Honda releases first photos of 2013 Accord sedan

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Back in the '80s, Honda's four-door Accord was a midsize sedan style leader. Its progressive, wedge-shaped lines capped off with sporty pop-up headlamps made it popular, while strong performance combined with rock solid reliability became legend. Now, three decades later that legend lives on in an Accord experiencing sales results that are still some of the best in the midsize class, but hot competition from Korean and the U.S. carmakers, not to mention its Japanese rivals and the lone German are eroding Honda's market share.

Everyone knows that styling sells in the auto industry, just look at the success of Hyundai's sleekly sculpted Sonata. Honda has taken note, and its ninth-generation Accord is self-proclaimed to be its best ever.

"This car is the most sculpted and the most dynamic Accord yet," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda.

Of course, it hardly matters what Honda thinks. After all, every mother sees her baby as beautiful. What matters is what you think. Does it grab your heart and cause you to run down to your local Honda dealer to trade in your old Accord, or more importantly to Honda, say goodbye to your ageing Camry, Sonata, Altima, Fusion, Optima, Malibu, Passat or Sebring/200? Styling plays a big part in conquesting sales from other brands, after which a reputation for reliability, good performance, impressive features and overall user-friendliness allows practical objectiveness to justify making the purchase.

Pulling eyeballs are details like LED daytime running lamps, headlights and taillights, tastefully applied chrome trim and a curving character line down each side that ties these key elements together, while pragmatists will be satiated with news that the 2013 Accord is smaller overall, benefiting efficiency, yet larger on the inside, with a more luxurious ambience.

"Following Honda's long-held philosophy of 'man maximum, machine minimum,' the beautiful exterior evolved from a focus on interior space and the needs of the people inside it," added Poponi.

Under the 2013 Accord's curvaceous hood will be an all-new lineup of powertrains, upping output as well as fuel efficiency. The new engine family is dubbed "Earth Dreams" for their lighter collective carbon footprint, with Automotive News having recently reported a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to Honda's current engine lineup. The report also suggested Honda will move to more fuel-efficient Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs), although it didn't state which cars would receive them. CVTs have worked well for Nissan's Altima, so an Accord with a CVT would at least be proven acceptable in the marketplace. Additionally, talk continues about the return of the Accord Hybrid, albeit one that focuses more on fuel-efficiency than performance, while some reports even conjecture the inclusion of a 1.6-litre diesel with 220 pound feet of torque in the North American market. Of course, Volkswagen's Passat TDI has already proven that new clean-diesel technology can be popular in the midsize class, but then again what works for VW's unique clientele may not appeal to Honda's customers.

What we know for sure is that the 2013 Accord will be available with some state of the art safety technology such as Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), and Honda's exclusive LaneWatch blind spot detection.

More detailed information about the redesigned 2013 Accord will be available closer to the model's official launch in the fall.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Honda, 2013, Accord, $20,000 - $29,999, $30,000 - $39,999,

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