2013 Honda Accord Review – Video

The new Accord is good, and it knows it

2013 Honda Accord Review – Video

Looking more like a refresh than an all-new, next-generation model, the 2013 Honda Accord sits looking exactly as you should expect.

FAST FACTS

1. A new direct-injection 4-cylinder makes 185 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque with a fuel economy rating of 27/36 mpg.

2. Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, an Econ button, plus an 8-inch screen with Honda’s i-MID system and a back-up camera.

3. A new Plug-in Hybrid Accord debuts Honda’s first two-mode hybrid system with 10-15 miles of on-demand electric range.

4. Starting at $21,680 or $22,480 for the CVT automatic, a well-equipped EX automatic is $25,405.

What’s that? You expected more. Why?

Sure, it’s OK to hope for the design equivalent of variable valve timing, but apart from reasons like branding and continuity, there’s a more important reason for the Accord’s minimalist aesthetic change, namely, that Honda always has and always will chart its own path, taking no advice or input from anyone, for better and for worse.

Perhaps you’ve always thought the best word to describe Honda is “reliable” or “sporty.” It’s not. The best word to describe Honda is “stubborn.”

And in a way, the new car looks it. More squared-off up front, it refuses to hit the gym to impress a few bimbos. The Accord knows it’s a catch. True, it might have dressed up for the occasion, sporting a more angular front end and a nice chrome splitter, but that’s just what’s expected.

Under the skin the Accord carries on generations of hallmark qualities, from fuel economy, to interior space, to value. And let’s not forget a reputation for reliability and longevity that has always made the Accord a smart purchase.

FUNCTIONAL STYLE

2013 Honda Accord EXL V6 driving 01

Its looks are defined by an all-new platform and a desire to maximize outward visibility. Better proportioned that the outgoing model it’s 3.6-inches shorter in length, while maintaining the same interior space and adding slightly more trunk room. Totaling 15.5 cu-ft, the trunk now also has a smooth floor to help maximize the useful space.

Less dramatic than some of the new rivals on the road, the Accord is less about being seen and more about being able to see out of. In place of a high beltline and tiny windows is plenty of glass and excellent visibility, while the view out the front is further improved by smaller A pillars. Plus, there’s a larger driver’s side mirror to further improve outward visibility at all angles.

Another design cue of almost all modern sedans, the sloping roofline, is absent here. As a result, the rear seats don’t just heave plenty of headroom, they’re easy to get into and out of.

Notable upgrades include standard 16-inch aluminum wheels (no hubcaps here) and chrome door handles, helping give the Accord a more established premium look.

HONDA ENGINE-TECH MOVES INTO 21ST CENTURY

2013 Honda Accord EXL V6 engine

All new in every way, the Accord is perhaps most reengineered under the hood where it gets three entirely new engines and new transmissions as part of Honda’s new (and oddly named) Earth Dreams lineup. The base 4-cylinder gains direct-injection to make 185-hp and 181 lb-ft of torque with a fuel economy rating of 27-mpg city and 36-mpg highway. Less than segment-leading, it’s just one unit off the Altima and during our drive we actually registered the claimed 30-mpg combined rating.

Speaking at the car’s launch, Honda marketing boss Mike Accaviti commented that while fuel economy is obviously hugely important, in the mid-size sedan segment it’s just one of many factors. Of course, you’d expect anyone but the fuel economy king to say as much, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

A new six-speed manual is standard and optional is a Continuously Variable Transmission – a first for the Accord. CVTs are used specifically to achieve maximum fuel economy and generally compromise both driving performance and throttle response. That said, it’s a rather un-Honda-like technology, though thankfully Honda has managed to minimize the drawbacks.

2013 Honda Accord EXL V6 14

Light throttle application still delivers somewhat hesitant acceleration, while medium inputs are met with immediate response, the tach jumping suddenly to higher rpm, delivering a sensation similar to a conventional automatic downshifting, though far smoother. As a result, power is perfectly acceptable and Honda claims its 4-cylinder family sedan is the fastest on the market, aided by a 55 lb reduction in weight.

As for the V6 engine, it now makes 278-hp and 252 lb-ft of torque and is capable of 25 mpg combined (21-mpg city, 34-mpg highway), as good as other V6 models but not quite up to some of the new turbocharged 4-cylinders. Available exclusively with a 6-speed automatic in the sedan, coupe models also get a choice of that slick-shifting manual. Combined, it’s far more fun than any Accord should be.

PREMIUM RIDE

2013 Honda Accord EXL V6 interior 01

Cruising in the sedan, it’s luxury smooth and incredibly quiet. Pick up the pace and the Accord feels livelier than before, due mostly to its reduced size. Of note, the ninth-generation Accord does away with the trademark double-wishbone front suspension in favor of a MacPherson strut setup, but you’d never notice. Steering has also been changed over to a more modern electric unit and it’s excellent too. A bit loose, it does have a consistent steering feel – a rarity for electric units.

2013 Honda Accord EXL V6 interior 04Much like the exterior, there’s no big change inside the Accord, with a design that follows ergonomic function. A bit busy looking at first, it’s far less cluttered than before and all of the buttons are large. Mid-level EX trim levels come with keyless access and a push-button start standard, and while the red dot on the dash is a nice idea, on closer inspection it looks just cheap. As for the standard cloth seats, they just look dated – though not unattractive. Surprisingly, however, even middling trim levels with the cloth interior get faux-leather on the center armrest and doorsills – a smart move on Honda’s part to insure the materials your skin touches are higher grade. We’re also pleased to note that whatever it is Honda has used as trim pieces on the dash, at least it’s not Chevy Malibu-grade wood.

Looking straight ahead, the new gauge cluster now has a 3D design to it with a color-changing ring around the speedometer that’s connected to the Econ button. Like on the Civic and Honda’s hybrids, the Econ mode minimizes throttle inputs to further improve the car’s mileage.

SURPRISING STANDARD EQUIPMENT

2013 Honda Accord EXL V6 interior lanewatch

Always an incredible value, especially if you’re buying for the long term, the Accord LX  ($21,680) adds extra standard content for 2013 including dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch screen with Honda’s i-MID system for control of the audio features, as well as back-up camera and that Econ button. Pricing has increased for 2012, but only by $200 to $340 per trim level.

A new Sport trim ($23,390), adds 18-inch wheels, a 10-way power driver’s seat, leather steering wheel, paddle shifters, a rear spoiler and dual exhaust.

Along with some of the upgrades already mentioned, the EX model ($24,605) gains Honda’s segment-exclusive LaneWatch safety feature. Along with the available Land Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning systems (standard on the $27,995 EX-L), LaneWatch uses a camera to broadcast what is in our passenger side blindspot onto the 8-inch screen in the center of the dash. The idea seems like technology for technology’s sake and a bit counterintuitive, forcing you to look away from the road. In real world use, however, it’s actually quite handy, allowing you to spot a large car on the screen out of the corner of your eye and re-think your move. Honda even offers different settings, allowing you to have the video display constantly on, or only on once you use your turn signal.

Moving from safety technology, to the entertainment side, EX-L models will also gain a second in-dash screen with the HondaLink system that’s in many ways best for the technophiles. Along with access to apps like Yelp and the ability to stream audio books, it will even read Facebook and Twitter updates to you.

PLUG-IN HYBRID

2013 Honda Accord PHEV driving

In addition to the coupe and sedan, Honda will also offer a Plug-in Hybrid Accord, marking another technology upgrade for the company as it moves away from it’s archaic Integrated Motor Assist system to a genuine two-mode hybrid system similar to that in the Prius. Looking a step too flashy with a Honda badge up front that looks better suited for a transport truck’s grille, it’s a seriously impressive piece of machinery with none of the drawbacks of past Honda hybrids.

2013 Honda Accord PHEV grilleDesigned for fuel economy it pairs an electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder to deliver 196-hp and 226 lb-ft of torque, offering a perfectly acceptable performance. It transitions smoothly from electric to gasoline power and the regenerative brakes are incredibly consistent feeling – unlike even some of the best hybrids. With an electric-only range of 10 to 15 miles, you can choose when to use that EV power and when to let the system operate like a conventional hybrid.

With a claimed 100 MPGe, in full EV mode, it’s hard not to be impressed with the 199.9 mpg rating showing on the central gauge. Resetting the fuel economy gauge while switching over to regular hybrid mode via a button in front of the gearshift and after a 20-minute drive on city roads and highways we still managed a remarkable 55-mpg!

THE VERDICT

2013 Honda Accord EXL V6 10

On the surface the new Accord seems only moderately new, but closer inspection reveals impressive upgrades and new features that add to many already segment-leading qualities, helping put it, as always, in contention for top-of-the-pack status.

Now, the Accord knows it’s got a lot of competition out there right now, but it’s not worried. Sure you might run off with a sexy Sonata, a chiseled Optima, or the promise of a more fuel efficient Altima. But amongst all its other qualities, the Accord struts with confidence. It might not be the most enticingly styled sedan, but no one will ever accuse it of looking like it’s trying too hard. Sure its approach might come off as a little arrogant, but that’s because, in every way, the Accord has nothing to prove.

  • Bob

    2013 Accord..passenger seat sits too low. Short passenger (adult) can not see over dash and has limited visibility. It needs to be adjustable.

    Have 6K on it and ready to get rid of it because of the seat. Family ops to sit in back seat rather than the passenger seat. The audio portion of this site, talking about the seats is BS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000650310178 Sarah Macabanti

    Uh, you had all the time in the world to sit in a car with whoever you choose and your getting rid of it because of the passenger seat height? Wow, that’s like chopping off your head to cure hairloss.

  • peewee

    Get a nice seat pad to raise you up a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000650310178 Sarah Macabanti

    Calling a culture of people “Japs” is just as bad as using the “N” word. It’s not cool, just so you know. The war is over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000650310178 Sarah Macabanti

    Sounds like you need to adjust the seat. Doesn’t the top of the line model have all kinds of adjustments on it?

  • Scott in Houston

    Same here. I am constantly playing with the seat adjustments hoping to find the sweet spot. Not there yet! I’m not sure I could take a day-long trip in this car. Also, the leather seats are somewhat hard, although with use they may soften up.

  • Scott in Houston

    The dealer here puts Nitrogen in the tires at 29-30 psi, which is 3-4 psi lower than Honda recommendation. He said it improves the ride. If dealers are lowering tire pressure, they must be getting complaints about the ride comfort. Even so, you can feel all the imperfections and joints on concrete pavement.

  • Waz

    I have put myself in an extremely risky situation. Not only have I put myself at odds with the NRC, NASA, and NASCAR, but also the mighty Costco. And now my car might explode…..

    The news from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactor is not good — to prevent a disastrous explosion, they’ve been pumping nitrogen into the containment vessel.

    And I’ve learned space shuttles use nitrogen in their tires to prevent combustion were a fire to start.

    And I have introduced reactive oxygen into my Honda…..

    I asked for wheel alignment, but the Honda dealer wouldn’t check the air pressure in the tires because Costco had put bright green caps on the valve stems of the new Michelin radials. Costco filled the tires with pure nitrogen, because that’s what’s used in race cars and space shuttles and nuclear containment structures, which presumably are also marked with bright green caps.

    “But why nitrogen?” I ask. “Isn’t air 78 percent nitrogen and only 21 percent oxygen? Can’t you mix it?”

    Here’s what they tell me:

    * Well, numero uno it turns out nitrogen “is less expansive”. -x- But since I don’t operate my Accord in a vacuum or at 180 mph (generally) or as a pressurized reactor vessel, this is not a factor for me. But I pump my P195/65R15’s up to three times atmospheric pressure, so maybe I should worry.

    * Numero two-o, taking out the oxygen “reduces the chance of a fire”. Oxygen is required for combustion, whereas nitrogen is an inert gas. -x- Well, what about the oxygen on the *outside* of the tire here on Earth? I mean, the chances of a tire fire starting on the outside of my tires is at least as great as one starting on the inside. I’m pretty sure.

    * Well, numero three-o, removing the oxygen reduces deterioration of the inside rubber through oxidation. -x- Again, the *outside* of the tire thing. And the oxygen inside the tire is finite (only so much oxidation can occur until the oxygen is used up), whereas the oxygen on the outside of the tire is, for all practical purposes, unlimited.

    * Well then, numero cuatro-o, the nitrogen “doesn’t leak out as fast.” -x- But if it’s that dangerous oxygen that’s leaking out so fast, what’s left behind? That’s correct: nitrogen. So topping off my tires with regular air will lead asymptotically to 100 percent nitrogen, given enough time.

    Well, call me a risk taker, because I’ve replaced the green valve stem caps with plain black ones from my bicycle tires. Which tricked the Honda dealership into inflating the tires with simple compressed air – containing 21 percent leaky, explosive, expansive, reactive oxygen.

    Don’t tailgate me.

  • peewee

    I have the accord 2013 EX-L and love it. Many are wondering about the compass not being displayed in clock mode, it only displays in your driving info., miles, gas amount, distance to empty, etc. the 2 modes, and it will stay on top right corner of your screen. Best car I have ever had and looks great. Honda made a big jump forward in 2013

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked