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Honda Accord, 2013: Family sedan turned luxury car

Honda Accord, 2013: Family sedan turned luxury car

Now approaching middle age, the Honda Accord has been among the top-selling cars in the United States for nearly 25 years.

The first generation was launched on May 7, 1976 as a three-door hatchback with 68 horsepower, a 93.7-inch wheelbase and weighing about 2,000 pounds.

For 2013, after several manufacturers began to match the Accord’s quality and offer better warranties, Honda acquiesced and debuted a complete redesign. Among a vast array of other attributes, the Accord now has a 109.4-inch wheelbase and weighs 3,559 pounds.

The Accord, available in more than a dozen configurations and as a coupe and sedan, has come a long way, including the V6 Touring edition, my weekly driver. It features a 24-value, 3.5-liter, V6 with 278 horsepower and six-speed automatic transmission.

Yes, it’s still a Honda Accord. But what once was an upgraded Civic known for its gas mileage and low maintenance, is now in its ninth generation and a far different car.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

Since The Weekly Driver began, I’ve reviewed the Honda Accord seven times, dating to the 2003 model. With the 2013 model, the aforementioned V6 Touring, I now view the stalwart sedan with a new point of view.

The reliable, keen resale value family sedan has become a luxury car disguised as a sedan. The newly designed Accord features a simple, but hard-to-decipher persona. Its more sleek, chiseled exterior styling makes the Accord appear smaller. Yet the interior is more spacious with room for five adults.

My weekly driver and the EX model feature Honda’s new LaneWatch technology. It’s a small video camera positioned underneath the passenger-side mirror that displays on the eight-inch console monitor what’s in the driver’s blind spot. It’s engaged when the turn signal indicator is activated or it can be adjusted to stay on.

Honda has also realized that beyond its hybrid, electric and natural gas models, improved gas mileage is a good thing in its mainstream, gas-only cars. The V6 is estimated at 34 mpg in freeway driving. And while that’s not overtly impressive, it’s the same estimated mpg as the Accord’s previous generation’s four-cylinder model achieved.

Like all Accords, the 2013 edition does a lot right. But with the V6, performance is particularly enhanced. It’s no longer an average accelerator, rather the Accord is quick off the line and maneuvers commandingly around town and on the interstate.

Likes:

Keen navigation system, in conjunction with advanced safety features.

Plush, expansive interior.

Powerful, aggressive engine.

Real time gas mileage digital display.

Smooth CVT transmission.

Longer, sleek exterior.

High quality interior materials

Dislikes:

The freeway gas mileage average via EPA estimated during my weekly drive far from accurate.

Facts & Figures: 2013 Honda Odyssey

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.1 seconds.
Airbags (6): Standard front, front side and side curtain.
First aid kit: Not available.
Fuel economy: 21 mpg (city), 34 mpg (highway).
Government Safety Ratings: Not yet rated.
Horsepower: 278
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $33,430.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.honda.com.
Price As tested: $34,220.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,0000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/60,000 miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/unlimited mileage.

What Others Say:

“Materials and assembly quality appear to be at or above past Honda standards and, to our eyes, it even looks better than the car it replaces. That Honda needs a winner in the new Accord is clear. After our drive, we would say it has one.” — Inside Line.

“Substantially upgraded inside, outside and underneath, the 2013 Accord pushes all the right buttons, especially in its new high-value lower specification models.” — Left Lane News.

“With the new Accord, Honda brings some heat, but it doesn’t knock anybody down. The redesigned 2013 Honda Accord adds refinement and convenience, but it loses a bit of driving fun.” — Cars.com

“Is the new Accord any good? Yes, in fact, it is. It looks better; it drives better; it’s a nicer place to spend time; it gets better fuel economy; and it does it all without offending the traditional Accord buyer. Accord people will love it, and the rest of us must admit it’s certainly more than 10 percent better than the old one.” — Motor Trend

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“Who would have thought a Honda Accord would be a luxury car? Think no more. It is.”

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