First Place: 2013 Honda Accord Touring

2013 HONDA ACCORD TOURING. Click image to enlarge

Even in the face of our enthusiasm for the Fusion’s style and driving dynamics, the $33,330 Honda Accord Touring got the win. And it was no great surprise for our group of testers.

This new ninth-generation Accord has an overreaching sense of rightness that covers every aspect of its being. Sit in the comfortable seats and you’re ensconced in a high-quality environment. The leather feels rich yet durable and the interestingly sculpted dash is fashioned from soft-touch plastics. All the controls are well marked and logical. The big LCD screen and backlit instrument panel provide all the necessary info at a glance—and we were not ready for the NBA-grade rear legroom and massive trunk.

Once underway, the Accord manages to feel light on its feet yet also substantial. It steers and handles with confident grace and the ride is never harsh or busy. The reworked DOHC 2.4L four, now featuring direct-injection and hooked to a continuously variable transmission, makes 189 hp and 182 lb-ft at 3,900 rpm. It works smoothly, quietly, and in the tradition of good Honda engines, spins happily to its 6,400 rpm redline.

This sedan is fleet and agile, and I will confess that I didn’t even know it had a CVT transmission until halfway through our test day, such is the transparency of this new-for-Accord fuel saving device. Between the ‘Earth Dreams’ engine and CVT, the Accord pulled off a best-in-test 8.8 L/100 km on our drive loops.

The low beltline and tall greenhouse make for plenty of headroom and good sightlines. A cool optional feature is a clever blind-spot camera called LaneWatch. Turn on your right signal and a rear-facing camera on the passenger side mirror shoots up an image on the central screen—especially good for lane changes or checking for approaching cyclists when making inner city right turns.

2013 HONDA ACCORD TOURING. Click image to enlarge

The traditional Honda front wishbone suspension makes way for a MacPherson strut setup here, but hey, it works just fine for BMW and Porsche.

While this new, slightly smaller Honda Accord looks every inch the conservative family sedan, it was the (distant) runner up in the Beauty Pageant. The classy front-end treatment and general cohesiveness of design make for a pleasing, if not particularly flashy presence. We’re pretty sure the Honda, Chevy, Nissan, and Toyota were talking catty behind the sexy Fusion’s back.

Ah, but what can we say? The 2013 Honda Accord has a terrific personality, and that’s what won us over. –PB

Pricing: 2013 Honda Accord Sedan Touring
Base Price: $30,390
Options: $1,200 (CVT)
Freight and PDI: $1,640
A/C Tax: $100
Price as tested: $33,330

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