New Car Spotlight – 2013 Honda Accord

2013 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 SedanTo standout in the family car segment, you’ve got to be better than the competition. But you’ve got to be subtle about it. Jumping up and down, screaming “I’m better than you!” doesn’t work in the PTA League. You’ve got to have command of that little-used trait called subtlety. And that’s something Honda practically wrote the book on.

Even though the last-gen Honda Accord was accused of being big and ‘Buick-y”. It still sold with the veracity of a California wildfire. So for 2013, Honda had to silence the critics by creating yet another mold-smashing family car. And that’s exactly what they did.

Now a marvel of modern engineering, the 2013 Honda Accord features Honda’s take on many of today’s most popular technologies. Like direct injection for example. Honda didn’t just screw a GDI kit to an existing engine, they engineered the new Earth Dreams line of engines to be as smooth and efficient as possible. The new direct injected 2.4L makes 185-hp (189-hp in the 2013 Honda Accord Sport), which is a modest gain over the 177-hp in the 2012 Honda Accord. It’s not very impressive when compared to the 200-hp in the 2013 Kia Optima. But the Honda engine runs like a well-oiled machine, and there’s a precision feel to it. What you lose in horsepower, you gain in refinement. And in a car that’s all about being ‘nice’, that’s a good trade-off.

Another Honda feature-refinement is the optional LaneWatch Blind Spot Display. Instead of just fitting the 2013 Honda Accord with a buzzer-type blind spot warning system, they mounted a camera to the right side mirror. If you’re about to crash into say, an ice cream truck, the system will project a real-time image of said ice cream truck, onto the 8-inch dash screen. Since using those big clear things called ‘windows’ has become passe, this is the next best thing.

Now shorter, and lighter. The 2013 Honda Accord packs a lot of obsessively thought-out features, into an easier to maneuver package. But even with the 3-inch length reduction, there’s actually more passenger room in the well-made interior. And Honda even included their very own smartphone-based infotainment system called HondaLink.

Interior of 2013 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 SedanSince everybody in the 2013 Honda Accord’s price bracket carries a smartphone, their new system was designed to be blindingly simple: Just look for the Aha! button (literally). And while you’re at it, the Forward Collision Warning system (standard on the 2013 Honda Accord EX-L) will beep and flash at you, if the grille-mounted radar sensor detects impending doom. There’s also new SmartVent side airbags (designed to better protect smaller occupants), and a new Pedestrian Injury Mitigation design was used for the front of the 2013 Honda Accord (the hood, bumper, hood hinges, and wiper mounts are designed to deform easily, reducing the severity of pedestrian injuries).

In all, the 2013 Honda Accord is an extremely compelling choice in a very crowded field. And while it may not shine particularly bright in a single area, it does everything well…which is what a Honda Accord is supposed to do.

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