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.
Long Term Updates
Date: August 2013
Our 2013 Honda Accord EX-L NAV sedan has another unique camera feature. Flip the turnsignal on to make a right turn and the NAV screen displays a side blind spot camera. Called Lane Watch, it has already helped us avoid accidents.
Our Accord logged about 1200 miles its first month, and it is simply one of the most competent mid-size family sedans on the road today. And, despite having a 4-cylinder with a CVT tranny, very responsive, as well as very fuel efficient. 34.8 MPG on Regular so far.
As one of our staff put it: “ I love vanilla”, and in the case the Accord is a flavor you can depend upon.
Date: September 2013
The 2013 Honda Accord competes in another heavily populated segment, the mid-size family sedan. But, it does so with a longer history of meeting its owner’s needs than any rival.
And, that includes minding the family budget. Even without a lot of techno-powertrain magic our Accord 4-cylinder is returning a fine 28.8 miles per gallon of regular.
At 10,600 miles and 3 months, the only issue we’ve noticed is a shutter in the CVT tranny when cold. But it disappears completely when things heat up.
Our Honda Accord EX-L NAV sedan is a great way to carry the family to just about anywhere.
Date: November 2013
Having just finished our initial drive in the Honda Accord Hybrid, you might wonder how it compares to our long term Accord Sedan.
Well, except for mileage, and a few sounds and vibrations unique to the hybrid, the competent driving experience and ample comfort are the same.
As to fuel economy, our long term Accord EX-L with Nav’s four-cylinder CVT drivetrain is averaging a fine 30.7 miles per gallon of regular after 5 months and 7100 miles. The Accord Hybrid, on the other hand has a combined rating of 47 MPG. But, it also has a price premium of about $5,000.
Given a long payback, and what an excellent car the non-hybrid Accord is, we think most folks will stick with the tried and true. We are, and we’re happy.
Date: December 2013
The Honda Accord is having quite a year. The 9th generation Accord is a hit with buyers. There’s a new hybrid model that’s the most fuel efficient car of its size. And, now, added icing on its cake, it’s been named Green Car of the Year!
As we rack up the miles in our long term gas-powered Accord EX-L with NAV, we can say “I told you so” as the log book praise for our black four-door just keeps rolling in.
Along with modest gas receipts. At 7 months and 14,000 miles, our 4-cylinder CVT automatic is returning a fine 30.4 miles per gallon of regular.
Our only mechanical issues are some minor vibrations from the CVT transmission when cold, and the Lane Keep Camera stayed on once until the car was restarted.
The Honda Accord is a very impressive family car that deserves all the accolades it can muster.
Date: February 2014
By now you know we are fond of the latest Honda Accord. Our 2013 ex-l with nav sedan is leaving after 6 months with no serious issues.
Still, as we wrap up our long term test we want to make sure that anyone in the market for an accord has all the details.
If you’re the owner of an older Accord you may be surprised how big it is, outside and in. comfort is easily that of a full-size car.
But, that means it’s now a fairly heavy car and you feel it. still, the agility that is an accord trademark remains mostly intact.
With all this growth over time fuel economy has actually gotten better. we averaged 29.5 mpg on regular grade over 14,500 miles. some small cars we test don’t do as well.
If you have never driven a car with a cvt transmission, the powertrain can be a bit loud at times and takes some getting use to.
You’ll also find Honda’s twin screen infotainment, nav, and climate command center a big change. but, it becomes more intuitive the more you use it.
Past that and you will love the 9th generation honda accord, just like we do.
Engine: 2.4-liter I4
Torque: 181 lb-ft.
EPA: 26 mpg city/ 35 mpg highway