After a one-year hiatus, Honda's Accord Hybrid returns wearing a fresh new look and featuring new equipment that makes this the most desirable iteration of the Accord Hybrid yet. The timing also couldn't be better, especially given the arrival of the Malibu Hybrid, the impressive Sonata Hybrid, and the just-updated Fusion Hybrid.
The '17 Hybrid gains many of the visual styling cues that first debuted on the '16 Accord Sedan. Hybrid-specific blue-tinted LED headlamps flank the chunky chrome grille, which is enhanced by blue LED accents. A lightweight aluminum hood, is also unique to the Hybrid, as are its rear blue-tinted tail lights. Hybrid-specific Vortex Blue paint is also available, but only on the top of the line Touring trim.
Like car's styling, Honda's engineers have massaged the Accord Hybrid's drivetrain to improve its performance. The two-mode hybrid system featured here is unlike any rival's system; despite being described as having an e-CVT, the Accord Hybrid doesn't actually have a CVT to speak of. Instead, it uses a setup of clutches to engage and disengage its gasoline and electric motors to create different driving modes.
While the general powertrain configuration remains the same as the pre-updated model - an efficient four-cylinder mated to a 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack - Honda has eked more power and efficiency out of the drivetrain. The combined output of the gas and electric motors jumps by 16 hp to 212 hp, making it the most powerful model in the segment. At the same time, the battery pack is more energy dense, allowing it to occupy less trunk space for a total of 382 L. It's a good thing that the Accord's battery is smaller as the rear seats do not fold down, and a pass-through is not available.
The revised powertrain in conjunction with the aerodynamic bodywork allows the Accord Hybrid to claim a city fuel consumption rating of 4.9 L/100 km and a highway rating of 5.1 L/100 km. These are impressive figures for such a spacious and large sedan.
One major difference that can only be picked out by looking at the car's VIN is the fact that the 2017 version is built in Japan. All other Accord models are assembled in the U.S.
The interior of the Accord Hybrid has been revised with the latest dashboard design, plus a new 7.0-inch central touchscreen infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard; integrated navigation is included on the Touring trim level. As with the standard Accord sedan, the interior is very spacious with plenty of rear-seat legroom, shoulder room, and headroom.
Other upgrades to the Accord Hybrid include a greater amount of standard equipment. A remote starter is now included, as is the Honda Sensing suite of active safety technology. That means even the base EX trim receives radar cruise control, emergency autonomous braking, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning as standard. Other upgrades include available heated rear seats, wireless device charging, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic high beams.
With a starting price of just $31,200, the Accord Hybrid is slightly pricier than its base rivals which start at around the mid $28k mark, but the Honda fights back with more standard equipment. The one-step-up Touring sells for $37,300.