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We drive the Honda Accord Touring V6

by Ali Arsham
Saturday, February 23, 2013

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2013 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is a very important vehicle for Honda.  It is the second bestselling car in the US, selling about 29,000 cars in just last month alone.  When Honda decided to create the all-new 2013 Accord, they had to be careful not to mess with a great product.  Fortunately, the ninth generation Accord is more luxurious and better performing than any Accord in its 37 year history.

Interestingly, the new Accord is actually shorter than its predecessor while maintaining its voluminous interior room.  The 2013 Accord's unit-body uses more high-strength steel than any Accord in the model's history. This gives the Accord high structural strength for improved ride quality and more precise cornering.  Lots of work has gone into the aerodynamics of the new car, including expanded use of under-covers, which directly benefits fuel efficiency.  Other advances include available LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, mirror-mounted turn signals, and an expanded view driver's mirror that increases the driver's field of vision by 4.2 degrees.

The interior is a step up
A new interior was designed for the Accord with the goal of raising the luxury level.  The previous Accord never felt cheap inside but the new car has a richer feeling.  Although the Accord's length has decreased over three inches and the wheelbase is almost an inch shorter, key interior dimensions grow.  While the Accord’s sleeker shape decreases headroom slightly, rear legroom increases over an inch, both front and rear shoulder room increase, and trunk space is up over a cubic foot.  The trunk features a flatter floor and more space.

There are now even more standard features in the Accord.  The LX sedan comes with dual zone climate control, remote entry system, power locks, tilt and telescoping wheel, 160 watt stereo with USB interface and Bluetooth and rear view camera.  Our top of the line Touring model came with features that you would not find in full luxury cars a few years ago such as navigation system and adaptive cruise control.  You also get Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), heated front seats, 360 watt stereo, leather seats and steering wheel and more. 

What’s even nicer about Honda is that they understand that the small details matter.  Inside the Accord, all tactile surfaces, from the interior door handles to the seat controls to the instrument panel, steering wheel, and switchgear are designed to be pleasing to the touch and easy to operate. The upper instrument panel is now one seamless piece of soft-touch material, the product of a new in-house Honda manufacturing process. This soft upper pad has an improved fit, a luxurious finish and an integrated passenger-side airbag cover. 

2013 Honda Accord
The interior is also luxury car quiet now.  Key contributors to the Accord’s quiet interior are Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC). The two systems are comprised of dual overhead microphones, an ANC/ASC electronic processor, and the audio system’s four door-mounted speakers. ASC/ANC operates whenever the Accord is running, even if the audio system is turned off.  ANC is designed to reduce low frequency sound in the cabin caused mainly by the roughness of the road surface. The overhead microphones pick up sound waves and send them to the ANC/ASC processor, which creates and sends a precisely timed "reverse phase" audio signal to a special amplifier.  In turn, the amplifier drives the door speakers to cancel the original noise signal.  ASC is a related technology designed to improve the engine sound quality by making the sound pressure level more linear as the engine revs increase.  Typically, engine noise doesn’t increase in a linear way with rising revs; instead there can be many resonances that create peaks and valleys in the sound pressure level and an uneven sound.  ASC helps smooth out the engine sound by creating a same-phase or reverse-phase sound signal as needed and sending it to the door speakers.  Though the system offers benefits from idle to redline, it makes the largest difference in the range between 1000 and 2000 rpm, where it lowers the sound pressure level by approximately 3-dB with an opposite-phase audio signal.

Under the hood of the Accord is a 2.4 liter four cylinder that uses a race car like 11.1:1 compression ratio to crank out 185 hp.  Our car came with the optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine that now delivers 278 horsepower at 6200 rpm (an increase of seven horsepower from last year) and 252 lb-ft. of torque at 4900 rpm. Torque is significantly improved between idle and the 4900-rpm torque peak, where the engine typically operates.  On V-6 models with an automatic transmission, the engine also features a new generation of Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) variable displacement technology and a special SOHC i-VTEC valvetrain.  Depending on driving conditions, the engine operates on three or all six cylinders to help boost fuel efficiency or power as needed.  You will be happy to know that the Accord is perfectly happy burning regular unleaded.

The improved engine needs an improved transmission and Honda engineers worked on that as well.  The 6-speed automatic transmission includes engineering enhancements aimed at improved performance and efficiency.  Expanded torque-converter multi-disc lock-up control improves the efficiency of power delivery and works with the new gear ratios to provide an improvement in fuel efficiency, as compared to a conventional design. 

The result of all of the work is a car that works even better than before.  With the 278 hp V6 engine, the Accord is actually pretty quick.  The new transmission is quick to respond and smooth in its operation.  Romp of the gas pedal and the Accord just accelerates like a sports car.  With about 3500 pounds to move and a solid torque band, the V6 Accord can get you out of trouble quickly and effortlessly. 

What is even better about the new powertrain is that fuel economy is improved.  Our V6 automatic car was rated at 34 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city.  We managed to get about 32 mpg on the freeway without even trying.

Accord prices start out at $21,680 for the Accord LX sedan.  Our top of the line Touring model will cost you $33,430 and our car was fully loaded with no options. 

After 37 years, the Accord is still the leader and arguably one of the best sedans in the world.  It does everything well and nothing poorly.  It is comfortable, roomy, efficient, quick, reliable, and affordable and has terrific resale value.  Honda has proven once again that you can’t go wrong with an Accord.

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