Read the complete 2013 Honda Accord Review and Watch the Video Review at AutoGuide.comThe new Accord is good, and it knows it
by Colum Wood
Looking more like a refresh than an all-new, next-generation model, the 2013 Honda Accord sits looking exactly as you should expect.
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.
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
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.