2017 Honda Accord Hybrid sports 212 hp under the hood and 48 mpg combined image

The Japanese automaker decided the Accord Hybrid should skip – for whatever reason – the 2016 model year update. But now it’s back with the 2017 MY featuring a range of updates.

The improvements include all the goodies seen on the refreshed, 2016 model-year Accord, such as the new exterior design as well as technical goodies such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Of course the headliner will remain in this case the new hybrid powertrain under the hood. That’s because the 2017 Accord Hybrid has come up with Honda’s next-generation two-motor hybrid system, which mates a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine to an electric motor. The combined total output stands now at 212 horsepower and the fuel economy ratings read 49 miles per gallon city, 47 mpg highway, and 48 mpg combined.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid sports 212 hp under the hood and 48 mpg combined 2

For comparison reasons, we can bring into the discussion the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which is down 24 horsepower for the total rating and its fuel economy is worse by 5, 6, and 6 mpg in city, highway, and combined cycles, respectively. Even the Toyota Camry Hybrid has been bested – 12 more horsepower and fuel economy ratings better by 6, 8, and 7 mpg in the respective drive cycles. Honda announces the Accord Hybrid has three drivetrain setups. The full EV mode is for short distance and light load accelerations. Then there’s the Hybrid Drive – which has the electric motor taking care of traction with the internal combustion engine acting as a generator. The third one is the Engine Drive when both are locked together to deliver full power to the front axle.

Design wise, the Accord credentials are all there, with the Hybrid receiving bespoke wheels, blue-highlighted LED headlights, and the mandatory Hybrid badging. There’s also a new aluminum hood and a smaller battery pack for increased cargo space. Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L, and Hybrid Touring will act as trims, and the model will be seen across US dealerships starting this spring.