By C. A. Haire
Are you looking to purchase a car that is good for the environment and your wallet? Consider a hybrid vehicle that uses both electricity and gasoline to put less strain on the motor and the environment. Keep reading to find out if the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid or Ford Fusion Hybrid is the perfect new car for you.
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
The Honda Accord has been one of the more popular sellers on the market thanks to its excellent quality, reliability and economy. It was only a matter of time before the factory offered a hybrid version, which they sent us for a one-week evaluation.
The base price of a non-hybrid Accord with its 2.4-liter gas engine starts at $22,000, with an overall fuel economy of 27 mpg. This hybrid version has a 2.0-liter engine, two electric motors and a large battery pack producing 212 horsepower. Fuel economy is listed at 49 mpg city, 47 highway and 48 overall.
A big difference here is the price tag, as the entry fee starts at $36,970. Don’t let that figure cause sticker shock, because everything is standard at this cost, including leather seats, stereo and a list of more stuff too long to show here. There were no options, so in the end, this Accord is really no more expensive than other hybrid sedans in this size class. It would have been nice if Honda had included a spare tire at this price, but most hybrid cars do not get one to save weight.
I found the Accord to be very pleasant to drive, especially on long trips, where its smooth ride was appreciated. We did have a few gripes. First, the sun visors do not slide, so they didn’t do a good job of blocking the sun from entering the side windows. Secondly, the stereo has no knobs, instead using a touch screen system that is extremely awkward to operate while driving. Give us knobs, please! But the quality of the car was excellent, not surprising as hybrid Hondas are made totally in Japan.
EPA fuel economy figures always look good but let’s look at the real world numbers. This car got 37 mpg at 75 mpg cruising, 39 at 65 mph and 39 in mixed city/freeway commuting. On a slow trip between 30-60 mph, we did see 44mpg, but that was an exception. I have driven almost all hybrid sedans and they all averaged between 37-42 mpg. Therefore, the 37/39 mpg we got on this Honda is realistic. So those shopping for a reliable car with great fuel economy should give this car a look.
Ford Fusion Hybrid
Many hybrid cars on the market are a compact size, which can be a disadvantage if the potential buyer has a family to haul around. Ford has solved this problem by introducing a hybrid based on their larger Fusion sedan.
The factory sent me two Fusions to evaluate. First was one loaded with goodies and the 240 horsepower EcoBoost engine. It was quick enough, but with a price tag north of $40,000 and fuel economy averaging 26 mpg, we were hoping for a more economical version. The second car was this hybrid, which had several advantages.
The first advantage is price, as the hybrid costs about $26,000, which is only $2,500 over the base non-hybrid Fusion with its 175 horsepower gas motor rated at 21/32 mpg. The second advantage is the claimed EPA fuel economy of 43 mpg city and 41 highway. Third, we get a large car here with plenty of room for family and friends.
I spent a week driving this hybrid and was pleased to find the overall comfort, ride, handling and room equal to that of the non-hybrid Fusion we previously tested. With a gas/electric motor/battery system putting out 188 horsepower pulling about 3,600 pounds it wasn’t as quick, but there is plenty of pulling ability in city commuting thanks to the torque output of the battery. Real world fuel economy was 36 mpg in heavy traffic, and 38/40 on 75 mph highway trips.
The only complaint we had was the trunk space which drops from 16 cubic feet to 12 due to the large intruding hybrid battery. Also, there is no spare tire to save weight. I suggest buying a compact spare if you are taking long trips. Otherwise, this is a very nice hybrid at a reasonable price.