My first impression as I pressed the “start” button and adjusted the driver’s seat position and the steering wheel reach and angle in the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid TRG (TRG is short for Touring) was very favorable: Right there on the dashboard were numbers informing me that the car had more than 600 miles of range.
That’s a round trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas and back without having to stop for fuel. I’m impressed.
I also was impressed as I drove the new Accord Hybrid around Phoenix — alas, no time for a run to Vegas and back this week — and averaged the EPA-anticipated 48 miles per gallon in the process.
Also impressive was how luxurious an Accord can be. The Touring edition is the top of the line Accord, which means it comes with 10-way power driver’s seat, four-way power front passenger’s seat, leather, heated seats front and back, premium audio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, Pandora, text messaging, dual-zone climate controls, moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, auto-on headlamps, LED exterior lighting (including fogs), a full array of passive safety equipment as well as all sorts of computerized driver aids (lane and blind spot watch, collision mitigation braking, and a camera that shows you the right-rear quadrant when you turn on your right-turn indicator.
All that for $36,70 including destination charges. Impressive, indeed.
On the other hand:
- I expected more room in the car’s trunk than was available the day I went to Costco and stopped at my local grocery on the way home.
- I was surprised and bothered by the electro/mechanical sounds emitting from the various parts of the hybrid powertrain that I could hear at slower speeds.
- I’ve decided two screens on the center console is one too many. In the Accord, there’s a 7-inch lower screen and a 7.7-inch upper screen. And there’s also the usual display of electronic gauges directly behind the steering wheel.
I found the stacked screens to be redundant and, worse, distracting. And I can only imagine how distracting it would be if you set up that upper screen to display your incoming text messages.
Although, with self-driving cars just around the corner, maybe those multiple screens will provide a way to pass the time as our cars chauffeur us from place to place. In that case, I have had a glimpse of the future, and I am not impressed.
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid TRG
Vehicle type: 5-passenger sedan, front-wheel drive
Base price: $35,995 Price as tested: $36,790
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle, 143-horsepower @ 6,200 rpm, 129 pound-feet of torque @ 4,000 rpm plus 2 AC synchronous permanent-magnet electric motor system (181 hp / 232 pound-feet) Transmission: continuously variable
Wheelbase: 109.3 inches Overall length/width: 194.1 inches / 72.8 inches
Curb weight: 3,483 pounds
EPA mileage estimates: 49 city / 47 highway / 48 combined
Assembled in: Sayama, Saitama, Japan