Along comes the 2013 Accord, much improved from previous iterations, and voila! Honda's got its groove back.
The first smart thing Honda did with this new Accord was to streamline its looks. It looks smaller, yet stronger. It's edges are more chiseled, its corners less soft. And it is shorter than the old Accord by 3.5 inches. But it's the overall look that gives it its new lean look. Honda seems to have shaved the exterior down to is bare essence, as if all the fat of the old Accord has been converted into muscle.
Despite its shrunken exterior, inside the car the Accord feels as roomy and accommodating as ever. And in fact, its utility has actually been improved. The trunk, which never seemed undersized, has gained a square foot, and you can tell as soon as you open the trunk, it seems to go on endlessly. How a car that's shorter than before manages to add trunk space and still have a luxurious amount of leg room, both in front and back, is a tremendous feat of design. There's still enough plastic to remind you that you're not in a luxury car, but it's still tastefully appointed. If you opt for the EX-L trim level, you'll have heated seats and a nav system and you'll be even closer to a true luxury car.
On The Road
The Accord's engine has also been upgraded. The new 2.4-liter 'Earth Dreams' engine packs a wallop, despite its Woodstock-generation-sounding name. Our tester had the six-speed manual, which we'd definitely recommend, as it gives the Accord a sporty feel. Honda's manuals have always felt smoother and more intuitive than other makers' and this remains the case. The handling and steering are likewise seamless and uncomplicated. This Accord, to us, embodies that ridiculous concept known as fun-to-drive better than many sportier cars we've tested. The blind-spot monitoring system (a side-mirror mounted camera that shows the car's blind spot on the screen) is extremely useful. Having used it on this car, we now wish it was standard in every car.
Fuel-efficiency has always been another of Honda's strong points, and true to form, the new accord can get you up to 36 mpg on the highway and 27 in the city. The manual drops those numbers to 34 and 24, respectively, but for the added joy, we'd gladly sacrifice those few mpgs.
The Accord may not be the sexiest, most attention-grabbing sedan on the market, but Honda has always been about the things that really matter: driving experience, utility, and efficiency, and the new Accord nails it on every point. Whatever hardships Honda has endured in previous years, and however the company may have drifted, it's definitely back on the right track.
Specs, Features, & Price ENGINE:
181 lb-ft of torque
Satellite radio, 8-inch multi-information display, Bluetooth hands-free link, USB ports.
PRICE (BASE, EX TRIM):