The September meeting of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association featured a presentation of the all-new 2013 Honda Accord at The St. Regis Atlanta. Along with her colleagues from Honda, southeastern public relations representative Sara Pines provided details on the completely redesigned ninth-generation version of the popular midsize sedan and coupe, with an in-depth look at everything from the Accord’s new drivetrains to its internet-based HondaLink technology.
Like its predecessor, the new Accord is available with a choice of 4-cylinder or V6 engines, and both are more efficient than those they replace. The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is all new. It features fuel-saving direct injection and produces 185 horsepower and 181 lb-ft torque, or 189 horsepower and 182 lb-ft with an optional freer-flowing exhaust. It’s coupled with either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT, the first continuously variable transmission used in the Accord. With the 4-cylinder and the CVT, the Accord is EPA-rated at 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway. With the manual, the 4-cylinder Accord gets 24 mpg city, 34 mpg highway.
Although the V6 is not a new engine, it is significantly updated for more power. Plus, it uses Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management program to save fuel. In the Accord sedan, the 278-horsepower V6 is paired exclusively with a conventional six-speed automatic. In the Accord Coupe, buyers can choose the automatic or a six-speed manual. Fuel economy with the V6 tops out at an EPA-rated 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
Better fuel economy is partially a result of improvements to the Accord’s body structure, specifically the reduction of weight thanks to extensive use of high-strength steel. More than half of the new Accord’s body is made from the higher-grade metal, which saves weight but provides other benefits, too. For example, high-strength steel increases rigidity, which in turn improves handling. It also allows designers to use thinner pillars. That means better visibility for the driver, improving passive safety.
In fact, Honda’s designers eschewed the steeply raked look that is now popular among sedans, choosing instead of a more upright greenhouse. The design still optimizes aerodynamics, but avoids some of the visibility pitfalls that plague these sleeker styles. Still, the new Accord is decidedly modern, with bold lines that suggest motion and available touches like LED running lights. Although its exterior dimensions are slightly smaller than its predecessor’s, cabin space is as good or better than the outgoing model.
The 2013 Accord boasts new technology, too. HondaLink allows users to enjoy the connected features of their smartphones through a simple, safe and intuitive interface in the vehicle. The platform provides access to Facebook or Aha radio, with more apps expected in the future. Bluetooth handsfree and a 8-inch multi-information display are standard in the new Accord, and LaneWatch, which gives the driver an expanded view from a camera mounted on the passenger side mirror, is available for the first time.
The 2013 Honda Accord is already arriving in dealers’ showrooms. The four-cylinder base sedan starts at $21,680, and the top-of-the-range Touring model with a V6 is priced at $33,430. The Accord Coupe starts at $23,350.
GAAMA thanks Sara Pines and Honda for showing us the new Accord and hosting the September luncheon.
Photography courtesy of Dave May. See the full gallery.