will increase from twelve.7 to 13.5 three-dimensional feet, and whereas that will not sound like a lot of, it’s enough to spice up the Accord’s freight area from “too small” to “just sufficiently big.”
Accord house owners would possibly ne’er want new brakes.
Along with the powertrain, Honda has created enhancements to the chassis. All Accord Hybrids get a special variety of damper that may stiffen its response to greater bumps, providing the Accord Hybrid with a sleek, soft ride that doesn’t disintegrate once the road turns stormy. Honda has conjointly created updates to the steering mechanism, and whereas the Accord Hybrid handles well, it lacks the fun issue of cars just like the Ford Fusion (and lest you think that hybrids aren’t allowed to be fun, the Fusion will are available a hybrid version).
More outstanding ar the enhancements to the regenerative braking system. Like different hybrids, the Accord uses the drive motor to get electricity because the automotive decelerates, that charges the battery and creates resistance that slows the automotive. Honda has cranked up the Accord Hybrid’s regen to the purpose that the regular wheel brakes ar solely employed in laborious stops. Not solely will this improve fuel economy (by permitting the battery to produce additional energy), however it conjointly prolongs brake life—in reality, the Accord’s chief engineer told USA Associate in Nursing owner may in theory drive the Accord Hybrid for 100 thousand miles or additional and ne’er want a brake job.
More commonplace Safety Equipment—Including one in all Our Faves
The 2016 Accord contains a robust safety report, with an ideal 5 stars from NHTSA and a high Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for route Safety. The 2017 Hybrid has not been tested, however we’d be shocked if its crash take a look at results ar any completely different. For 2017, all Accord Hybrids get Honda’s driver-aid suite, referred to as Honda Sensing, as commonplace instrumentation. It includes accommodative control (which detects cars ahead and slows to match their speed), lane-departure correction, and collision warning with automatic braking.
The Accord Hybrid conjointly options one in all our favourite safety gizmos, Honda’s Lane Watch system, that mounts a little camera within the right-side mirror. Hit the visual signal, and also the camera presents a fisheye read on the dash-mounted monitor, that shows quite than either the mirror or a look over your shoulder, and with less distance for your eyes to travel. we tend to cannot inform the brilliance of this technique, and that we will solely hope that government regulators can notice as they need with back-up cameras. We’d like to see it tailored to all or any cars, except for currently, it’s a Honda exclusive.
The 2017 Accord Hybrid is obtainable in 3 trim levels. the bottom automotive, priced at $30,440 (including Associate in Nursing $835 destination fee) includes Honda Sensing, Lane Watch, dual-zone climate management, and an influence seat, among different goodies. The $33,740 EX-L adds animal skin seats (heated in front), Associate in Nursing auto-dimming rear read mirror, and also the knob-less show stereo, whereas the $36,790 traveling model superior out the lineup with options together with navigation, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and heated rear seats.
Overall, we predict the Honda Accord Hybrid is Associate in Nursing exceptionally sensible obtain. It’s at the highest of the category for each traveler area and fuel economy, spanning the gap between dedicated hybrids and hybrid sedans and giving its house owners the most effective of each worlds.