Midsize sedans are slowly drifting to the wayside as buyers move toward an inevitable singularity of en masse crossover ownership. Yet, there are still a few tricks left up the segment's sleeve. Honda's new 2017 Accord Hybrid proves that there's plenty of fight left in these midsizers, and it might even convince you to forgo those lifted hatchbacks.
The Accord Hybrid skipped the 2016 model year, as Honda unveiled a redesigned gas-powered Accord. Now, the hybrid is back, rocking the same aesthetic updates, albeit with a few hybrid-specific tweaks, including blue-tinted LED headlights and a unique aluminum hood. Not much changes on the inside, save for a special gauge cluster.
The car's hybrid system features not one, but two electric motors. One acts as a propulsion motor, driving the wheels. The other acts as a generator and starter motor, providing extra juice when the lithium ion battery requires it. In conjunction with a 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, the car puts out 212 horsepower, a gain of 16 over the previous model.
This year, the battery's been made a bit smaller without reducing capacity. That allows trunk space to grow to 13.5 cubic feet, which Honda claims is best in the midsize hybrid class.
According to the EPA, the Accord Hybrid should achieve 49 mpg city and 47 mpg highway. While that might appear lower than the previous hybrid, the EPA rolled out stricter testing procedures for 2017 models, so Honda estimates that mileage is actually up 1 in the city and 2 on the highway. These figures make the Accord Hybrid the most efficient midsize hybrid on the market.
Standard equipment for all trims includes a backup camera, remote engine start and the Honda Sensing suite of safety systems. Honda Sensing includes forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and road-departure mitigation.
Opt for a higher trim level, and you can add heated rear seats and parking sensors to the equation, as well as a 7-inch Display Audio infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 2017 Accord Hybrid goes on sale this spring, but the automaker has not yet mentioned pricing.