2013 Accord Gets Honda Back in Consumer Reports’ Good Graces

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Well that didn’t take long. Consumer Reports is well-known in automotive circles for having an affinity for the Japanese automakers, particularly Honda. That’s why we knew Honda was in trouble last year when CR thoroughly panned the redesigned Civic, failing to give the car its “recommended” rating.

Complaints from CR, along with a whole host of other automotive outlets prompted Honda to rush out an unprecedented update just a year later. The 2013 Civic was introduced at last month’s Los Angeles International Auto Show, to a much better reception. With the fate of the 2012 Civic being so poor, many wondered about the fate of the 2013 Accord. Fortunately, Honda seems to have gotten it right.

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The 2013 Accord is good-looking inside and out, something we couldn’t say about previous Honda designs. We hope the Accord’s stylists follow the same template for future Honda models. In addition to visual updates, the 2013 model saw a lot of changes to its specification sheet as well. To boost fuel economy, Honda debuted the new 4-cylinder engine mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This is a trick that Nissan has used to great effect in models like the Altima. Enthusiasts generally hate CVTs, but you can’t knock their efficiency.

With this setup, the new Accord returns 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. These changes are enough to put the 4-cylinder Accord back on top in CR’s testing. “Honda missed the mark with other redesigned models in recent years, but it nailed this one,” said Jake Fisher, director, Consumer Reports Auto Test Center. The 2013 Accord was compared against the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry for the magazine’s February issue, which goes on sale December 27th. As far as the V6 models go, CR rates the Accord highly, but still gives the top spot to the Toyota Camry. Overall, CR says the Accord is “convincing evidence that Honda may be back on track.” It looks like that may be the case. However, our pick in the mid-size segment would go to the 2013 Ford Fusion.

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