Following a mild update to other versions of the popular midsize sedan, the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid hits showrooms this spring with a new look and more technology. Most importantly, the Accord Hybrid also receives powertrain revisions that improve both power and efficiency.
Underhood, the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid has a revised 2.0-liter inline-four gas engine, redesigned electronics, and a more compact motor. Total system output is up from 196 hp to 212 hp, though Honda is frustratingly taciturn about how much of that power gain comes from the gas engine versus the electric motor. The car’s lithium-ion battery pack is also physically smaller, so it takes up less trunk space than in the last Accord Hybrid. The car’s revised bodywork is slightly more aerodynamic than before, helping efficiency.
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid are 49/47/48 mpg (city/highway/combined), which eagle-eyed readers will note are lower than the 2015 model’s numbers. But Honda had to certify the 2017 Accord Hybrid under new, stricter EPA drive-cycle test requirements for the 2017 model year, and says that if they were tested under equal circumstances, the 2017 car would actually be 1-2 mpg more efficient than the 2015 Accord Hybrid.
New standard equipment on the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid includes Honda Sensing (pre-collision braking, lane-keep assist, etc), remote start, and a backup camera, while upper trim levels add a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Visual distinction for the hybrid comes in the form of blue-tinted lights, hybrid badges, and unique wheels.
Despite all the enhancements, pricing for the 2017 Hybrid “won’t differ all too substantially” from the old car’s sticker price, says Honda executive vice president John Mendel. The 2015 Accord Hybrid ran from $30,125 to $35,875.
More ambitious sales goals
One thing that’s always hampered sales of the Honda Accord Hybrid is that, well, there just haven’t been many available. Honda moved production of the new Accord Hybrid from Ohio to Japan, and says it has found faster assembly methods and a more reliability battery-component supply. As a result of those factors, Mendel hopes to sell twice as many Accord Hybrids per year now as the company did in 2014 — meaning about 28,000 cars versus 14,000.
“To be perfectly frank, customers were challenged to find the prior generation on dealer lots,” he said. “We expect to have a robust supply of Accord Hybrids going forward.”
The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid goes on sale by the end of the spring.