By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 9.3
Whether you're looking for the Labrador retriever of family-friendly midsize sedans, a stylish and powerful coupe, or a refined hybrid that kisses 50 mpg, the 2017 Honda Accord delivers like few others. Long loved for its faithful reliability, great resale value and inherent ability to please a wide palette of buyers, the 2017 Accord remains a highly recommendable car even as rivals clamor for its benchmark status. The Accord just marked its 40th anniversary, and it shows no sign of resting on its laurels. The standard model was upgraded last year with features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and automatic emergency braking, and this year marks the reintroduction of a hybrid model. We continue to like almost everything about the Accord except its optional touch-screen controls.
The Accord's formula for four decades of success remains today: It's efficient, reliable, safe, stylish and a value now and in the long-run. A variety of models and trims -- from a manual-transmission coupe or sedan to an ultra-fuel-efficient hybrid -- only sweetens the 2017 Accord's overall proposition.
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The big news for the 2017 Accord is a relaunched hybrid model that's more powerful and offers the impressive HondaSensing roster of safety/driver-aid features standard. Also new to the lineup is the Sport Special Edition sedan, which includes leather interior, red stitching and other flair beyond the Sport model.
All Accord models are brisk, compliant and comfortable, with each particular model offering more or less of those traits depending on drivetrain. The bread-and-butter 4-cylinder Accord with an automatic transmission...
... finely balances the comfort/agility equation while offering one of the best continuously variable transmissions (CVT) in the business. V6-powered sedans and coupes are surprisingly quick, and the larger engine boasts deep power reserves. The few buyers who opt for a manual transmission will be rewarded with crisp, easy shifts. The new Accord Hybrid accelerates swiftly, similar to an electric vehicle when it is being powered via electric motor. Transitions between its gasoline and electric powerplants are smooth, but the gasoline engine and electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) drone under hard acceleration. We found the available lane-keep assist system so-so; it can nudge you back into the lane, but doesn't work 100 percent of the time, especially on twisty 2-lane roads.
This safety system has been around a few years and still impresses. Via a camera mounted under the right-side mirror, it displays a real-time view of what's happening in the next lane when you activate the turn signal, showing whatever may be in your blind spot so you don't collide.
One of the best things about the reintroduced Accord Hybrid -- aside from its nearly 50-mpg rating -- is that it looks just like a regular Accord. For buyers who want great fuel economy but don't want way-out-there looks, the hybrid Accord is an excellent choice.
All 2017 Accord models accommodate five passengers, though the coupe has less legroom than the sedan. Rear-seat passengers in the sedan are also treated to a good view out thanks to large side windows. Up front, higher trims of the Accord have a pair of screens. The top one displays audio info and the rearview camera, while the other below shows navigation and other functions. However, the lower screen is touch-only, lacking traditional knobs for volume and tuning. Lower-trim models don't have the secondary screen, and instead offer easy-to-use controls. In hybrid Accords the rear seat doesn't fold due to the battery pack.
The 2017 Honda Accord pulls off quite a feat when it comes to style: It looks handsome, contemporary, yet timeless. This is a well-proportioned vehicle whose design will likely hold up well as the years pass. The Accord coupe, too, looks elegant, sporty and more expensive than it is. Among the few traits of which we're on the fence is the way the grille wraps into the elongated headlights; it can be a little too sweeping. Hybrid Accord models look similar to their gasoline-only counterparts, except for their small hybrid badges and blue accents on the grille, headlights and taillights.
Including the new Sport Special Edition, the 2017 Accord sedan is available in seven trims. At the lowest end, a base LX includes rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with Bluetooth connectivity and USB and auxiliary inputs, and an 8-inch color display. We recommend stepping up to at least the Sport or Sport Special Edition, which include 10-way-power-adjustable driver's seat, LED fog lights and daytime running lights, split-folding rear seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and in the Special Edition, leather interior with heated front seats. The Accord's standard safety features include antilock brakes and stability- and traction-control systems.
Most extras come by climbing trims, with a notable exception being the HondaSensing suite of features that we heartily recommend. For $1,000, it includes lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, and road-departure mitigation system. HondaSensing is standard on top-line Touring and all hybrid models of the 2017 Accord. Other extras available depending on trim include the LaneWatch blind-spot monitoring system, navigation, upgraded audio, HomeLink integrated garage opener, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, and the HondaLink smartphone connectivity system.
The Honda Accord sedan and coupe are available with 4- or 6-cylinder engines tied to both manual and automatic transmissions, while the gasoline-electric Accord Hybrid is offered as a sedan only. Gasoline models with the 4-cylinder with an automatic transmission use a CVT that feels natural, while V6 models have a traditional 6-speed automatic. If you want a V6 Accord with a manual transmission, that combination is available in coupe form only. At up to 36 mpg, even a standard Accord is highly efficient. For those seeking the most efficient Honda Accord, the hybrid model earns a 49-mpg EPA rating. The hybrid uses both a 4-cylinder gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors. A lithium-ion battery pack sits in the rear of the car.
185 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm (189 for Sport models)
181 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (manual), 27/36 mpg (automatic, LX, EX, EX-L sedan), 26/34 mpg (automatic, Sport, Sport Special sedan and LX-S, EX, EX-L coupe)
278 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
252 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg (manual, coupe), 21/33 mpg (automatic, sedan), 21/32 mpg (automatic, coupe)
2.0-liter inline-4 + AC Synchronous Permanent-Magnet Electric Motor (Accord Hybrid)
212 combined horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
232 lb-ft of torque @ 0-2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 49/47 mpg
The 2017 Honda Accord has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $23,000 for a base, manual-transmission sedan. Most buyers will opt for an automatic transmission, an extra $800. We think you'll be even more satisfied in a Sport or Sport Special Edition model, which sits in the mid-$20,000 range, also the point at which Accord Coupe models begin. A top-line Accord Touring model sits above $35,000 in both sedan and coupe form. Finally, the new Accord Hybrid starts just over $30,000 and tops out at nearly $37,000 in Touring form. At these prices, the Hondas are in step with longtime rival the Toyota Camry, as well as the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima. Do check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Accord, which is expected to hold its value well, just below the Toyota Camry and Subaru Legacy.