By Steve & Tamami Laser
Whenever my better half goes car shopping, she brings home a new Accord. The first was a 1990 EX sedan. It was her daily driver for 14 years, never letting her down. When the odometer passed 125,000 miles, it was time to move on. So she traded it in on a new 2004 Accord EX. In addition to styling and safety upgrades it was a larger and more sophisticated car. Yet it retained the traditional Accord virtues of sporty ride and handling plus excellent reliability.
Many Honda owners are very loyal to the brand. While the 2013 Accord is all-new and filled with technology, it doesn’t stray far from its proven formula. The ninth-generation Accord gains styling changes including a bold new grille, more pronounced side character lines and wide, wrap-around taillights. Yet it’s instantly recognizable as an Accord.
The Accord sedan lineup includes LX, Sport, EX and EX-L 4-cylinder models. There’s the EX-L V6 and top-line Touring. A new Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) joins the line for the first time. A conventional hybrid (not a plug-in) is planned for later in the year.
New standard features include Bluetooth Hands-free Link with audio streaming, USB/iPod integration, a rearview camera, audio/information screen, dual-zone climate control, Pandora internet radio connectivity and SMS text messaging function.
The Accord gains new engines for 2013. The standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 185 horsepower nets direct-injection resulting in improved performance and economy. The available 3.5-liter V6 engine now puts out 278 horses.
A big change is the introduction of a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) for 4-cylinder models. The CVT uses two variable-width pulleys connected by a steel belt. Since there are no “steps” with this transmission, it doesn’t “shift” like a conventional automatic. This results in improved EPA fuel economy ratings of 27-mpg city, 36-mpg highway and 30 mpg combined for an 11 percent improvement.
Equipped with the 2.4-liter engine and CVT, our test Accord EX provided smooth acceleration, good performance and excellent fuel economy. Unlike some competitive models we’ve driven with CVTs, Honda’s transmission mates well with the engine’s output resulting in a very pleasant driving experience.
We drove a combination of freeways and surface streets for a total 250 miles, chalking up an impressive 26.7 mpg.
The Accord’s double-wishbone front suspension is replaced with MacPherson struts. Ride quality and control feels consistent with the previous generation. A multi-link rear suspension contributes to the pleasant ride and handling.
An all-new interior sports redesigned, comfortable seats and a completely new dash. An 8-inch Multi-Information Display (i-MID) serves as the control center for electronic functions including the rearview camera display, fuel economy information, audio functions and new Lane Watch feature.
Our EX tester was so equipped. Lane Watch is a very useful feature that displays a wide-angle view of the passenger side of the car whenever the right turn signal is activated. A camera, mounted under the right-side mirror, captures the view. It’s handy when changing lanes on the highway, for example, or when inching up to a stop sign and checking for bicycles that may be hidden in the “blind spot.”
Wrapping up a week with the new Accord, we were impressed with its new styling, advanced technologies, comfort and fuel economy.
With a list price of $25,405, our Accord EX added destination for a bottom line of $26,195. Accord prices for 2013 start at $21,680 for the LX with manual transmission or $22,480 with CVT. The top-line Touring V6 checks in at $33,430.
My better half liked everything about the new generation Accord. So I predict that when she’s ready for her next car, it will likely be another Accord.
Honda Accord Press Fleet vehicle provided by American Honda. Prices and vehicle information applies to models sold in the U.S. at the time of publication. All information including prices, features and specifications is subject to change without notice.
Photos by Honda and CarNichiWa.com
Story © 2013 CarNichiWa.com