Yes, it got 74 MPG.
If I hadn’t spent a week with the physical reality of the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid I would have thought the car was a fantasy: a luxuriously appointed sedan with incredible gas mileage. We got more than 50 miles per gallon, above the EPA estimated mileage of 49 city/47 highway. The Honda Accord has always been highly acclaimed; but after my test drive, I have to believe the hybrid version will be even more popular.
Who this car is for
- Singles, couples or small families
- Buyers who want great fuel efficiency but not a “badge” that declares this
- Environmentalists who crave creature comforts
- Parents who want the safest car for their kids, without spending a huge amount of money
- Value oriented buyers – save on gas AND get advanced technology included
Buyers considering the Honda Accord Hybrid should also consider:
- Toyota Avalon Hybrid
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
- Chevrolet Volt
- Kia Optima Hybrid
- Ford Fusion Hybrid
Great MPG (and space) even when fully loaded with a family of five
When all three of your grown daughters are home for a week, you have to celebrate. So we drove to East Hampton, practically the tip of Long Island, from our home in New York City for a week. I was worried the Accord’s back seat would not be roomy enough for three, but it proved ample. Even my husband found it comfortable when he valiantly switched with one kid who was feeling nauseous (even at 18, they can still get car sick!).
Loaded with five passengers and all our luggage, I would have thought this would challenge the Accord Hybrid’s fuel economy; I expected to get less than the EPA estimate. But we averaged more than the EPA estimate of 49 MPG, getting 54MPG on our drive and could have driven back and forth to the Hamptons three times before needing to fill the tank. And that 74MPG? When the Accord is carrying a lighter load (as it did when the driver brought it to us from New Jersey) it can do much better; that’s when it eeked 74 miles out of a gallon of gas.
Top of the line Accord Touring model: luxury is standard
Imagine trying on a pair of shoes, falling in love and being told that you have to pay extra for the heels. This won’t happen when you slip behind the wheel of the top of the line Touring model. It comes with every available extra: heated front and rear seats, leather steering wheel and shifter, auto wipers and automatic high beams. The auto high beams were particularly useful on dark country roads; they illuminate the road, but then dim if another car approaches. Very civil, and smart. The regular headlights also turn on automatically when it gets dark, so forgetting to turn on your lights never happens.
Not only that, but in an ultra-tony beach community like East Hampton, the sleek Accord fit right in, and its $36,000 price tag (and quiet hybrid engine!) is a silent rebuke to those who spend more than that on a week long beach rental.
The Accord we drove was sky blue metallic, with a cream interior that looked more expensive than its price tag. That sky blue was reflected in the blazing blue skies we lucked into in the Hamptons (and we did get lucky; the following week it rained).
Honda’s Sensing system looks out for you and your passengers
Standard on all new Accords, Honda Sensing is a suite of driver safety technology features that work together to keep you safe on the road. The suite includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. The Touring model also has parking assist.
I had several chances to test out these technologies; as we left New York City, a pedestrian darted out in front of me – something I contend with every time I drive in the city. The dashboard flashed BRAKE in all caps and red, very useful even if your daily drive doesn’t include bouts of Whack-a-Mole.
Lane keep assist and road departure mitigation steer you back into the lane if you start to drift, long as there are lane markings detected. Then there’s the Lane Watch: when you turn on your right turn signal, a camera on the right side adds a view on the screen. This is fantastic if you are making a right turn across a bicycle lane or crosswalk; you can better see what is coming up on your right side.
Safety technology is great, but it’s no substitute for careful driving
Many experts maintain that a driver can rely on rear view cameras and alarm systems for backing up; with wide pillars supporting increasingly sloped roof lines (and three passengers!) it’s often difficult to fully see behind the car. For me, in backing down a curved driveway, I didn’t get a visual of the tree at the edge of the driveway as I backed up. I only scratched the car, but this was a vivid reminder that the best way to ensure that no object or person is behind you is to use all the technology available: mirrors, the rear view camera and checking by turning and looking before backing up. Lesson learned, the hard way.
The quiet hybrid engine and easy to use controls made for a pleasant drive
The Honda Accord’s design was recently refreshed and updated to include new sound absorbing materials making the car quieter. And with the silent hybrid engine, you can easily listen to music, hear navigation commands or chat with your spouse or kids. It was easy to connect my phone via Bluetooth and use the voice recognition system on the steering wheel. But I really liked the navigation system, which is easy to follow and assisted with our trip: It updated us with traffic conditions so it was a snap to stay ahead of beach traffic by taking the back roads.
Even in a hybrid different drive modes let you get sporty
If you like a sporty, responsive feel, the Accord hybrid has a sport mode. This may be counter-intuitive, but the fact is that electric drive systems get up to speed faster than gas engines. So even in the EV, or most fuel efficient mode, the Honda Accord hybrid easily accelerated onto the highway and handled winding country roads like a boss.
Here’s a nice surprise: Plenty of room for all our gear
One knock on hybrids is often that the battery eats up valuable trunk or passenger space. Yet the Accord’s trunk and back seat were roomy; we fit all five suitcases, plus extras like a second pair of running shoes for me, a huge bag of psychology books for my overworked grad student daughter, and everything from the refrigerator that we needed for the week.
HondaLink app connects the Accord to music, information and more
The Accord offers HondaLink (also included in the price of the car – remember, everything is included), which has on-demand music and podcasts through Aha, as well as a suite of conveniences, such as the ability to schedule service appointments and repairs, pay your bill or get roadside assistance – no need to pay for AAA. You can also easily keep abreast of any recalls with HondaLink.
With money saved on the car, on gas, and on a AAA membership – you can start saving for your own beach house!
What We Loved
- Amazing gas mileage
- Comfortable for five
- Large trunk
- Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto)
- Honda Sensing safety features
- Power moonroof
- Two drive modes
- 100,000 miles between scheduled tuneups (not including fluid changes and other necessary maintenance)
- Smart entry key fob with push button start
- The price: $36,790
What You Need to Know
- Fuel economy: listed at 49 miles per gallon in the city, 47 on the highway; 48 combined. We got well over 50 mpg on our test drive
- Regular gas recommended
- Price is about $1,000 more than the conventional gas model
- 5 star government safety rating
- 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty
- 5 year/60,000 mile power train warranty
- 3 year/36,000 roadside assistance
Disclosure: Honda loaned me the Accord for the purposes of this review. Opinions expressed are my own.