The Extra Mile: 2013 Honda Accord Touring
Base Price: $33,430
Price As tested: $34,220
This week, we're behind Honda's all-new generation 2013 Accord, delivered in Touring Edition dress which happens to be the most expensive Accord available.
Accord enthusiasts, who have waited eagerly for the all-new new model, have been rewarded for their patience. Explicitly, the new Accord is perhaps one of the best cars Honda has ever built, featuring a sleek new design that is sporty yet classical and re-defines the amount of luxury a car builder can put into a vehicle that starts at just $21,680.
Arriving on our shores in 1976 as a 2-door 68-horsepower 2,000 lb. compact, Accord quickly became a Honda best seller in the compact and mid-size class. Today's Accord, which is built in Marysville, Ohio, and was the very first foreign car built in America, has grown in dimensions (3,500 lbs.) and horsepower (278), along with a bevy of standard features many higher priced luxury cars charge extra for.
Competing in the popular mid-size Camry, Taurus, Malibu, Sonata, Avenger and Altima class ... which just happens to be the most sought after "best selling" category in automobile manufacturing ... Accord is a staunch opponent and ready to knock Camry off its list as the number one seller.
Our Accord Touring tester features no options whatsoever, as the top line model comes fully loaded. It features a unique high-tech Honda "Lane Watch," which activates a camera on the passenger side that allows the driver to see what is going on from front to rear on the passenger side. "Lane Watch" helps when re-entering the right lane after passing and also assists in parallel parking. When stopped for a red-light, the system sees small children or dogs and a host of other happenings. Your Honda dealer will gladly explain both standard and optional high tech features, which are many.
At this point, everyone's perhaps thinking that the aforementioned base LX Accord doesn't feature much at just $21,680.
Think again, sans the "Lane Watch" which is available on the EX series ($24,605) or higher.
For $21,680 Accord LX comes standard with a 185-hp 2.4-Liter four-cylinder, vehicle stability assist, 4-wheel disc ABS, traction control, 6-speed manual transmission (automatic CVT transmission is $800 more), Eco assist system, hill start assist, 16-inch alloy wheels, security system with remote entry, chrome door handles, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, SMS Text Message, steering wheel-mounted cruise, audio, phone and i-MID Controls, Pandora internet radio, all the airbags, USB audio interface, MP3, eight-inch 480x320 resolution display screen with rearview safety camera and chrome exhaust tips. Fuel mileage is 27 city and 36 highway with the CVT transmission, which I recommend over the 6-speed manual, which delivers 24 and 34 MPG, respectively.
Consumers can then move up the Accord ladder to Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6 and top line Touring V6, the latter loaded with numerous luxury amenities and a powerful V-6 under the hood. There is also a two-door coupe for the younger set, which is equally impressive.
Speaking of the V6, get ready for some real Honda horsepower and good fuel mileage, too. The 278 horsepower feels more like 350 for whatever reason, and the non-CVT six-speed automatic is properly geared for both performance and economy.
On the highway, Accord Touring is poised and ready for any merge or curve you throw at it thanks to a front strut and rear multi-link independent suspension. You'll enjoy secure handling and a ride that is quiet and refined with room for five adults.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 109.3 inches, 3,559 lb. curb weight, 15.8 cu. ft. of cargo space and a 17.2 gallon fuel tank.
There's little not like about Honda's all new Accord, and you owe it to yourself to see and drive on if you are shopping this market. You won't be disappointed.
Likes: All new design, power, safety, ride, interior, fuel mileage
Dislikes: $30K Accords may result in shoppers moving to sibling Acura.
(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist).