2013 Honda Accord: First Look

2013-honda-accord

  • Competes with: Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata
  • Looks like: Accord’s rear end got a much-needed makeover
  • Drivetrain: 185- or 189-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with six-speed manual or CVT; 278-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic; front-wheel drive 
  • Hits dealerships: Sept. 19 (sedan), Oct. 15 (coupe)

Honda redesigned the Accord for 2013, debuting the ninth generation of its popular family car amid a hotbed of competition. By sales volume, some seven out of 10 family cars saw redesigns for 2012 or 2013. The list includes household names: Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry.

Honda hopes to recapture some of the sales momentum lost in an inventory-strapped 2011 with a lighter, more fuel-efficient and better-equipped 2013 Accord. With an automatic transmission, the four-cylinder Accord sedan gets an EPA-rated 27/36 mpg city/highway (26/35 mpg in the Accord Sport) — which is up 3 mpg in combined figures versus its predecessor in all but the Sport. It and comes standard with features like alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a backup camera and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Accord follows a transition seen in the Altima, Malibu and Camry: Although new, the sheet metal identifies with the outgoing car. Thin headlights ensconce a familiar grille, with optional fog lights below — rectangular on the sedan, circular on the coupe. The tail sees the biggest shift, dropping clear-lens lights for white and red ones that recall the Hyundai Genesis sedan. The Accord coupe, meanwhile, gets vertical bumper reflectors similar to those on the Subaru Outback.

After a size increase for the prior Accord, the ninth generation shrinks a bit. The sedan loses 3.6 inches of length, while the coupe drops 2.2 inches. The smaller size combines with higher-strength steel, a lighter front suspension and other weight-saving measures that shave 57 pounds off the sedan.

Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 17s or 18s optional. Uplevel trims have LED brake lights, while V-6 versions get LED daytime running lights. The top-of-the-line Accord Touring adds full LED headlights, a first for Honda. Stay tuned for a full breakdown of trim levels and pricing.

The interior trades the last Accord's stacked dash panels for a single wraparound piece with fewer center controls. Inlayed materials run from silver in the base Accord LX to a woodlike brown in the leather-lined EX-L. Coupes have beige or black interiors. Cabin volume decreases slightly in the sedan, but trunk room grows to 15.8 cubic feet — up 1.1 cubic feet from last year. In the subwoofer-equipped EX-L, it shrinks to 15.5 cubic feet. Cabin room increases in the Accord coupe, meanwhile, and trunk room increases to 13.7 cubic feet from last year's 11.9. The rear seat folds in a single piece, however, as opposed to the split-folding seats in most competitors.

A host of noise abatements — A-pillars mounted flush with the windshield, more hood and fender insulation — make the Accord "near the top of its class for quietness," Honda says. The automaker says aerodynamics in the sedan have improved 7% with the redesign.

Thinner A-pillars and reshaped mirrors help improve visibility, Honda says. Like in the Honda CR-V, the Accord's driver-side mirror sculpts outward at its edge for extra visibility.

An 8-inch dashboard screen runs the standard audio system, which includes USB/iPod compatibility, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and an app for Pandora internet radio. Uplevel cars add a touch-screen below with the HondaLink system; it streams podcasts, audiobooks and more via your smartphone and internet radio provider Aha. Honda says it will include more apps down the road.

The Accord marks the first of Honda's new Earth Dreams drivetrains, with a direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder serving as the base engine. It makes 185 horsepower in the Accord sedan and coupe. An Accord Sport, which slots just above the LX, makes 189 hp thanks to a dual exhaust system. Above that is Honda's 278-hp 3.5-liter V-6.

Gas mileage for the automatic sedan is 27/36 mpg with the four-cylinder — just short of the 27/38 mpg four-cylinder Altima — and 21/34 mpg with the V-6. That's up 11% and 4% versus the last Accord, respectively. Coupes and stick-shift cars rate 1 to 3 mpg less overall. The four-cylinder ditches last year's five-speed automatic for a new continuously variable automatic transmission, while the V-6 gets a six-speed automatic. A six-speed manual is available on the four-cylinder sedan and four- or six-cylinder coupe.

Major mechanical changes include new electric power steering, which replaces the outgoing Accord's hydraulic setup, and a strut front suspension replacing last year's double-wishbone.

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and various power accessories. Move up the trims, and you can get a moonroof, power seats, a navigation system, keyless access with push-button start and heated leather seats. Accord coupes have bolstered front seats and red accents on the gauges and center displays, but a power passenger seat remains unavailable.

Head-protecting side airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard. So is a backup camera. Safety options include lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems. The latter alerts drivers to oncoming obstacles, but it doesn't engage automatic braking, as some do. Honda's new LaneWatch system mounts a camera on the passenger-side rearview mirror to show two lanes of adjacent traffic. Honda says it displays a view that's about four times wider than the mirror alone.

Related
2013 Honda Accord Sedan Shrinks, Gets Plug-in Hybrid Model
More Honda News on Cars.com
More Automotive News

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Comments 

sheth

I am curious as to how much the top trims are going to cost. Honda isnt known for trying to match the competition feature for feature but they have done so in this car. Im guessing the V6 Touring will be close to $35k. Impressive features on the upper trims, but few are going to be willing to shell out top dollar for the higher level cars. I cannot wait to see how all these cars compare in real world mileage, testing of the Altima so far hasn't shown any notable fuel efficiency gain over competing cars in the real world. Too many cars are getting EPA ratings that jump 3-4mpg over their predecessors with only minimal engineering tweaks. It seems too good to be true. The Accord V6 is now more efficient than the Accord I4 was in 2010.

carlover

I really like the coupe version. It is sportier than the model going out. But the sedan looks like a 2003-2005 model; especially the taillights. The honda accord went from 2nd best selling car to 4th. It might sink lower.

Al

Someone call the cops, Honda stole the taillights from the first generation Genesis sedan LOL. They're obviously not exactly the same, but definitely close. Then again, how much can most of them differ now from one another.

I'm torn on the interior. It almost looks cool, but there's 4 different levels of panels going on depending on which model you purchase. I can imagine lots of hitting hands on things when moving blindly from one to another. The ILX on the other hand, even though it's a different class and size, is a well done interior center stack IMO. I'm trying to speak to Honda/Acura interiors of course, which is why I referenced the ILX, because it was new as well.

sheth

interior is very similar to the last gen RDX. Thats probably one reason it doesnt seem too fresh in spite of being totally different from the last gen accord. I also dont get the need for two screens inside. Every other automaker manages to incorporate the radio controls and nav into one screen, dont see why Honda needs this approach. Its also rather strange that the 8" screen is standard, but the smaller touch radio is optional.

Mike

I'm pulling my hair out right now. Honda, in my opinion has once again failed in the sheetmetal design. Honda has lost its way. From certain angles it looks like the Hyundai Azera sedan. From the rear it's a Hyundai Genesis. I did not think the Toyota Camry could be topped in the boredom department. It seems we have a new winner. I was looking forward to getting rid of my '11 Accord and replace it with "the most sculpted Accord ever". I may have to pony up some more $$ and get a BMW 3 series now.

sheth

I would take this over the camry any day. As of right now, the Camry would probably be my last choice in this class. Its styling is just too tame and its interior is already dated looking. Out of the Japanese sedans this is tops right now. Its a shame that Honda made an all new car look like the 2012 with a Genesis rear end though. How about a truly NEW exterior design?

George

I think this is double, when Honda needed a homerun.
But it is still better than the Malibu.

sheth

got better mileage than Malibu. Dont see much else unless you're talking about the future hybrid model. If anything, this conservative redesign makes the Malibu's rather conservative styling seem more acceptable.

Steve

I like what I see. Honda has chosen to offer good visibility rather than more muscular styling like the Kia Optima. That car felt confining to me with the high sheet metal. It's refreshing to see a company buck that styling trend and take a more common sense approach. The options and packaging choices look promising, too. I have waited forever to be able to get a car with climate control and not be forced to buy the top of line trim level.

Parrots

Steve,

How about the Passat?

J

Double wishbone front suspension gone!?
hm...but with all the new feature, it sure is a tough decision.

Anthony

By looks this is only better than the Camry. The front looks like the old generation with LEDS and and the rear (mentioned by other people) is the Genesis Sedan. Really????? The interior looks like the 2012 Toyota Avalon in a way, and the instrument cluster looks like the ones from the 2002-2009 Mercedes Benz vehicles. Overall, this is just a giant copy of all of the current mid-size, full-size and previous sedans. The coupe just looks like an all around and inside "facelift".

Velloster

I like it and frankly the great thing about buying a Honda is they are super reliable. I wish I could say that about my wife's Equinox. Can you say 'nightmare'?

peters

I'm so excited! Honda finally got it right!

Julio

I can't fault anything with the interior and exterior. It's inoffensive to me and as whole, the package works. Honda goes practical. This is worlds better than the TL. At least the offer manuals when the rest of the midsized competitors stopped offering them. And I think it looks good.

sheth

I dont see any reason to get the TSX or TL over this car now. Why pay more?

As for the manuals, thats basically a way to tack on $1000+ to the base price of the four cylinder models. Honda knows few manuals will be ordered, but they can now advertise very aggressive base prices for their lower 3 trim levels. Good luck finding cars with sticks at your local dealer.

Lance

Honda 4cyl gets about the same MPG as the Malibu Eco and doesn't have the small trunk. Gets way better MPG than the non-Eco Malibu. In fact, the Honda V6 gets almost exactly the same MPG as the 4cyl Malibu. GM is failing again. Altima is still the MPG champ. I'm sure the new Fusion will be competitive with the Honda, Sonata and Altima MPG.

This a an improvement in both exterior and interior especially considering it got a little lighter and smaller. But the styling Gods still need to send Honda some new designers.

Steve

A lot of car makers borrow styling cues from other brands. There is a definite resemblance to the Genesis in the tail end, but the Accord's lines are *much* cleaner there. I think the current Accords looks really good from some angles and kind of awkward from others. This new design seems better integrated and better proportioned. Not perfect, but certainly attractive.

Gary

Very disappointed in the front, looks almost the same as the previous version....The back is a copy of Hyundai. Very disappointed!

Mikey

Will there be a variant of the Accord like in past models, such as a hatchback/wagon/crossover? (dare I mention a convertible!)

sheth

yes Lance, "GM is failing again" based on the mpgs of the Malibu. The accord also beats the base Fusion, Passat and camry in mileage. More mpgs are good, but if that was the only reason toc choose a midsize car the Altima would be running away with the sales title. At the end of the day these differences come down to maybe a couple hundred dollars in a year. Not a deal breaker for most folks.

Accord V6 mileage is nice, but V6 is only on EX-L trim which means you are going to have to drop close to $30k to get the V6.

Lance

Funny you mention the Altima as it just might run away with the sales title. I'm sure the MPG will help it greatly but it has a lot of other things going for it too. Altima, I believe was number two in sales last year and that is with the old model which had substantially lower MPG, tech and older styling. The new Altima was changed styling, leads in MPG and added several leadsing edge tech items. I'm personally not a fan of the CVT but the rest of the car is pretty outstanding and the tranny hasn't seemed to affect overall sales as they are right behind Camry and may even surpass it this year.

It's just that nothing is outstanding about the Malibu. Passat is a different animal and it's base engine is well known to be an anchor. Probably just as many people will buy the base Fusion as buy the Eco Malibu....not many.

sheth

old altima sold so well last year partially due to real and perceived inventory issues at Honda and Toyota and incentives. Just since the 2013 came out Altima sales have trailed off because the new cars costs more without all the incentives. Having class leading mpgs is a great selling point, but overcoming the brand strength of camry is a tall order. The new Fusion meets or beats the camry in every way on paper, but I dont expect it contend for the #1 sales slot, especially if Ford is stingy with incentives.

Nothing outstanding about the Passat, Camry or even this Accord. This accord brings the car up to date in terms of connectivity and safety features. Malibu already has a direct injected engine, Ford had Sync years ago, Nissan has used CVT in Altima since 2006, the safety features are generally available in competing cars already. EPA rating aside there is nothing outstanding about altima either. Power, styling, features, etc. are pretty much whats expected for this class, nothing more. These cars are all very close in terms of performance and price, even if you want to pretend the Malibu is miles behind.

Terrell

You guys act like the Genesis is such an original design. Hyundai has stolen design cues from Honda as well, and Mercedes, and Volkswagen, and Acura, and BMW, and Infiniti, the list goes on. The Honda looks hella good in my opinion and it looks very promising. I cant wait for the Sport version!!

Veloster

I really like the new look and think Honda will continue to sells lot of them. Honda just needs to remain competitive with Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford and not even worry about cars like the Malibu which aren't competitive.

alex

If the road noise is considerably softened inside the cabin, then this car is mine! Unfortunately road noise at high speeds has remained high on all honda models in the past years, as if the engineers couldnt care less about this important issue.

george

Underwhelming, dull and uninspired styling that perhaps places at best the Accord sedan 2nd to last place in styling ss it just edges out the Camry. The interior still is not as attractive as attractive as the Optima. Without question, Fusion, Optima, Mazda 6 wins the styling contest. I like the push button start and the rear a/c vents but it should be offered in the all tirm levels rather than only the expensive ex and touring models. Also, I hate the fact that Honda again chose to cheapen the Accord feature wise but not offering HID lights or the ELS sound system just because it is afraid to cut into sales of its lousy Acura brand.

bob

The Accord still is found wanting in that Honda failed to offer split folding rear seats (this is a much more useful feature than the redundant extra screen on the dash)and if I'm expected to spend $30,000 plus for an Accord it should come standard with HID lights. The bland, dated styling is a deal breaker for me as I would not want to buy a car that already looks old.

HairyArse

Honda 2008 EX-L owner. Saw my first 2013 model today while driving. Came upon this site via Google search for "Honda Accord 2013 looks like hyundai". I still like the looks of my current Accord and still get compliments (AutoButler, car covers) on how nice it is. I was excited to see if this car could replace it. From my opinion, no, not even close. My close friend, an avid car junkie (as well) from South Africa, concurs.

- Anti-climatic kimchi.

Car lover

I drove the 2013 accord yesterday. It seems a bit more like the civic and is not as comfortable as the camry. The interior especially the front seems smaller. Granted, all the new gadgets are good it still seems to be a pony with the Ipad. The horse is still missing.

sam

Does anyone know if passenger capacity includes trunk area when seats are folded down?

DRJJ

The looks are great/upscale as usual for honda! What I'm not sold on is the CVT tranny (have to replace the whole sealed unit, higher revs more often) and the direct injection( lots of talk about carbon build up problems down the road which could be very expensive to solve FYI) The 2012/13 Camry SE 2.5 is conventional fuel injected traditonal transmission, tops on resale, etc so seems the safer choice by a decent margin-SE only FYI! Still wouldn't touch a domestic because of engine and drivetrain refinement, QC, resale(but they look great and are improving fast) the Koreans are moving up real fast but marginal on resale and direct injected! The German rigs drive/look fabulous but are still too unreliable & expensive to maintain-safety/fustration issue and reflected in resale! They're all starting to look alike because of aerodynamic demands for MPG-get used to lighter, slicker wedges, previews of coming attractions! Picky Engineer

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