2013 Honda Accord EX Sweet Shifting Six Speed>

Honda’s Accord sedan is one of those benchmark cars against which many others are measured. The 2013 Accord EX four-door, front-wheel-drive sedan had a full restyle that makes it a lot easier on the eyes and more modern than the previous edition.

The Accord EX, with a modern steel metallic exterior and black cloth interior, driven during the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway, features the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection, which gives it a usable 185-horsepower at 6400 rpm with 181 lb-ft of torque at 3900; redline is 6750. This particular car has Honda’s sweet-shifting six-speed manual transmission, with a light feel to the clutch and a smooth gate fore and aft. I wanted it; I got it!
The exterior of the 2013 is easy on the eyes with its sloping nose accented by requisite LED running lights and fog lamps, nice bulges at the front wheel wells, high and low bodyline strakes and an upswept rear. It exudes elegance and that form follows through to the interior, where the office is efficiently arrayed with the customary gauges – including temperature – and a center stack filled with audio and climate controls. A large screen sits at the head of the center stack and gives vehicle info as well as audio info when not fitted with navigation (as this car was delivered).
I still don’t understand why Honda thinks that, just because I want a manual transmission, it means I don’t want all the other bells and whistles? Those of us who like to shift for ourselves also want to know where we’re going and like to listen to satellite radio, rather than using the poor iPhone for audio diversions. The EX does have a true proximity key (just keep that fob in your pocket), two-way power sunroof, one-touch front windows, automatic lights, power driver’s seat, air flow to the commodious rear seats, pockets in the setbacks and cup holders in all four doors.
Ah, but never mind, it’s still a great, fun car to drive. The MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear independent suspensions are tuned for a compliant ride but still allow quick cornering; the electric steering is a bit on the light and vague side (typical of the breed) but most drivers will appreciate that, together with the 38.1-foot turning circle and the 3267-pound curb weight of this car. Braking is instantaneous and without drama. Its 10-spoke alloy rims ride on 215/55R-17″ rubber that fit the Accord perfectly.

I never needed to refill fuel for this car after driving it from the San Francisco airport to visit a friend and then up to Sonoma; after four days and well over 200 miles I hadn’t even seen the needle drop near half a tank, so I’m assuming the 24/34/28-mpg figures are accurate from the 17.2-gallon tank. The 2013 Honda Accord EX drinks regular unleaded, keeping costs down at the pump. There’s an ECO button that keeps the driver from mashing pedals (little response) and helps keep mileage up.
Everything we brought to the races for the extended weekend fit neatly in the 15.8-cubic-foot trunk with plenty of space to spare. There is no 60/40 split – this is a formal sedan after all. I was able to hook up my iPhone easily to the USB at the base of the center stack – there’s also a 12-volt plug and there’s a second 12-volt in the nice center console.

Driving back and forth to the airport and to and from the track each day on country roads was a grand experience in the Accord. Even in the numbing traffic that’s a keystone of San Francisco, the 2013 Honda Accord EX was a pleasure to drive. I really enjoyed it with the manual transmission; a continuously variable automatic trans is also available but just not my style.
Honda did a great job with this restyle and is always fabulous when it comes to packaging its top-of-the-line sedan. No doubt in my mind that the Accord, particularly in its current guise, remains a benchmark sedan.

By Anne Proffit