Using its history, a backdrop of eight generations of models, the all-new 2013 Honda Accord plunges forward to reclaim its advantage in the affordable mid-size sedan segment
Over its 40-year production, the Honda Accord has been much like a simple machine — a spoon for instance. It was known to do its job and, do it well. However, like the spoon, we hardly talk about it, because it does its job so well. The 2013 Honda Accord remains that proverbial spoon, but this time around it is gets some silverware and much more than a can opener at the other end; it is finally here to make some news. We drove the top-spec V6 Sport variant a couple of weeks ago and here below is a compilation of our notes on the car.
Previously, the Accord was known for its safe design; there was nothing sensual or provocative about it. It used to win the mid-size beauty pageant by way of TKO or Technical Knock Out. There is never much pride in that.
Fast forward to 2013 and the Accord exteriors speak another language. It has been nipped and tucked in all the right places, the creases are sharper and the lines are tighter. It has drawn in a degree of sporty allure that almost flirts with the eye. It also draws more of a resemblance with its upscale cousin, the Acura. A good thing, we say!
Encased in those headlamps clusters are sci-fi looking LED projector headlamps (a first for a Honda vehicle) and LED daytime running lights. The cluster looks rather futuristic and could have easily been described by Michael Crichton in one of his literary creations. Separating the headlamps is a very distinct 2-bar grille that is cradled under a chrome U-bar. You also have functional fog lamps in the lower fascia and the chrome splashed front splitter — nice touch!
The profile of the new Accord shares familiar lines with the predecessor — not much has changed. At the rear end, you have LED tail lamps that merge well with the chrome bar at the trunk tip, and to convey the vitality and athleticism of the V6, the Sport model comes with chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes and a lip spoiler.
It is also worth mentioning that, in an effort to reduce road noise and imp-rove aerodynamics, the windscreen wipers have been tucked in deeper and a panel gap tolerance of 1 mm has been maintained. Talk about attention to detail.
You can enter the Accord using the smart access function on the key — a key that would easily look part of a luxury sedan. To crank up the engine, all you need to do is press the sporty red start/stop button that reminisces one on the high-performance Civic Type-R and S2000.
The driver gets to grip a nicely finished, leather-wrapped 4-spoke steering wheel; that kind of leather makes it to the shift lever as well. The cabin space upfront is welcoming and complementing the space are comfortable, well-accommodating seats. The driver’s seat gets 8-way power adjustability while the front passenger has to make do with a 4-way arrangement. The Accord has an in-dash, 8-inch infotainment screen in all models and the higher models get a second capacitive screen with touch sensitivity controls for audio, air conditioning etc.
The interior has been treated to a fair dose of Feng Shui in its own way; everything has been strategically placed, buttons knobs, pulls, levers etc.
The new Accord is actually shorter than the predecessor by 60mm and the wheelbase is only down by 25mm. However, legroom has improved by 32mm and cargo space has gone up by 22litre. And as with the outgoing model, the rear cabin easily accommodates three adults.
The Accord comes with a choice of eight paint schemes. We say opt for the darker shades — they enhance the sporty styling better.
The standard 2.4-litre inline 4-cylinder engine is quite fulfilling and will easily help with your duties in the city and on the highway. The engine on this Sport model is a 3.5-litre V6 engine and, yes folks, this has the much-talked-about i-VTEC technology. Peak power is rated at 276 bhp at 6,200 rpm and top torque of 340 Nm drops in at 4,900 rpm. This engine is quite the gem; it is smooth and provides generous thrust throughout the rev-range. It is only let down by the fact that the Accord is a front-wheel drive car and that takes away some pulling power due to loss of traction, typical to front-wheel drive cars.
At the line, if you are heavy on the throttle, you get a decent amount of wheel spin and off you go to a 100 km/h in about 7 seconds… although the screeching noise from the tyres will inform law enforcement authorities of bad behaviour, quicker than usual.
The new car’s EPS or Electric Power Steering has replaced the hydraulic variety of the old car. Honda says that the ratios have been made sportier, but the change is hardly noticed. Overall, the Accord, with its 18-inch wheels and 235/45R18 tyres, provide sufficient traction around turns and you will find that the driving experience won’t disappoint in the company of sports coupes and sedans. The ride quality is good too. It will get you home after a tired day at work, quiet and comfortably. It soaks up bumps and undulations like it is second nature.
The 4-cylinder might be a bit of a marathoner but it was obvious that the V6 model was going to suffer a little at the pump. Honda claim a mixed cycle fuel economy of 7.8 l/100km giving the car a range of 800-plus km but, trust me, with the kind of power this V6 puts out, you would be seeing the petrol station more often than you think.
This new-generation Accord — besides satisfying the basic necessities of a mid-size sedan — has a few tricks up its sleeve.
The higher models, like this V6 sport, get intelligent dual zone climate control. And unlike the Civic which suffers from weak air conditioning, the HVAC system in this car keeps this 5-seater greenhouse cool and comfortable.
The car is equipped with a 7-speaker audio system with aux-in for your smart phone or music player and a USB port to plug in your pen drive.
The basic safety requirements are met in the Accord, with eight airbags, parking sensors and ISOFIX mounts for child seats. Besides that, you also get a rearview camera. The Honda Lane Watch also makes its appearance here, which effectively shows your blind spot on the multi-media screen via a camera mounted on the sideview mirror. The Accord comes with ABS, VSA and other complex abbreviations that spell ‘safety’ for people like you and me.
You also get a fancy — but less useful — rear window power sunshade and cruise control, to pacify your cramping right foot on long journeys.
Open up the boot and you get a usable 439-litre cargo volume. This may not be class-leading but would certainly accommodate more than just a suitcase and knick knacks.
The 2013 Honda Accord is a monarch in a socialist regime. With hallmarks like interior space, reliability and value, it will serve the honest working man or woman with the most for his or her investment. The fact that the Accord is in the beginning of its life cycle and that this shape will remain for a good half-decade makes it, yet again, a compelling choice in the mid-size segment.
Oh! And for analogies sake, it no longer is just a simple spoon. The 2013 Honda Accord has become the automotive equivalent of the Swiss army knife.
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