2013 AutoGuide Car of the Year Nominee: Honda Accord

2013 AutoGuide Car of the Year Nominee: Honda Accord

A testament to just how good it is, the final nominee for the 2013 AutoGuide.com Car of the Year didn’t just beat out the rest of the new models to make our short list, it bested three other cars in its own class.

We are, of course, speaking of the 2013 Honda Accord, which makes our short list in a year that also saw the launch of an all-new Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion; a car that could almost make the list on its looks alone.

And the Fusion put up a fight, with numerous engine options, plenty of tech and some of the best fuel economy numbers in its class. Two of the segment leaders, when compared head-to-head, the Honda came out on top, with a more polished interior, a more engaging (and more comfortable) ride, not to mention superior real world fuel economy in our tests. And while the simplicity of its tech features won’t wow you like the glossy MyFord Touch, they won’t enrage you either. Overall, the Honda just packs more value.

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While far from a revolution, the new Accord is different in a few key areas. First, it’s smaller, resulting in better proportions and a more enjoyable drive, while still retaining the same interior space as the previous generation. Second, it’s the first Honda to get the brand’s new Earth Dreams direct-injection engine technology.

The new 4-cylinder delivers 36 mpg on the highway, and with a modest 185 hp Honda claims it’ll out-accelerate any of its rivals. Helping achieve those figures is another new-to-Honda item, a CVT transmission. While a solid offering, it’s still not quite becoming of a brand built on the notion of connecting the driver to the road.

Still holding back on the switch to turbos, Honda’s more potent engine offering in the Accord continues to be a V6. There’s no direct injection here, and no CVT (a 6-speed automatic takes its place), though the 276 hp motor still manages to achieve 34 mpg on the highway. A bit conventional, it really is a superb setup.

Along with Honda qualities of durability and reliability, the new Accord brings with it another familiar trait: value. Even base models, which start at just $21,680 ($22,480 for the CVT), come equipped with dual-zone climate control, Honda’s i-MID system with an 8-inch touch screen and back up camera, as well as an Eco button to achieve even better fuel economy.

SEE MORE: 2013 Honda Accord Video Review

If something a bit more dramatic and fun is your style, there’s always a coupe model too. When fully equipped and sporting a V6 engine with a six-speed manual transmission, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable and sophisticated ride.

The sedan, however, is the popular choice and the smartest in the segment. Knowing as much, Honda aimed to include a bit more of its two-door model in the family sedan with an all-new Sport trim with paddle shifters, 18-inch wheels, an 8-way power driver’s seat and a slight bump in power to 189 thanks to a dual exhaust system. All for $23,390.

At that price, it’s just about perfect; and as mentioned in our video review, you don’t have to look for a reason to buy an Accord, you have to look for a reason not to. Likewise, when it comes to assembling a short list of the year’s best new cars, if there’s a new Accord, it’s a given.

Competing head-to-head with the luxurious and engaging Cadillac ATS, as well as the incredibly fun (and affordable) Scion FR-S, the Accord’s popularity and success as a mainstream, volume car are certainly in its favor. It’s likely the Accord will outsell the other two nominees combined, five times over. Certainly its importance in that regard can’t be overlooked. Then again, when looking at the big picture, both the ATS and FR-S are game-changing cars for their respective brands. Can the same be said of the Honda Accord?

So which new car will win the first every AutoGuide.com Car of the Year? Check back next week to find out.

  • deepen03

    if the Accord doesn’t win.. I would be shocked..

  • Im sorry but the Accord is fugly… it really isn’t offering any new advancements or innovations in anything, it is still an over sized Civic. Realistically it should be either the Camry or the Fusion in this spot but Auto Guide is a Honda fanboy site with all their benchmarks following Honda, and second keep in mind these cars are geared for older folks, those older folks surpisingly know how to work smart phones now and you cant knock a car for a superb system as Myford which btw is built for Ford by SONY a major electronic company with the experience to pull it off, add the Microsolft aspect and these two clearly have a great system in a fantastic package. Re-reading this it should go to the Fusion… even tho I’m partial to the Camry.

  • Has

    this review is on the mark…if you want quality and high resale, the Accord is always tops!!!

  • Svens8

    “ven tho I’m partial to the Camry.”  says it all. Thanks for playing!

  • Li Vidal

    sut up. i’ve got one, it is the best… and i’m not an older folks. if you try one you will know what im talking about. Civic,, hehehe  poor guy

  • Guest

    I’d like to see it too, but it’s gonna be the Subaru BRZ I think.  They said “check back” in the later videos to find out if it was car of the year material.  Haven’t heard yet, so I’m betting on it.

  • Thebqe

    you think the Accord is fugly but you are partial to the Camry? LOL
    I agree with LiVidal and the video review – the Accord is the closest thing to a luxury car at a fraction of cost. Try blind side camera, 3 mode backup camera, power PASSENGER heated seats, very high tech elegant interior, front collision warning, lane departure warning, roomy back seat and quiet ride. 2013 Altima is its only competition. Geared toward “older folks”? How about “geared toward saavy intelligent folks that know a great car when they see one.”
    As the reviewer said, “there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy one”

  • Redelphio123

     So you like the fusion because of name brands that go with the car… good for you! The Accord will out-do and outlast the camry and fusion!!

  • J Mack

    Fusion is WAY better. Better fuel economy. Better style.

  • if it has the same seats as the 2010 model, I’m out. Those seats kill my back!

  • MinhT

    So many nominees, and yet the road is flooded with toyota camries. Something is wrong here!?

  • I hated the previous gen Accord seats. I briefly tested the new Accord and found the seats much better

  • The Camry is affordable, comfortable, well equipped, roomy, and dependable. It’s a best seller by no accident.

  • Carlottagtv

    The Fusion is strictly a rental car, cheaply made and poor resale.

  • JKevin

    You’ve got to be joking or just a plain idiot!!!! The new Accord had more styling and zip than both Ford con-Fusion and Toyota Cam-lately combined! Fusion looked like a knock-off of Toyota Avalon and Camry?…..an oversized Corolla that looks more like a car that might thrill thr likes of Ma and Pa Kettle! In fact, my wife and I drove up and by a new Camry the other day and who was inside? An old couple for a Sunday drive. Enough said!