2013 Honda Accord underwent a restyling that left
the past four decades, the Honda Accord has earned a
reputation as the sort of sensible sedan that most
Americans desire. Itís roomy inside, but not too big
on the outside. Its look is stylish, but never daring.
And its fuel economy is budget-friendly.
itís surprising that the previous Accord was somewhat
wide of the mark. In an effort to compete against both
the Toyota Camry and Avalon, Honda sized the Accord
accordingly and dressed it in bloated sheet metal. This
gave the car a spacious interior, but it didnít seem
as substantially built as previous models.
the redesigned 2013 Accord sedan addresses these flaws.
started by shrinking the car by 3.5 inches in length,
although it looks even smaller. Its appearance is much
more handsome this year, even if the back end looks very
much like a Hyundai Genesis. But its design is so
conservative, most people wonít realize the Accord has
been restyled. In fact, during my weeklong test drive of
a 2013 sedan, no one did, despite its restyled hood,
trunk, grille, lighting and other details.
the exterior, the cabin is revised in an effort to
banish the previous modelís perceived cheapness.
Mission accomplished. The use of dark wood trim imparts
a modern, sophisticated feel. Unfortunately, thereís
also cheesy piano-black plastic that sparkles when light
many vehicles these days, the Accordís controls are
easy to understand at a glance, even though Honda
continues to use two LCD screens on the center of its
instrument panel, in addition to a small readout between
the gauges of the instrument cluster.
the Accordís smaller dimensions, the cabin remains
impressively spacious, as does the trunk. This allows
Honda to fit wide front bucket seats that somehow
provide good support, despite their width. Head and leg
room are generous.
2013, the Accord is offered in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L
V-6 and Touring V-6 trims.
first four models use a 2.4-liter double-overhead-cam
four-cylinder engine rated at 189 horsepower, except for
the entry-level LX. It uses the same engine, but has 5
fewer horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is
standard on the LX, Sport and EX. A continuously
variable automatic transmission, or CVT, is optional; itís
standard on the EX-L.
top two models get a refined, powerful 3.5-liter
single-overhead V-6 with 278 hp mated to a conventional
six-speed automatic transmission.
the fact that Honda makes an impressive manual
transmission, the majority of Accord buyers opt for the
four-cylinder with an automatic transmission. This year,
that means buyers get a continuously variable
transmission, or CVT. Unlike a traditional automatic
transmission, which has a fixed number of gears, a CVT
has an infinite number, which vary continuously
depending on vehicle speed. Surprisingly, this
transmission trumps the manual when it comes to fuel
economy, beating it by as much as 3 mpg.
the V-6, with its six-speed automatic, is no slouch when
it comes to fuel economy. The test vehicle, a Touring
V-6, returned a very impressive 33 mpg in mostly highway
work despite its impressive amount of power.
is quick, giving the Accord a lively feel, although itís
clearly not a junior league sports sedan. And given the
Touringís sticker price, the lack of a manual shift
mode on the automatic transmission is noticeable,
especially since a manual transmission is not offered on
the V-6 sedan.
Accordís ride is well controlled, although big bumps
reveal the limits to its ride comfort. And, as with most
Hondas, thereís more road and tire noise than with
new options are offered this year: a collision warning
system and a lane departure warning. Both are welcome
additions. A third, "Lane Watch," is less so.
is Hondaís attempt at rethinking the blind-spot
detection system. In most cars with this feature, a
small light on either side of the car lights to alert
the driver if thereís someone in the blind spot.
didnít do this. Instead, the company placed a camera
on the right side of the car. When the right turn signal
is activated, the camera comes on and its image is
displayed on the larger of the two screens on the
instrument panel, regardless of whether someone is
there. Itís incredibly distracting. And why is there
no camera on the left side of the car?
a price of more than $34,000, youíd expect the Accord
to be well-equipped, and it is. But at this price, you
may want to forfeit the extra space and get a smaller
Acura TSX instead. After all, it is, in reality, the
European Honda Accord wearing the upscale Acura badge.
the Accordís tasteful styling will wear well, even if
itís none too exciting, as will its legendary
in base trim, the new Accordís roominess and agreeable
nature make it a reasonably good buy.
though itís not the athlete it once was, the Accordís
sense and sensibility are something we can all agree on.
After all, thatís what its name means.
3.5-liter SOHC V6
space: 15.8 cubic feet
rating (city/highway): 21/34 mpg
price, base model: $21,680
price, test model: $33,430
as tested: $34,330