2013 Honda Accord, now in its ninth generation, is smaller and
lighter than its predecessor.
At the risk of
igniting a sexy debate, carmakers have been on board for some time
now with the bigger-is-better theory. Seems each new generation of a
model these days brings boasts of longer, wider, taller, roomier.
has taken a different approach with the completely redesigned 2013
Accord. Itís smaller and lighter.
Have they lost
their minds, you ask? It appears not. And, if you still believe
bigger is better, know that the Accord is roomier inside and has
more cubic feet of storage in the trunk.
ninth-generation Accord, and it remains good at what itís nearly
always done ó being a roomy, comfortable and reliable family
hauler. But then it went one better on the exterior styling by
smoothing out the lines, sculpting in more curves. The front,
including the headlights, and rear also were enhanced.
added a couple more trims: a Sport version, in an attempt to wake up
younger folks to the Accord, and the Touring, for those seeking more
extras and more refinement. More on that later.
For you Accord
loyalists, know that Honda has retained everything youíve loved: a
smooth, quiet ride that gets you there rather economically. But
driving enthusiasts havenít been left out.
Most will go
with the standard 2.4-liter inline-four engine, which is decently
improved and generates 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque.
Thatís better than last generation and, equipped with the CVT
(continuously variable transmission), will get you to 60 mph in 7.5
seconds. That ranks well with this class.
trim, equipped with a dual exhaust, squeezes out 8 more horses and
some more torque.
next engine is the 3.5-liter V-6, which also has been upgraded and
gets 278 hp and 252 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 improves to a
quite impressive 6.1 seconds.
important to the Accord crowd: Mileage with the inline four and CVT
is in the low-20s around town, low 30s on the highway. Slightly
better with the 6-speed manual. With the V-6, linked to a 6-speed
automatic, you should get around 20 in town but a sweet 33 on the
Honda has one
of the best CVTís on the road; it doesnít whine or strain and
feels pretty much like the 6-speed automatics.
from a stop or for passing is more than adequate in the 4-cylinder
and even better with the six. No problems with handling, as the
Accord is well-balanced and offers no significant body roll on
electric-assist steering is lighter than I prefer, but itís
responsive and accurate.
Honda says improvements should make Accord even quieter ó road
noise is greatly reduced. And visibility remains excellent in all
comfortable for long trips and offer decent headroom and legroom.
Back-seat riders should have no complaints, either.
A nod of
approval goes to the materials inside, with soft-touch surfaces that
make this car feel more like a luxury car.
stack is chock full of easy-to-access information, and some models
offer two screens. Strange but true. The top screen handles
navigation and rear views for safer backup; The bottom screen is
touch-sensitive and handles audio controls and things like phone
The trunk can
handle the golf clubs, though I didnít get to play during my week
with the Accord. Thatís because I was bribed into food shopping
with the wife. But there I discovered room to spare for a whole weekís
worth of groceries.
safety features is the neat LaneWatch blind-spot monitoring system.
Whenever you hit the right turn signal, a camera on the right-side
mirror provides a view of the right side of the car ó right on the
8-inch screen. Easy to use, easy to see, this option makes for safe
and confident lane changes.
features include ABS, traction and stability control, front seat air
bags and side-curtain air bags. A lane-departure warning system is
optional on higher trims.
So, we are
back to trims. After a week in the new-for-2013 Sport version, I can
say that I appreciate the few extra horses, 18-inch wheels, rear
spoiler and shift paddles on the wheel. But it lacked the crisp feel
of a real sport vehicle. Itís more sporty in style than
As for the
other trims, you may need a scorecard. There are five trims and
there are more variations based on whether you choose the coupe or
sedan, and the 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder.
4-cylinder LX is nicely equipped with cruise control and
tilt/telescoping wheel, full power to accessories, 8-inch video
display and even a rear-view camera. The EX-L adds premium 7-speaker
sound, leather seats with memory functions and safety extras. The
EX-L adds navigation.
midsize-sedan segment is extremely competitive and one which you
should take your time to explore, based on your desires. Thereís a
better-looking entry or two, a couple that offer better mileage, and
another that offers all-wheel-drive (you may have guessed the Subaru
But for all
the things many have come to love about the Honda Accord ó
comfort, safety, reliability ó the ninth gen is not about to let
excluding destination charge: $22,000