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2013 Honda Accord EX-L Navi Review By John Helig

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2013 Honda Accord EX-L

The Auto Page
By John Heilig
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

Model: 2013 Honda Accord EX-L Navi
Engine: 2.4-liter DOHC I4
Horsepower/Torque: 185 hp @ 6,400 rpm/181 lb.-ft. @ 3,900 rpm
Transmission: CVT
Wheelbase: 109.3 in.
Length x Width x Height: 191.4 x 72.8 x 57.7 in.
Tires: P215/55R17
Cargo: 15.5 cu. ft.
Economy: 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway/18.6 mpg test
Fuel tank: 17.2 gal.
Curb wt.: 3,358 lbs.
Sticker: $30,785 (includes $$790 destination charge)

Bottom line: With a new total redesign, good power and handling, and a good price point, combined with great ride quality, the Honda Accord continues to be a serious contender in the mid-size segment.

Technology seems to be the key word to describe the 2013 Honda Accord. Oh sure, it has a new design and a great engine/transmission combination, but some of the new technology goodies will interest you.

One that interested me is called Lane Watch. Instead of a simple blind spot warning light in the right exterior mirrror, Honda has a camera that SHOWS you what's behind there. The camera displays its image on the "navi" screen, so as soon as you turn on your right turn signal, a video shows the road behind you on the right fading away. Of course, if there's something in that vicinity, you'll see that, too. This is all well and good, but several times the camera didn't shut off when the turn signal returned to the middle, forcing us to watch this silly video and turning a great safety feature into a distraction.

I'm certain this was an aberration, but it was weird anyway.

The left outside rearview mirror has a split mirror with a more convex surface on the outer edge, again acting like a blind spot monitor. At first, I thought the convexity wasn't enough, but it proved to be just right.

There are two screens in the center of the dash; one for the navigation system (and back-up camera and blind spot monitor) and one for audio. If you aren't using the top screen, it becomes a second audio screen.

The new Accord had an ECO switch by the driver's left knee that, we can assume, helps you drive more economically. The best aid to green driving, however, is the speedometer surround. In normal mode, it is white, but when you start driving more economically, it turns green. Like many of these features, it almost becomes a game trying to keep it green.

Among the new technology features is a redesigned Continuously Variable Transmission that helps contribute to the Accord's fuel efficiency. According to Honda, the new CVT uses G-Design Shift Logic that creates a connected feel and provides a more immediate acceleration response than conventional automatics or other CVT designs. In practice, it's almost seamless, providing a smooth driving experience.

I was thankful for the Forward Collision Warning, that alerts the driver when a potential collision is imminent. I didn't even know, until the lights at the base of the windshield went off. The Lane Departure Warning light and buzzer let me know when I was wandering (until I turned it off).

Under the hood of our tester was a 2.4-liter inline four rated at 185 horsepower. A 278 horsepower 35-liter V6 is also available, but I felt the four did a very good job. The engine is relatively quiet for a four. Something I have always liked about Honda engines is their quietness and precision, almost like a mechanical watch.

The combination of a great engine and transmission gave me the impression that the Accord would be great on a long trip, even though we didn't have any opportunities to take any.

There is one annoying feature. If you remotely unlock the doors, and take your time actually getting to the doors, like if you load the trunk or stop to talk to someone, the door automatically relock. A spokesperson for another manufacturer said it's a safety feature for older people who may forget that they unlocked the doors and simply walk way, but I'm not sure.

The driver sits behind a smart steering wheel and a large speedometer with its multi-colored rings. The dash is clear and intuitive. By that I mean every control is within reach and where you would expect it to be, so you don't have to be distracted from the road trying to find stuff.

Rear legroom is very good. There are assist handles at all four doors to aid in entry and exit. A pair of cup holders is in the pull-down rear arm rest. The rear seats also have good side support which, with the arm rest, feel very comfortable.

I was impressed with the trunk. It had good volume, plus pulls to lower the rear seat backs. There's a temporary spare under the floor. With the rear seats lowered, the cargo floor is flat, but there's a "frame" around the intersection between the trunk and the seat area that slightly limits the size of the objects you can place back there.

All in all, the redesigned Honda Accord looks good and has the features to go along with the good looks.

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