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. 


  • Horsepower: 212
  • Torque: 129 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 49 mpg city / 47 mpg Highway
2023 BMW X7 Driving

2023 BMW X7

Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More

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

While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.

When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.

There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…

…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.

2023 BMW X7 Interior Dashboard

Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.

The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.

At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!

New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.

In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.

There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.

Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.

It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.


  • Engine: I-6
  • Horsepower: 375
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
  • EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined