By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 8.3
The Accord is synonymous with Honda and has been known for nearly four decades as a reliable, comfortable, pragmatic way to move families. What began as a 2-door hatchback in 1976 has grown into today's full-size sedan and coupe. For 2013, the Accord has been revamped inside and out, and found its way to a prime spot on our 10 Best Family Cars of 2013 roundup. With the choice of two fuel-efficient gasoline engines, new transmissions, a more refined interior and quieter ride, the 2013 Honda Accord has taken the steps needed to keep up with ever-better competitors like Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Chevy Malibu in this sizzling segment. In 2013, plug-in hybrid and regular hybrid versions will debut as 2014 Honda Accord models.
The Honda Accord is the Labrador retriever of sedans. If you want a hassle-free, pleasing family car with a reputation for quality and an immediate familiarity, it's hard to go wrong with the Accord. Coupe versions, meanwhile, add an element of sportiness, especially when fitted with the strong V6 engine.
If cutting-edge looks, all-wheel drive or fuel economy over 36 mpg are among your must- haves, look beyond the Accord. The Honda is good at many things, but its balanced approach isn't for all. A Kia Optima has the looks, Nissan's Altima and VW's Passat TDI obtain superior fuel economy, and the Subaru Legacy offers all-wheel drive.
The 2013 Honda Accord is all new inside and out. Sleeker, rippled sheetmetal defines an exterior that has shrunk around an interior that is magically roomier. The 4-cylinder engine has direct injection and is mated to a CVT automatic transmission for better fuel economy, while the V6 has more power and exceptional fuel efficiency. New trims are Sport to capture younger buyers and, at the top, a Touring version.
Driving Impressions The most surprising thing about the Accord is its refined continuously variable transmission (CVT). Mated to the 4-cylinder, this CVT feels much like a normal automatic, mimicking gear changes. Even...a base Accord has good power for acceleration and passing, yet attains an impressive 36 mpg on the highway. Move up to a V6 model with 6-speed automatic transmission, and the Accord is downright quick. Coupe models with the V6 can be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission that offers great engagement but whose shift lever could use a bigger knob for better grip. Thankfully, Honda has remedied much of the road noise in the previous Accord. Visibility remains a strong point, and the telematics and audio/climate controls are relatively straightforward. The available LaneWatch system works well, giving the driver a camera image of what's happening in the right-side blind spot, while a specialized expanded-view mirror on the driver's-side aids visibility to the left.
This first-of-its-kind technology for the Honda Accord uses a tiny video camera mounted underneath the passenger-side mirror that displays what's happening in the driver's blind spot. Ingeniously, this system – included in EX and Touring models – can be configured to stay on or automatically turn on when the right-hand turn signal is engaged.
V6 POWER, 34-MPG FUEL ECONOMY
With the optional V6 engine, the 2013 Honda Accord lets you have your cake and eat it, too, giving you both power and superb fuel economy. This V6 is more powerful than the previous version, yet at 34 mpg highway matches the fuel economy of the previous generation's 4-cylinder.
Like the rest of the car, the 2013 Accord's 5-passenger interior is a pleasing step forward. The cabin boasts soft-touch materials for a quality feel. Among the biggest changes is, on select models, an additional LCD screen in the middle of the dash, below an upper 8-inch VGA screen. The bottom screen is touch-sensitive for controlling features like audio and phone, while the upper screen conveys navigation, rear- and side-view camera images, and more. The upper display can be customized with your own photos, so the smiling kids always travel with you. The front seats are comfortable, and we liked that the driver's seat actually toned down the lumbar support. The rear seats gain even more room, as does the trunk.
The sheet metal has more curves, the front and back have been tweaked, and the Accord's overall length has decreased by more than three inches. Yet even at first glimpse, few will wonder what car this is. The 2013 Accord still looks like, well, an Accord. Just one that is a bit more modern to keep up with changing tastes, such as LED exterior lights and the ever-popular honeycomb grille. We like the Accord's downsized footprint, as the previous sedan was beginning to feel largish. The coupe, too, has gotten smaller, but only by less than an inch. Sport models are meant to attract slightly younger buyers with its more aggressive appearance that includes 18-inch wheels, spoiler and dual exhaust pipes.
Even a base Honda Accord LX is well-equipped, with features such as an 8-inch color display with rear-view camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, 16-inch wheels, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with Pandora Internet radio compatibility. Sport models add a power driver's seat, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a slight increase in horsepower. EX models include a power moonroof and the LaneWatch system. EX-L models get leather surfaces, upgraded audio, heated front seats, and lane-departure warning. At the top is the Touring model with a standard V6 engine, forward collision warning, LED headlights, and adaptive cruise control.
Major options in the 2013 Accord are obtained by moving up trim levels. Among the biggest features are satellite navigation, the V6 engine, a 7-speaker/360-watt audio system, 18-inch wheels, leather seating, multi-angle rear-view camera, LED headlights, blind-spot display, and adaptive cruise control. Accessories for further personalization include a sport grille, underbody kit, rear spoiler, remote engine starting, and an illuminated door sill.
Two gasoline engines and three new transmissions are offered in the 2013 Honda Accord. The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes a healthy 185 horsepower (189 in Sport versions). The optional engine, also part of Honda's new Earth Dreams technology highlighting fuel economy, is a 3.5-liter V6 that makes a robust 278 horsepower. In the sedan, 4-cylinder engines are linked to a 6-speed manual transmission or CVT automatic, and V6 engines are connected to a 6-speed automatic. In the coupe, the V6 can be connected to a 6-speed manual transmission for those who want a more engaging experience. All models can run on regular fuel. Some coupe versions get slightly lower fuel economy, mainly due to aerodynamics.
185 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 mpg (manual), 27/36 mpg (automatic, sedan), 26/35 mpg (automatic, coupe)
278 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
252 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg (manual, coupe), 21/34 mpg (automatic, sedan), 21/32 mpg (automatic, coupe)
A 2013 Honda Accord LX sedan with manual transmission has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting slightly over $22,000, while a top-level Touring edition reaches about $34,000. At these prices, the Honda is in line with competitors such as the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu, and Kia Optima. Undercutting the Accord's starting price are base models of the Chrysler 200, Subaru Legacy, Volkswagen Passat, and Hyundai Sonata. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to get the latest pricing on the 2013 Accord and to see what others in your area are paying. In the longer-run, the Honda Accord's resale value is expected to hold up well, staying fully competitive with the best-selling Toyota Camry.
By honda guy (FL) on Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,300overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Economical, fun to drive, luxurious, awesome!"
Cons: "cheap controls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my first new car purchase. I most admit that I am a Honda fan so this might be a bit biased. The new design of the 2013 Honda Accord is remarkable. I have owned the previous 3 generations of the Accord and I must say that the newly designed Accord looks the best. The conservative style is truly elegant and the LED running lights look great! I heavily researched this Accord because I plan on keeping it for the long haul. The interior has been architected for comfort. I know some people have their seating issues, but I believe that this Accord is more comfortable than the previous generation (we had a 2010 EXL V6). Furthermore, the road noise on the previous generation was absolutely horrible. However, my only complaint with this vehicle are the control dials for volume and media control. Other than that, this Accord is perfect! Not to mention they come with Michelin Primacys -- excellent tires!"
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By john C (DE) on Saturday, November 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Mpg great"
Cons: "road noise , seat comfort , no homelink"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The driver seat is very uncomfortable. Once you are in the seat there is no wiggle room and your back get hot. I am 5'9" 160 pounds. I also found the shape of seat make your back bend forward and long distance driving a real PAIN. My Honda dealer changed the seat back which made it more comfortable but I still get HOT spots on my back from rubbing on the leather seat."
5 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Honda Lover (IN) on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Mentioned in 'Complete review.'"
Cons: "Trying hard to find even one."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is certainly the BEST mid-size sedan. I've had Sport CVT for about a month now and have driven it for around 3000 miles; I've got to say that no other car in this segment can beat Accord. If you compare this with Camry, Passat, Malibu, or even higher segment sedans (Acura, Lexus, etc.,) you will still find Accord to be a better buy than most others. I cannot really find any negatives about this vehicle. Some of the positives about Accord are: Great Mileage. Very Sporty. Best Interior Design. Good Exterior Design. Lots of Standard Features - even more than higher segments. Very Reliable. Comfortable for Long Drives. Very Safe w/ lots of Standard Safety Features - including side Airbags. Fun to Drive and Sit. Acts both as a Performance/Fun Car and a Regular Commute. Please note that Hondas usually take about 5000-7000 miles to "break-in" and deliver exceptional performance. Hence, if you don't see the level of promised performance from your brand-new Honda, just wait until you hit these many miles and you'll see a drastic difference. For the first 2000 miles or so, please be gentle with your new car (no revving up the engine, etc.)"
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Mas (TX) on Saturday, October 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice engine and transmission."
Cons: "Uncomfortable, bumpy ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I've had this car for 3 years, and I found the ride very uncomfortable. Every little dip in the road transfers right into the cabin. At first, I thought it was a defect, but when I took it in, the dealership said that all the 2013 and 2014 models are like this because Honda changed the suspension system in 2013. I'm surprised that I don't see more of this issue in the reviews. If you want a comfortable, smooth ride, do not buy a Honda Accord 2013 or 2014."
4 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By domflam (CA) on Friday, October 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "understated comfort and luxury appointments, fast"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"v6 has plenty of pep to slip into highway from entrance ramp or pass. variable cylinder technology allows highway mpg in 27-29 range. Leather seats with warmers very stylish and comfortable even on long trip. Console design easy to read and intuitive. Simple synch with smartphone. Very safe with surrounding airbags, high visibility with low belt line, and rear view and right side blind spot cameras."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By gvman (NJ) on Monday, October 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I thought i was buying a reliable Honda which would last me many years. Instead I bought a lemon! This being a new design model has likely added to the fact that there are many bugs Honda has yet to work out... At only 7000 miles did i start experiencing electrical issues. The check engine, tire pressure, vehicle assist, and power steering all illuminated unexpectedly and the vehicle immediately lost power and would not accelerate past 40 mph. I brought the car to the dealer the next day in which they reset the "vehicle codes". The car drove fine for about 300 miles until the issue happened again. To make a long story short, this issue occurred 3 times in which the dealer replaced the throttle body and the ECU. The car drove for about 600 miles after replacing the ECU until it happened for a 4th time. At this point I was fed up with constantly driving to the dealer and for them to tell me the issue was fixed each time when it clearly wasn't. It seemed no one could pinpoint the problem and for a new car to experience this is unacceptable. I ultimately complained enough to Honda and expressed that I thought this car was a lemon, they finally decided to give me my money back rather than wait for me to legally act upon it which i had every right to do. Aside from all this the car drove and handled well, all the features were pretty nice including the rear view camera and all the audio options available. I would just be extremely careful from now on before purchasing a brand new design model, I was probably better off buying a 2012 or waiting a few years for a '15. With all the gadgets and sensors the new cars have today, you'll likely run into these electrical issues with any new design, its probably best going with a proven model thats been around a few years."
17 people out of 20 found this review helpful