2017 Honda Accord Hybrid and Civic Hatchback

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid and Civic Hatchback

Episode 3618
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Once upon a time choosing a Honda was simple. They offered a small car, the Civic, and a not so small car, the Accord. Boy has that changed. From minivans, to crossovers, to pickup trucks, there is now a Honda body style for just about everyone. Plus they sell powertrains that run on gasoline, electric, and even hydrogen. Well now, Honda is adding two more choices that make full-lineup even fuller.

The stock Honda Accord is already quite fuel efficient for its size, and the updated 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid takes that mantra to a yet higher level.

Honda’s next gen. 2-motor hybrid system with a 2.0-liter I4 engine debuted in the Accord three years ago, but for 20-17 it ticks up horsepower by 2 to 143, with 7-more lb-ft. of torque to 129 lb-ft. With increased electric assist added in, total output climbs 16-horsepower to 212. 

This is a full hybrid with three drive modes. In the Hybrid setting, at slower speeds, its e-CVT transmission utilize battery power as much as practical, using the engine more as a charging power generator. Above 60 miles-per-hour however, the gas engine has priority. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 49 -City, 47-Highway, and 48-Combined. That’s higher than any four-door of similar size. Our test loop delivered a very realistic 46.6 on Regular grade.

Plus, you can travel around 750-miles between fill-ups, thanks to a 15.8-gallon gas tank. 

Compared to rival Toyota, the Accord Hybrid has more power than either the Camry Hybrid or Prius; while its fuel economy rating falls in between the two. Likewise, the Accord’s 13.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space puts it above the Camry, yet short of the Prius hatchback’s 27.4. 

Hybrid cues on the outside are all in the details; they include blue tinting to lights, unique 17-inch wheels, and an aluminum hood. 

Honda Sensing active safety systems are standard.

The driving experience is traditional Accord, which means better than Camry, but no sport sedan. Like all Accords it is super solid, though it’s so quiet in EV-mode, that when the gas engine kicks in at higher speeds, powertrain noise becomes very noticeable as the CVT tries to catch up to engine speed.

Otherwise, the shuffle between power sources is silky smooth; with none of the jerkiness of some rivals. Even the re-gen braking has a very natural feel. 

Now for those who are less concerned about maximizing fuel economy, and are looking for a roomier and more versatile Civic compact, Honda has got you covered there too, with the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback. 

Riding on the same chassis as the Sedan and Coupe; the exterior design is of course unique, and oh so European. In fact it is imported from England.

Our Sport-trimmed tester had nicely bolstered cloth seats for those up front; and ample head and leg room in the rear. 

We also found a manual shifter for the 6-speed transmission. Either it or a CVT comes attached to Honda’s 1.5-liter I4 Turbo that outputs 180-horsepower and up to 177 lb-ft. of torque. LX, EX, and EX-L trims come with a 174-horsepower version. 

Max torque arrives fairly early in the rev band, we just wish there was a little more of it; though it sounds very aggressive.

We highly recommend the manual trans; with short and precise throws and clutch feel that would make Goldilocks happy.

If you’re looking for that fun to carry over to corner carving, well you’ll still have to wait for the Si; things are on the “comfortable highway daily driver soft” side here. 

Steering lacks on-center feel, but is fairly quick and responsive. Sport trim comes with an 18-inch wheel and tire package, and during our early drive in Northern California, both tire and road noise became an issue after extended time behind the wheel. 

As for hatch-enabled versatility, there’s up to 25.7 cubic-ft. of space behind the split-folding rear seats, that’s 10.6 more than the Sedan’s 15.1 cubic-ft. of trunk space. It maxes out at an almost SUV like 46.2 cubic-ft. with the rear seats folded.

To wrap up this dynamic duo of new Hondas, the Accord Hybrid starts at $30,440, or $7,250 over a base Accord; and you can get EX-L and Touring trims as well. 

As for the Civic Hatchback, it starts at $20,535; about a grand more than a base Sedan. 

So, if you’re looking for a more fuel efficient 5-passenger family sedan, you’ll find that not only is the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid now fully completive with the Camry Hybrid and even the Prius; but it raises the bar for no-compromise practical hybrid driving; only the upcoming Honda Clarity plug-in might take it further. 

Taking Civic versatility further is the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback. So, giving buyers more, more, and even more options; seems to be what Honda is all about. And clearly, that’s a winning strategy. 

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 212
  • Torque: 129 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 49 mpg city / 47 mpg Highway
2024 Mazda CX-90 Front Quarter 1

2024 Mazda CX-90

A Force To Be Reckoned With

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.

Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.

Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.

There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.

2024 Mazda CX-90 3
2024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile
2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover
2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine
2024 Mazda CX-90 32024 Mazda CX-90 Side Profile2024 Mazda CX-90 Quarter Rear2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine Cover2024 Mazda CX-90 Twin-Turbo I-6 Engine

It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.

At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.

Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.

There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.

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Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.

As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.

Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.

Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
  • Horsepower: 340
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
  • EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
  • Starting Price: $40,970