CleanMPG Reviews the 2013 Honda Accord

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG]The Accord just keeps getting better.

    [fimg=left][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Jan. 20, 2012

    2013 Honda Accord LX - $22,480 with the all-new CVT to start and a 27/36 mpgUS city/highway rating with the same.

    Los Angeles, CA -- The all-new ninth generation 2013 Accord Sedan made a number of headlines when it first arrived and now that we have driven it for a few hundred miles, it is as good as advertised. Given the bulbous previous eighth gen Accord was not quite the world beating 4-door midsize sedan we had hoped upon its release back in late 2007, the all-new 2013 is a breath of fresh air.

    The all-new Accord is more modern, more efficient, safer (IIHS Small Overlap anyone!) and far better equipped than it has ever been and now provides class leading features and attributes in possibly the toughest segment in which it competes. That being the midsize segment comprised of names like Altima, Camry, Fusion, Optima, Passat and Sonata to name but a few.

    We ended up driving the 24/34 mpgUS rated 2013 Honda Accord with the 6-speed manual transmission. A variant few will buy but it sure was fun to drive!

    2013 Honda Accord Specifications

    The 2013 Honda Accord is available in two body types (Sedan and Coupe) and 4 sedan trim levels. The LX, Sport (as tested), EX,/EX-L, EX-L V6 Touring. Complete specifications, pricing, standard, and optional equipment for the 2013 Accord can be found within the 2013 Honda Accord Specifications page.

    2013 Honda Accord Sedan Exterior

    The all-new 2013 Honda Accord Sedan is “the most sculpted” Accord ever.

    A two tiered hood crease slopes down into lower chrome surround of the 2-bar grille with thin wrap around projector headlight lenses proving some emphasis to the front end.

    The 3-dimensional character line running from the central front fender flare upwards through the door handles and wrapping around the rear taillight lenses is the most accentuated crease ever placed on a Honda. A lower sill cutout feature line coming up through the rear quarter panel provides an attractive profile for extra curb appeal.

    To the rear, the rear deck lid has an edgy crease into the chrome garnish adding an upscale appearance.

    Where it gets interesting is the lightly discussed aerodynamic detail including an all-new nearly flush windshield glass, flush-mounted windshield wipers and careful under-body “fixes” that improved fuel economy which it so desperately needed.

    2013 Honda Accord Sedan Interior

    Inside the comfortable Accord.​

    A completely new interior in Black, Gray and Ivory cloth or optional leather looks and feels great. In particular, the Sport’s leather wrapped wheel is soft to the touch and just the right hand hold diameter for long distances behind the wheel.

    Standard features include redesigned seating with softer foam and new cloth which is more comfortable and less confining than the previous generation seats. A dual-zone automatic climate control, simplified controls and instrumentation, larger and higher resolution displays plus larger fonts make everything easier to understand at a glance is also standard.

    The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe arrive with soft touch plastics in the upper dash with a “pewter like” bezel around the central vents and radio controls. The mid-height dash trim is a high quality looking wood or shiny trim extending from the left of the steering column into the door trim up to the handles on the left and across the passenger side into the same door trim on the right. Classy but not garish.

    A full-color 8 in Multi-Information Display (i-MID) is the display control for the Accord’s electronic functions including the standard on all trims rear view backup camera. The EX and above arrives with the exclusive LaneWatch feature that instead of a little lighting up icon on a mirror shows the side of the car in full on the 8 in display whenever the turn signals are activated. We have an EX scheduled to arrive the last week of February and it is one of the features I am very much looking forward to experiencing in person.

    The new Accord’s interior 103.2 cu. ft. of passenger volume and 15.8 cu. ft. trunk is the second largest car in the segment while riding on a shorter wheelbase with shorter overall length and less overhang beyond the wheel cutouts compared to the ungainly eight generation predecessor.

    One of the most comfortable rear seats I have ever sat in thanks to the longer lower seat bottoms, reclined
    rear seat backs and legroom aplenty including less angled knee articulation vs. its competitors.​

    2013 Honda Accord Infotainment

    The full-color 8 in display also houses the Bluetooth HandsFreeLink phone interface, Pandora internet radio interface and an SMS text messaging feature. A new available Audio with touchscreen display and the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition and FM Traffic is also available.

    The 2013 Accord is also the first Honda product to offer what the company is calling HondaLink which uses your smartphone to connect with music and media resources including Aha, internet apps and roadside assistance. With the EX-L, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) are standard. Moving all the way up to the EX-L V6 Touring, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is added.

    In practice, the HondaLink connected-car system did not work out well for simple Bluetooth telephony as it would synch with my older Motorola RAZR once and disconnect about 10-minutes later with the entire pairing process needing to be redone. I have experienced the same with Toyota’s Entune whereas the VWs Fender or base, Hyundai’s Blue Link and Kia’s UVO just reach out and grab a hold for trouble free Bluetooth hands free calling without issue with the older non-smart Cell phones some of us are still emboldened too.

    2013 Honda Accord Drivertrain

    Two gasoline engines are available in the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe. These include a new Earth Dreams 2.4L I4 with Honda's first use of direct injection in North America and the 3.5L V6.

    The base 185 HP I4 is coupled to a choice of an efficient new continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a new slick shifting 6-speed manual on selected models. Although the shifting action is not quite as smooth as the 5-speed in the current Civic, it is still one of the best comparing very favorably with the Mazda3’s SKYATIV-G mated to its 6-speed MT.

    Power for an I4 is over the top and you can only hear the injectors “tick” with the windows open or from outside the car at idle which is usual for most direct injected engines.

    EPA rated fuel efficiency is the best ever for an Accord, with the 2.4L I4 equipped with the CVT and 6-speed MT earning an EPA 27/36 MPG and 24/34 mpgUS city/highway rating respectively. A calculated 1,733 RPM and 2,164 RPM at 60 mph is in store for each with an actual 2,192 RPM's showing at 60 mph with the 6-speed MT. When on the Interstate, the manual transmission owners are going to have to work hard to keep up with that low revving CVT.

    2013 Honda Accord - New Chassis for improved Ride, Handling and Safety

    The 2013 Accord sedan and coupe chassis consists of 55.8-percent high-tensile strength steels improving body rigidity, crash worthiness and reducing weight (improves ride and handling in most instances, interior quietness, performance and efficiency). They were designed with the company’s latest Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE-II) body structure designed specifically to improve frontal crash safety and to excel in the IIHS’ new small-overlap frontal barrier crash test.

    Other additions include a steel and aluminum front subframe, electric power steering (EPS), standard Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC) on both I4 and V6 models to counteract engine noise.

    It was not only quiet but flat riding to its limits. While the Sport suspension felt slightly stiff, it was not overly so. The soon to arrive EX should prove to be an even better highway complaint cruiser which the Sport already proved! Steering was progressive from maximum assist at parking lot speeds to a very road inducing feel at highway speeds. Turn in was sharp, tip in was not overly aggressive or soft with or without ECO mode engaged and the brakes are strong with a very linear feel about them.

    Additional features include higher trim LED headlights, DRLs and brake lights, mirror-mounted turn signals. 16 to 18 in alloys are standard across all Accords.

    2013 Honda Accord Safety[fflash=right][/fflash]

    2013 Honda Accord during the new IIHS Small Overlap Crash Test – This one separates the boys from their mama’s and the all-new Accord nailed it!

    The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe offer the greatest range of active and passive safety features in Honda history. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is standard on all Accord models and available new technologies include Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) on the EX and above.

    Passive-safety features include just six airbags, including dual-stage front, side and side curtain airbags. New SmartVent side airbags reduce the risk of excessive airbag deployment force and eliminate the need for the Accord's previous Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS).

    Active safety includes the latest four-wheel discs with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), a 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control (TC), and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), all standard. Hill start assist is also now standard on the Accord and a welcome addition for those of us that drive sticks. It holds the cars brakes for approximately 2-seconds or until you have developed some forward momentum while sitting stopped on an uphill. In practice it works great.

    Based on internal testing, both the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe are expected to earn 5-stars on the tough National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests.

    Regarding the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Accord walloped the mid-size class as it scored a perfect Good rating across the board including the extremely violent front small overlap crash test as shown in the video. The IIHS “Top Safety Pick +” means something again and the Accord is at the head of the class when it comes to occupant safety. You simply cannot find a safer car in the class.

    Can you think of anything that performs better? If so, consider it.


    2013 Honda Accord – 2.4L with the 6-speed manual Fuel Economy Results

    64.5 mpg over a 67.7 mile round trip.​

    While the above is not a measured result, over 1/3 of its distance was driven in the rain. Honda’s in most cases under report actual so the actual result is probably greater than 65 mpgUS.

    In a 3 hr and 20-minute escape from Friday afternoon traffic out of LA in the rain – a nightmare by any description -- just over 100 miles were traveled at 48.9 mpg.

    2 local drives of over 70 miles was completed into Downtown San Diego and out at 50.0 and 51.9 mpg respectively.

    We will have a lot more when the CVT arrives although I am not expecting it to beat the stick, I am hopeful it may “match it” at its limits? A mid-size automatic breaking 60 mpg is diesel and hybrid territory and so far only the all-new 2013 Altima has achieved that feat.

    2013 Honda Accord Competitive Comparisons

    YearMakeModelBase Price ($USD)EngineTransmissionHP and Torque (lb-ft.)Weight (pounds)Passenger Vol. (cu. ft.)Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)EPA Estimates (mpgUS city/highway)

    2013ChevroletMalibu$22,3902.5L6-speed AT197/1913,393100.316.322/34
    2013FordFusion$21,7002.5L6-speed AT175/1753,427102.816.023/33
    2013HyundaiSonata$20,8952.4L6-speed AT200/1863,199103.816.424/35
    2013KiaOptima$21,2002.4L6-speed AT200/1863,223102.215.424/35
    2012ToyotaCamry$22,0552.5L6-speed AT178/1703,190102.715.425/35

    Bolded specs are Best-in-Class.

    2013 Honda Accord – 2.4L with the 6-speed manual conclusions

    It would be tough to consider anything else in the mid-size class at this time other than the all-new 2013 Altima with its fuel efficient and performance oriented wide ratio CVT at a better price or the just now arriving 2014 Mazda6 with the powerful and efficient 2.5L SKYACTIV-G which will surely own the midsize class for its handling prowess.

    When it comes to the current and near term alternative fuel drivetrains, the 2013/2014 Accord is ready to do battle in that arena as well with the now available two-motor PHEV-11 and the two-motor full Hybrid arriving this summer. Only the Sonata/Optima Hybrid on pricing and features, the Passat TDI on highway fuel economy and the upcoming Mazda6 with the soon to arrive 2.2L SYACTIV-D turbo diesel with both highway fuel economy and expected best in class handling attributes would be considerations.

    In other words, the Accord has something for everyone. On the bottom, a slick shifting 6-speed MT in the affordable LX trim includes most of the features we would demand today. On the top, the PHEV with its class-leading 47/46/46 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating and 13 mile all-electric range plus every option listed above arriving standard is sure to make the short list for those that want to make that statement. And everything in between.

    Dropping it off a bit dirty but it was indeed a great ride to take on Southern California’s infamous I-405 and I-5 while beating the EPA into submission ;)
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  2. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    What is your take on overall noise/vibration/harshness? The only place where I felt past generations (especially my '02) really fell short was sound deadening. Driving in the rain, especially, it sounded like there might have been a hole in the floor. I'm hoping Honda has taken care of that niggle during the last decade?
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Tim:

    It is better than my 7th gen 05 and it was not an issue no matter the speed I was traveling. Even in the rain I did not hear that wheel well splash like I do in my own Accord but it was only a downpour for a few minutes of the other 30 or so minutes driving in light rain.

  4. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    any issues with fasing? these days you like the push button start more or miss the twist of a key :O?
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Phil:

    Not with the stick but we'll have an auto later next month. I suspect it will be a non-issue but you never know until it arrives.

  6. XTerrra

    XTerrra New Member


    Great website & initiative!

    Any opportunity for anything like SHM on the 2013 CVT accord?

    I've been driving an XTerra, but bought a SGII and pick up a 2013 accord sport CVT tomorrow

  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dave:


    I was looking and the DI does not have the same SHM as the MPFI Honda engines of the recent past. LOD below 50% still provides a great return but IGN was jumping all over the map.

  8. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    I like this car. Someone in my neighborhood has one. It's fairly vanilla looking yet it comes across well. Interior looks good, I have always been a little dour on Honda interiors but this looks nice. And it's exciting to see a DI motor - I'm a carby guy but I figure if one is going to go the FI route, might as well use the one that works best.

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