2013 Honda Accord
Over the last thirty years some 9 million Honda Accords have been built here, as, year in and year out, it defined the mid-size car segment. Through eight generations of sedans, coupes, and even wagons, the Accord has grown up right alongside the American family. But, the 9th generation Accord greets an altered automotive landscape, now filled with challengers from both import and domestic brands. So let’s see if the 2013 Accord can remain a family favorite.
Staying on top is never easy, and that’s not about to change as 2013 marks not only a new Honda Accord, but all-new mid-sizers from many of its rivals as well; including Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, and Chevrolet Malibu. And, lets not forget the Toyota Camry; new this time last year.
But, the Accord Sedan and Coupe have never shied away from a game. Their strategy is simple; give buyers more of what they want in an attractive looking package with a little unexpected surprise thrown in for bonus points.
They do march on the playing field looking leaner and meaner. For the first time, the front-line Accord Sedan is actually smaller outside than its predecessor with overall length 3.6-inches shorter than before. While not flashy by any means, the new look is more dynamic; especially up front where larger grille and lower air inlets give a more brawny look. There’s a bit less departure down the four-door sides where familiar looking body lines cut across the top and bottom.
With the sedan’s smaller exterior, total passenger volume is down a bit, but the space has been “fung shuied” to make the environment more inviting. Headroom and hip room have decreased a little, but shoulder room is up and legroom remains the same in front. While in the back seat, legroom is up over an inch; and that’s with a larger trunk, now holding 15.8 cubic-ft of luggage.
So as not to repeat the Civic’s disappointing lack of connectivity, the Accord debuts a new HondaLink system that will enable owners to keep in touch with their car and others with an ever expanding suite of smart-phone apps. High in the center of a vastly improved dash layout is a large i-MID 8-inch display. NAV models add a separate audio touch-screen to reduce button clutter. Dual automatic climate controlS and rear-view camera are now standard on Accord.
Powertrains feature Honda’s new “Earth Dreams” technology which includes an all-new direct-injection 2.4-liter I4 with CVT as standard in the high volume LX. It rates 185 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a heavily revised 3.5-liter V6 with Variable Cylinder Management that now brings 278-horsepower and 252 lb-ft. of torque to its 6-speed automatic transmission.
A 6-speed manual is available in the Accord Coupe. As to the two-door Accord, it borrows much from the concept shown in January at Detroit, taking the Sedan’s sporty style up a sharp notch. The front end has a unique facia with even larger air openings, and fake brake cooling “ducts” for fog lamps. Side and rear sheet-metal are also unique and the V6 come with a deck-lid spoiler.
Whether Coupe or Sedan, both cars have that smooth, solid, and quiet on the road feel that millions of Accord owners have come to appreciate. Visibility is improved, and a new camera-based LaneWatch option eliminates blind spots in right turns.
And now for the unexpected bonus… coming later next year, a hybrid will return to the Accord line-up, and now it’s of the plug-in variety.
The PHEV will get its own unique styling that will certainly set it apart from other Accords, with a downright bold grille, LED headlights and aerodynamic boosters like wheel covers, underbody panels, and a rear spoiler.
The powertrain is a 137-horsepower 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle I4 with a two-electric motor CVT hybrid system and 6.7KwH trunk-mounted battery pack. Total output is 196-horsepower and 226 lb-ft. of torque. Electric-only range will be 10 to 15 miles. The PHEV’s interior adds a special gauge cluster with hybrid system readouts.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for all Accord models go up a bit. 26-City, 35-Highway, and 29-Combined for the CVT 4-cylinder; and 21-City, 32-Highway, and 25-Combined for the V6 with automatic. Expect the Plug-in Hybrid to achieve over 100 miles-per-gallon equivalent in EV Mode.
Competition has also kept a lid on prices, also rising slightly to $22,470 for the base LX sedan, and climbing to $34,220 for V6 Touring trim.
Honda Accord buyers are obviously a loyal bunch. When it comes time to buy a new Accord, they like one that is improved, but still has lots of familiarity. And that’s exactly what the roster of the 2013 Honda Accord lineup delivers. Time will tell if there is enough change to block the competition. Still, we think the new Accord will hold its field position, and continue to be a top draft pick in the mid-size game for years to come.
Engine: 2.4-liter I4
Torque: 181 lb-ft.
EPA: 26 mpg city/ 35 mpg highway