Utility is one of those nebulous terms open to many interpretations. In the case of our long-term Accord Hybrid, we’re taking a broad view of the subject as it impacts all aspects of the car’s day-to-day operational capability.

The most obvious place to start is Honda’s gas/electric powertrain. But given it was the subject of an earlier update, we’ll merely note that with nearly 10,000 in-service miles, the average fuel economy on our Accord Hybrid has risen from 41.3 to 43.1 mpg. That’s a solid number for any midsize sedan even it if does fall well short of the car’s 48-mpg EPA combined stat. Officially, this green Accord earns EPA ratings of 49 city/47 highway mpg. And while it often eclipses the 50-mpg mark during sustained freeway cruising, our car consistently struggles to break out of the mid-to-upper-30s range in the city. That said, we remain impressed with its ability to shorten collective commuting times by regularly bypassing gas stations and extracting over 650 miles out of each tank of gas.

Like any other sedan, a fair bit of the Accord Hybrid’s utility lies in its capacity to carry passengers and their belongings. With respect to the former, this eco-friendly Honda Accord scores impressively well. While extremely tall drivers may wish for an extra inch or so of seat travel, most average size occupants are going to find things quite accommodating. The rear quarters merit similar high marks. Even with the driver’s seat at full extension, there’s still plenty of adult-scaled legroom and ample headroom to deal with the proverbial 6-foot benchmark riders. While the center spot won’t be winning any awards for long-term comfort, Honda has given the lower cushion and back rest sufficient padding to make it viable for a kid or less-than-delighted adult.

Also: Class of 2018 – New Cars Ready to Roll

A few cargo caveats

As with many hybrids, the Achilles heel of the gas/electric Accord lies in its somewhat restricted cargo-toting potential. Positioned aft of the rear seat, the car’s 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack does create modest but tangible compromises. While trunk capacity remains a solid 13.5 cu ft–0.8 cu-ft larger than the car it replaces and best in class of any current midsize hybrid sedan—that’s still 2.3 cu-ft less than a conventional Accord Sedan model. The Hybrid also sacrifices the flexibility of a folding rear seatback as well as any pass-through opening. Then there’s a 15-pound maximum weight restriction on the horizontal surface that frames the battery box. While few potential owners are likely to deem these limitations deal breakers, they are worth noting.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2017

Back on the upside, the Accord Hybrid is to only 2017 Accord model to come with the Honda Sensing suite of safety/driver-assist features as standard equipment, an aspect we definitely think qualifies as a notable plus when it comes to day-to-day utility. It has forward collision and lane departure warnings, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control at the ready in addition to lane keeping assist and Honda Lane Watch technology on all three Hybrid trim grades with the top-line Accord Hybrid Touring also gaining automatic high beams.

See Past Reports on our Long-Term 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid:




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