2017 Honda Accord Hybrid and Civic Hatchback

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid and Civic Hatchback

Episode 3618
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 BMW X6

2024 BMW X6

BMW Improves The Original SUV Coupe

Episode 4337
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the BMW X6 arrived for 2008, coupe-like SUVs really weren’t even a thing. After all, isn’t a high, squared roof all but required to even be called an SUV? Well, forget that! Sloped roof utility vehicles surely are a thing now, and that’s mostly thanks to the X6, which is now in its third generation and ever more the trendsetter.

This 2024 BMW X6 may not qualify as all new, but the third generation of this Sports Activity Coupe has been thoroughly updated with increased power, better style, more standard content, and improved tech.

The X6 is, of course, the more stylish coupe-like version of BMW’s X5 midsize crossover, and they share many of the same updates. Exterior changes for this sloped roof utility include a revised face with slimmer headlights. And since so many people add the M Sport package to their X6s, BMW has now made it standard; it includes a big octagonal insert below the grill with large air intakes, exaggerated vent-style fender trim front and rear, side skirts, and lots of black accents. 20-inch wheels are also standard, 22s available.

2024 BMW X6 3/4 Front
2024 BMW X6 Roof
2024 BMW X6 Profile
2024 BMW X6 3/4 Rear
2024 BMW X6 Badge
2024 BMW X6 3/4 Front2024 BMW X6 Roof2024 BMW X6 Profile2024 BMW X6 3/4 Rear2024 BMW X6 Badge

Inside, the big news is a heavily revised dash with BMW’s latest curved display that includes a 12.3-inch driver info screen, and a 14.9-inch central display powered by iDrive 8. So, while there is still a central controller, you can use it as just a touchscreen. The dash is covered with new material. It adds an ambient light bar, and slimmer air vents. More standard content here in the base xDrive40i for ’24 includes Harmon Kardon audio and a panoramic moonroof. The M Sport package adds an M Sport steering wheel and aluminum trim, and some finely stitched and comfortable sport seats covered in BMW’s latest Sensafin vegan material.

The severely sloped roof does impede access to the rear seats somewhat, but there’s plenty of adult-size headroom and legroom once you get settled inside, along with dedicated climate controls. At 27.4 cubic-feet, cargo space is way less than the X5’s 33.9; but there’s still plenty of floorspace for luggage. You’re really just losing capacity for tall, bulky items. Max space with seats folded is a fine 59.6 cubic-feet.

The inline-six sounds powerful and delivered lots of low-end torque at our Mason Dixon test track.

Power for this xDrive40i comes from an upgraded 3.0-liter inline-six turbo engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology; output is now 375 horsepower, up 40; torque gains are more significant, an additional 51 lb-ft. to 383, as much as 398 when getting full electric assistance. The available V8 now gains 48-volt boost too, and gets a name change from M50i to M60i. Its horsepower rating actually stays the same though at 523, but there are upgraded turbos with improved airflow that quickens response. Both engines work with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

The inline-six sounds powerful and delivered lots of low-end torque at our Mason Dixon test track. So much so, even with all-wheel drive and grippy 22-inch tires, we were spinning up at the line. And even with that, we managed to hit 60 in just 4.4-seconds. Shifts were both fast and firm, helping us complete the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 miles-per-hour.

2024 BMW X6 Dashboard
2024 BMW X6 Front Seat
2024 BMW X6 Shifter
2024 BMW X6 Rear Seat
2024 BMW X6 Trunk
2024 BMW X6 Dashboard2024 BMW X6 Front Seat2024 BMW X6 Shifter2024 BMW X6 Rear Seat2024 BMW X6 Trunk

The X6 comes standard with the Adaptive M suspension with electromagnetically controlled dampers, which had it feeling quite spry through our handling course. There was very little body roll; and despite a numb feel, steering was quick and accurate. The wide footprint provides a very stable platform that seemed more than ready for whatever we threw at it.

There was great stability in our panic braking runs as well, along with an average stopping distance of just 96 feet from 60 miles-per-hour. Nice, firm pedal feel too. We expected all that great performance at the track but didn’t expect it to be delivered with a ride quite this smooth for the drive home. This split personality enabled by BMW’s comprehensive drive mode setup.

Pricing for this xDrive40i starts at $75,495 and that’s more than enough X6 for our money; if you absolutely need the M60i’s V8, you’ll have to pony up at least $95,295.

Coupe-styled SUVs are not for everyone, but if you’re okay with letting practicality take a bit of a backseat to style, you might as well get the original, as the 2024 BMW X6 is better than ever and continues to set the standard for stylish performance-oriented SUVs.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 3.0-liter inline-six turbo
  • Horsepower: 375
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft
  • EPA: 22 City | 26 Highway | 24 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 12.9 seconds at 108 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 96 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 24.6 MPG (Premium)