A bestseller gets a makeover
No matter how basic, boring, or slow a car may be; the Honda steering wheel and manual shifter (if equipped) can keep me happy in any traffic situation.
The Honda Accord has long since proven itself as one of the leaders in the industry. Not only is it right at the top of one of the most popular car segments, the Accord is a bestseller worldwide and an award winner year after year. Car & Driver Magazine does an annual 10-Best contest, in which the Accord has been an annual favourite for over 20 years straight. Being a sports car fanatic and auto enthusiast in my mid-twenties, I’ve never been overly interested in the four-door iteration of the Accord, nor has the thought of purchasing any its competitors (the Altima, Mazda6, etc.) crossed my mind. My personal needs aside, there’s something compelling my friends, neighbours, and colleagues to buy Accords left right and centre. I decided to test the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord Sport for the week to find out exactly what all the fuss is all about.
Honda put me in a volume seller of theirs; the 4-door Sport equipped with the automatic (CVT) transmission. Even though some are better than others, I have yet to experience a CVT transmission that I thoroughly enjoyed. This Accord however, was a different story. It’s powered by the 2.4L inline 4-cylinder which puts out a modest 189 horsepower. The Sport trim has paddle shifters which simulate 7 different gear ratios in the transmission. I personally would prefer a conventional 5 or 6-speed automatic (if for some reason I couldn’t get the regular 6-speed manual version), but this CVT is amongst the best in the business. This transmission operates so seamlessly that its gear-less nature is quickly forgotten.
The 2.4L K24 4-cylinder motor isn’t blisteringly fast, but the horsepower and torque combination gets you going quickly enough. Cruising on the highway is just as effortless as dealing with the boneheads on the roads during rush hour. The Accord’s modest and down-to-earth nature is actually calming to a point of soothing. The steering is unsurprisingly precise; Honda handling has always been a sweet spot for me. No matter how basic, boring, or slow a car may be; the Honda steering wheel and manual shifter (if equipped) can keep me happy in any traffic situation.
The Sport model in the Accord sedan lineup is the next step up from the base LX. It’s my favourite Accord to look at, with its gorgeous 18″ alloy wheels, fog lights, and tasteful lip spoiler. My tester was the Obsidian Blue Pearl with the black cloth interior, which would also be the exact choice I would opt for if I were in the market. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, an 8″ LCD display which allowed me to easily navigate through albums and playlists on my iPod. I would prefer a hidden USB port so that my mobile device wouldn’t be out in the open when I leave the car parked, but that’s just me being picky. The front seats (that are extremely supportive, might I add!) are heated, with power adjustability on the driver’s side.
An interesting feature worth noting is that even though the Accord Sport is a relatively basic model, it comes equipped with a reverse camera as standard equipment! The Ecological Drive Assist System, toggled by means of the “Econ” button located on the dashboard, controls the throttle response, climate control system, and transmission to allow for more efficient driving. This in turn obviously saves fuel. I spent the majority of my test week with this feature enabled, and averaged 7.8L/100km in combined driving. Not bad at all for a big 4-door that I wasn’t hypermiling.
Everything about the 2013 Accord is simplistic and easy. I would definitely like for Honda to develop their multimedia system to be a bit easier to use, but I’m not necessarily complaining. My neighbour has just purchased the manual transmission model of this car, and I can’t say he made a bad choice. With the stick, the Sport is a hair over $25,000. Factor in an extra $1,000 for the CVT “option”, but I can’t see why you would want to unless your significant other isn’t willing to drive manual.
It seems that in the past couple years, there are tons of new players in the market. Cars I feel are truly worthy competitors to the Accord include the new Mazda6, the Toyota Camry, the Kia Optima, and the Ford Fusion. We compared the more-expensive Accord Touring to the Mazda6 GT earlier this year, and found it essentially a draw. Even though the Sport is lacking a few of the toys that the Touring has, its availability with the row-your-own-gears transmission makes it a much better candidate against the rest of the pack. Honda should be proud; this new car is a job well done.
2013 Honda Accord Sport Gallery