The midsize sedan class is one of the most competitive segments in the segment, so we asked Honda to lend us the keys to the new Accord for the weekend in Los Angeles. Would we still be as impressed the second time around?
We last drove the all-new 2013 Honda Accord in Santa Barbara, CA, where we felt that the new Accord quickly reclaimed its spot at the top of the midsize sedan class. Our initial impressions of the new Accord centered around the spacious/ comfortable interior, its impressive CVT transmission and responsive engines. The midsize sedan class is one of the most competitive segments in the segment, so we asked Honda to lend us the keys to the new Accord for the weekend in Los Angeles. Would we still be as impressed the second time around?
For the 2013 model year, the Accord received a through redo, which fixes many of the shortcomings of the outgoing Accord. Rather than radically restyle the Accord, Honda went with a more classic, yet “sculpted” exterior, which works for the Accord. The Accord’s styling has never been described as aggressive and this generation is the same. It’s less aggressive than models like the Fusion and Optima, but more stylish than the popular Camry.
The new Accord is actually shorter than the outgoing model, but the three-inches cut from the exterior doesn’t mean the interior suffers. The Accord’s interior feels cavernous. It’s back seat is a bit more spacious than the new Fusion. One friend’s first comment upon entering the new Accord, was “Why would anyone actually consider a Camry over this?” The Accord’s interior feels a class above the Camry’s. Everything is laid out where it should be and Honda fixed the “too many buttons” issue from the last Accord. Our only issue with the interior may only be due to an issue with our test model, but the audio system sucked. It sounded like a system that you would expect in a car costing half the Accord’s cost, but for $34k, it definitely disappointed. The subwoofer seemed to lack any power, but hopefully this was only an issue in our press car.
We were given the keys to the Accord Touring model, which is the top trim level available. It comes standard with the 278 horsepower V6, six-speed automatic, leather seats, navigation, Bluetooth and the latest safety technology like Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control. Is the Touring model worth the extra cost to get the latest safety technology? If you spend a lot of time in traffic or commuting, yes. The Forward Collision Warning system was great in traffic and acted like an extra set of eyes on the road. Get too close to the car in front of you, then the system warns you with a set of lights on the top of the dash, a warning signal on the odometer and audible beeps. Anyone who’s ever used cruise control knows how annoying it is to constantly have to adjust the speed if traffic begins to slow and then picks right back up. The Adaptive Cruise Control system uses a radar system to know if traffic in front of you is slowing down and automatic adjusts your speed to stay at a safe distance behind the cars in front of you. In other words you can think of the Adaptive Cruise Control system like automatic windshield wipers… The system thinks for you…
Honda offers two engines in the new Accord lineup, the base 2.4L four-cylinder and the 278-hp 3.5L V6. The trend lately seems to be moving towards four-cylinder turbocharged engines as the top engine in many of the Accord’s competitors. After sampling the turbocharged engines in the Optima and Fusion, the Accord’s V6 offers a level of power and refinement that those engines can’t offer. Push the pedal to the floor and you’re greeted with a sweet growl and rush of power that the Fusion’s turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine is lacking. Even with 278 horsepower under the hood, the Accord V6 will still get up to 34 mpg on the highway. Around town we averaged 24 mpg. All that power going to the front wheels did produce a bit of wheel spin from a stop, but thanks to the electric power steering, there wasn’t any torque steer. Speaking of the electric power steering, it could have used a bit more feel…
Anyone that’s ever driven around Los Angeles has had the pleasure of experiencing the city’s rough roads. The Accord’s suspension soaks up most of the road’s imperfections, but isn’t floaty like a Camry. At some points the suspension seemed a bit stiff, but we’d definitely prefer its set up to softer tuned models like the Sonata.
Overall the 2013 Accord continues to impress just as much as it did the first time we got behind the wheel of one. It’s V6 will satisfy anyone that wants a bit more power under the hood, but also doesn’t make you pay the price at the pump. It’s styling is definitely on the conservative side, which may disappoint some, but at least it should age well. If you want a more aggressive Accord, there’s always the new Accord hybrid.
2013 Honda Accord Touring
Price as Tested: $33,430