Last Update August 19th, 2016
What changes make 2017 Honda Accord different?
This venerable nameplate turns 40 for model-year 2017, and Honda celebrates by resurrecting a gas-electric Hybrid model and adding a new midlevel trim, the Sport Special Edition. About 60 percent of new vehicle purchases these days are crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks, but the midsize-sedan market is still vital to car makers. Toyota’s Camry remains the segment’s sales leader, while the Nissan Altima has overtaken Accord for second place. And with Honda winding down this 2013-2017 generation Accord in preparation for an all-new 2018 replacement, will the Hybrid and Sport Special Edition be enough to sustain interest in what’s arguably the best all-around car in the class?
Why should I buy a 2017?
Because – even in the final year of its current design — its combination of comfort, features, safety ratings, driving dynamics, and value are without peer in the class. No other mainstream midsize car offers 2-door-coupe and 4-door-sedan body styles. Accord is one of the few available with both manual and automatic transmission and among the shrinking number to offer both four- and six-cylinder engines.
Most Accord buyers choose a four-cylinder sedan from a ’17 lineup consisting of LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition, EX, and EX-L models. The new Sport Special Edition adds some upscale amenities without a substantial price increase. V-6 sedans come in EX-L trim and in flagship Touring guise. Four-cylinder coupes are available in LX-S, EX, and EX-L trim; V-6 coupes in EX-L and Touring grades. Available in base, EX-L, and Touring form, the Hybrid is one of the segment’s most fuel-efficient cars with an EPA rating of 48 mpg city-highway combined.
Check out our 2018 Honda Accord Preview for the latest info
Should I wait for the 2018 model instead?
With an all-new Accord on the horizon, we’re tempted to recommend waiting to see how Honda updates this high-profile car. But the current Accord is still an exceptional car — one we’d have few qualms about purchasing right now. It might behoove you to hold off until the end of the 2017 model year, though, to take advantage inventory closeout sales as dealers clear showroom space for the redesigned car. Note also that the ’17 Accord will likely be the last available with a V-6. Tightening fuel-economy requirements mean Honda will almost certainly discontinue the six in favor of a turbocharged four-cylinder, following the lead of rivals from Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, or Kia.
Is the 2017 styling different?
No. It carries over a model-year 2016 freshening, when Honda updated the front fascia to more closely resemble that of its compact Civic. The welcome change made Accord appear a bit more aggressive. Still, this is one of the more conservatively styled midsize cars, which is somewhat ironic given that it’s one of the most fun to drive. Sport, Sport Special Edition, and Touring versions present the car’s sporty nature in the best light, with their rear spoilers, lower-body kits, and tasteful wheels on low-profile tires.
Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the Accord sedan’s spacious cabin. Headroom is generous all around, while legroom feels like it never ends. Even the coupe’s back seat is surprisingly roomy, at least once you’ve contorted your body enough around the door pillar and front-passenger seat in order to get settled. Cargo volume is a generous 15.5-15.8 cubic feet in conventional sedans. This shrinks to 13.4 cubic feet in the coupe and 13.5 in the hybrid, though these figures are still not bad at all.
Instrumentation is easy to read. The controls are somewhat of a mixed bag, depending on which model you get. The standard setup in the LX, LX-S, Sport, and Sport Special Edition is a simple array of clearly labeled buttons and dials, supported by a large information screen at the top-center of the dashboard. EX and higher models substitute pushbutton audio controls for a touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. It’s often sluggish to respond to inputs, and some functions are buried deep within sub-menus.
Any mechanical changes?
Not for 2017. All non-hybrid four-cylinder Accord models use a 2.4-liter engine that produces 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque in the LX, LX-S, EX, and EX-L. Sport and Sport Special Edition models have revised exhaust tuning that improves those figures to 189 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. The V-6 engine is a 3.5-liter unit that produces 278 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque.
A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the LX, LX-S, Sport, Sport Special Edition, and EX. Available for $800-$850 on these models and standard on the EX-L is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All V-6 versions use a conventional 6-speed automatic. Enthusiasts will want to take note of the fact that, for no extra charge, you can equip a V-6 EX-L coupe with a 6-speed manual.
Hybrids pair a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a battery powered electric motor for a combined 212 horsepower. Their standard transmission is a CVT.
The 2.4-liter engine/CVT combination provides adequate acceleration in most every driving situation. It won’t knock your socks off, but it won’t leave you wanting either. The V-6 is quite potent, and when paired with the manual transmission in the coupe, it’s a very special driving experience. No hybrids have been made available for us to test yet, but we would expect their acceleration to split the difference between the conventional four-cylinder and the V-6.
Accord is the midsize-car benchmark for ride/handling balance. The former is just the right side of sporty with little impact harshness over cratered roads. The latter is crisp and responsive, with pin-sharp steering feel. Our only knock against this car’s stellar handling is a large-for-the-class turning radius, which hampers close-quarter maneuvering.
As it uses a front-wheel-drive design that puts the weight of the engine over the driven wheels, Accord should handle as well in the snow as its primary competitors. The hybrid’s extra curb weight and slightly lower center of gravity should give it a slight edge over conventional models here as well. All-wheel drive (AWD) is not offered on the Accord. This feature is standard on the Subaru Legacy and optional on certain versions of the Chrysler 200 and Ford Fusion. The Accord is still a better all-around midsize sedan than any of these, so don’t let a lack of AWD put you off considering it.
Does fuel economy improve?
According to the EPA, no. In fact, Accord’s estimated fuel economy numbers, on average, drop 1 mpg city, highway, and/or combined. However, you can attribute this change to a revised testing methodology by the U.S. government that’s designed to more accurately reflect how most Americans drive.
With the 2.4-liter engine, Accord rates 23/32/26 mpg city/highway/combined with the manual transmission and 27/36/30 with the CVT. V-6 versions score 18/28/21 with the manual and 21/33/25 with the 6-speed automatic. Hybrids rate an outstanding 49/47/48 mpg. All models use regular-grade 87-octane gasoline. The V-6 engine can shut off three of its cylinder while cruising and under light loads in order to save fuel.
Does it have new features?
The new Sport Special Edition model adds some amenities that were previously unavailable on the “regular” Sport, however it leaves one important package of safety gear on the table (more on that below). Otherwise, Accord’s feature set is unchanged for 2017. All models include a rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity with support for SMS text messaging, streaming audio, and Pandora Internet Radio.
The Sport adds a power driver’s seat, split-folding rear seatbacks, a sport suspension, and the Touring’s 19-inch wheels. The Sport Special Edition adds leather upholstery with heated front seats and unique interior trim.
The EX builds from the LX, adding split-folding rear seatbacks, power sunroof, keyless access with pushbutton ignition, touchscreen infotainment, and Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot camera. EX-L versions gain leather upholstery with heated front seats. Touring models are fully loaded, with a navigation system, heated rear seats, full LED headlights, and the company’s Honda Sensing safety suite, which includes radar-based adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning with automatic steering correction, and pre-collision emergency braking. That last feature earns Honda Sensing-equipped Accords coveted Top Safety Pick+ status from the influential Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
To Honda’s credit, Honda Sensing is available for an extra $1,000 on every other Accord model…except the Sport Special Edition. Perhaps because this trim level will only be around for one model year, the bean counters did not deem it cost effective to offer the package on this version. We still think it’s an oversight since these features are available even on the entry-level LX and LX-S models.
Hybrid models have a slightly different arrangement of features, but they generally match their conventional counterparts, with the Base most closely resembling the EX.
Are 2017 prices different?
Yes. The 2017 Honda Accord lineup is roughly $300-$600 more expensive across the board than last year, which is common industry practice. Aside from Honda Sensing, there are no factory options available on this car, and even then, the company prices vehicles so equipped as separate models.
Base prices shown below include the manufacturer’s mandatory $835 destination fee, as well as the automatic transmission, because it’s the choice of more than 90 percent of buyers. For manual transmission, subtract $800 from the listed price on sedans and $850 from that of four-cylinder coupes. Manual transmission is a no-cost option on V-6 coupes.
Sedan prices are: LX – $23,190; Sport – $25,250; Sport Special Edition – $26,250; EX – $26,565; EX-L – $29,655; EX-L V-6 – $31,730; Touring – $35,665. Coupes are: LX-S – $24,860; EX – $26,985; EX-L – $29,830; EX-L V-6 – $32,010; Touring – $35,210. Hybrids are: Base – $30,440; EX-L – $33,740; Touring – $36,790.
When will it come out?
Release date for the 2017 Honda Accord was July 2016.
The Accord is better than…
Taken as a whole, pretty much everything in the class. Nit-picks would include the large turning radius, which hinders close-quarters maneuverability, and the sluggish response of its infotainment system, which betrays some aged tech. As for deal-breakers, though, look to Honda’s practice of forcing buyers into more expensive trim levels to get desirable convenience features. As an example, look no further than the absence of Honda Sensing on the Sport Special Edition.
The Accord is not as good as the…
Mazda 6, for styling and pure handling, though Accord trumps it for interior room, overall refinement, and V-6 availability; Chevrolet Malibu, which merits consideration as a fully competitive domestic nameplate; and the Toyota Camry, an easy default choice for roominess, reliability, and price.
What changes would make it better?
Availability of LaneWatch on the Sport and Sport Special Edition, though this will probably be a moot point when the redesigned 2018 model arrives in late-calendar 2017.