Change comes slowly at Honda – particularly given that the company’s research and development budget got cut significantly during the economic downturn. The models we’ve seen today are a result of those cuts – such as the “all-new” sixth-generation Civic. The 2013 Accord is a more significant update than that car, but doesn’t appear to be an all-new, clean slate model.
A long time stalwart in the mid-size segment, the Accord is a bread-and-butter model for Honda. The problem is that the mid-size segment is fiercer than ever before; Accord has fallen behind given a raft of more stylish competitors. Conservative design has always worked for Honda in the past though, and that is the modus operandi for the 2013 model. Although we haven’t seen the interior, it is already a more meaningful update than the 2012 Civic. All-new though? Not quite.
That greenhouse is the same, and the overall shape is similar. The details are what is important though. Body panels all-around have been significantly reworked for a more sculpted appearance, a la Honda’s press release. So while not exciting, it does look good. The new headlights up front add LED and projector elements for a dose of modernity. Out back, the taillights are LED again (something the 2006 Accord had, then ditched to save money) and look very Genesis-like. Will this cut it in the mid-size segment?
We doubt it will conquest many sales, but it will likely keep loyal buyers on board. It is definitely better than the dowdy previous-generation-Hyundai-like design of the current model. The ridiculous reflectors on the trunk since 2011 were a particularly egregious offense. We’ll see what’s in store for the interior of the 2013; right now only exterior images have been released. Powertrain options will include a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder, a 3.5-liter V-6 and a plug-in hybrid. Honda says it expects each of these to “achieve class-leading fuel efficiency.” A Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is on the docket to help boost fuel economy. Stay tuned for more details. We know you’re just on pins and needles to find out…..