With crossovers and SUVs cannibalizing its sales like a pack of piranhas feeding on an unfortunate cow, the North American mid-size sedan segment has seen better days and, sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any respite in sight. However, if ever there was a model to not go down without a fight, it is the venerable Honda Accord.
The Honda Accord has been near the top of the sales heap both in Canada and the United States for years, commanding some of the highest transaction prices, and for good reason. Car buyers and auto critics alike continue to praise it for its renowned reliability, strong resealed value, class-leading practicality, and balanced driving dynamics.
We were given a chance to review the updated 2017 Honda Accord Touring and saw it as a great opportunity to see if we shared those sentiments.
The Honda Accord underwent a mid-cycle refresh for its 2016 model year, gaining a sportier appearance courtesy of more aggressive front and rear fascias and new wheel designs; a more rigid body structure and an upgraded chassis; a safety package with more driver assists features; and more convivence tech, notably an improved infotainment system with a more user-friendly 7-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto compatibility.
It is still offered with the same engines, however, meaning buyers have the choice of either a 2.4L four-cylinder engine that produces 185-horsepower or a 3.5L V6 with 278 horsepower. The former can be paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT, while the latter can be had with a six-speed automatic transmission or the manual.
(Please note that this is a Canadian-spec car. While the Accord Touring in the U.S. serves as the top-tier Accord and is powered by the V6 engine, alongside the Accord Sport, the Canadian-spec Touring is also the top-end Accord, but it’s available with the four-cylinder engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. Otherwise, there are no differences between the two regions.)
Powered by the 2.4L four-cylinder engine, our ‘Orchid Pearl’ white Touring model came fully-loaded, featuring with everything from fully automatic LED headlights to heated front and rear leather seats. Visually, the Accord is unapologetically boxy — at least more angular than most of its competition — while managing to look sporty and — some would say — even classy.
The new chrome grille, LED headlights, new wheels and more aggressive bumpers compared to the previous model lend the car a sporty, eye-catching appearance that managed to get one of our reviewers some free fries from an impressed female McDonald’s cashier.
It’s quite the looker…
The 2017 Honda Accord’s interior carries over largely unchanged from the 2015 model year, meaning it is highly functional, roomy for both front and rear occupants of all heights, and bathed in high-quality materials.
With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard across the board, the criticisms against Honda’s convoluted infotainment unit can now be put to rest. Having the opportunity to use both systems in an Accord proved to be a revelation.
Every other tech feature, including text messaging via Siri, were safe, simple to use and worked as one would expect.
In an age when stringent safety standards have resulted in thick, expansive pillars, Honda’s engineers somehow managed to give the Accord thin pillars, granting the car terrific visibility all around and an open and spacious feel that few other cars can match.
Our Accord came with a backup camera, parking sensors, and other electronic aids, but we hardly ever needed their assistance.
The Accord’s interior is not without faults, however. The absence of a volume or tuning knob proved somewhat irritating and the button-fest, duel screen layout of the center console was a bit overwhelming to come to terms with.
Nitpicks in an otherwise well-put-together interior…
On the road, the 2.4L four-cylinder engine had no trouble hauling the 3,435-pound Accord Touring around and is rather fuel-efficient. In fact, it tops the output of all other midsize competitors’ base engines.
There is usually a trade-off between ride and handling, but the Accord makes no such sacrifices. Honda’s engineers have somehow managed to deliver a comfortable, quiet and composed feel on just about every road surface, as well as a fun-to-drive character that makes trips enjoyable.
The Mazda6 is a tad bit sportier to drive, but it doesn’t offer the same level of smoothness, quietness and overall balance that the Honda does. I would go as far as to peg the 2017 Honda Accord Touring as a luxury sports sedan without a luxury price tag.
The Accord comes with all the safety features you would expect — numerous air bags, ABS, traction control, stability control, etc. — more.
Notably, our 2017 Accord Touring came standard with Honda Sensing, a suite of safety features that, at its heart, uses radar and a camera to provide Collision Mitigation Braking, sensing and helping prevent an impending crash with objects (e.g. car, pedestrian, tree).
Honda Sensing also includes lane departure and forward collision warnings, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The 2017 Accord has been rated a Top Safety Pick+ by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a Five-Star rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the highest rating possible from each respective institution.
Is the 2017 Honda Accord the best mid-size sedan on the market? The answer to that question will depend on what your priorities are.
If you’re looking for an attractive, well put-together family sedan that provides excellent refinement in just about everything, it would be a big mistake not to consider the Accord. Every moving part of the car conveys quality.
On the road, it moves and stops with satisfying responsiveness, gracefully reacting to driver inputs as if it was reading your mind. With its comprehensive suite of modern safety features, it is also one of the safest cars money can buy.
It goes without saying that the 2016 Honda Accord, especially in Touring guise, provides everything you would want or need in a car. No wonder its one of the best-selling vehicles in both Canada and the United Sates.
If you liked our review of the 2017 Honda Accord Touring, make sure to stay tuned to FbaPPs for more reviews. Let us know what you think about the car or any questions you might have in the comments below.
Honda Resurrects Long-Dead Passport SUV For 2018
Are you old enough to remember the Honda Passport? Having been dead for while, it’s now being resurrected.
The Passport dates back to the mid 1990s and was Honda’s first SUV long before the CR-V or Pilot became the household names they are. Production ended in 2002, but the Japanese automaker has reportedly revived the name for an all-new, five-passenger crossover that slots between the CR-V and Pilot, much like it did with the new Insight.
According to , the new Passport likely rides on a six-inch shorter version of the Pilot’s platform and seats only five passengers. Leaked patent photos suggest it will resemble the Honda Avancier sold in China (pictured), especially from the profile, featuring blunt proportions and a sloping roofline for a coupe-like look.
As a five-seater, the Passport competes with the likes of the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, as well as the upcoming Chevy Blazer, in a relatively uncluttered mid-size crossover segment.
It will make its world debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show before going on sale in early 2019, with production expected to take place alongside the Pilot, Ridgeline and Odyssey at Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama plant.
New Honda Insight Prototype Marks Return Of Insight Hybrid
The Honda Insight hybrid is back but not as the car you expected.
After two attempts to take on the Toyota Prius, Honda has reinvented the Insight back as a stylish hybrid sedan positioned between the Civic and Accord, featuring styling that’s a mesh of the two. It’s no longer a funky-looking hatchback and, frankly, will upset far fewer people than the rather polarizing Prius.
The new Insight debuted as a prototype, but as is typical with all Honda prototypes, the production model will be virtually identical visually and mechanically. It is powered by the Japanese automaker’s two-motor hybrid system, which consists of a 1.5L gas engine and an electric motor backed by a lithium-ion battery pack, with both motors transitioning smoothly between each other in everyday use.
You might never need to stop at a gas station because the Insight will operate mainly as an electric vehicle, with its gas engine primarily serving as a generator for the car’s battery pack. However, should you, Honda is targeting a combined city/highway EPA rating of over 50 mpg — much better than the previous Insight, which barely managed to compete against the Prius.
Essentially the hybrid version of the Civic, the Insight will offer more room, comfort and on-board tech than its gasoline-powered counterpart, including a customizable 8-inch touchscreen display that allows users to create home screen shortcuts, a 7-inch LCD gauge cluster, and WiFi-enabled over-the-air system updates.
Honda hasn’t fared well with its dedicated hybrid vehicles, having recently put the poor-selling CR-Z hybrid sports car out of its misery. Add to that the added competition from Hyundai with the Ioniq and Kia with its Niro hybrid, and we don’t think the company risked skimping on its third attempt at the segment.
The production Honda Insight is scheduled to go on sale in 2018. Would you choose it over the latest Toyota Prius?
Honda Reveals ‘3E’ Robots Called Empathy, Experience And Empower
It’s a little known fact that Honda makes more than just cars, with its expertise extending to motorcycles, aircraft, power equipment and robots. The Japanese automaker has now broadened its vision for robots.
At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, Honda unveiled a series of robotic concepts termed 3E — represents ‘Empower,’ ‘Experience’ and ‘Empathy’ — that serve public, workplace and consumer purposes and can operate autonomously.
The Empathy robot is a creepy-looking bugger called 3E-A18, and it’s optimized for supporting people in their daily lives, such as serving as a guide at airports or shopping malls. Honda says the 3E-A18’s soft-touch skin “invites people to touch or hug” it.
Second up is the 3E-C18 — the Experience robot. It can supposedly learn by observing peoples’ action and features a cart-like design optimized for carrying spaces, as well as a canopy combined with a compact-sized vehicle body base with a driving function.
Last but not least are the 3E-B18 and 3E-D18, the Empower robots. The former is a chair-type mobility concept designed to help support people with baggage carts or strollers, while the latter is an autonomous off-road vehicle with AI designed to support people in a broad range of work activities.
The robots utilize Honda’s Mobile Power Pack World concept, a swappable battery system with detachable power modules that can be charged using renewable energy and then placed into a robot or vehicle for power on the go.
Honda R&D chief Yoshiyuki Matsumoto stated:
“We have entered an era when robotics will become increasingly visible and essential in our everyday lives and have the ability to unlock human potential.”
While Honda hasn’t confirmed if any of the concepts will be produced, is there any particular one you want to see?