After skipping a model year following the only just-released 2015 Accord Hybrid, Honda has returned to win the mid-size efficiency race with an EPA combined 48 mpg estimate.
The front-wheel-drive sedan promises to vie well against others in this competitive mid-sized, five-passenger hybrid class, and sometimes the hare does beat the turtle.
Here are 10 things you need to know.
1. It’s More Efficient
The 2017 Accord Hybrid gets an EPA rating of 49 mpg city, 47 highway, 48 combined using the U.S. EPA’s newly updated guidelines for testing. The next runner-up is the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid with 47/46/46. The competing hybrid Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, and Toyota Camry hybrid models are significantly lower.
2. It’s Faster and More Powerful
The 2017 Accord hybrid sports a class-leading 212 horsepower of peak total system output, up from 196 horses in 2015, when the 2.0-liter gas engine, electric motors, and battery pack are combined at speeds between around 40 and 70 mph.
We’ll have more on this in a drive review after an embargo imposed by Honda through 12 a.m. EDT Monday is lifted.
3. It Has New Features
Honda’s new Accord Hybrid comes with the Honda Sensing package of advanced safety features which includes Active Cruise Control (ACC) which automatically maintains a safe distance from the car ahead of you and brakes or accelerates to the set speed automatically depending upon conditions. Previously, ACC was an option.
4. It Only Costs a Little Bit More
The base model Accord Hybrid is $29,605 which is $300 more than the 2015 model. Three trim levels are available as was the case before. These are the Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L and Hybrid Touring.
5. It Has Better Suspension, Steering, and Braking
New suspension bushings, power steering logic, and braking have been utilized, and Honda says these improve the Accord Hybrid’s ride and driving characteristics. Again, we’ll let you know how it all works after the embargo lifts.
6. It Has a Huge Cruising Range
The 15.8-gallon gas tank provides 758 miles of range assuming the 48 mpg EPA combined city and highway estimate.
7. It Integrates the Latest Smartphone Features
The 2017 Accord Hybrid supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so apps on your phone like navigation, music, and podcasts can seamlessly display on the car’s infotainment system.
8. Honda Aims to Sell Twice as Many This Time
The 2015 model sold about 14,000 cars in the U.S. Honda is planning to sell 30,000 Accord Hybrids in the U.S. during the 2017 model year. Production has moved from Honda’s factory in Ohio to a factory in Japan closer to its hybrid-specific component suppliers.
9. Its Eco Big Brother, The Clarity, Arrives Later This Year
The Honda Clarity will be available late this year with a fuel cell powertrain. An all-electric version will arrive in the summer of 2017 and a plug-in hybrid based on the Accord Hybrid’s 2-motor system will arrive in fall 2017.
10. The Accord Hybrid is On Sale at your Dealer Now
Accord hybrids are available from U.S. dealers beginning last month in June, 2016.