The redesigned 2013 Honda Accord took its makeover seriously. I was underwhelmed after testing the 2012 Accord, but after my weeklong test drive of the 2013 model, I was floored to find so much improvement in it. Honda got its mojo back, and I have a whole new respect for this classic family sedan again.
Simply put, the 2013 Honda Accord rules. It's more stylish on the outside and more streamlined on the inside, and Honda brought some innovation to the table with its new LaneWatch system, which uses a camera to show a wider view of the passenger-side roadway.
Not everything was altered in its 2013 redesign. Its roomy cabin and large trunk remain and ensure that the Accord not only competes in the midsize sedan market, but also is the leader of the pack.
In this test drive, I was in a four-cylinder Accord instead of a V-6, and I really didn't miss the bigger engine. I had all the power and pep I needed, and I even got to save a little when it came to fill up the gas tank. Some midsize sedans' suspensions can feel a little too soft for me, but not the Accord; it's a comfortable ride that feels smooth without being sleepy.
The 2013 Honda Accord has a starting price of $22,470, including a $790 destination charge. My test car, an EX-L trim with navigation, cost $30,785.
The exterior changes to the 2013 Accord are subtle. The roofline is much sleeker, and the rear end is more chiseled and less rounded than before. Overall, the Accord's new look is a big improvement from the last generation.
My family found the Accord's door openings to be large, and this always helps when you've got little ones to load into child-safety seats. It was easy for my 2-year-old to climb in by herself, and when I leaned in to finish strapping her into her car seat, I never feared hitting my head on the roofline. The Accord is a straightforward midsize sedan: The door handles are easy to reach for almost everyone; it's a breeze to get in and out of, and the trunk is easily opened by either the key fob or a latch on the trunk door.
The Accord's trunk is huge. My stroller took up half of its space, and I still had room for groceries on the other half. It's a safe bet to say the Accord could handle a double stroller.
The 2013 Accord has a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission. There's also a 278-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 for those looking for more power. The four-cylinder gets an EPA-estimated 27/36 mpg city/highway. I averaged 29 mpg during my weeklong test drive filled with mostly city miles. Even better, Honda keeps it simple with a regular unleaded gas requirement for both engines.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some
The biggest changes in the 2013 Accord are on the inside: The upholstery lost those saggy wrinkles; the dash and center stack are streamlined, and shiny chrome accents replaced the faux-wood trim. The Accord now looks classy and refined.
What families will appreciate most is the big backseat. The five-seater can accommodate grandparents, tweens, teens and toddlers with ease. If you've got child-safety seats to contend with, you should plan on a maximum seating capacity of four. The cabin felt spacious, and all my passengers had ample legroom.
The Accord doesn't skimp on storage space, either; there are four cupholders, bottleholders and storage cutouts in the doors, seatback pockets, a cutout in the center stack to plug in and store your smartphone, an overhead sunglasses compartment and an ample center console.
My favorite change to the Accord for 2013 is its dual information screens. There's the i-MID screen that can display everything from music options and navigation to incoming text messages and gas-mileage stats. Below it is the center stack screen, which comes on higher trim levels, and you can toggle between phone, music and other settings. Both screens feature improved graphics that replace the dated, dot-matrix feel of the previous generation. I loved that I could use the map on one screen and still have album art and track titles of the music I was listening to displayed at the same time.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
The 2013 Honda Accord sedan has been named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For this award, a car must earn the top score of Good in side-impact, rear, roof-strength and small and moderate front overlap crash tests. The 2013 Accord received an overall safety score of five stars of five from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received five stars in side-impact and rollover crash tests and four stars in the frontal test.
My favorite safety feature is the LaneWatch system, which is standard on higher trims. LaneWatch uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror, and when a right-hand turn is signaled, the image is shown on the i-MID screen. It allows the driver to see if there are any cars in that blind spot. This feature was not only impressive, but also extremely useful. LaneWatch is no gimmick; I relied on it heavily during my test drive, especially on the packed freeways in Los Angeles.
The Accord has standard front-wheel drive, four-wheel-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, an electronic stability system with traction control, a backup camera and six airbags, including side curtains for both rows.
Optional features are the forward collision and lane departure warning systems.
The Accord has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row's outboard seats. The anchors are set deeply between the seat cushions, but they're not too difficult to access. Getting my daughter's forward-facing convertible seat properly installed was easy and uneventful. Find out how the 2013 Accord sedan fared in our Car Seat Check.
Get more safety information on the 2013 Honda Accord.
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