Saturday Road Test – Honda’s New Gas Sipper

 If you are seeing this for the first time please tell your car buff friends about this Saturday Road Test feature, and  my five week day capsule summaries of the day’s top auto news. This is where you will find new vehicles first!

img_4147

             2017 Honda Accord Hybrid

                       Place Your Bet

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – Do you ignore those signs at the gas station that tell you what today’s prices are? I saw someone fill up a super-sized (10 mpg city) SUV the other day and the bill was close to $70. Talk about a Big Gulp!

 Or are you more fugal, ignoring the higher gas prices in ritzy neighborhoods, content with that secret file in the brain of stations where petrol remains in the low $2 a gallon range?

 If you answered yes to the second question and have a light foot on the accelerator, you might enjoy seeing how much you can squeeze out of a gallon behind the wheel of the Accord Hybrid – back on the scene after a year’s hiatus.

img_4150

 New for this model year is a significantly reengineered second-generation two-motor hybrid, Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive powertrain. The system received numerous changes that reduced the physical size and weight of components and increased efficiency to provide more power and improved fuel efficiency as well as increased cargo capacity. The result?

 Total System Horsepower

 212 @ 6,200 rpm

 Honda claims that 212 horsepower is the most of any midsize hybrid sedan and up 16 horsepower over the 2015 Accord Hybrid.

 All this results in a refreshing burst of power when needed in suburban driving, more than what the average hybrid driver might expect. But floor it to merge on to an interstate and pickup is short of brisk, with powertrain noise intruding into the cabin.

 Once up to speed however, the Hybrid was a quiet companion on a day long trip except for long pulls up some steep mountains on Interstates 70 & 68. 

 I found the hybrid to be fun to drive on some back country roads with that low end torque so I wasn’t paying strict attention to MPG.   

 The EPA fuel economy ratings are 49/47/48 city/highway/combined. I came in at a bad boy 41 mpg.

 Again let me cite that age old slogan “your mileage may vary” something that I think that goes back to the Conestoga wagons. 

 New is the combined application of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the expanded use of LED exterior lighting and the application of the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, offered as standard equipment.

 That brings Collision Mitigation Sensing system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision warning and Road Departure Mitigation.

 A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to a class-leading 13.5 cu.-ft. in the midsize hybrid sedan segment.

img_4154

 Interior quality and materials were top rate and in line with the hybrid’s asking price. I am not a fan of the sliding audio volume control that has been replaced by a good old fashioned knob in some Honda models. Thankfully there were volume and station selection controls on the steering wheel.

 Welcome was lots of room for two adults in the rear seats, and the 10-way adjustable driver’s seat was fine on long rides. The one touch moonroof even got a work out given the record breaking 70 degree weather in these parts. It nicely reduced the roar present in some designs.

img_4148

 Without a single option, my top-of-the-line Touring edition carried an MSRP of $36,790 with about all the equipment one could want as standard equipment.

img_4144

 You get a quality built car for the money and one that promises to be worry free well after the odometer runs deep into six figures.

 It is an excellent choice for those who want to bet on the cost of gas rising again – sort of the opposite of those who are taking home luxury pickups and SUV’s with all the option boxes checked.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s