Honda Accord Sport Hybrid 2017 new car review

The Accord only lives on in V6NT guise in New Zealand but if you’re lucky, you’ll find one of these rarer Sport Hybrids.

Darren Cottingham
Darren Cottingham
Expert reviewer | Auto Media Group

The Accord only officially lives on in V6NT guise in New Zealand but if you’re lucky you’ll find one of these rarer Sport Hybrid models. It’s the range-topper for Honda now that the Legend is defunct and the NSX is far from arrival.

Exterior , 4 out of 5 Drive , 3.5 out of 5 Safety , 5 out of 5 Value , 3.5 out of 5

Overall score , 4.0 out of 5

The good
  • Ridiculously low fuel consumption
  • Loads of safety and comfort spec
  • Enormous rear legroom
The not-so-good
  • Lack of steering and braking feel
  • Pricey
  • Hybrid equipment and surplus of rear legroom eats into the boot space

Sports by looks but not by nature

The first thing to notice, though, is that the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid is a looker. It’s sport-sleek, if not sporty in its performance. In fact, it doesn’t feel at home at all on twisting, narrow roads, and the brake and steering feel are somewhat artificial. 

What it does do, though, is chew through the kilometres like a gigantic conveyer belt is rapidly passing underneath an armchair.

It’s comfortable and quiet and, best of all, ridiculously economical with quoted fuel consumption being 4.6-litres per 100km. This is a figure that’s good for a small car, let alone a mid-sized saloon with a heap of legroom for rear passengers. In comparison, the petrol automatic Suzuki Swift is quoted at 6.2-litres per 100km!

Drive it economically and you’ll be rewarded with a little badge that appears on the dashboard when you turn off the engine. Is it gimmicky? Yes, but it gives the ecologically conscious a rush of endorphins.

However, will the ecologically conscious stump up $69,990 – a good 10 grand more than the V6NT? To really build the profile of hybrids they need to be a price-equal competitor, not something that’s a premium. 

Anyone doing the maths will understand that you’d do a lot of driving in the 206kW V6NT to be in the negative on fuel costs, and you get 40 extra litres of space in the boot.

The Sport Hybrid produces a useful 146kW of power with 307Nm of torque and just 107g of CO2 per kilometre.

These are impressive specs. Honda doesn’t give a specific 0 to 100kmh time, but it feels like it’s around 8 seconds. General overtaking performance is good if the petrol motor is already going, but has a noticeable delay if it has to start up.

Fluid petrol/electric modes

The Accord is highly fuel-efficient. The 2-litre petrol motor only activates when it’s needed. I saw speeds of 85kmh in EV mode with a slight downhill when it was possible to coast.

While the Accord mostly operates in EV mode at low speeds (if there’s sufficient battery charge), it kicks in the petrol motor for hybrid performance when you need acceleration, and when you’re cruising at high speed it mostly just uses the engine only. These three modes are fluid, with the Accord automatically switching between them to optimise performance.

The petrol motor is connected to a CVT gearbox. There are two electric motors, the first of which is powerful enough to propel the Accord on its own, while the second one is used to spool up the petrol motor when it’s needed. The engine then spins this smaller motor to generate power back into the battery.


You get every option that’s come out of Honda’s billions of dollars of research and development spending. In fact, Honda is so confident that it offers a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty with 24-hour, 7-day roadside assistance. 

Owner reviews of overseas equivalent 2017 models are generally fawning, touting its competence as a comfortable, feature-packed, reliable midsize car.


In terms of equipment, the Accord comes with plenty – too much to describe in detail. It’s approaching autonomous driving and has warning lane-keeping assist, making minor corrections to stay within the lines on its own as long as the road is fundamentally straight. Adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking control the brakes to help prevent accidents.

There’s also a camera on the off-side rear-view mirror to help reduce your blind spot when changing lanes, along with every other multimedia bell and whistle you’d ever need.

What are the alternatives?

The Accord Sport Hybrid is an alternative to the Toyota Camry Hybrid in size, but not in dollars as the Toyota is $13,000 cheaper. Ford and Mazda don’t have hybrids for the Mondeo and 6 respectively. So, that leaves you to look to Lexus as an alternative that has similar specifications, and the ES300h is the closest option.

Lexus is renowned for its fit and finish; Honda less so (not that there’s anything wrong with the Accord’s). However, the two feel quite close in terms of performance on the road.

Lexus beats the Honda for interior feel, the Honda is by far the better looking and more frugal of the two.

The Accord Sport Hybrid proves that the market and pricing for hybrid vehicles has a long way to go to settle down into a linear value proposition.

It sits too far above the Camry Atara SL Hybrid to seem like a good deal, but still carries a little too much of its past to be considered on the same level as Lexus.

Price: $69,990

Note: This was reviewed as a new vehicle.

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