By Matt Degen - Updated Date: 10/1/2012
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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.What's New for 2013
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 It 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.Notable Optional Equipment
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.