April 18, 2014

2013 Honda Accord Touring V-6: ‘Delicious’ to drive, top of the line

2013 Honda Accord Touring V-6

2013 Honda Accord Touring V-62013 Honda Accord Touring V-6Honda Accords long have been renowned for peerless reliability, durability, refinement (if you didn’t mind a little road noise), and excellent fuel economy. They never really matched the comparable models turned out by Honda’s upscale brand, Acura. Until now.

Redesigned for 2013, the Accord exemplifies everything American consumers liked about this model since the 1980s, and none of its deficiencies. The new Accord, still made in Marysville, Ohio, is smooth-riding, quiet, nimble and fast. The Touring V-6 example we test-drove carried an Acura-like price tag of $34,220. It had an Acura-like personality to match.

A friend of ours bought a new Accord a couple years ago and opted for the 4-cylinder engine. Our test car had the 278-horsepower V-6, and its performance was delicious — smooth, quiet and seriously powerful. But the Four has at least one advantage: it has a timing chain, which likely will last the life of the car, while the V-6 uses a timing belt that must be replaced at considerable cost, along with the water pump, every 105,000 miles. And if the belt happens to break while the engine is running, that fine Honda power plant is transformed instantly into a boat anchor.

The Four is also more fuel-efficient and costs less up front. The base Accord LX, with the 2.4-liter Four and 6-speed manual transmission, starts at $21,680.

Honda’s approach is to offer 11 different incarnations of the Accord, but to offer no options. Our top-of-the-line Accord Touring V-6 featured a long standard-equipment list. Among the goodies: leather upholstery, navigation, audio touch-screen system, Bluetooth hands-free link, Pandora Internet radio interface, XM satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, power heated seats, and adaptive cruise control.

The Accord is also available as a stylish two-door coupe, but it costs more than the sedan. It ranges in price from $23,350 to $32,350.

Our test car’s standard-equipment package included a novel safety feature called LaneWatch. If you’re in the left lane on a four-lane highway and decide to merge right, or if you make a right turn on a city street, a camera mounted on the outside passenger-side mirror activates when you flip the turn-signal lever. If there’s a car or other obstacle in your blind spot, you’ll see it on the audio screen in the middle of the dash. LaneWatch is one of the most user-friendly and effective safety features we’ve seen.

The Accord V-6 with 6-speed automatic transmission is rated at 21 mpg city, 34 highway. That’s pretty good for so high-powered a car, but not as good as the Four, which delivers 27/36. 

One of the Accord’s many strengths is its luggage capacity: 15.8 cubic feet. The passenger compartment is roomy and well-appointed, too.

The Accord is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick. Being a Honda, it’s a safe bet that it’s reliable, though frequency-of-repair data aren’t yet available on this new model.

Steven Macoy (semacoy@gmail.com) is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel, Conn.

Price: $34,220

Engine: 3.5-liter V-6, 278 horsepower, 252 lb.-ft. torque

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Drive: Front-wheel

Weight: 3,559 lb.

Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear

Wheels: 17-inch alloy

Tires: 215/55R17 94V all-season

Seating capacity: 5

Luggage capacity: 15.8 cu. ft.

Fuel capacity: 17.2 gallons

Fuel economy: 21 mpg city, 34 mpg highway

Fuel type: Regular