Test Drive: 2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring car test drives reviews honda
2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring. Click image to enlarge

Good news for golfers: the 2013 Accord sedan’s trunk has increased in size by 31 L (1.1 cu. ft.) to 447 L (15.8 cu. ft.) and the fully lined trunk with a flatter floor will accommodate four golf bags.   The news is not so good for skiers and hockey players: all Accord sedans come with a single folding seatback with a rather narrow, restricted opening with rounded corners.  Most other family sedans have split folding seatbacks which can accommodate long cargo items, like skis and hockey sticks, plus one or two rear passengers (read ‘kids’) at the same time – which seems important in a ‘family’ sedan.  So why doesn’t Honda offer split folding rear seatbacks?  This could be a deal breaker for some sedan buyers.

Before I get to the Accord’s new interior design, let’s talk about the V6 powertrain.  It’s the same silky-smooth 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6 engine with an improved version of its “variable cylinder management” that automatically switches to three cylinders under light load to save fuel.  Horsepower and torque figures are up slightly and Honda has tweaked the engine to offer more torque and responsiveness.  Indeed, the V6 Accord is very quick off the line, rockets onto the freeway when prodded, and passes other cars with ease.  According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 Accord V6 sedan does 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds – that compares to the four-cylinder Accord with a CVT at 7.7 seconds.  The V6 engine is smooth and quiet at idle and relaxed at highway speeds, turning over just 1,800 rpm in sixth gear.  But while the new 2.4L four-cylinder engine features direct fuel injection, the V6 continues with multi-point fuel injection – somewhat surprising given that Honda is usually at the forefront of engine technology.

Test Drive: 2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring car test drives reviews honda
Test Drive: 2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring car test drives reviews honda
2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring. Click image to enlarge

Accord buyers who choose the V6 engine are probably not too concerned with good fuel economy, but even V6 Accords are equipped with Honda’s new driver-selectable Econ driving mode that helps save gas.  By pushing the green leaf-icon button just to the left of the steering wheel, throttle response is muted and the automatic climate control operation is limited, thereby enhancing fuel economy.  For the driver, this has the effect of making the car feel slower when accelerating, but unlike some other cars with a similar feature, we didn’t find a huge difference in performance.  Accord drivers can tell if they’re achieving maximum fuel efficiency by observing the colour of the illuminated arcs around the speedometer – if it’s green, you’re driving efficiently; if it’s white, you can start feeling guilty about contributing to climate change.

The Accord’s new six-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous five-speed, is a real smoothy.  And with its wider range of gear ratios, it offers improved throttle responsiveness and better fuel economy.   If you want more performance, just drop the transmission lever from ‘D’ to ‘S’.  This elevates engine revs in any given gear in order to provide more immediate throttle response – increasing the fun but sucking back more fuel.  The new six-speed automatic also offers Honda’s ‘grade logic control’, which prevents gear hunting when climbing grades and provides engine braking when descending hills by gearing down automatically.  Unlike in the Accord V6 Coupe, this six-speed automatic doesn’t come with paddle shifters, probably because Honda believes sedan buyers just aren’t that interested in ‘paddling’.

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