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Room, With a View

The 2013 Honda Accord

Back in 1978 I was in the market for a new car. A friend of mine had just bought—horrors!—a new Datsun 510, and I was very impressed with the fit and finish. So I put Japanese cars on the short list to replace my (ugh) Mercury Bobcat. Eventually I found myself at a local Honda dealer, behind the wheel of a new Accord hatchback. (Yes, they made them back then.) Again, very impressed with the car. The dealer? Not so much, so no sale.

The Accord grew in both size and stature over the years into one of the best-selling cars in America. For years now it has consistently been in the hunt for the number one spot on the list. And now, Honda has introduced the ninth generation of Accord for model year 2013. It will not disappoint Accord fans. Maybe even make some new ones.

The new Accord is available as both a coupe and a four-door sedan. I stopped over to Don Davis Honda in Amherst last week, and checked out an Accord Sport sedan with sales consultant Leslie Avery. The Sport is the second-least expensive new Accord, above the base LX and below the EX, EX-L, and Touring. Look under the hood of the Sport (and all Accords except for the EX-L V-6 and Touring) and you’ll find a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine staring back at you. Shades of 1978! The Accord is right in step with most of the cars in its class in offering the smaller engine. But, don’t worry, the four-banger isn’t short on power. The Sport version is rated at 189 horsepower. Nor is it thirsty in the fuel department, with an EPA rating of 26/35 miles per gallon city/highway. Not too shabby for a car this size. The Sport comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission ($23,390), with a Continuously Variable automatic transmission also available ($24,190). Additional equipment on the Sport includes: 18-inch alloy wheels, which replace the 16-inchers on the LX; a body-colored deck spoiler; fog lights; leather-wrapped steering wheel; and a ten-way adjustable power driver’s seat.

And that driver’s seat—I felt right at home sitting in it. Even though I’m primarily a small-car guy, I found that sitting in the new Accord was a a very pleasant place to be. The interior, which is generously roomy, is also attractive and well laid-out. The view out the windows is unhindered by styling gimmicks, and everything you need is well within reach and easily figured out. Once I had the driver’s seat adjusted, I climbed into the back seat and was again surprised by the amount of room, both head and leg. And I think you could even get two other people back there comfortably. I haven’t been able to say this lately, but here is a car I wouldn’t mind sitting in the back seat of while someone drives me to Florida. Soon.

Styling-wise I think the new Accord is a big improvement over the previous two or three generations. It’s not as daring as some of the competition (Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima), nor is it groundbreaking in any respect. But it’s something no owner will be ashamed to be seen in, and—this is probably more important to the buyer than the seller—it’s going to age well. As zoomy as the new Sonata may be, how it will look in a few years remains to be seen. Accords have always been on the conservative side of the styling road, and so far it’s served Honda well. And Honda owners. The 2013 Accord may be a totally new car but, nothing has changed.

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Read more of Jim Corbran's You Auto Know every other week in Artvoice, and more frequently on Artvoice Daily.

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