While a ten-year-old car platform may seem like a dinosaur in today’s tech-driven market, Honda’s Accord Hybrid Touring taps into the 10th-generation traditional-powertrain Accord’s historical popularity and reliability, adapting its virtues to a hybrid version while delivering today’s cutting-edge technology. It has a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, two electric motors, and a lithium-ion battery pack under the back seat. This enables it to handle the flow and silence of an electric vehicle while also providing a smooth ride when the gas engine is used. It’s a fantastic everyday commuter midsize sedan that wins our Editors’ Choice.
Design and Pricing
Hybrid, EX, EX-L, and Touring are the four trim levels available for the Accord Hybrid. All are powered by a 192 horsepower inline 4-cylinder engine. Turbocharging is available on the EX, EX-L, and Touring grades, bringing the total horsepower to 252.
The Accord Hybrid has three driving modes: battery-only EV Drive, Hybrid Drive (which utilizes electricity to push the vehicle while the gasoline engine powers the generator), and Engine Drive (which uses gasoline to power the generator) (which exclusively uses the gasoline engine). A propulsion motor and a generator/starter motor are used in conjunction with the engine.
Honda’s electric motors are the first to use magnets that do not contain hefty rare-earth metals, a new Honda-patented design that the company claims saves money and weight. All trim levels ride on low-rolling-resistance 17-inch machine-finished alloy wheels. Michelin Energy Saver all-season tires, 225/50R-17.
All trim levels come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assist systems, which includes a collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, hill start assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and a traffic sign recognition system.
Push-button start, dual-zone auto climate control, and power doors with programmable auto-locking are standard on the entry-level Hybrid trim, which starts at $25,995. A 7-inch screen, voice activation, a single USB port, Pandora compatibility, and Bluetooth for phone and audio are among the in-cabin features. Honda is one of the few automakers to include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in all Accord Hybrid grade levels, which enables for simple and speedy Bluetooth smartphone pairing. Body-colored power side mirrors and door handles are standard, as are variable intermittent windshield wipers, remote entry, and remote start and trunk release.
The EX starts at $29,785 and adds blind spot detection with rear cross traffic monitoring, LED fog lights, heated and power side mirrors, a power moonroof with tilt, a 12-way powered driver’s seat with 4-way power lumbar support, and heated front seats to the entry-level model.
In the EX, EX-L, and Touring models, the HondaLink infotainment system with smartphone integration is standard, and it features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a HomeLink garage door opener, an automatic-dimming rearview mirror, and leather-trimmed seats are included in the EX-L model, which starts at $32,335.
The Accord Hybrid Touring model we tested costs $35,605, plus $895 for destination, and comes with a crystal black exterior and black leather interior. Except for hybrid branding and different wheels, the Touring trim appears identical to the 10th-generation Accord. Front and rear parking sensors, a rain-sensing wiper, heated power door mirrors with turn indicators, leather-trimmed upholstery, heated and vented front seats, heated rear seats, a wireless phone charger, and a Wi-Fi hotspot are among the other standard amenities.
The Accord Hybrid has the same striking new front fascia as its non-hybrid sibling, which is framed by sleek LED headlights and lines that smoothly taper to the vehicle’s tail for a fastback look on our Touring tester. Only the absence of an exposed tailpipe and Hybrid logos on the fenders and decklid distinguish the Hybrid model.
Backseat passengers gain nearly two inches of legroom over the previous generation thanks to the 10th-gen Accord’s broader body and longer wheelbase, while 2.5 cubic feet of more interior space make the cabin feel larger. The cabin has a contemporary feel to it, with high-quality materials, but we prefer a traditional gear shift to the clumsy push-button selection in the center console.
Connectivity and Infotainment
Honda’s 8-inch Display Audio touch screen is complemented by physical power/volume, tuning, and shortcut buttons in the Touring trim we tested. A volume knob and tuning controls have been added to the current version of Display Audio, which is a pleasant difference from the all-touch display found in previous Accords.
The system is simple to use, with huge icons that can be reordered and altered. We also enjoy how the layout of the screen can be changed by rearranging feature icons and adding shortcuts to the home screen. It has navigation with HD Radio traffic in some regions, but no connected search, which is why we prefer the Google Maps app, which is available through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto voice recognition.
The Touring trim adds a premium audio system with 10 speakers, SiriusXM, HD Radio, and a separate Pandora app, as well as Wi-Fi functionality that can connect to a fixed hotspot, a smartphone-generated hotspot, or an AT&T subscription-based data plan.
On the windshield, a heads-up display (HUD) displays information such as speed, tachometer, hybrid power flow, navigation directions, a compass, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, pop-up alerts, and phone call information. Instead of drilling down into a menu on the in-dash screen, the driver can modify the HUD and the information it shows via switches on the dash or a steering wheel-mounted thumb dial.
Conclusions and Performance
The Accord Hybrid gives a stable and calm driving experience under normal driving conditions, and the Honda Touring trim we tested makes no compromises while increasing fuel efficiency. When accelerating quickly, however, the powertrain performs poorly, producing a loud revving engine with intermittent bottom groaning sounds from beneath the hood. The Accord returns to a more comfortable ride as you lift your foot.
The four levels of regenerative braking are smooth, with the max-regen mode slowing the car while recapturing as much energy as possible to boost the battery charge level. Each subsequent tap reduces the regeneration strength for a more relaxed feel. We discovered that attempting to recuperate energy on lengthy, steep descents on a fantastic stretch of roller coaster-style tarmac may become addictive.
While the Honda Accord Hybrid Touring’s sticker price of $35,605 is a thousand dollars more than the ordinary Touring trim, a comparably equipped Camry XLE Hybrid (our previous Editors’ Choice) costs about $2,000 more. The Accord receives our 2017 Editors’ Choice award for hybrid midsize cars due to the price difference and its superb blend of fuel efficiency and performance.