By on August 8, 2012

I never thought I’d see the day when the Japanese copy the Koreans on styling but here we are. This is the 2013 Honda Accord, and it’s going to have to be really good to go up against the bland (2013 Nissan Altima), the beautiful (2013 Ford Fusion) and the default choice (Toyota Camry). Not to mention the Koreans.

Our own Alex Dykes will be attending the launch event shortly. Until then, this is all we’ve got.

 

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92 Comments on “2013 Honda Accord; More Bulgogi Than Tonkatsu...”


  • avatar
    Freddy M

    I’m not going to bother pointing out the obvious references that this car is cribbing, but I will say that Honda is continuing its current styling mission of delivering the car — that the previous car should have been in the first place.

    At least they got rid of those USELESS red bits on the trunk.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Interesting enough, those red reflectors that were on the JDM Accord and then added to the US spec Accord for the refresh were reminiscent of those on the rear of the Bangle 7 Series.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    Did you just call Ford Fusion beautiful?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I believe he did and that seems to be the consensus view too so not a controversial comment.

      This looks a lot better than the current Accord. Will be interesting to see how it drives. The current offers are fantastic on the Accord with $250 leases or $300 a month no money down leases. Really clearing the decks.

      • 0 avatar
        Gannet

        Sorry, the Fusion is hideous, I don’t care what the consensus says.

        The Accord may be nothing special, but it doesn’t make my eyes hurt either.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        The current Accord, I think, is bi-polar. The coupe is great looking, the sedan, not so much so.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        As a famous person once said: “Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.”

        Now, I understand Honda isn’t faring badly at the present time in terms of market share in North America, with the Civic (which was criticized heavily in reviews) and CR-V (as hideous as its- and it is) really saving Honda’s bacon, for the moment.

        However, I genuinely wonder how much longer Honda will be able to rest on what is a rapidly diminishing pool of laurels if they keep playing catch up and churn out design this ugly (not to mention scatter the interiors of their vehicles with truly low rent materials).

      • 0 avatar
        jandrews

        I am not a fan of the current Accord’s styling, but I think it could fairly be called “inoffensive”. This is better, but we still don’t know if they’ve addressed the current Accord’s REAL problem:

        Size.

        My mother has a 2009 Accord. The thing is about a foot too long and 6 inches too wide. If Honda could shrink the damn thing down and come up with an interior that doesn’t feel like it’s made from recycled milk jugs, they’d have a chance.

    • 0 avatar

      He is talking about the upcoming Fusion, not the current model.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        The 2013 Fusion is finally the European styled Mondeo which has LONG been an extremely good looking vehicle. Proof of life? The Ford Mondeo Daniel Craig is piloting in the 2007 James Bond Casino Royal movie. The 2013 Fusion is gorgeous, looking like a scaled down Aston sedan, not a rental Hoover shoe-box ofthe last generation.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I find the outgoing Fusion to be inoffensively styled, the new one not-so-much. It looks like a bloated bottom-feeding fish that should have remained in the depths.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    At least Honda didn’t crib that stupid “we forgot to remove the prototype plastic covering on the trunk lid” look that Hyundai stole from BMW 6 series, where it looked even sillier.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      +1000!

      I was sitting behind the newest Azera yesterday. I was just day dreamin and wasn’t paying attention. But then a thought crashed in…Wait, what is in front of you?
      It looks Hyundai. But then again it has a Bangle/BMW sort of thing going on all over the rear….?
      Yup… a Hyundai.
      Looked kind of smooth and rounded and short ended, not great, but not really bad.
      Not really sure of the overall look cause he took off like a bat out of hell up the ramp.
      Must be feeling his power?

      Didn’t want to get a ticket just to catch up and get around to the front…but talk about copying!
      Japan became an expert at stealing sections of popular US cars and now Korea is at it.
      I think, like in music, all the original stuff has been done. Now all we have left is variables of earlier successes.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      But Honda still cribbed the BMW greenhouse with the Hofmeister kink on the outgoing Accord (which remains for the new one), as well as the red reflector strips from the Bangle 7 Series.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    As usual, the Accord looks good, but I wish the side body crease would have been more conservative. I would trade my 12 Camry in on one, but will wait until the CVT transmission proves itself for one year. I suspect the Camry remains a the top seller followed by the Accord and Altima. Personally, I think the Fusion is full of styling gimics that will not age well as well as turn away conservative buyers. I have the same feeling about the Korean vehicles. In my circles, people with money trend towards conservative styling and value.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    They took the passatt and made it more boring. It’s forgettable but practical. Looks like honda decided to buck the extreme swoopy styling trend set by the 2011 sonata. There’s a lot more glass area for better visibility.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    I applaud Honda for the big windows and the low beltline. This recent sedan-as-coupe style be damned, I want to see out of a car and have headroom.

  • avatar
    VelocityRed3

    Is Derek trying to say that this new Accord looks like a Sonata or Optima with the title? Because this looks more Camry-ish than ever. Kim-bap for the win :)

  • avatar

    From the back, I thought it was a Hyundai Genesis.

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    Hey, they fixed it! Yes the back end could be mistaken for a Hyundai Genesis, but that’s not a bad thing. The front isn’t quite as successful – to me it calls up the ’14 Impala or Toyota Avalon – but it’s decent enough looking.

    Best part: they got rid of the hideous sharp crease on the side that made it look like it had been sideswiped in the parking lot.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Not bad, just nothing eye-popping. I actually like the Korean “4-door coupe” look that is trending towards the new norm. Guess we’ll see what the people’s wallets vote for in the next few years.

    I commend in advance all the tens of thousands of beta testers who will buy the first model year and whose numerous painful trips to the dealership will allow me to buy a 2017 with all issues fixed by TSB or design change. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      When did Honda suddenly start fixing problems found in beta? Never mind obvious stuff like V6 transmissions; even at the simple end, they STILL ship Accords with crappy ignition switches, a problem since the nineties at least. When this company makes a mistake, it sticks with it.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        They finally got around to the brake issues and VCM oil consumption, which were the biggest 8th generation issues.

        Driving a manual has excluded me from having to worry about some of those issues. I agree with you that I wouldn’t get an automatic Honda even if I did drive auto (perish THAT thought). In 14 months my only 2 problems have been the parking brake cable getting slightly loose (dealership tightened it under warranty) and a squeak under my seat that went away with some WD40.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    When I first saw the photo and not the article title, I thought, “which new Lexus is this?” Since I didn’t think Subaru or Suzuki, I guess that makes the styling a somewhat of a success. It probably would have been a different story had I seen the front first – it’s a little bland (safe).

  • avatar
    200k-min

    How is this that much different from the current Accord? Say what you will about the Fusion styling, but nobody can argue it’s 100% new. Ditto for the current Sonata and prev gen.

    Sorry Honda, but my money is going elsewhere. When you say you have an “all new” Accord coming I expect to see “all new.” This is not that. FAIL.

  • avatar
    cyberc9000

    It looks much better than the horribly disjointed current gen. That said, I don’t know why anyone shopping mid-size sedans currently would buy anything but the gorgeous and exceedingly well-equipped 2013 Ford Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed Spaniel

      I wouldn’t buy the Fusion because it’s a F.O.R.D and that silly outdated looking blue oval thing stuck on the hood annoys the hell out of me. It looks like it belongs on a lawn mower not a car. Besides, you cannot beat the resale value of a Honda/Acura. I’m not entirely convinced the domestic brands have sound resale and that is a very strong consideration when I lay my hard earned money down.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      It looks great, it seems well-equipped, but I don’t know if everything will actually work as promised, and Ford’s pricing is moving up-market. A loaded Fusion in Titanium trim with AWD is looking like G35/low-end 3-series money. At that point, people may start asking questions.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The questions about Ford’s pricing vis-a-vis competitors like Toyota and VW have already begun being asked.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Only people that look at fully loaded Ford prices and compare them to base prices of luxury brands will be asking questions. Ford’s prices are in line with the competition when you EQUIP THEM SIMILARLY. Some of the B&B continue to be obtuse or disingenuous on this point.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Not every Fusion will be a Titanium version.

        This past weekend I stopped by the local Ford dealer and noted, for the first time, a large number of Focuses with plastic wheelcovers and prices of about $18-19,000. Before this, Focuses were all in the $23-28,000 range. Perhaps the dealers complained that the cars were too expensive for the intended audience?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This thing looks like a refresh, not a full model change. Honda NEEDS a FMC type design… new design language, smaller exterior, etc. etc. I am not feeling this

  • avatar
    iNeon

    When will government mandate proper/truthful word usage during ‘new’ car launch season?

    This is a 2003 Accord with all-new trim. Can people not see this?

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      No, it’s not. It’s also smaller than the current car. Just because the styling change is evolutionary instead of revolutionary in nature doesn’t mean that the car isn’t really new.

      Market leaders have to be careful about making radical changes. Laggards can afford to do so, as they don’t have a loyal customer base that may be turned off by a radical change in style.

      Sometimes this tactic works – Hyundai really changed people’s perceptions of the marque with the current Sonata.

      Sometimes it doesn’t – Chrysler tried with the cab-forward cars in the 1990s, and they ultimately flopped, although lousy reliability and build quality didn’t help matters.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Bullspit. This 2013 model uses the same greenhouse, the same front fender and the same headlight mounting-points from the 2008– which was a 2003 with different cutlines and trim. This car uses the 2008 sedan’s front, and the 2008 coupés rear.

        Only the detailing is different.

        If that is enough difference for you to argue with me(slighting Chrysler TOTES wins you 10 bonus Hondaboi points, BTW) then, congratulations– Honda has changed just enough to sell you a 2003 model car. Again.

        Years spent reading Highlights for Children should have prepared us for this very exercise, but you’re too busy defending this car’s differences to see the glaring sameness sitting right there.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Subtle changes to a body panel require changes to the die, even if it looks “unchanged” to untrained eyes. The front fenders are not “unchanged”.

        And your proof that Honda has recycled the quarter panels and decklid from the current coupe for this 2013 sedan is found where? Note that “They look alike” does not constitute sufficient proof (and an examination of both cars shows that they do not), as even subtle changes to a panel require new dies.

        And I realize that being a Chrysler fan is tough, given the constant stream of unreliable vehicles it has produced over the years.

        But calling it out for building inferior cars is called “telling the truth,” (this site isn’t the alternative universe otherwise known as allpar.com) not “slighting” Chrysler, which has a pretty long history of doing a lot more than slighting its customers.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Actually i’m fairly sure this is just a major refresh of the outgoing model. The greenhouse is exactly the same as the 09-12 model. It may be shorter than the ’12 because of a difference in bumpers. I tried to find the wheelbase specs for the ’13 to compare to the 110.2″ of the ’12, but haven’t found em.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The drivetrains are going to be new, too. And it’s roomier inside, which would also require more than cosmetic changes.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Roomier how? Honda has not given us any details.

        You can make extra interior space with thinner seats, more scalloped door panels, re-curved dashboard etc.

        At this point I believe it’s a facelift, not a redesign.

      • 0 avatar
        jayzwhiterabbit

        I’ve seen other pictures, and this is totally looking like a warmed-over version of the outgoing car. There is a difference between evolutionary styling (wherein you keep the trademark/good qualities and improve the rest) as opposed to something like the new Civic that is obviously the exact same car. I’m thinking this is more of a case of the latter….this is really becoming a disappointing habit, Honda!!

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        My Chrysler PT is called a Plymouth wagon, often. And it is. I am not fooled by marketing.

        Geeber– You may continue to believe this is a Mopar guy attacking Honda, but you might also open your eyes and see this for what it is– A Mopar guy noticed Honda’s fixing what was broken with their old Accord. That’s the truth about this car; it is the car their 2008 should have been. That doesn’t make Honda bad. It only means they made mistakes.

        You make mistakes, don’t you?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Given that the current Accord sold well and received very good reviews from publications ranging from Consumer Reports to Car and Driver, I’d say your contention that this car “fixes what was broken” is based largely on opinion.

        Although I would imaging that it is an improvement over the current model, just as the new Fusion will be an improvement over the current one, and the new Camry is an improvement over the old one, and the new Altima is an improvement over the old one.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    It looks a lot like the old Accord, but that’s not a bad thing. I like it. If it is a bit smaller on the outside but delivers on quality and fuel economy, as well as beign decent to drive, I’d be very interested. I find the Korean-twins nice, but a bit bloated, the new Camry a bit too dull and the new Fusion a bit too pricey. This Accord could strike the balance and look like an old-school sedan in the process. I wouldn’t mind that.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I’m not seeing the resemblance.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    From my perspective, it looks like an evolutionary design change, and not particularly Korean. The styling references to the Accord coupe concept that was on display at the Detroit auto show are clear: http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2013-honda-accord-coupe-concept-photos-and-info-news Perhaps Mr. Mehta can weigh in on this.

    If the Korean reference is with respect to the flame surfacing on the door, then let’s all remember that everyone is cribbing that from the Bangle-era BMWs. Posters in the comments sections of car forums may loathe Bangle, but designers in the real world borrow heavily from his styling cues.

    • 0 avatar
      JCraig

      It’s the trunk and tail lights that say Genesis.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “It’s the trunk and tail lights that say Genesis.”

        Given the Genesis provides more than a passing tribute to the S-class at the front and the LS 460 at the rear, perhaps Honda is borrowing from Toyota, which ultimately leads us back to their unique brand of adding a Japanese twist to German design cues.

        Asian design generally tends to be in the “fast follower” school. They don’t usually innovate from scratch, but they do pay attention to the leaders and quickly learn and borrow from them.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Perhaps. Derivitive design is standard for the Japanes/Korean auto makers. I see the flow as Lexus taking liberty w/ Mercedes and going from there, Genesis sampling its share of German and Lexus cues, and Honda picking up on the Genesis look.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @Pch101

        There’s little Mercedes about the front of the Genesis other than the fact that it has a center divider on the grill (which is not anything like MB’s and the Genesis started the whole “surfaced” grill slats which Chrysler and other have taken up).

        The LS400 had much more of a MB look up front (esp. when one just adds a center divider on the grill) and the LS430 pretty much cloned the side/greenhouse and rear of the S Class (so much so that the head of MB design at the time vocally complained).

        And the rear of the Genesis has more of a BMW-look than Lexus LS460 (which derived its greenhouse and rear from BMW – albeit a toned down version); the taillights on the Genesis aren’t anything like the simple rectangles on the LS460.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “There’s little Mercedes about the front of the Genesis other than the fact that it has a center divider on the grill (which is not anything like MB’s and the Genesis started the whole “surfaced” grill slats which Chrysler and other have taken up).”

        Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.

        We’ve been through this before. I realize that you’re a Hyundai fanboy whose loyalty is unceasing, but anyone with a working set of eyesockets should be able to see what served as their inspiration for the design.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Funny you say that b/c I have an acute ability to discern shapes and detail – which is why I have been able to draw lifelike as a young un and why I can pick out the slightest facial flaws and the slight differences between each side of a person’s face (which is why my magazine editor friends ask me to help them out from time to time).

        You, otoh, couldn’t even pick out the differences in the taillight shape between the Genesis and the LS460.

        I’m sure you also failed to notice to the changes on the taillights of the refreshed LS460 – no longer just a rectangle from a straight-on rear view, but now angling upwards and inwards (very similar to the taillights on the K9.

        I’d take up my abilities to discern design over yours any time.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Yet another agitated fanboy. What’s next, your dad can beat up my dad?

        Asian styling is generally derivative. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just what they do. (It makes sense in the luxury space, being that they’re the upstarts trying to take share from established rivals.) Get over it already.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        I’m not a “fanboy” since I call it like it is.

        For instance, I have no problem saying that the dash/center stack design isn’t the most elegant in the Genesis and that Hyundai needs to upgrade the materials used on the dash (which they will for the 2G Genesis).

        I also have no problem saying that the greenhouse on the Genesis is very much like BMW, having the C-pillar with the Hofemeister kink, and as I stated prior, the rear also having a BMW bent.

        It’s not my problem if you have mistaken the rear to have been derived from Lexus (which is a bit ironic, since the greenhouse and rear of the LS460 have also been influenced by BMW).

        So now, does that make me a BMW FANBOY?

        Note how I have pointed out SPECIFICS which show why your assertions are incorrect, but instead of trying to counter with arguments on the merits, you instead, try to impugn me by labeling me as a “fanboy” – but that’s not surprising since that’s what people with no legitimate rebuttals do (attack the messenger).

  • avatar
    JCraig

    The front looks too much like the current Accord, but the back (although very Genesis like) is a huge improvement. The current Accord rear end is ugly, and the tail lights look like the result of a manufacturing defect.

    This is going to continue to sell well, just like the Camry does after being redesigned to look like a jumbo Corolla. They may be boring, old tech cars but they’re still reliable. Just what these buyers want. The biggest risk to this strategy is losing newer generations of buyers that realize there are lots of good (and in some ways, better) choices out there.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Generic styling and a CVT? Oh boy, sign me up!

    There are so many freaking midsize sedans in this market (and most of them are extremely competent) that I don’t know how you design and sell a standout anymore. None of them are genuinely interesting, and none of them are genuinely bad. You don’t have the range of quality that existed between a 1996 Camry and a 1996 Lumina. I wonder if the best strategy now is to just pick the car with the best current lease or finance rate.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      $199 sign&drive true zero down leases are beginning to become more the rule than the exception(al lease offer) around here for mid-sized (super-sized ones like the Passat), decently equipped (in an era when volume ‘LX’ models are decently equipped) sedans.

      If anything, the family sedan market gets more competitive even as CUVs steal a larger share of sedan market share.

      Price is and will continue to be the #1 driver of the sales in this segment.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    This looks like a very modest refresh of the previous generation. I see some Infiniti M in the rear view.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Not a segment I’m interested in; the gas pedal is called the gas pedal and not the accelerator. This is about as exciting as a debate over cap-toe and wing-tip shoes. It does Hyundai styling cues.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    More Bulgogi Than Tonkatsu?

    As long as its not Doggogi.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    This is Accord generation 9. The body is new. It replaces generation 8, introduced as 2008, facelifted for 2011.

  • avatar
    geeber

    This Accord will probably end up like the CR-V, a vehicle dismissed by many enthusiasts while customers in the real world snap it up as fast as Honda can build it.

  • avatar
    carve

    The doors look like they’re straight of a 3-series

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Wow, a little TLC goes a long way. That’s a very fresh-looking, handsome car. There’s nothing particularly interesting about it, but it’s definitely an improvement over the 2012.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    For now, I like what I see. The greenhouse looks like an evolutionary change from the previous model; while not stylistically inventive, it should continue the Accord tradition of low cowl, thin pillars, and easy visibility. The tail end is an improvement, IMHO, despite the “chrome mustache” that Mr Mehta so despises… The taillights, despite resembling those on the Genesis, at least bring us back to the Accord era of taillights stretching from the quarter panel onto the trunk lid. The 2013 lights are far better than the afterthought reflectors of the facelifted prior generation. Refinements to the side panels and front end look all right.

    The only way I’ll get truly excited about the Accord again, however, is if the car looks, feels, and drives *smaller* than the outgoing model. From 1994 onward, each generation of Accord has been larger than its predecessor, going from compact to mid-size to full-size. I’ve driven Accords from each generation. The 2003-2007 model is the upper limit of what I’m comfortable with; it’s a mid-size sedan with ample room for passengers and cargo. The 2008-onward model is simply too big for me. It doesn’t turn my crank; I don’t enjoy driving it.

  • avatar

    What a dramatic design! I am shocked by the beauty of this car. Bravo Honda! Have no doubts it will be in C&D 10 best cars and Karl Brauer will call it FWD BMW. It will be Sonata and 2013 Fusion killer.


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