By on May 10, 2013

 

2013 Honda Accord EX, Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. DykesOur last look at the Accord was back in September when we ran a two-parter (part 1, part 2) after being invited to the launch event. Yes, shockingly our invite wasn’t lost in the mail. As TTAC has said in the past, there are problems with launch events. Usually you’re running around in a pre-production car that may not be “quite right” yet, you have to split your driving time with some dude from another publication (shout out to Hooniverse on that trip).  Drive time is limited, and exclusively done on roads selected by the manufacturer. Sometimes you don’t get the trim level you want either. What I wanted was one step up from the base model, the mainstream EX and I wanted it on the same roads I’ve driven the other Camcord competitors. Here’s that review.

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Exterior

Honda has long been known as a serious kind of car company. Press events are orderly, the Honda folks wear suits and their products are similarly starched. While we have a new corporate nose up front with a chrome “smiley” face and aggressive headlamps, the rest of the profile is buttoned up and professional. The large (and low) greenhouse says “I have kids,” an image that Honda has been embracing with their latest commercials, essentially admitting they are leaving descriptives like “sexy” and “dramatic” to Hyundai and Ford. I have to admit I am quite torn, I love the Fusion’s sexy sheetmetal making it my first pick in terms of looks, but oddly enough the “plain Jane” Accord is number two for me because it’s simple clean. The new Kia Optima is a very, very close third thanks its nose job for 2014. I’m not convinced that the Camry’s nose or the Sonata’s dramatic character lines will age well, let me know what you think in the comment section. Something important to keep in mind is the Accord has bucked the growth trend and has shrunk on the outside compared to the previous generation making it among the smallest in this segment. Good if you live in the city, bad if you were hoping for a Honda land yacht.

Typical for Honda, the Accord has no factory installed options to choose from, you simply pick your trim: LX, EX, Sport EX-L, or Touring. LX, EX and Sport models can be had with a manual or a CVT while EX-L and Touring models are CVT only with the four cylinder and auto only with the V6. Aside from the lack of fog lights in the LX and a tiny bit of black trim on the LX and EX models, the only visual clues to which Accord you’re driving are the wheels and exhaust tips. When it comes to sleepers, there’s nothing that fits that description like an Accord.

2013 Honda Accord EX, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Interior

Honda’s interiors have long been known for their simple functionality rather than opulence or elegance and Honda is still singing the same tune. Despite being an all-new model for 2013, Honda hasn’t radically changed the interior design, opting instead for incremental improvements and more standard features. All Accords now get standard dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone integration, a backup cam and active noise cancellation. Honda seems to have listened to the complaints from reviewers and customers and took a methodical and dedicated approach to making the Accord quieter on the road. In addition to the fancy noise cancelling software, there’s more foam, more carpet and a one-piece dash designed to prevent squeaks later in life.

Honda’s seat engineers seem to be designing seats specifically for my back lately. The Accord and the refreshed Civic both sport supportive seats that coddled by back and backside on long journeys. There is a caution I must toss in however, the lumbar support in Sport, EX and LX models is fixed and pronounced. If you need some adjustability in your back support, you’ll need to step up to a leather model to get it. 2013 has brought a raft of materials improvements to the Accord cabin from improved seat fabrics to more squishy dash bits and the ever-so-popular stitched pleather. Thankfully Honda spares potential owners the shame of faux wood trim, instead opting for a modern brown pattern that I found attractive. The trim and the style are not as stylized or futuristic as the competition, but controls are easy to locate, and consistent in their high quality feel.

2013 Honda Accord EX, Interior, Dashboard Trim, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Thanks to the Accord’s upright profile, getting in and out of the back seats is an easy task, something I can’t say of the Fusion. Once inside the height pays further dividends with more headroom than the coupé-like competitors. Despite being smaller on the outside and having a smaller wheelbase than the outgoing model, legroom is up by a welcome 1.3 inches in the rear and the trunk has grown to a [finally] competitive 13.7 cubic feet. On the down side, Honda forgot that sometimes people need to carry large items and three people, not possible in the Accord if you fold down the rear seat since it folds as a single unit.

Even base model Accords are well equipped with dual-zone climate control, auto headlamps, cruise control, backup camera, and a one-touch up/down window for the driver. Because of the comfortable seats and high level of standard gadgets, the Accord is the poster child of “easy to live with” like that comfortable sweatshirt.

2013 Honda Accord EX, Radio Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Infotainment

Honda’s relentless drive to streamline options means a high level of standard tech on the Accord. All Accords get an 8-inch high-res screen in the middle of the dash, Bluetooth integration for speakerphone and audio, iDevice/USB interface, Pandora internet radio app integration and SMS messaging features if your smartphone supports it. (At the time of our drive, Pandora radio is restricted to Apple iDevices and SMS messaging to Android devices, Honda giveth and taketh away.)

Browsing the lots of my nearest Honda dealers, it seems the EX and EX-L models account for the bulk of purchases and lot space, not surprising since they straddle the middle in terms of price from $24,605 for a manual EX to $32,070 foe an EX-L V6. All EX models get keyless entry/go, Honda’s up-level audio system and their Lane Watch blind-spot viewing system. (Trust me, LW is more exciting than it sounds). Stepping up to the EX-L model or above gets you a higher resolution 8-inch screen and a 5-inch touchscreen LCD in the center of the dash that acts as the primary audio control interface. The addition of the second display allows you to see some audio information at the same time as the 8-inch display either shows you the navigation screen (if you’ve opted for it) or some other information source. Want to know more? Check out that video above.

2013 Honda Accord EX, Engine 2.4L EarthDreams Direct-Injection I4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drivetrain

I know we’re here to dream of EarthDreams (which is quite possibly the worst thing anyone has ever named an engine family), but we should start out with that optional V6.  As before the V6 has cylinder deactivation tech, but Honda decided that the old system which would cut out 2 or 3 cylinders depending on the load was more trouble than it was worth, so for 2013 the V6 will only drop to 3 cylinders but the range of operation has been expanded. Thanks to the tweaks and a new 6-speed automatic, the V6 is good for 278HP and 252 lb-ft of torque while delivering 21/34MPG. The V6 has a well-tuned exhaust note and scoots to 60 in the same 6.2 seconds that the Altima 3.5 managed, but the Accord lags the Altima in real-world fuel economy by 3 MPG. This isn’t the engine you want.

What piqued my interest at the launch event was Honda’s new 2.4L direct-injection four cylinder engine. The engine and new CVT turned my impression of the Accord on its head. The engine’s 185HP still arrive at a very-Honda high RPM of 6,500, but thanks to the direct-injection sauce torque jumps to a [nearly] HP matching 181 lb-ft with a strong pull from idle and a peak at a decidedly un-Honda 3,900RPM. If you choose the 6-speed manual, you no longer have to rev the nuts off the engine to get the Accord in motion. Most shoppers however will findP a Continuously Variable Transmission under their Accord’s hood, although they may not even notice. Why? This is quite possibly the world’s best CVT.

2013 Honda Accord EX, Fuel Economy, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Yes, I know I have a rep for the love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name, but I have my reasons for liking a CVT: fuel economy, mountain climbing, and maximizing acceleration in underpowered cars like the 107HP Versa. This CVT is actually pleasant to drive. I’m not sure how the boffins managed it, but Honda’s new CVT switches ratios quickly and crisply with a feel that is so close to a standard automatic the average person might not be able to tell the difference. If you have driven a Nissan with a CVT, you get what some call a “rubber band” feeling that pressing the throttle gets instant response but builds, levels, then after you release the throttle it takes a while for the engine to “return” to a dull roar.

The Accord on the other hand has the feeling of a downshift where the engine shifts to a high RPM almost immediately, then like a normal CVT, stays there while you accelerate and when you lift it drops rapidly like a normal transmission upshifting. Passengers in the car were confused, some thought they detected shifts and thought it was an auto, while a few realized it was just a good CVT. This is as it should be. If you need another reason to give the CVT a shot, the 27 city, 36 highway and 30 combined MPG rating should make a believer out of you. In my mixed driving I averaged a stout 32.5 MPG. If you absolutely must have the manual, you’ll be limited to four-cylinder LX, EX and Sport models (the V6/MT combo is Accord coupé specific). The manual will save you $1,200 at the register but cost you more at the pump with fuel economy dropping to 24/34 and in my testing the combined number was some 5MPG lower than the CVT.

2013 Honda Accord EX, Interior, Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

The Accord has long been known for its double wishbone front suspension, a design that some prefer because of increasing negative camber gain as the suspension reaches the end of travel. On the downside it’s heavier, more expensive and according to Honda contributed to the NVH that owners and reviewers whined about. What does that have to do with anything? The wishbone is gone, replaced by a MacPherson strut arrangement like just about every other FWD car in the USA. Does it matter? Not really, most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference since the Accord is hardly a track day car. Or is it?

The mid-size sedan is the ultimate comprise car, just watch a sedan add some time. They are supposed to schlep the kids to daycare and then carve that canyon on your way to your impressive day job where everyone congratulates you on making the smart decision to buy the family car instead of the Mercedes roadster. Truth be told, any mid-size sedan carves corners with shocking aplomb, holds at least two car seats with ease, looks good enough to valet park and manages to keep from breaking the bank. You know, except for that Dodge Avenger I’m trying to forget. But I digress.

2013 Honda Accord EX, Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Honda made a big deal out of the weight reduction at the launch event, but in truth the 3,336lb curb weight merely represents a tend in the right direction and lands the Accord in the middle of the fray. What is different is how Honda chose to tune the Accord. Out on the road the steering is moderately heavy with a hint of feedback (more than can be said for most sedans these days) and the suspension is firm for a family car. The combination create a feel that I would almost describe as “Germanic,” something that paradoxically cannot be said of the latest Passat. When the feel and suspension are mated with 215/55R17 rubber on the EX and EX-L models, the Accord can dance with the best of the competition. The Sport model’s 235 width tires might sound attractive but beware, the rubber is bundled with new steering stops that increase the turning circle from good to enormous. My suggestion would be to buy a regular model, jump to 225s and deal with the occasional rubbing.

Thanks to a combination of excellent road manners, a surprisingly quick 6.8 second jump to 60 and the best mid-sized non-hybrid/non-diesel fuel economy we have tested so far and the Accord EX becomes my favorite four-cylinder mid-size sedan. It’s not as sexy as the Fusion, but it’s cheaper by a nose, more exciting than a Camry, more mainstream than a Kia or Hyundai (yes, I did use that as a factor because you know shoppers will) and statistically more reliable than some of the other options on the road. There’s always a “but” and here it is: the Altima 3.5 starts at $25,760, weighs the same as the four-cylinder Accord, clears 60 in 5.5 seconds and averaged a shocking (and totally worth it) 27.6 MPG during our week.

 

Hit it or Quit It?

Hit it

  • The best CVT ever created.
  • Our average fuel economy was only 1MPG lower than a Civic.
  • Excellent chassis dynamics.

Quit it

  • Lane Watch is as gimmicky as it sounds.
  • You have to upgrade to the EX-L to avoid the urethane steering wheel.
  • I still don’t understand the split screen radio/nav situation. Someone explain that to me over a beer.

 

 Honda provided the vehicle, insurance and gas for this review

Specifications as tested

 0-30: 2.8 Seconds

0-60: 6.83 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 15.25 Seconds @ 93 MPH

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 32.5MPG over 659 miles

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116 Comments on “Review: 2013 Honda Accord EX (Video)...”


  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I forget, have you driven the Mazda 6 yet? If so how does it compare?

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      The Mazda 6 feels lighter, while the Accord has a heavier feel. Grip is very similar but the Accord is faster to 60 and get better fuel economy thanks to the CVT. Mazda is quite dedicated to the manual transmission right now, so if you want to row your own, it is the way to go.

      • 0 avatar
        suspekt

        Hi Alex,
        You dont think the Honda manual is superior to the Mazda manual?

        And one thing to point out for the enthusiasts out there…

        As good as Honda manuals are, upgrading to solid aluminum shifter bushings ($20 in parts, 10min labour) adds another level of precision to what is already one of the nicest manual transmissions out there…. its unbelievable how much more precise shifts can feel with the upgrade

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Fine review.

        As for the manual, the Mazda is so much slower and many reviews do find the Honda manual better too:

        “Hitched up to the six-speed manual, the 2.5 drives the 6 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. A four-cylinder Accord manual does it in 6.6 seconds in second gear, whereas the Mazda requires two upshifts. By the quarter-mile, the 6 is a second behind the Accord. In short, the Skyactiv isn’t very active, and it won’t win you many drag races, even against other family sedans.”
        http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-mazda-6-i-sport-test-review-the-gearbox-of-an-rx-8-page-2

        Also, every review so far has mentioned the Mazda 6 is now easily the noisiest in its class. That said, if they sell the wagon here, I’m buying.

        btw, the Accord Sport has a leather steering wheel so you don’t need to upgrade to an EX-L for that.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Plenty of reviews have shown the 6 is more fuel efficient and have also shown comparable performance. That 6.6 time was by one magazine if I am not mistaken. Anyway how often do you go from zero to sixty, certainly not that demographic these cars are aimed at.
          Surprised Alex does not rate the 6 as one of his top three for exterior design.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Has anyone else tested the 6-speed manual? I can’t find another test of it on line. Car and Driver has tested two of them now, since they picked one up for their long term fleet. The second one was as quick to 60 as the first, but actually quicker above that speed. They’ve also averaged 29 mpg during their long term test, which is pretty good for any car in Car and Driver’s hands. Their Dart 1.4T manual is averaging 28 mpg and their 100 hp Fiat 500 returned 33 mpg. 29 mpg for a much larger sedan that is also much faster than either is pretty solid. Alex’s quarter mile time and trap speed were right with Car and Driver’s Sport figures, so that’s two reviews with the car significantly quicker than its competitors.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            Honda Accord Sport CVT beats Mazda6 AT at the track:
            http://www.tflcar.com/2013/06/track-week-2013-honda-accord-sport-reviewed-on-race-track/

            CR in latest issue has Honda Accord LX beating the Ford Fusion Hybrid in mpg at 55 and 65 mph with 49 mpg and 45 mpg respectively.

  • avatar

    I believe they bifurcate the Nav/Radio to give you a touch screen to smudge up while simultaneously giving you a higher position screen you’ll never touch.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Oh I understand the *reason* according to Honda, it’s the application I take issue with. The plastics around the touch screen don’t match anything in the cabin and you still have to use the same control cluster which has been moved very low in the dash and out of your normal eye-line.

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        The infotainment in the 2013 Accord is a definite weak spot. I tried the nav equipped premium system before buying and disliked it so much that I actually preferred to have the simpler setup in the Sport model.

  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    Excellent review. I have only one nit to pick: “Lane Watch is as gimmicky as it sounds”

    My wife and I drove a ’13 Accord EX on the extremely busy freeways of metro Detroit and I was shocked at how simple and effective the system was. I did not feel that I really *needed* it as I lean forward to check the mirrors off; however, my wife is 6 months pregnant and cannot lean or turn easily. For her, the LaneWatch was a God send. I suspect that even not being pregnant it would be useful for her.

    The best thing about LaneWatch is that it is either activated by a button on the end of the stalk, the blinker, or can be disabled completely. I found it pretty brilliant. Not something that would make me buy a car, but could be the tipping point for the “safety conscious” buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I myself think that LaneWatch is more trouble than it’s worth. What’s wrong with simple blind-spot warning lamps on either side of the car, a la Altima?

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Blind spot warning lights give you a go/no go. LaneWatch has different marking which indicate if the space you are trying/may want to try to fit into is impossible (<1 car length), risky (2 car length).

        It’s basically the difference between an iPod nano and an iPod touch and asking why you’d get a touch when the nano also plays music. They do the same thing but you have to use both to understand the differences.

        But that said, I wouldn’t really benefit from any of these systems since I know how to use my mirrors and can judge exactly how large a space between cars is from the passenger side convex mirror. 98% of drivers do not have either skill.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      The lame part of lane watch is it only watches the passenger side. If your mirrors are adjusted correctly, that side of the car should never be a problem.

      Now my driver-side mirror is as far out as it will go and I still have to lean forward to make sure I see the blind spot. I find moving to the left lane far more risky than moving right. Honda put lane watch on the wrong side of the car.

      • 0 avatar
        VA Terrapin

        If you look towards the driver side in order to change lanes, you won’t be able to see the center stack clearly or even at all. Since lane watch displays an image on a screen in the center stack, there’s no point in having lane watch when your field of vision doesn’t include the center stack.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Pretty good review. Your thoughts match what I read elsewhere, but the rock hard cloth seats still suck. I wish Honda would source their seats from Toyota. For folks like me that love XM radio, Honda won’t make it available on any trim below EX-L, thus I’m stuck with hot leather seats in a hot climate to get the one option I’d like.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Re: Honda ED V6

    I think all the enthusiasts out there owe to themselves to go and drive the 2013 Honda Accord 6 speed manual coupe…

    It is without a shadow of a doubt the best naturally aspirated 6 cylinder power plant on the market from any OEM…

    Go take it out on the highway, and just rip off a few redline shifts and tell me your adrenaline didnt skyrocket…

    The 2013 Accord V6 auto will trap anywhere from 100mph-102mph which is fast by any measure and I believe MANY cars would be simply shocked to see how hard the Accord acclerates beyond the traps due to the engines love for high-rpm operation…..

    Actually, it would be funny to see a bone stock SRT 6.1 vehicle pull up next to a 2013 V6 Accord 6 speed manual on a roll at 50mph… I will put down $100 that the Accord will pull on the SRT all the way to any speed you choose…. the engine is maniacal….

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’ll take that $100. Seriously. I’ll even use a 5.7L R/T, not even the 6.1L as you propose.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Yes, the J35/6MT is an absolute beast. 260whp and 235 wtq, without sounding like a gravel truck at high RPM like the non-HR VQ’s.

      http://www.vtec.net/articles/view-article?article_id=1131834&page_number=2

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I’ll take that bet too. I think you have this backwards. From a stop the Honda might keep up for a bit, but a highway roll is not where I want to mess with V8s.

    • 0 avatar
      blppt

      Heres a data sheet from C&D:
      http://media.caranddriver.com/files/chrysler-300c-srt82005-chrysler-300c-srt8-specs.pdf

      Traps at 109 in that test. And thats with the 300C/5 speed TC automatic. IIRC, you could get a 6 speed stick with the early challenger SRT8s (which I think weighed less than that 300C as well).

      I really dont see how the V-6 accord keeps up at any speed, really, never mind “pull on the SRT” like you said. In all honesty, the V-6 accord might be bumper to bumper with the final gen 230hp Neon SRT4, which put up similar acceleration numbers back in its heyday (5.3-5.6 0-60, IIRC, underrated motor from the factory).

      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/dodge-srt-4-short-take-road-test (230hp version)

      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-honda-accord-coupe-v-6-manual-test-review

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The V6/6mt coupe is magical. It’s not THAT fast, though. The 335i is still faster. And I’m sure the 6.1 SRT is in a whole ‘nother league performance wise. Compared to the nasty I4 turbos Honda’s so called competition is bringing to the table, the V6 is so many orders of magnitude more satisfying, it’s not even funny.

      Thing is, Honda’s I4/6mt combo is freakishly sweet as well. And you can spend much more time with the throttle where it’s supposed to be (i.e pegged) on that one. But, for an all conquering driver’s coupe for competent drivers, the V6/6mt is where it’s at.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    For the sake of being competitive, I think that Honda should have made standard the full-res instrument-cluster LCD that comes with Touring models. But that’s my only real gripe…

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I was behind one of these today and thought it was a Hyundai Genesis until I saw the Honda badge once I got closer to it.

    “Earth Dreams”….seriously? Who comes up with this stuff? Up until now, I thought “Skyactiv” was pretty lame.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Great review. As an owner of a ’13 EX-L, I can attest it is very accurate. A few additional points:
    – LaneWatch does get old, but I think it should be standard on every SUV, crossover and van. Great idea, but wrong product
    – The warnings for Lane Departure and when you are slowing insufficiently get annoyingly nannyish over time
    – The feel of the steering wheel, even in the EX-L is a bit downmarket.

    But these are minor nits. Overall, this is a great vehicle that covers all the bases. The only thing I would change would be to ask for a more serene ride.

    When shopping, The Fusion was a close second. At the end of the day, I went with the Honda because it was replacing another Accord for which I received more than 50% of what I originally paid — 9 years and 96K miles earlier.

    The resale value on Hondas is incedible, and the product of outstanding reliability and a marketing strategy that stictly limits production to what the market demands.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      50% depreciation over 9 years….. That’s pretty sweet.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree with your figures, although the exact resale percentage may vary a couple of points in different regions depending on demand.

      I pity the buyer who pays 50% + dealer markup for an almost ten year old car which may need a $600? timing belt, possible a/c recharge, brakes or tires.

  • avatar
    segfault

    I found the steering in the EX-L V6 Navi model I test drove to be excessively light and over-boosted, so we disagree on that point. The feel was far lighter than the Altima V6 which I test drove on the same day. The Accord is an impressive car, though.

  • avatar
    mktimes5

    The gas mileage sounds way too awesome –
    I only average 28 or less in an 8th gen civic coupe with an auto transmission

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Having seen the new Accord in the flesh, I find it to be quitely attractive . . . and a lot better looking than the previous model, which always appeared bloated to me.

    I’d shop this car against the Mazda 6, which is clearly better looking outside. But, for the pictures at least, the interior is pretty dark and severe.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      You can at least get a white interior in the 6. Unlike many other sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The big interior difference, 2013 Accord vs. 2014 Mazda6, was the Mazda6 is smaller with a higher beltline. I also had the impression that higher trim levels of the Mazda6 didn’t make the interior feel significantly more upscale while Mazda made more “good stuff” available in the base model model than Honda does. If I bought a Mazda6, I’d buy a lower trim model and have aftermarket leather installed.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    I must add that this is a very good video Alex, definitely the best Accord video out there.

  • avatar
    ant

    when we test drove the 2012 model, it felt too big to me. I like manual trans, and it just didn’t seem to fit the car. Like putting a stick shift in a Buick LeSabre. I hear that the new model is smaller, but ah, not really.

    Honda electric power steering makes it hard to keep the car going in a straight line at highway speeds. Did they fix this yet?

    I do think these cars look nice, and pretty good job for Honda overall.

    I do wonder how the direct injection, and cvt will hold up over time. The V6 manual coupe would be the one I’d get, or just get a tsx with older technology.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If creating boring lines was the goal, Honda succeeded. I think most people would be hard-pressed to discern this car from a 2008 model. The same is true of the Altima, but I prefer its lines over the Accord.

    This is the first positive review of a CVT I’ve read besides Nissan’s. It would be interesting to experience that in person.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Great review. This is one Honda can’t afford to screw up, and by all indications they didn’t. If I was sedan shopping this would be #1….

    Question – did it have Homelink? I know it’s not available on the top shelf CR-V…which surprises me….

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    All these companies moving to make CVT’s standard in their mainstream cars, I wonder if they’re gonna regret this and go back to traditional automatics in a few years, I’m thinking all the years and money on R/D for better autos and then this?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Well Mazda has stuck with a “normal” six speed auto and have combined a torque convertor with a traditional auto so they have been doing R&D. All part of the “Skyactiv” program of basic engineering, which people should admire – low weight, optimised exhaust, high compression engine etc.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The model line-up seems different from Canada’s. The LX has regular A/C, the rest dual zone automatic; no EX just EX-L model, and manuals available in all 4 cylinder models, including Touring. The Sport looks best by far, but comes with 18 inch wheels. No model has rain-sensing wipers, and you have to go to EX-L to get keyless entry, and then you have to have a darn moonroof.

    So, the Sport is what an enthusiast might buy – at least it has a leather steering wheel along with a bus-sized turning circle and need to insert key into ignition.

    The manual I drove had a great shifter, bobbing head-tossing ride, and an unacceptably loud engine when goosed in lower gears above 3,000 rpm. Handling – prominent understeer, hardly nimble.

    Mazda6 manual, somewhat less nice shifter, better driving position, very nice smooth ride, less understeer, comfier interior, push-button start, split rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, no backup camera in otherwise adequate entry model. And a pussy cat of an engine. Downer.

    The Mazda with the Honda engine turned around so the noisy intake wasn’t jammed against the firewall would be my choice!

    No miracles here for a enthusiast. Either car forces you to have less than you’d like, and leave a nagging feeling they could have been better. Jack of all trades, master of no real enthusiasm or joie de vivre. Meh.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Ok Alex.
    .I got a couple of things for you. Firstly 13.7 for a family car this big is in my eyes in the lower realm. Secondly Accords last gen interior was a mess. Not as cheap as the last gen Camry but about 15 to many buttons. Next, how is it that you achieve that mileage when most other mags and sites are only topping out at 28mpg with the Mazda either tying it in MPG or beating it as well as faster 0-60 times as well. Also with the noise factors in the Mazda. Most other sources dont really make mention of it. Not saying you are wrong cause I have seen it on some other sites as well but it doesnt seem to be much of a issue with a majority of sources. And lastly you know Honda has to be different to prove they can be thats the reason why they dont have a competitive hybrid and why the made the split screen.
    I drink Corona, what you drinking.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      The Mazda 6 manual is decidedly slower:

      “Hitched up to the six-speed manual, the 2.5 drives the 6 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. A four-cylinder Accord manual does it in 6.6 seconds in second gear, whereas the Mazda requires two upshifts. By the quarter-mile, the 6 is a second behind the Accord. In short, the Skyactiv isn’t very active, and it won’t win you many drag races, even against other family sedans.”
      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-mazda-6-i-sport-test-review-the-gearbox-of-an-rx-8-page-2

      The coming hybrid is more than competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I love how you are always trotting out the one publication that supports your case. Here are two that differ :

        Accord 7.6s to Mazda 6 7.4s (http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1305_2013_honda_accord_sport_toyota_camry_se_2014_mazda6_grand_touring/winner.html)

        Accord 7.8s to Mazda 7.6s (http://www.edmunds.com/nissan/altima/2013/comparison-test.html).

        Even if the Accord is a little quicker (generous based on the two comparisons I quote above but lets go there for sake of argument) what does it actually matter in the real world. The Accord should be faster since it gets a lower EPA and real world fuel economy. Don`t get me wrong the Accord still gets very good fuel economy (although the Altima is the class leader in that) but the Accord is not the second coming, just a very good car. Also since you like snark why doesn`t the Accord trounce the 6 for fuel economy when the sole reason for a CVT is to give a fuel economy lift. Mazda have managed to equal or exceed Honda with a traditional auto (which has some novel features). So kudos to there solid engineering.

        Enough with doing down the competition, the Accord doesn`t need that – it is the best selling midsize car (retail sales0 and the Mazda, to use Alex’s term, is not mainstream enough to compete. Except for those who really like driving.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          The links you provide are for the CVT version. For whatever reason, the difference between the CVT and manual times are non-trivial. Motortrend has a similarly speedy times for the manual Accord:

          6.8s: http: //www.motortrend. com/roadtests/coupes/1209_2013_honda_accord_first_test/viewall.html

          I personally have no agenda and don’t mean to point this out to suggest the Accord is a better car than something like the Mazda6 manual just because it is a bit faster. It’s just a shockingly quick time for an NA 4-cylinder in a mid-size sedan.

          I agree with what you said below about 0-60 not being super useful for the real world. But it is the most common yardstick, so it’s what we have. 1/4 mile is slightly more useful.

          30-50 and 50-70 are even better; however, car and driver is the only publication I know of that publishes those results, and they use top gear. Anything with a really tall 6th gear is at a disadvantage here; the tests won’t show what the car can do if you really want it to move.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            True they are for autos, so not an apples to apples comparison. However since 90+% buy automatics then it is more important.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    Is it me or it’s a facelift of the previous generation? The proportions are the same, and the side doors look the same.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      It is a completely new generation. There is some similarity side on but the front is much better. Interior, engines, transmission are all new.

      • 0 avatar
        Magnusmaster

        It doesn’t look completely new. When I look at this new Accord I remember the Brazilian cars like the Chevrolet Celta, or the Fiat Palio ’06. These cars looked new, but they were built under ancient platforms and weren’t even all-new but rather heavy makeovers. The front, back, interior and sometimes even the engine were changed but the underlying base is the same. You can tell because the body of the car has the exact same shape, same proportions, and the side doors are the same or almost identical. I’m pretty sure this Accord at the very least kept the old platform.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          It has a completely different front suspension design, so I doubt it. All of the dimensions are different too. This car was built with the new narrow offset barrier crash test in mind also. Basically, everything you can see, all of the mechanical components other than maybe the block of the V6 and the configuration of the rear suspension, and the physical dimensions of the chassis are different. What makes you pretty sure they kept the old platform?

    • 0 avatar
      romanjetfighter

      Look at the engineering sheet for this. Much more rigid structure, like 40% more. Highest strength steel ever, and it feels like it.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      It is totally different, the wheelbase, suspension subframes, engine cradle, front suspension, doors, windows, sheetmetal, etc are all new. I don’t recall the % of parts retained, but most of them boil down to the V6 and a few minor electrical parts.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Truth be told, if I had bothered to wait and check out this newest Accord, I’d likely be driving one right now.

    Honda finally got the design right – all lines blend beautifully, without those annoying bulges, bumps and cock-eyed angles and awful grille the previous edition had that made me keep my distance.

    Nice review. FWIW, a co-worker has the manual-tranny sedan. Not bad at all, but for me, it would be CVT all the way.

  • avatar
    340-4

    I can confirm the MPG and performance of the 3.5 Altima.

    I just didn’t like the last generation of Accord, but this one… they fixed what I didn’t like or care for (save for the dealership, groan).

    At any rate, it’s good to see them back in their A game. The touched up Civic is also a stunner IMHO.

  • avatar
    redav

    Good review. I’m especially appreciative of your willingness to give real recommendations on trims/features instead of being a shill who thinks everything is great.

    I like the new emphasis on instrument clusters, and I would still like some quantitative measurements on visibility. For the back seat comfort, thigh support & foot position is just as important as knee room, so some comments about how your legs fit when your thighs are in full contact would be very welcome.

    Have these types of CVTs been out long enough to have significant reliability ratings? I know the trend toward CVTs won’t change, and I have no philosophical problem with them–I just want to understand if we are trading one problem (low mpg) for another (accelerated transmission replacement).

    One last thing, I noticed some of the audio features/inputs were glossed over. Do you test each? For example, for USB thumb drives, many cars always go back to the begining each time the car starts.

  • avatar
    jco

    “because it’s simple clean”

    – that means its a proper honda. as the previous (and probably future) owner of Hondas, this is at the top of my list of reasons for loving them. simple and clean is elegant.

    if I were shopping for a new sedan right now, I can honestly say I would have a lot of difficulty choosing between an Accord Sport, a Civic EX, or a Camry 4cyl. my list of Toyotas is almost as long as the list of Hondas, but that Camry had a great, also simple interior and was easily averaging 33mpg. that’s with a conventional 6 speed auto.

    but then again.. I’ve seen a few Mazda 6, and if they drive as well as they look it would be really hard to pass that up.

  • avatar

    I love blue, and that Accord has a beautiful shade of blue on it. My ’01 Taurus has a deep blue that, when seen in piercing sunshine, also has a purple aspect to it. This color, though, achieves a deep blue without resorting to a purple over-spray. As a blue enthusiast I say well done, Honda.

  • avatar
    haroldingpatrick

    My co-worker just bought an LX a couple of weeks ago. He let me drive it to the post office and back. Engine and transmission work well, ride is choppy, visibility is good, and my God how noisy were the previous ones if this is considered quiet?

    A very competent car for those who can tolerate the noise and ride. Put the drivetrain in a Camry and you’d have an almost perfect mid-size car.

    For full disclosure I drive a current generation Maxima and owned a Camry before that. Previous Honda experience limited to 81 Accord, 85 Civic, and a test drive of a CRV. They rode bad and were noisy too. Smooth ride, low noise, comfy seats, and strong air conditioning are minimum requirements for me personally.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    6.8 seconds to 60? Really? That is so far off the expected acceleration for a 185hp 3400lb car that it seems suspicious. But then Car & Driver managed a 6.6 second sprint with a manual, but I assumed they were just abusively dropping the clutch at redline to get those kinds of numbers. If this is truly representative, that powertrain alone is reason enough to get the car.

    Anyone driven this thing back to back with other 4-pot midsizers to see if on-road performance is similarly impressive?

    Too bad the car is a total generic snooze from the outside. Every car in the segment looks more distinctive than this thing, including really safe designs like the Passat and Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Something is up with the new Accord’s acceleration times. Either Honda under reported power for some reason, or everyone else is exaggerating.

      With almost identical power numbers and displacement, how is the Accord manual beating the Mazda6 manual to 60 by 1.3 seconds? That’s a really long time for 0-60. The Mazda is also lighter with shorter gearing. Does the extra shift to get to 60 add as much as 1.3 seconds? I thought it would be more like half a second.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The temple of VTEC guys have been dyno testing some new Accords. They’re seeing 179-180 hp at the wheels, which is pretty high for 185-189 ratings at the crank. FWD car are more efficient at transferring power than front engined, RWD cars, but competitors are claiming higher ratings in some cases.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Other magazine reviews have the 0-60 times much closer :

          Accord 7.6s to Mazda 6 7.4s (http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1305_2013_honda_accord_sport_toyota_camry_se_2014_mazda6_grand_touring/winner.html)

          Accord 7.8s to Mazda 7.6s (http://www.edmunds.com/nissan/altima/2013/comparison-test.html)

          I think anything within say 0.5 seconds is essentially tied in real world conditions because very few mid size sedan drivers are going from zero to sixty in normal driving. A much more useful metric which some publications quote is say 30-50 or 50-70 acceleration.

          • 0 avatar
            Jacob

            As long as the car gets to 60mph under 8s, that’s fine by me. It’s quick enough for a daily driven car. I’d evaluate them on other features. In late 90s, 8s 0-60 times were strictly in >3.0 V6 territory. Now we get this with budget 4-bangers.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I drove a Honda Accord Sport with CVT and a Mazda6 with automatic back-to-back. That Accord engine/transmission combination felt willing to accelerate when I hit the accelerator pedal while the Mazda6 felt like it was ignoring my request in the interest of better fuel economy. The previous generation 4 cylinder Accords felt sluggish compared to the 2013. My guess is that Honda engineers did a better job of sweating the details of balancing efficiency and performance and settled for 36 mpg highway on the EPA test while Mazda engineers over-emphasized efficiency to get 37 mpg bragging rights. The Mazda6 would be a lot better with more 4-cylinder power while the 4-cylinder Accord is about right.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Correction: The Mazda6 achieves 38 mpg highway with the automatic, 37 mpg with the manual. The Accord achieves 36 mpg with the CVT and 34 mpg with the manual and wider tires on the sport reduce highway fuel economy by 1 mpg. Thus, the Mazda6 with manual and good handling does 4 mpg better than a Accord Sport manual and the Mazda6 offers this combination in colors vs. black or gray only for Accord Sport manual.

        • 0 avatar
          Jacob

          I don’t know about Mazda, but some people made claim on Accord forums that they beat Accord’s CVT EPA estimates on the highway, getting something 38mpg. Very impressive for a large car that still gets you from 0-60 in under 8 seconds.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    As a die-hard Mercedes enthusiast, I have to say I find this car very appealing. I agree with Alex that styling both inside and out is very Germanic, and the greenhouse size recalls Sacco-era MBs.

    Too bad the Accord is so popular; don’t think I could ever buy a car that was quite *that* commonplace, no matter how good.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Here in Texas I see at least one 8th gen or 9th gen Accord sedan and a coupe (I really haven’t learned to tell 13 cars apart from older) parked on every block, with 90% of them white, black, or modern steel metallic. I can imagine there is even more on the west coast. At the same time, Fusion and Mazda6 are extremely rare. All three are probably a very good value proposition (besides the overpriced options loaded top trims).

      I keep reading great things about the 13 Accord. However, the car looks pretty conservatively styled, one of the most boring new cars on the road IMO. Maybe I’ll change this opinion after a test drive. It’s hard to argue that you get a lot of car for the money, specially with the I4 models (without the overpriced navi system).

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      I am the opposite. I love a commonplace car.

      – easy to get fixed – shop always has the parts needed. The mechanics see them all the time and know how to fix.
      – easy to resell
      – there is often wisdom in crowds, despite the fact that many shitty cars have been sales leaders. But Accords have sold well for many years because they have been very good at delivering value for many years.

      What is the advantage of a less popular car? What do you care what the guy in the next lane over thinks about your car?

      • 0 avatar
        WildcatMatt

        This may seem petty, but a less popular car is easier to find in a large parking lot. I just got a hand-me-down silver ’08 Accord and trying to figure out which damn car is mine without looking at license plates is quite a challenge.

        At least the ’87 Ninety Eight I had in college was easy to spot by the paint fade.

    • 0 avatar
      mypoint02

      I drive an E60 5 series and the new Accord appeals to me too. I know what you’re saying about popularity. This is about the only car in the top 5 that I’d consider buying. The Altima sounds nice. but the interior looks pretty cheap compared to the Accord.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Great review. Appreciate details about Pandora compatibility and different steering stops on the sport model. Too many reviews follow a script and never have insightful information like that.

    On Pandora/SMS, can Honda update that software at a dealership to increase compatibility, or are you stuck with it?

    On the steering stops, could you buy the Sport model, downsize the tires to the 215s, and have a mechanic change the steering stops? Sounds like a better plan than dealing with rubbing.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      I think the 18 inch wheels are the main selling point of the Sport model. Yes, you get a fancier exhaust that gives you like 5 extra HP and 10 way power seat, but I think most people would hardly miss those things in the similarly equipped EX model. The EX also comes with features you don’t get in Sport. The 18 inch wheels can also be a real liability if you park your car in unsafe areas. There is already a big market for the Sport wheels and they’re being stolen left and right in NYC.

      You could certainly trade the Sport wheels for regular without a problem if adjusting steering is possible. The Sport wheels are a +$1000 option on other cars.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Unfortunately, Honda parts being stolen is nothing new. Honda’s typically cost a bit more to insure than their competitors for this reason.

        I think another commenter mentioned the sport model gets a leather wrapped steering wheel. A nice steering wheel makes a bigger difference than you might think. Do the power seats have memory? I think a power seat without memory is a waste – just added weight. If you have multiple drivers, seats with memory are awesome. And I do like the look of the dual exhaust. And on CVT cars the sport model adds paddle shifters. Gimmicky I think, but maybe someone cares.

        You’re probably right though. Paying the premium for the sport model only to swap the wheels back down to 17″ is close to pointless.

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      A note about the Pandora compatibility. It’s there, but it’s not exactly the most flawless integration you’ll find, at least not with the iPhone. I can get it to work, but to do so I have to have Pandora running on my phone before I start the car. Otherwise it never even shows up as an option on the source menu for the audio system.

      Bluetooth audio quality can also be sub-optimal.

  • avatar
    alf42

    I’m the owner of an 09 Accord EX. Its poor stereo system ruins an otherwise pleasing car. The sounds quality stinks and FM reception is poor, even for local stations. This was such a step back from the previous generation, which had one of the best stock systems I’ve heard in any car. I would be interested to know how the new model compares.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      It seems the good Honda audio systems are reserved for Acuras, where you can order a multi-speaker surround sound system with a canter channel speaker and subwoofer. Honda sound systems were crap in the last decade and they’re still bad today? Solution? Find a reputable car audio shop. Install JBL MS-8, better speakers, subwoofer, and a 5-channel amplifier. Easily a +$3000 job with labor factored in, but certainly worth it with results that will exceed any premium factory audio system.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        The Accord has an “Active Noise Cancelling” system, that’s likely integrated into the stereo/speakers in some fashion, so going aftermarket could disable that feature.

        I’ve read (in Edmunds) people complaining about stereo problems – might be the ANC buggering up the audio quality.

        • 0 avatar
          carrya1911

          The ANC does exist in the entire Accord lineup, and it’s a pain. Installing a subwoofer or even some new speakers in the doors (one person on a Honda forum put Infinity Kappa speakers in his doors with no other modifications and he reported that the ANC was acting up) apparently causes a loud booming noise tied to the engine revs (as in it will get louder if you rev the engine).

          I just disconnected the ANC processing unit in my Accord when I installed my new Polk components just in case.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Honda made a tall greenhouse and gets the stigma of a boring family hauler. Meanwhile, criticizing car makers for high belt lines and poor visibility is all the rage these days. Can’t have it both ways.

    I think the new Accord looks good. It should age well. Am I the only one here that finds the Fusion overrated? I never liked the rear, and every time I see one on the road I am less impressed with the nose. I would actually rate it closer to the bottom of the class at this point. In terms of exterior looks, I prefer the Mazda6, Malibu, Altima, and this Accord to the Fusion.

    On the interior of the car Alex tested, gray car interiors are the work of the devil. Can anyone explain an upside to gray?

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      The Fusion really dropped the ball on the drivetrain. The 1.6 Ecoboost is supposed to be their mass market engine. Its real world fuel economy is nowhere near the EPA estimates (check the relevant threads in Fusion forums), and from reviews, it seems like the car is no faster than the good old sedans with 4-cylinder naturally aspirated motors like Honda’s. To add insult to injury, the engine was already subject to numerous recalls, some of which had to deal with fires.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      My dislike of the Accord exterior has nothing to do with the tall greenhouse. Props to Honda for keeping glass space.

      You’re not the alone in your opinion of the Fusion. Looks really slab-sided and kind of cheap in light colors. The beltline and hood really need to be a few inches lower. For all the hype surrounding it, I was disappointed when I finally spotted one on the road. Shame, it lets down a very attractive styling concept.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Mein Gott, if that’s what constitutes a “tall greenhouse” nowadays I’m glad to be aging out of the picture. Another 10 years of this trend and drivers will need to be genetically modified to fit their cars.

  • avatar
    2012Impala

    I hate to say it, but the Accord is by far the best sedan in the mid segment. They took what was a good sedan and made serious improvement: much improved interior, better engine, and great MPGs. I always pull for GM, I guess I am what is derisively referred to as a fanboy. The Fusion is probably the second best option in this segment. The Camry has fallen behind and I have not drive the new Altima. Honda has a GREAT product here and I suspect it will be the number one non-truck vehicle this year in America.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The Accord is a great product, but in my opinion the new Mazda 6 gives it serious competition. From most comparison tests I have seen Accord or 6 win them with the loser second. So both are great choices.
      What annoys me is the Honda fanboys who despite the Accord being a great choice on its own merits feel the need to do down the competition (namely the 6).

      • 0 avatar
        2012Impala

        I must admit I have not drive the latest version of the 6. With that said, I think the current Accord epitomizes the best of the mid size segment at this time. Im not Honda fanboy BYW.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    Snooooze. Just get the Optima.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The Optima’s front seats suck and the driving experience in no way matches the sheet metal. Sorry about that. It’s a good car but if you don’t want Snooooze, look elsewhere.

  • avatar
    baggins

    I have a 2011 Accord SE. 4 cyl, leather, seat heaters, but no sunroof. Cost was $20,900 off a list of 24 something.

    Its a great all arounder

    It is big inside – phenomenal headroom – 41.4 inches which is nice as I am 6’4″
    It provides excellent visibility by modern standards
    It gets pretty good mileage
    It rides firmly but comfortably
    It handles well – the steering is well weighted and accurate
    It accelerates well enough to conquer traffic
    Its utterly acceptable in my job as head of finance for a small company. I look practical and mindful of costs, yet not cheap, sloppy or eccentric (no one wants an eccentric finance guy)
    As it a 4 cyl, 5 speed auto Honda that in its 4 year of production of that 2008-2012 model, I expect it to be quite trouble free and durable. Drive train is pretty well tested, as it the rest of the car. Honda knows how to build cars that work as expected.
    It got excellent crash test scores
    I will probably drive it for 5-6 years and sell it for close to half of what I paid.

    The only area I’d like to see improve is road noise, its pretty loud on grainy surfaces and rarely feels quiet.

    Basically, its a car than does everything pretty well, but excels in nothing.

    Its not a car for enthusiasts, unless, like me, you see cars as an appliance. Interesting appliances, but appliances.

    But I get a lot of satisfaction out of driving a car that does so many things well for so little money. Its a different type of enthusiasm.

    Sounds like the 2013 remodel keeps these virtues and expand on them. But when I sat it one yesterday, I saw the monster headroom was gone. But that’s only relevant for the very tall, its still quite class competitive.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    If you park your car on a street, it may be a good reason _not_ to buy the Accord Sport model, which is the model considered to be a great value for its 235mm wide, gorgeous 18 in wheels. These wheels are being stolen right and left already. Honda should have known better than equip a cheap Accord Sport with wheels that are more handsome than the wheels on more expensive variants. There is a long discussion thread on this topic on drive accord forums.

    http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/showthread.php?t=82144

    At the same time, the car looks even more generic without the Sport wheels :(

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    I like that they’ve resisted the urge to overstyle it, like so many competitors are doing these days. This car will still look dignified six or eight years from now when the current swooping fad passes on to something else.

    Also good to hear about the progress with the CVT – I’ve never encountered one I didn’t hate. Maybe this will be the first.

    But 5mpg worse fuel economy with a manual? I find it hard to believe the difference would be that much in real world driving conditions.

  • avatar
    baggins

    ” Honda has long been known as a serious kind of car company. Press events are orderly, the Honda folks wear suits and their products are similarly starched”

    I like this about Honda. I dont want a toy when I buy a car.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Do not get the LX version. The cloth is terrible and the door handles have cloth on them, as does the center console. It will look horrible. I got the LX without doing a test drive. Oops.

    The audio system is also terrible. What’s the point of bluetooth integration and Pandora when the sound is TERRIBLE? My old 2009 Camry LE’s base sound system was way better. Also… the black door trim outside needs to be glossy like in the Touring model. Ugh.

    I hate my LX. I should have gotten the EX. I’m such a cheap ass.

    =(

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      LX is the lowest Accord model by equipment content. In my opinion it’s never a good idea to buy the lowest level model of any car without going for a test drive at least. However, to make you feel better about the purchase, my understanding is that pretty much all current Accords have a terrible audio system. The good audio system is available only on Acuras. This is not a big loss though. Personally, I am obsessed about DIY car audio. I can guarantee you that spending money on after market audio will always have greater payoff in terms of sound quality compared to factory installed factory sound options. For a simple audio upgrade, throw in a set of aftermarket speakers, subwoofer, and a 5-channel amplifier. Don’t buy very expensive stuff, but also don’t buy the cheapest equipment you can find on ebay/amazon as the cheapest brands basically have flea market quality. For a “budget” sound upgrade, I’d recommend to get an Alpine MRX-V70 5 channel amplifier, MB Quart ONX component (front) and coaxial (rear) speakers, and Aline’s SBR subwoofer (already comes with its box). For an up-level sound system see my post about JBL MS-8 above.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      I noticed that cloth covered center console and thought it was a dubious choice by Honda. But you can probably keep them looking good if you are diligent about cleaning.

      If you keep the car for a long time, you can probably replace the them pretty cheaply too.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    You can upgrade the stereo. Though if its not a standard size it can be a hassle. Still buying without a test drive is a SIN.

    I will never understand how people can spend so much money and test so few cars. It’s crazy. Toyota is the company that makes out like a bandit with regards to the folks that don’t want to test drive.

    Mazda is the company that loses. BTW Mazda 6 beat the Accord in the latest car and driver. It was faster. As usual I don’t know where Dykes gets his numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      Actually, upgrading the stereo right now is a pain. The factory speakers are terrible and the stereo itself is integrated in with the imid system, making just throwing a replacement unit in the vehicle impractical. I’m sure sooner or later the aftermarket will deliver better options, but for now the best you can do is install better speakers, an amp, and maybe a signal processor in hopes of improving the sound.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Nice car, nice photos – that said, the multi-million pixel camera used shows every speck of dust on the dash, etc. Needs blown out with an air hose.

    So, I find the Accord’s great MPG appealing, and actually like the interior – then I spy the parking brake lever, in the “down” position *right* where my knee would be. By no means is it the only car to do this, but how much trouble would it be to make a “well” in the console for the lever, and ensure that it’s below the seat cushion when disengaged? Sheesh!

    I have also read that the new Accord is quieter than the traditional Hondas, but how much of that is due to the “Active Noise Cancelling” pumped through the stereo speakers? Seems to me that it would add distortion to the audio, and if it went bad, you’d have a noisy car with a defunct stereo.

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    With the Sport, you DON’T get the power moonroof.

    I don’t hate them, but never use them and would prefer to do without.

  • avatar
    fuckGM

    Leave it to Honda to, once again, bring out the best sedan on the market rather than over-styled crap like the Fusion or Sonata. Great review!

  • avatar
    Forty2

    So if you want a manual trans, you can get your Accord in any color you want as long as it’s black or charcoal gray. Even on the V6 coupe. WTF?

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      I test drove a manual coupe in a nice red color…so I know they make them.

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        So you can get the V6 coupe with 6MT in black, dark metallic, and red. Still a terrible selection. I think Accord Sedan and Coupe both look best in white color. Once you move down to the more reasonably i4 coupe with 4mt, the only color available is black. No wonder no one buys these with a stick.

  • avatar
    roadscholar

    I really enjoy your video reviews, Alex. Very informative and well edited.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I won a stoplight Grand Prix with one of these yesterday in my Crown Vic, red coupe, sounded like 4 cyl. We were equal until maybe 40 mph then I started pulling ahead, I backed off at 55 and I was ahead a car length.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    A few thoughts here that have been missed out on regarding the 2013 Accord EX Manual.

    1. It only comes in two colors, A black and a silver (they have fancy names but they are black and silver)
    2. Only one interior color Black
    3. I get mixed 29mpg with the economy button constantly on. I’ not sure what it would be if I drove around without it on. I’m sure I’ll do that one day soon to test the difference. There is a substantial difference in Torque at lower rpms with the economy button on. Not sure if there is much else that is different that you can notice.

    4. EX says it comes with heated seats, it doesn’t. The brochures and honda’s website are incorrect.

    5. Lanewatch I found distracting and turned it off. HOWEVER you can manually turn it on and at night and in dark condtions it gives you a better veiw of that side of the car than the naked eye. I’ve found it useful for parallel parking and getting close to things on that side of the road and occasionally looking behind me on the freeway. I do NOT however use it when I change lanes.

    5. You cannot get a sunroof on the Sport model, if you want a manual and a sunroof the EX is the only way to go.

    The transmission is fine, to be honest, any manual with the exception of some truly awful ones you adjust to and after about 300 miles of so you don’t think about it much.

    I picked this over a Civic SI because of it’s mileage. After living in China and traveling through Asia, I cannot conceive of any future in which the cost of gas does not continue to increase year on year.

    It’s fun to drive but it doesn’t have that rev me rev me rev me that a boy racer car does. I’m happy with it and I may even autocross it just for kicks.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    4 reviews on the 2013 Accord. Check. About the same number on the 2013 Camry. Check. Zero on the 2014 Impala that has been out for several months and that literally every other internet or editorial source has covered. The GM hate is obvious as of late.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      BTSR did a lengthy and entertaining review on YT I took in on Friday if your interested and not just making a point:

      http://www.youtube DOT com/watch?v=5YAeh0qsesU

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Don’t forget the multiple reviews of the new BMW 3-series, Mazda6, and Subaru BRZ. This web site caters to enthusiasts. Impala does not. The previous Impalas were the most snooze inducing cars on the road. It’s also a generational thing. You probably need to be past 50 to develop any interest in Impala. Just kidding. Perhaps the new car is good.

  • avatar
    Pat26.2

    Around NE Ohio I see lots of new Fusions and Accords on the road. I used to lease stick-shift Accords every three years, for 20 years, but my last Accord’s clutch failed in traffic at 900 miles. Honda could care less. I swore off Hondas, and, when I swear off, I stay sworn off. I did not bother to test drive an Accord on this go around. Way to keep loyal customers, Mr Honda.

    As a one car household, with no kids, I didn’t need a 4-door sedan, so I checked out the Focus ST. I loved it. The other half hated it because rearward visibility was poor. We checked out the Fusion sedan and nearly went with it. It was nicer than a 2010 Accord but just as boring. So I cast around for something that was more fun to drive, had a hatchback to accommodate my bike, and had some of the performance of the ST.

    I ended up testing a stick shift VW Beetle Turbo. That thing had more grunt than any Accord I’d ever driven, including the V6. The other half said I could lease the bug but it had to be silver and automatic, as opposed to the red manual I wanted.

    So now we are driving a silver DSG Turbo Beetle coupe. My other half, who is allergic to highways, feels safe driving it.

    The DSG has sport and drive modes. Mostly, you stay in drive. But, if you know you need the ability to accelerate, as in merging onto a freeway, sport mode is useful. Whatever mode you are in, you get a nice growl when you push the accelerator.

    Maybe the SI is as much fun, or the V6 MT at 8k more, but Das Bug does it for me.

  • avatar
    dprozzo

    Great article, but there is one factual error. I have the 2013 Accord EX, which of course has cloth seats. The driver’s seat has power controls, AND has adjustable lumbar support. Hope I’m not repeating something already said; I didn’t read all the comments.


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