Honda engineers have completely redesigned the company’s best-selling midsize automobile – the Accord. The 2013 version of the Accord is a little more compact on the outside, a little bigger on the inside and a lot better on the gas.
Besides being Honda’s best-selling midsize car, the Accord this year celebrates 30 continuous years of production in the United States. If you were one of the engineers given the task of redesigning Honda’s ninth generation Accord, the pressure was definitely on. You don’t want to take the company’s best-seller and screw things up.
Well, relax guys. You got the job done.
The Accord is available as a sedan or coupe, with a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine, and with a manual, CVT or 6-speed automatic transmission. All of the above get increased fuel economy ratings this year, with the CVT in the I-4 engine adding 4 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. For the first time in the U.S., Honda uses direct injection to boost fuel efficiency. The I-4 gets 36 mpg on the highway, while the V-6 checks in at 34 mpg on the road. Our test vehicle, the EX-L V6 with nav, delivered 32 highway mpg.
Honda will launch a new plug-in hybrid Accord early this year, followed by a conventional hybrid this summer.
In addition to better mileage, the I-4 engine is also more powerful with its 185 horsepower rating, up eight horses from 2012. The V-6 is also stronger, up from 271 horsepower in 2012 to 278 horsepower in 2013.
Better fuel economy without sacrificing power is more than just a trend in the automobile world today. It’s a requirement. Engines in just about every new model boast more power and better mileage, and those that don’t are the exception rather than the rule.
On the road, our test V-6 test Accord handled well and had excellent road manners. Steering was linear, and acceleration was surprisingly quick. Test drivers at Edmunds.com recorded a 6.1-second time in a 0-60 test (the I-4 ran a 7.5). There was some slight lean in heavy cornering, but the ride was otherwise firm and comfortable.
Inside, the Accord continues to shine with standard upscale features and amenities like Bluetooth, a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control and Pandora internet radio integration.
New safety technology features include LED projector headlights, a lane departure warning system, a forward collision warning system that flashes lights at the driver if the car is approaching an object too fast, and adaptive cruise control.
But the highlight of the new technology is Honda’s optional LaneWatch Blind Spot Display system. Turn on your right turn signal and a camera on the passenger side mirror displays an image of what is in the lanes on the side and behind the car. The image is displayed on the 8-inch monitor at the top of the center stack, so it’s a natural eye motion for the driver: the eyes turn to the right towards the side mirror to check the blind spot, but as they pass the monitor, the blind spot is fully displayed and the eyes don’t have to continue to the mirror. The camera can also be activated by pushing a button at the end of the turn signal stalk. It’s a really cool safety and convenience feature that virtually eliminates passenger side blind spots and increases driver confidence.
Speaking of safety, both the 2-door and 4-door Accord models receive a “Top Safety Pick” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Accord sedans range in price from $21,680 for the base LX with a 6-speed manual all the way up to the Touring V-6 automatic model at $33,430. Coupes go from $23,350 for the LX-S up to $32,350 for the EX-L V-6 automatic with navigation.
The midsize segment is without a doubt the most hotly-contested group for your automotive dollar. With the redesigned 2013 Accord, your dollar is well-spent.