The 2013 model-year is shaping up to be a showcase for midsize sedans. The Honda Accord and its fellow class leaders, the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima, are hitting the streets with redesigns — and highly touted new entries from Ford, Hyundai, Volkswagen and more have made the category almost impossibly competitive.
You can still count on the sedan and coupe for their proven track record of reliability and resale value, but the Accord has been outdone on many other fronts. The interior, for example, still features uninspiring surfaces and fabrics as well as an overloaded center stack. The cabin’s saving grace is its dimensions, which still lead the class, and optional leather upholstery that the Accord has always worn well.
The exterior styling strikes a nice balance between family-friendly utility and curvaceous aggression. The new sheet metal looks best on the coupe, where a rising shoulder line creates a wedge-like back end. The grille, headlights and taillights have grown but remain understated — standing in stark contrast to the new Camry.
The sedan and coupe combine to offer eight trim levels. The base-model LX includes 16-inch steel wheels, power everything, A/C, cruise control, and a six-speaker stereo with iPod and USB connectivity. The LX-P sedan and LX-S coupe add extras such as alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver’s seat and a six-CD changer. The SE sedan includes leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power-adjustable lumbar support for the driver.
Upgrading the trim level to EX or EX-L (pictured) ups the ante with bigger wheels, leather throughout, upgraded audio, Bluetooth, satellite radio and navigation, a backup camera and more.
Honda retuned the Accord’s base engine, a 2.4-liter inline four that starts with 177 hp at 161 lb.-ft. of torque, to add 13 horsies and one pound-foot of torque for the EX and EX-Ls. But those editions also add the option to upgrade to a 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 271 hp at 254 lb.-ft. of torque (251 with a stick shift).
Fuel economy remains at or near best-in-class across the lineup.
The 2013 Honda Accord is available now. Prices range from $21,480 for the LX sedan to a hair above $30,000 for the top-of-the-line V-6 coupe.