Saturday, September 15, 2012

Photos: 2013 Honda Accord Test Drive

The redesigned Honda Accord is set to hit dealerships September 19th. Bernardi Honda in Natick, MA got some in a few days early so I headed over today for a test drive.
2013 Honda Accord EX-L V6 Sedan
The 2013 is said to be a complete redesign, and it is indeed a brand new model. But to those familiar with the prior Accord -- as I am since we've been leasing a 2010 Accord EX sedan for two and a half years -- it feels like more of an incremental improvement. A very nice incremental improvement.
2013 Honda Accord Sport Sedan
The trim levels should be familiar to long-time Honda fans. An LX, an EX, an EX-L, and an EX-L V6 are available along with a new Sport model priced just south of the EX, and a loaded Touring model. The Sport lacks a moonroof but includes 18" alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips and a spoiler.
To my eye, the rear styling is a nice change from the prior model. They probably could have done more to catch my attention on the front - I think it looks almost identical to the 2010.
The new Accord offers some very nice standard features. It's amazing how much a single little feature -- like an AUX input for audio from your mobile phone -- can change how much I enjoy a car. All new Accords come standard with Bluetooth integration, AUX and USB inputs, rear backup cameras, dual zone climate control and more. Compared to our 2010 Accord EX which lacked external temperature display for example, the 2013 is very nicely equipped.
2013 Accord Sport Interior
The view of the dashboard from behind the steering wheel is significantly revamped, mostly for the better in my opinion.
I took a 2013 Accord Sport sedan out for a test drive. It comes with cloth seats which I thought they were a bit more comfortable than the prior model. A bit firmer in a good way. Touch points are nicely trimmed in leather and the car feels very comfortably sized with a touch of new technological splash.
If there's one complaint I have about our 2010 Accord, it's that the car is a bit slower than I'd like it to be. Even when you really give it some gas it doesn't have very good throttle response from say 10-45 mph when you're merging with traffic.
The 2013 boosts horsepower slightly while also improving mileage so I was looking forward to seeing if it was any more powerful. I'd say it felt about 10% more powerful. Which is probably enough to give us what we need but not necessarily what we want. This is an Accord after all.
One other unique feature in the 2013 is its Continuously Variable Transmission. I've never driven one of these before - and I think this is a first in the Accord. I was expecting the car to never feel like it's shifting but the net effect is that it felt to me like it was holding its current gear for a long time under heavy acceleration.
Separate from the CVT is a Sport mode which can be selected just south of "D" when selecting which gear you'd like to drive in. And separate from this is an Econ button to the left of the steering wheel that can be used, presumably, to improve mileage. I think these are welcome additions but I'm not sure I'd like to think about these things and would prefer the car to adjust automatically to provide the best mileage possible while giving me power when I need it.
They also had a 2013 EX-L on the lot. I thought the EX rims looked a little lackluster compared to the Sport's, and not quite as stylish as the outgoing model:
2013 Honda Accord EX-L
Pricing looks to be very modestly increased compared to the outgoing model. The 2013 Sport sedan I drove stickers for just $24k. I think that's a lot of car for the money.
2013 Sport Window Sticker
Full details on pricing, colorization options, and packages is set to arrive this Wednesday, September 19th.
I'm also considering a new 3 series or a used 5 series. Long shot considerations include the VW Passat and the Hyundai Genesis. I'd be a trading in a used 2003 325i -and- terminating a lease on our 2010 Accord 6 months early. Discounts on the new model are said to be hard to come by - but isn't that always said to be the case when you're on the buying end of a car transaction?
Bottom Line
I think the 2013 is a very nice redesign of a very reliably good midsize sedan. I'll look forward to learning a bit more about them and seeing if we can work out a deal I can't refuse.
Question of the Day:What do you think of the new Accord? Leave a comment below or ping me on Twitter: @RobertDwyer
Further Reading: How to lease a new car for a rock bottom price
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