2017 Honda Accord Hybrid

You would expect that with the current low fuel prices,
automakers would slow down production of their hybrids and EVs.
Far from it, almost every automaker is rushing to launch a new
hybrid or release improved versions of existing hybrids. Honda
is one such automaker. At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, the
automaker showcased an upgraded version of the 2017 Honda
Accord Hybrid.

The automaker claims that the new model is more reliable, more
efficient and has a higher performance. Last year, Honda sold
around 14,000 Accord Hybrids but the Accord Hybrid’s production
was interrupted midway as the automaker moved its production
base to Japan for more production efficiency. Particularly, the
automaker experienced problems with batteries which were
shipped from Japan. The automaker has now streamlined its
production and hopes to double sales to 28,000 globally. There
won’t be a plug-in model this time round as Honda plans to
release a fully-fledged Hybrid Plug-in model in the near
future.  Read along to find out what the new Accord Hybrid
is made of:

2017-Honda-Accord-Hybrid-NCI-2

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Exterior

On the outside, you cannot tell the Accord Hybrid apart from
its non-hybrid sisters. The design is as elegant as that of
non-hybrids. The front features a bold grille.  It
headlights and fog lights, on the other hand, have a new blue
highlight.  The corner vents have been redesigned with a
more dominant face. Overall, the Honda Accord has an aggressive
front fascia.

Moving to the sides, the car features new side skirts which
make it look sportier. Other features are similar to those of
conventional models. At the rear, its designers have hooked it
up with new taillights which feature long LED piping. A chrome
strip runs between the taillights.

Its blue accenting on the headlights , taillights and the
“Hybrid” badge are the only exterior design cues that tell it
apart from non-hybrid Accords.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Interior

Inside the Accord, you will find a well arranged cabin with a
wood grain trim and flat-black inserts. The Accord Hybrid comes
with a 7.0-inch touch-screen mounted on the center stack. This
screen is interconnected with another display screen mounted on
top of the center stack. Unlike the non-hybrids, the Accord
hybrid will feature a digital instrument cluster.

2017-Honda-Accord-Hybrid-NCI-7

The new cluster features a huge speedometer at the center and
vertical gauges on the sides. The instruments cluster is well
lit with a combination of green, blue and white resulting in a
captivating look. An “EV Mode” button has also been added on
the right side of the center console.

On matters safety, Honda has equipped the three trim levels
with adequate safety equipment as standard. They include a
remote engine start, a wide-angle rearview camera and Honda
Sensing. Honda Sensing is a suite of driving aids, it packs
various driving aids such as lane departure warning, lane keep
assist, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control,
clash mitigation, and forward collision warning. The top trim
will add front and rear parking sensors.

2017-Honda-Accord-Hybrid-NCI-8

Engine Specs and performance

Honda has improved things under the hood to boost the Accord’s
competitiveness in a world fast filling up with hybrids and
EVs.  The new drive-train combines a 2.0 L i-VTEC engine
with the automaker’s 2-motor hybrid system. The combination
produces 212 hp, 16 horses more than the outgoing model.

The engine is not paired to a conventional mechanical
transmission system since Honda has used the two-motor hybrid
system.  The first motor acts as a generator and is used
to recharge the battery pack while the second motor powers the
front wheels. The system offers three driving modes i.e. EV
Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. In EV Drive, the vehicle
is powered by the propulsion electric motor and battery pack.

This means the model can go for short distances on Electric
power alone. The range has not been confirmed. In Hybrid Drive,
only the forward motor powers the front wheels. To supplement
the current drawn from the battery pack, the petrol engine
powers the second motor which in turn recharges the battery.
Lastly, in Engine Drive, the engine is connected to the
propulsion motor via a lock-up clutch and they both power the
front wheels. The vehicle achieves maximum output in this mode.

2017-Honda-Accord-Hybrid-NCI-15

The engine is EPA rated at 49 mpg in city 47 mpg on highway and
48 mpg on combined drives. Though this doesn’t seem much, it is
an improvement of 1 mpg in city, 2 mpg on highway and 1 mpg on
combined drives over the outgoing models were the 2016 Accord
Hybrid models to use the new EPA testing formula.  These
figures place the Accord at the top of this segment.

Performance figures are not yet out but we believe improvements
on the drive-train should translate to a quicker acceleration
and a higher top speed. As such, expect the model to hit 60 mph
from the standstill in around 7.3 seconds compared to the
outgoing model’s 7.5 seconds. It will also have an improved top
speed of around 119 mph or more compared to the outgoing
model’s 117 mph.

2017-Honda-Accord-Hybrid-NCI-14

Price and release date

Honda is yet to release official prices of the 2017 Honda
Accord Hybrid. However, due to improvements in the drive-train,
expect a slight price increase over the current models.

Currently, the base starts at $ 29,305 exclusive of a
destination charge while the top Touring goes for $ 35,035.
Expect a starting price of around $ 30,000 for the base model,
$33,000 for the mid EX-L trim and around $36,000 for the top
Touring trim. The Accord goes on sale this spring.

2017-Honda-Accord-Hybrid-NCI-13

Competition

The hybrid segment is expanding as automakers look to reduce
their vehicle’s carbon emission level. The 2017 Honda Accord
hybrid will face competition from the Ford
Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid,
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. The Accord has to do more to stand
a chance of competing with the Toyota Prius
which sold almost 5 times the units the Accord sold last year.