By Teddy Field
This car comparison is between two pillars of Cardom. One is the Godfather of all family sedans, and the other is the benchmark of the compact class. Other car makers use Honda’s two best-sellers as a template for their own every-man models. But most fall far short of the sheer attention to detail that you find in cars made by Honda. Both made in America, the new 2013 Honda Accord. and the just-restyled-again 2013 Honda Civic offer the perfect blend of Style, Performance, and Convenience. Or do they? Let’s find out…
2013 Honda Accord
Honda Accord drivers are a loyal lot. Many will drive their Honda flagship for several hundred thousand miles, then trade ‘ole faithful’ in for the latest version. When these people (there’s quite a lot of them) speak, Honda listens. Then, they address all those requests, and make the next Accord just a bit better than anyone was expecting.
One of the chief issues was how much the 8th-Gen Accord reminded people of a Buick (Japanese-Buick is Toyota’s territory after all). So the 2013 Honda Accord was shortened (by 3-inches), and the entire structure of the car was stiffened with high-tensile steel. The exterior was given a more subtly dramatic look, the interior materials were upgraded, and a new smartphone-friendly infotainment system (called HondaLink) was added. The result is a car that looks familiar, yet is vastly improved in every way.
Under the hood, you’ll find Honda’s first direct injected engines. While they may have taken their time adopting this technology, you know they took the time to get it right. The base 2.4 liter has 185-hp, and it can be upped to 189-hp, when you step up to the 2013 Honda Accord Sport. Both versions are backed by a brand new CVT automatic, which uses a 6-gear shifting program when Sport mode is selected. The 2013 Honda Accord Sport even gets paddle shifters to control the CVT, along with bigger brakes / wheels, quicker ratio electric steering, and the ambiguous Sport-themed trim.
The new direct injected 3.5 liter V6 gets 278 ponies in its stable, and the transmission is a more conventional 6-speed automatic. If you’d rather change your own gears, the sexy new 2013 Honda Accord V6 Coupe can be had with a 6-speed manual, along with every other Accord model. But whatever powertrain you choose, the lighter, more agile 2013 Honda Accord will be just a little better than you were expecting.
2013 Honda Civic
When Honda completely redesigned the Civic last year, the car community collectively gasped. The new baby Honda looked like the…old one. Inside, cheap materials and a limited availability of tech options left many wanting/expecting more. On the road, that ‘let down’ feeling was confirmed by the new car’s wallow-y driving characteristics, and a lack of that signature ‘well sorted’ feel.
Not wanting to disappoint its loyal customer base, Honda completely refreshed the Civic for 2013. While that may be the fastest mid-cycle refresh in history, the 2013 Honda Civic is a much better car for it. Improvements include more attractive front & rear fascias (with lashings of chrome trim), more soft-touch materials in the cabin, better quality seat fabrics, and extra sound deadening (including a thicker windshield). Underneath the skin is a more advanced version of Honda’s ACE body structure (called ACE II), a beefier suspension with Teflon-lined bushings, and bigger brakes on automatic equipped models.
The standard equipment list has grown considerably, and now includes; a backup camera, Bluetooth handsfree & Bluetooth audio, a USB/iPod jack, a Pandora interface, SMS Text support, steering wheel audio controls, an outside temperature readout, and a sliding center console armrest. Lane Departure Warning & Frontal Collision Warning systems are also available.
The engines remain the same as last year, as does the model range. However, the stripper DX model has been dropped, leaving the well equipped 2013 Honda Civic LX as the entry model. Even with the laundry list of new features, the price has only increased $160 over last year’s model.
With the comprehensive list of changes to the 2013 Honda Civic, it’s sure to out-class the c-segment competition by a mile. Proving once again that Honda really does care about its customers. Expect all versions of the re-redesigned 2013 Honda Civic to be available in Honda showrooms by mid-2013. And remember; Honda loves you!
|SPECIFICATION||2013 Honda Accord||2013 Honda Civic|
|Price||$21,680 – Sedan||$18,165 Sedan|
|$23,350 – Coupe||$17,965 Coupe|
|Fuel Economy||24/34/28 2.4L / MT-Sedan||28/36/31 1.8L / MT|
|27/36/30 2.4L / CVT-Sedan||28/39/32 1.8L / AT|
|26/35/29 2.4L / CVT-Sport||29/41/33 1.8L / AT-HF Sedan|
|21/34/25 3.5L / AT-Sedan||22/31/25 2.4L / MT-Si|
|18/28/22 3.5L / MT-Coupe||44/44/44 Hybrid|
|21/32/25 3.5L / AT-Coupe||27/38/31 CNG|
|Suburban Snob Factor||8 / 10 Camrys||9 / 10 Camrys|
|IIHS Ranking||Top Safety Pick = Y||Top Safety Pick = Y|
|IIHS Ranking||Top Safety Pick = N||Top Safety Pick = Y|
|Why Buy It?|
While the Honda Accord may have lost some of its Suburban snob appeal over the last few years, the 2013 Honda Accord proves they can still build a car that we’ll buy.
The 2012 Honda Civic wasn’t exactly a dog, and the 2013 Honda Civic is massively improved over that.