The first model to utilize Honda’s new Earth Dreams engine technologies, the redesigned 2013 Accord gets a long list of upgrades and a big bump in fuel economy.
A long selection of engine and transmission options is available for 2013, not to mention a choice of two body styles and an available plug-in hybrid. The new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder adds direct-injection and makes 185 hp and 6400 rpm and 181 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm and can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or an all-new CVT automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg city, matching the segment-leading Altima, while highway mileage falls just short at 36 mpg. A combined, or average, fuel economy rating is 30-mpg, one mpg short of the Altima.
An all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine for the first time combines Honda’s i-VTEC technology and cylinder deactivation, delivering a total of 278-hp at 6200 rpm and 252 lb-ft of torque at 4900 rpm. Available exclusively with a six-speed automatic in the sedan, in the Accord Coupe, the V6 engine can be paired with a six-speed manual. Fuel economy for the V6 is up, to 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for a combined 25 mpg, tying the other segment leaders, though all are behind some of the turbocharged 4-cylinder models currently on offer.
A third engine option, a plug-in hybrid, will mark the first use of the technology for Honda and signal a shift away from the brand’s long outdated Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system. Combining a lithium-ion battery pack, electric motor and 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, total system output is rated at 196-hp and 226 lb-ft of torque with an electric-only range of 10 to 15 miles. One innovative feature of the system is that it allows the driver the option of choosing when to use the electric only portion.
In the styling department the new Accord has received a subtle update with a slightly more dramatic flat-fronted chrome grille and a chrome lower front splitter. Further helping to add some premium style to the new Accord are standard 16-inch aluminum wheels and chrome door handles. Out back a new taillight design is oddly reminiscent of the Hyundai Genesis sedan.
Perhaps the biggest change to the overall look of the Accord is its smaller size, with a one-inch shorter wheelbase and the car 3.6-inches shorter in length overall. Despite the change in size, Honda has managed to keep interior room the same while increasing trunk space slightly.
Honda will continue to push the safety message with the all-new Accord and claims it will achieve top marks in every crash test and be the first non-premium model to achieve the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Plus rating. Optional safety features include a lane departure warning system and forward collision alert, while standard on the mid-level EX trim will be the Honda exclusive LaneWatch system that uses a camera on the side of the car to display what is in your blind spot on the center screen.
That center-screen, an 8-inch unit, will come as standard equipment, as will Honda’s i-MID system, a back-up camera and an Econ button, which, when pressed, will dull throttle response to further improve fuel economy.
Upgrading to the new Sport trim adds 18-inch wheels, a 10-way power seat, fog lights, a leather steering wheel, dual exhaust a rear spoiler and paddle shifters. The volume EX trim adds the LaneWatch feature, keyless access with a push button ignition, a moonroof, 17-inch wheels and rear seat ventilation. Finally the EL-L delivers leather, heated seats, an upgraded audio system, forward collision alert and lane departure alert, with navigation optional. V6 models come only as an EX-L trim with leather, while a new top-trim Touring model adds adaptive cruise control and LED headlights.
While pricing is still under embargo, along with the many upgrades, the 2013 Accord adds more content to each trim level, packing more value than ever before.