Now in its ninth generation, the 2013 Honda Accord still remains a solid buy for families looking for all-around value.
Boasting Honda’s new Earth Dreams eco-friendly powertrain technology, the Accord EX Sedan is the Asian automaker’s first direct-injected offering in the States, earning an enviable 36 mpg highway. Inside, the sedan comfortable fits a family of five, and comes loaded with smart standard features like a rearview camera, USB audio interface and Bluetooth connectivity. Though the Accord has gained about a thousand pounds since its introduction, the 2013 model manages to outperform its predecessors. That it can do so while actually using less fuel and producing fewer smog-forming emissions is a testament to just how much engineering R&D goes into a humdrum budget sedan. A 2013 Honda Accord provides interior space and safety on a par with the greatest luxury cars of just 15 or 20 years ago, at a price that, adjusted for inflation, has barely gone up since the 1990s.
Powered by the “Earth Dreams” direct-injected 189 horsepower 2.4 liter 4, our Accord EX felt decently peppy and was, crucially, more fun to drive than its closest rival, the Toyota Camry. This ninth generation of the Accord is actually slightly shorter in overall length than the outgoing model, a rare reversal of a trend. Hustling the Accord EX down a twisty road reveals a solid chassis, communicative steering and well placed controls, along the lines of the light, agile cars that made Honda’s reputation in the 80s and 90s. Fuel economy is an impressive EPA rated 27 city/ 36 highway and 30 overall. Based on our experience in mixed driving, those figures actually seem attainable, unlike with many cars we’ve tested whose “real-world” mileage falls well below the EPA sticker numbers.
Though our test car came with a CVT, we applaud Honda for continuing to offer manual transmissions in its midsized car. We don’t know who in America buys them, but, having briefly driven a 6-speed Accord, we can say that with its short throws, well weighted clutch and precise feel, its transmission remains as satisfying to use as the legendary stick-shifts that Honda produced for cars like the Integra and S2000.