2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Long-Term Update: Younger & Prettier?
I had a strange experience when driving our 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L Touring recently. In the midst of my time with the car I attended the global unveiling of the all-new 2018 Honda Accord, which included the debut of the hybrid version. It was kind of like meeting the younger (and perhaps more attractive) sibling of the person you’ve been dating for years. You love and cherish the great experiences you’ve shared with your current significant other, but at the same time you have to admit that there is something intriguing about the new face. Happily, the experience did not prompt us to divorce our current long-termer and take up with the younger model. Fact is, we like the current Accord Hybrid a lot, and our expectation is that the all-new Accord Hybrid will offer all the rich, creamy goodness of the current Accord Hybrid and enhance it with new touches that will make it even better–touches like knobs to tune and adjust volume on the sound system for instance.
While the lack of a radio knob might seem like a trifling issue, the fact that it is continually raised in connection with the current-version Honda Accord essentially validates how wonderful the car really is. Why? Because the lack of knobs is about the only thing you can criticize about the car. (To be fair, the distant booming of the engine at full throttle, which is the product of the continuously variable transmission, is also worthy of faint negativity.) Other than that, brothers and sisters, the Accord and, in this specific case, the Accord Hybrid is a peach.
Further, after experiencing both Accord and Accord Hybrid, one could make the case that the hybrid is the absolutely finest of the breed. In terms of ride and handling, it delivers all one could expect from a sedan that is one of the most popular in the country. Viewing quiet and comfort, the hybrid is the equal of the conventional Accord, with the CVT/powertrain “busy-ness” the only small point of contention. And the CVT is a source of tiny irritation in the conventional four-cylinder Accord as well. The differences in drivability from hybrid to conventional Accord are essentially inconsequential. The biggest adjustment you make as a driver is being able to determine that the Accord Hybrid is “turned on” and ready to be driven without the sound of the engine running.
43 mpg in the real world
On the plus side there is the Accord Hybrid’s far-and-away better fuel economy. It is EPA-rated at 48 mpg combined, and we continue to see 43 mpg in real-world driving versus 30 mpg combined for an EX-L four-cylinder. The conventional Touring trim Accord with its V6 engine is rated at 25 mpg. Not only is the fuel-savings real, the added benefit is extended driving range. The Accord Hybrid can travel over 600 miles between fill-ups, and that is a definite crowd-pleaser.
So should you choose the Accord Hybrid over the conventional Accord? It comes down to cost-to-own and convenience. An Accord Hybrid in Touring trim like our long-termer will cost about $3,000 less to own and operate for five years versus an Accord in Touring trim. However, if you compare base Accord to base Accord hybrid over the same ownership period, the conventional version will cost about $3,000 less to own. But keep in mind the base Accord is “baser” (has less equipment) than the base Accord Hybrid. The way we look at it, the Accord Hybrid is one hybrid that presents a very strong value story. The younger sibling is no doubt appealing, but we plan to renew our vows with our current Accord Hybrid and live happily ever after.
See Past Reports on our Long-Term 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid:
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