The 9th generation Accord is supposed to fix all the screw-ups of the previous 8th generation Accord, which was a subpar car that was only bought due to its name. So does this semi-new Accord do its task? And does it do it well?
(Full disclosure: Honda wanted me to drive the Accord so badly they built the exact combo my dad wanted and sent it to the dealer literally a stone’s throw away from my house. And then to seal the deal they offered $5,000 off sticker price.)
So what is this car, for the uneducated few out there? The Accord is the main rival to the infamous “racecar,” otherwise known as the Toyota Camry. No, this one is not grounded to the grounded, and no, this one does not have an abnormally large exhaust tip.
In around the early 2010s, Honda realized people weren’t going to buy their cars because of the name anymore. It’s as if Honda realized customers actually did shopping nowadays and didn’t just say “give me a white car.” So Honda decided that to lure in customers, they would give the Accord fresh styling, a whole list of safety features, and a more compact size. And this worked.
For 2013, Honda has given the Accord an extreme do-over. For starters, the old, inefficient 2.4 liter inline-4 was thrown out for a 2.4 liter inline-4. Now this might sound like going backwards. But it isn’t.
Honda has given this motor direct injection. And that’s all I know because I don’t know anything else. Sorry. Here’s a link if you want an actual car expert to explain it.
For this redesign Honda also strengthened the chassis to pass the feared small-offset crash test, and it showed. This Accord passed with the best ranking possible from the IIHS. Honda also integrated firsts for the Accord (and possibly the whole brand) with technologies like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, LaneWatch (it’s a camera that watches your right blind-spot), and radar cruise control. Honda also debuted the highly controversial dual-screen setup. But we’ll get to that later.
This car clearly wasn’t designed by Pininfarina. You might even call it dull. But this is a family sedan. And surprisingly it looks handsome for what it is. Somehow Honda has managed to pull off good looks and keep good visibility, a difficult task to do in today’s window slit era. There’s not one offensive angle on this car. Admittedly this isn’t going to be as stunning as a Mazda6, but of course it’s not. It’s a Honda, and Hondas are made for the people, and it’s hard to please people, so you can’t take risks.
The interior is where you’re going to spend most of your time with this car. And Honda shows that they acknowledge this. The pillars are nice and thin, and the windowsills are low, so you can see out of this car really easily. The leather is nowhere near Bentley-grade, but for raising a family, it cleans easily and doesn’t wrinkle. There is hard grainy plastic, but not in areas where you touch all the time. Other hard plastics are used in an attempt to make the interior upscale, as shown by the picture above, which shows the silver “aluminum-look” plastic, the gloss black plastic around the second screen, and wood-finished plastic. The instrumentation is really easy to read, and buttons and knobs are large enough so you don’t fiddle around all day looking for them.
Now for the elephant in the room: the dual-screen. It actually works well. The large, 8” screen next to the instrument cluster is to view song name, vehicle settings, caller ID, clock, music sources, average MPG readouts, and a custom wallpaper if you want to. The second screen, in-between the air vents, is to select radio presets. It works, but the system occasionally lags a bit.
The Accord is not designed to beat Doug’s Skyline. It is built to haul children to school. But when the time comes and you need to pass a soccer mom in her Odyssey, this engine has some decent acceleration. When you stomp on the pedal, you definitely get pushed back in the seat, which is surprising considering what engine this is in. And the sound it makes is great.
They stop the car. They squeak.
It’s comfortable enough so that you can fall asleep and stiff enough so that you don’t get seasick.
My dad tells me it handles well and makes the car feel light. I’ll take his word for it.
Gearbox (or rather, lack of it): 10/10
CVTs get a lot of flack from enthusiasts for being soulless. Well they haven’t experienced this CVT yet. It’s so smooth that you would think it’s a regular auto transmission. And there’s no whine from it (see Nissan). It’s the first CVT to…not feel like a CVT, if you understand me.
For the exact price of $28,785, this thing is loaded with features not even luxury cars have at $45k.
Let’s start with LaneWatch. LaneWatch is a little camera mounted to the right side mirror and turns on when you flick on your right turn signal or turn it on manually, and shows what’s in your blindspot.
This camera on the windshield monitors what’s in front of the car and issues lane departure and forward collision warnings effectively. The lane departure is annoying so we shut it off, but the FCW works well.
Of course, you have luxuries such as a 3-angle backup camera, memory driver’s seat, heated power front seats, and XM radio standard.
The exhaust is ok. The sound system is ok. But the sound system occasionally plays the weirdest sounds possible and distorts all audio cause I’m guessing the active noise cancellation isn’t working properly and is interfering. Although getting on the gas produces a nice hum throughout the cabin.
For $28k, the Accord does basically everything perfectly. It’s a luxury car on a budget, makes you look sharp when taking people out to lunch or dinner, and is sporty when you want to. It’s also a great crossover substitute, as the rear seats fold down.
And most importantly, it’s a master of the school run.
Engine: 2.0 liter, direct-injected four cylinder
Power: 185 hp
Transmission: G-Design Shift CVT
0-60 MPH: 7.7 seconds (Honda tested)
Seating: 5 people
MPG: 27 city/36 highway
Note: This is my first Oppo review. Please leave any comments, suggestions, and criticism you have down below, and whether you want to see more or not.