By on September 5, 2012

When I first got wind of the new 2013 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, I was pretty optimistic about its viability. An improved hybrid system from Honda, a plug-in no less, mated to the practical, decent-to-drive package of the Accord? For a city dweller that gets electricity from clean hydroelectric power sources like me, it is, on paper, a decent choice for an everyday car. Until I saw it.

The 2013 Accord, in regular gasoline trim, looks a bit like a Hyundai Genesis. The plug-in version, shown above, is so awful that it was prohibited by Yaweh in the book of Leviticus as an abomination.

What the hell was Honda thinking?

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107 Comments on “QOTD: Is This The Ugliest Car Coming Out In 2013...”

  • avatar

    I was hoping that was a concept photo or something… No amount of cool tech on the inside is going to sell that face.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    What a cheesy mustache.

  • avatar


    I’m a big Honda fan…but that’s horrific.

    They may have just shot themselves in the hybrid foot again. The bad fuel economy kept people away from the old Accord Hybrid. The face will SCARE them away from this.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Did you accidentally mix up photos with the Preproduction Accord article? I actually find that one conservatively safe and bland beyond belief (yawn) and this one more interesting to look at, in an ‘eek!’ kinda way.

  • avatar

    Honda’s previous generation Accord was super fugly. For Honda it’s the arrogance of being HONDA that sells first and foremost, everything else 2nd. Eventually that’ll catch up with them, if it hasn’t already.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I predict the top demographic for this thing will be married women between the ages of 24-40.

    ‘Cuz that’s a face only a mother could love….

    Headline should read, “Accord beaten by ugly stick, barely survives.”

  • avatar

    My, what a big logo you have…

  • avatar

    Jack Nicholson called. He wants his Joker face back.

  • avatar

    Juggalos are going to love it.

  • avatar

    Does anyone really care about what a Honda Accord look like? Frankly the regular Accord looks so bland that it might as well disappear into the supermarket parking lot. The gargoyle loooking hybrid version at least makes a brief stand before disappearing into the asphalt.

    also- what’s up with that 2002 light-gold paint job? Is Honda really this out of it?

  • avatar

    “Please don’t buy me. I only exist to fill the spec sheets.”

  • avatar

    Are you sure that’s not a photoshop? The top of that grille looks awfully like the top of a Camry grille.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    That mug is ugly enough that it makes the Crosstour look respectable.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    Color me strange, I kinda liked it in person.

  • avatar

    It wouldn’t be so awful if they removed the blue stripe and put some different wheels on it, but as it is now it looks like a really low class Acura that glued on a bunch of the other trends in car design. Jack of all trades design that turned out poorly.

    But, maybe it will look better in person than in a photo.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      That blue booger in the grille is apparently Honda’s Hybrid statement. After all, anything blue signifies eco doesn’t it? They couldn’t use green for fear of being associated with Greenpeace.

  • avatar

    Looks like its getting cues from the goofy CRZ.

    But no, the ugliest car of 2013 is the same as its been for 2012, the Nissan Juke.

  • avatar

    That is pretty inoffensive compared to the recently highlighted Infiniti JX. And the Veloster and other Hyundai front ends are markedly uglier. I have definitely disliked the past few years’ Accords, but they just kind of blend in.

  • avatar

    Only way it could be uglier is in Crosstour form. There HAS to be some functional reason that it has that face. The pics of the non-hybrid car show it to be quite handsome in a boring, Honda sort of way.

  • avatar

    What a Mazda smile would look like with braces
    Also what is up with the upper and lower character
    lines, did Honda hire a bunch of ex Pontiac stylists?
    Honda’s DNA normally eschews this kind of frippery as
    unneccessary because the basic design is so integrated

    My 97 civic still looks classy my 04 CR-V and Pilot have
    some bloat but not much
    We looked at a 2011 Pilot and couldn’t believe they were
    really Honda’s same size on the inside but much bigger overall
    is this all from increasing crashworthiness standards?
    No new cars for us until Honda gets their mojo back

  • avatar

    You have to wonder how many people at Honda says this looks good.

  • avatar
    Volts On Fire

    “Is This The Ugliest Car Coming Out In 2013?”

    Does the gawdawful ’13 Malibu still exist?


    Then, no.

  • avatar

    Am I allowed to like it? I think it’s distinctive. Honda needs some distinctive.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      It’s all yours. Enjoy!

      I do understand your point, and your tastes. I actually LIKE the look of the Nissan Juke, and respect the distinctiveness of the Nissan Cube. No joke.

      But this one… pass…

      • 0 avatar

        I also like the Cube, Soul, Juke, etc… But there is a fine line between distinctive and ugly. This thing is firmly on the side of ugly.

      • 0 avatar

        They’re all acquired tastes though, aren’t they? The massive Audi grille. BMW’s protruding nostrils. Cadillac’s angular hips. When my Maxima’s body style came out in late 2008, I thought it looked like a catfish. These days, I turn around to admire it in parking lots. The Juke is the closest I’ve seen to a rolling insect, but even that would cease to be weird after a while.

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree in that it looks pretty close to an Audi, Dodge Dart, or a Hyundai, distinctiveness doesn’t have to be ugly.

  • avatar

    Anybody else here old enough to remember Snidely Whiplash from Dudley Do-Right cartoons?

    If not, google the name…and compare. Uncanny.

  • avatar

    Drop the “H” and blue snowplow and put 4 rings on there and I can see an Audi grill.

  • avatar

    Doesn´t look uglier than the vast majority of all the other new cars on the road.
    Yeah, that´s kinda depressing.

    When condidering front ends alone, nothing beats Audi for sheer ugliness and ungainliness. Although I suspect that most people have simply grown used to Ingolstadt´s hideous snouts.

    • 0 avatar

      I drive an A6 and still think of a Trane Heat Pump every time I look at its grill. I suppose being bedazzled by LEDs distracts some people from the black plastic shipping crate staring them in the face.

  • avatar

    Nope,the Crossturd is still the ugliest car on the market today, followed by the ZDX.
    Of course we can assume that Honda is aware of the negative feedback on their dodgy design choices, but as far as they’re concerned….you’re all wrong.
    The focus groups we used liked it a lot thank you very much.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    Assuming this isn’t some kind of pre-production image, the front grill
    on the Accord plug-in looks like a Mazda grill with braces added. The front end of most Mazda vehicles reminds me of a leering Halloween pumpkin; unfortunately the Accord is even uglier. And what is with the blue stripes-is that added so the Greenies can instantly
    identify it? It seems as if the stylists at Honda in trying to create something distinctive totally blew it and went ugly in a big way.

  • avatar

    Seems to me the design team couldn’t figure out Hyundai or Volswagen and had the AutoCad decide.

    It looks like a psychotic cat-fish fused to a dust-buster.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    It’s ugly, no doubt. Probably the ugliest of 2013.

    But nowhere near as bad as the horrible gaping catfish maw of the Sonata hybrid. That is the ugliest freaking car I have ever laid eyes on. Someone please try to defend that car, i need to hear this.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s as if the suits at these brands say, “It’s a hybrid, can we ugly it up a bit?” “People got to know it’s different!” Freakiness = different = earth friendly. Yah, the Sonata hybrid is scary, but from Honda we should expect more. Honda styling, (Toyota too), is out to lunch. What’s going on at these design studios? I still wince every time I see a Crosstour.

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty much every new Hyundai is downright ugly.

      • 0 avatar

        An increasingly large percentage of the public seem to disagree with that notion. Hyundai was considered a second-rate manufacturer of cookie-cutter cars until they started emboldening their designs (while simultaneously improving quality). Now they’re on arguably the best long-term trajectory of any automaker currently selling in America.

        Bland sells, but interesting catches consumers’ attention.

      • 0 avatar

        Perhaps it’s the much-improved reliability with the small price tag driving Hyundai, rather than sexy Korean design? Disclaimer – I think the Genesis is beautiful.

  • avatar

    “dweller that gets electricity from clean hydroelectric power sources ”

    Electricity is fungible. Incremental increases in usage (such as when adding an electrical car to the grid) induce additional generation, which currently comes mostly from natural gas (which, admittedly, is cleaner than coal).

  • avatar

    I believe there going for the ugliest hybrid in America title. I guess they believe the Sonata hybrid shouldn’t have that honor.

  • avatar

    I don’t know the full list of its [new design refresh?] competitors. And that would be a technicality anyway, as the Juke, JX, QX56, New Lincoln Grille, Mercedes R+CLS, Mini Coupe, Panamera, Impala, Terrafugia, ZDX and various shooting-brake or Mansory/custom-shop-“Hey God, FU!”-s still walk among us.

    Otherwise, from my cursory non-research on design refreshes, yes Derek you’re right:

    ‘If a woman approaches any beast and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the beast; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.’

  • avatar

    It’s sure not as stylish as my old Honda, which is a lawnmower. But it’s barely uglier, if at all, than the face of the last CR-V. “Give it a big smile… no, two smiles!”

  • avatar

    Is there a reason hybrids tend to have the gaping grill? Do they need more airflow or is it a statement? It seems strange because I don’t believe they put a different grill on diesels.


  • avatar

    I don’t think it looks all that bad but the wheels do look like crap to me. The big “H” on the grill needs to be toned down.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    Look at Mazda, Audi, and even the 2013 Lexi – the big mouth look is happening.

    I guess that all that charging stuff to use the technical term has quite a bit of heat associated with it…

    It sure is one ugly B**** no matter what – what happened to the spare elegance of Hondas of just a decade ago?

  • avatar

    It’s not the ugliest- we’ve yet to see what the 2013 Crosstour will look like.

  • avatar

    I must be in the minority. I dig it.

  • avatar

    Nobody metioned the wheels???

    I’m a Honda fanboy and the grill is pretty bad, but liveable. Those wheels are hideous.

  • avatar

    “Is this the ugliest car coming out in 2013?” Yes, it is.

    But the regular Accord is no prize-winner, either.

    And the fact that it’s a Honda hybrid means it will fail, so don’t expect to see too many of these on the road.

    Honda has really lost its way.

  • avatar

    Honda needs to fire it’s entire design staff … and start anew.

  • avatar

    The Edsel looked better. its sad, I’ve owned Hondas and Acuras over the years, but the last 6 years or so starting with the bloated overweight previous Accord, and every change they have made since, they lost me as a customer.

  • avatar

    Ok, so the blue grill treatment is a little goofy, but Ugliest Car on the Planet as some of the respondents have posted? I don’t believe this is even close to the dreadful Lincoln Baleen Whale grills (MKX, MKT), the swollen Infiniti QX, or the mess that is the Nissan Juke.

    • 0 avatar

      Before I started working for a local Nissan dealership a few months ago, I thought that the Juke looked like a cross between a frog and a water skimmer. Having seen them on a daily basis, and having the chance to really drive one…they have grown on me. I made a comment to like that to a woman in the showroom yesterday, she bought a Juke. Tonight, her Husband came back, and bought the GT-R off of our showroom floor. He told me that because I liked the car that his wife did, he decided to come back here to buy our “Godzilla” off our floor.
      Hard to believe that Nissan designs and sells both the Juke and the GT-R.
      But, looking across Honda’s lineup of late, shows that the entire design team’s train has derailed over there.

  • avatar

    +1 on the Nissan Joke…Juke. After seeing a Juke the Pontiac A$$-tick doesn’t seem that bad now.

  • avatar

    “For a city dweller that gets electricity from clean hydroelectric power sources like me”

    Derek, I had no idea you were a clean hydro source.

    Taking your other implied meaning, Ontario generates over half of its electricity from nuclear, and a further 30% from coal and oil/natural gas.

    Which renders your argument about clean power moot.

    The car’s styling I quite like, for some odd reason, and I’m intrigued by the new hybrid system.

  • avatar

    Ugh, that’s pretty awful. The standard 2013 Accord strikes me as a conservative, but well-executed design. This is Honda we’re talking about, maker of the Element, Ridgeline and Crosstour, so I guess they just couldn’t leave well enough alone.

    Still not as ugly as the Sonata Hybrid, though.

    • 0 avatar

      The Snot-a Hybrid makes the Accord Hybrid look tame!

      Believe it or not, this thing looks better with a front license-plate holder! It breaks up the gape a bit. A darker color also helps.

  • avatar

    Why can’t hybrid buyers be happy with a badge on the trunklid identifying their technological prowess, the same way drivers of diesel variants content themselves with a subtle “TDI” or just a “d”? Apparently the carmakers have determined, probably from focus groups, that the market demands outlandish hybrid-only styling in order for hybrid buyers to display their green cred.

  • avatar

    The corpse of Pontiac called, it wants its wheels back.

  • avatar

    Honda has just been a let down with exterior design the last couple of years. Barf.

  • avatar

    If the hood line were to be extended down to cover the space that the gigantic commercialistic H and the blue mustache currently occupy, it would not look half bad in this early 21st century paradigm of baroque and overly complex styling.

  • avatar

    Put a bar down the middle, and you’ve got the bucktoothed Pontiac G6 GT’s Asian-American cousin. If I had to use one word to describe it: unfortunate.

  • avatar

    The high hoodlines introduced over the past several years to meet pedestrian safety standards have led to a spate of simply awful front end designs. Designers don’t seem to know what to do with all that real estate. They need to go back and look at cars like the 1956 Cadillac for inspiration.

    Either that or figure out a way to meet the safety rules without a high hoodline. The theory is that the physics of a car-pedestrian collision tend to toss the pedestrian headfirst onto the hood. Putting air space between the hood and the engine creates a crumple zone. Is there some other way to skin this cat? What about lining the hood with some sort of energy-absorbing material? Something that would dissipate the energy of the head-hood impact.

  • avatar

    Mrs. 05 nominates a Nissan. The Quest. She says the Quest is so ugly she can almost forgive Honda for the latest Odyssey. I can’t figure out why Honda hates us all so much. Today I saw a new Insight some fool had bolted a wing to. Oh yeah, that’s what a hybrid needs, a full time air brake. I wanted to laugh but was afraid I’d puke.

    I blame Chrysler. They started the Ugly ball, and when Mercedes did what they did without proper protection, they caught it. Next thing you know the whole German scene has the Uglies. Japan can’t stay out of bed with anyone these days, so it was only a matter of time. Have you seen that stuff on the mouth of a Mazda lately?

    • 0 avatar

      Mrs. 05 is a smart woman, I couldn’t agree more. Its demoralizing enough to drive a minivan, but for it to look like an understudy for Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man is just adding insult to injury.

  • avatar

    Oddest thing, is that I think its front looks better than that of the new standard Accord!

  • avatar

    what frightens me is that i don’t hate it. after the universal panning here and at jalopnik, i have to assume the problem is with me.

    i own a gti and a legacy gt, so having put my money where my mouth is, i DO like pseudo performance cars.

    lately, however, i’ve found myself drawn to the prius on account of it’s nerdy tech and fuel mileage. a stint in a rental impala showed me that highway cruising with a big trunk and 300hp can net 30mpg (just like my little gti). however, the 300hp 3.6 in the impala is the base motor for the camaro. why would i buy an impala when i could have a camaro? and really, i like the mustang better than the camaro, so why not buy the V6 ‘stang?

    in the end, i’ve found myself cross-shopping the impala, camaro, mustang, fiesta, wrx, and prius. wtf?

    i thought maybe it was because all the highway driving showed me that without a place to exploit a chassis in curves, all cars are pretty much the same. now that i see that i’m the only person in north america to like the face on this plug-in honda, i’m concerned. has the sound of my own wheels driven me crazy?

    i don’t need hate; i need help, apparently.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      “It’s not you, it’s me.” LOL

      Don’t worry Nick, you’re not alone. See Alexdi above. :)

      Anyhoo, there’s nothing wrong with liking an unattractive car — unattractive as defined by the opinions of the (vast) majority that is. While in many people’s opinion (myself included) it’s a terribly ugly car, it’s not really offensive so I don’t think the issue is that “you need help.” As I stated above, I really like the style of the Nissan Juke which leads many of my friends to throw up in their mouths.

      But WOW that was quite the motley assemblage of cars on your short-list! Cross-shopping a Fiesta against a Camaro! Epic LOL! What did you decide on?

    • 0 avatar
      Speed Spaniel

      I need help too. I think the Acura ZDX is rolling scuplture on wheels. To my eye it encapsulates progressive and imaginative automotive design(admittedly not function), yet it seems everyone hates it. It puzzles me when people compare it the Cross Tour. I see no similarity and think the Cross Tour looks nasty. Hey, what do I know????

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        I don’t think the ZDX is a “sculpture on wheels”, but I do think it’s a striking looking car and I too appreciate it.

        On a personal level, I am a fan of the styling of the X6 (especially the M version).

        This vehicle being a symbol of flagrant wealth has no redeeming virtues so perhaps I need help too …?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    It looks sort of like a mini-flying vagina. I think it’ll be fine if they lose the Pontiac Grand Am wheels. Yeesh.

  • avatar

    Wow Honda sure has a knack for making every vehicle in their line up pretty goofy looking.

    • 0 avatar

      It will probably look OK once a front license plate is on it.

      I suppose an owner could always black out the lower chrome strips to give it an Audi look to make it look acceptable to the TTAC readers. If that quick fix works, as I think is likely, then there’s really nothing too wrong with the design itself, just a relatively minor detail.

      (Whoops. I didn’t mean to reply to this specific post. Oh well, it looks like it could apply to almost every poster here anyways).)

  • avatar

    It’ll still sell, as it should be reliable.

  • avatar

    “Is This The Ugliest Car Coming Out In 2013”

    I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I kinda like it (The plug in accord). IMO its rather dashing, and by no means is it ugly unlike: Every Prius, every other Toyota car I can think of post 2001, Nissan Versa/Sentra, 2010+ Buick Lacrosse, The entire Cadillac line post 2003, etc.

  • avatar

    Wow, Honda apparently still has the Crosstour designers on the payroll. How else to explain this abomination?

  • avatar

    I’m not a fan of most Eastern cars, but I think this looks fine.

  • avatar

    No doubt about it-it is ugly. But I am not really surprised given the fact that Honda still thinks the Crosstour is beautiful and apparently still refuses to abandon the hideous and universally dispised Acura beak grille. Since the non-hybrid Accord sedan’s are hardly the class leader styling wise (in fact I think it share the honor for the ugliest sedans in this class with the Camry). Clearly the Fusion, Optima and Mazda 6 are the styling leaders and show the HOnda designers have no clue as to how to design attractive cars.

  • avatar

    Nope, the new Fusion is in the running for that title.

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