The Surprisingly Polarizing Midsize Sedan
We Like: The hybrid’s regenerative brake feel and buttoned-down ride.
We Don’t Like: The chromey brace-face and uninspiring drive.
“Flawless.” “Utterly joyless.” “Truly impressive for a big sedan.” “The most disappointing car I’ve experienced in quite some time.”
Could there be a more polarizing car at this year’s COTY than the humble Honda Accord? An all-new hybrid version for 2017 and tweaks to the styling and feature set in 2016 were enough to qualify the venerable family sedan to our competition—where it was immediately met with howls over its looks.
“This one is a lumpen mess visually,” Angus MacKenzie said. “That great chrome girder across the front of the car is horrible.”
Jonny Lieberman agreed. “There is absolutely no excuse here for the design,” he said. “It moves the entire brand backward.”
Others looked beyond the sheetmetal and found some lovely bones. “It absorbs bumps without reservations,” Mark Rechtin, who also praised the packaging, said. “It’s just a really nice commodity car that makes you ask no questions.”
Kim Reynolds was among the Accord’s fans. “I rather liked it better than most,” he said. “It’s a bit motor-boaty while accelerating, but it has crisp brakes, accurate placement, and not too much understeer.” Frank Markus also scored the Accord high against our efficiency, safety, and engineering excellence criteria, noting the great engine notes of both powertrains and the “truly impressive” EPA numbers for the hybrid.
So there you have it. The 2017 Honda Accord is either “nothing special; the Honda magic is gone” or “a relatively crisp-handling everyman’s sedan that’s made well.” Although competent, it’s not our Car of the Year.
|2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring||2017 Honda Accord V-6 Touring|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$36,790||$35,665|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||2.0L/143-hp/129-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4, plus 181 hp (elec)/232 lb-ft (elec); 212 hp (comb)||3.5L/278-hp/252-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6|
|TRANSMISSION||Cont variable auto||6-speed automatic|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,552 lb (59/41%)||3,599 lb (62/38%)|
|WHEELBASE||109.3 in||109.3 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||194.1 72.8 x 57.5 in||192.5 x 72.8 x 57.7 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.9 sec||5.7 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.5 sec @ 88.8 mph||14.2 sec @ 98.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||123 ft||116 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.81 g (avg)||0.85 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.0 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)||26.6 sec @ 0.67 g (avg)|
|REAL MPG CITY/HWY/COMB||50.1/39.9/44.9 mpg||Not tested|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||49/47/48 mpg||21/33/25 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||69/72 kW-hrs/100 miles||160/102 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.40 lb/mile||0.77 lb/mile|