2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring
2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring. Click image to enlarge

Inside, the Accord’s new instrument panel makes use of better quality plastics and brighter trim to improve quality appearance.  The instrument panel does away with the previous confusing assortment of poorly arranged buttons in the centre stack and substitutes a touchscreen for the audio controls, and just below it, a simpler horizontal arrangement of buttons for the dual-zone climate control.  These are in addition to the large eight-inch screen at the top of the instrument panel.  As before, it’s not a touchscreen, its menu-driven system controlled by a large dial now positioned at the bottom of the centre stack.  The larger screen displays many functions: navigation, audio, telephone and trip information as well as the rear-view camera image and the LaneWatch feature.

An assortment of new information and entertainment features have been added for 2013:  in addition to hands-free Bluetooth phone and audio operation, the new Accord features a new SMS text messaging feature that allows incoming text messages to be read aloud and the driver to respond with short factory pre-set replies while driving.  As well, e-mail messages can be received and sent.  Perhaps the most advanced feature is Honda’s new HondaLink web audio service.  It requires owners to download apps into their iPhone or Android smartphones and use them to access web-based music, information and entertainment services.

2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring
2013 Honda Accord Sedan V6 Touring. Click image to enlarge

The first app available in Canada is the AHA web-based infotainment service where users can download any of its 30,000 channels of available news, music, and entertainment – and then play them through the Accord’s HondaLink audio system.  Once downloaded, the driver can control stations using the audio touchscreen, and drivers can even call out songs by their name to find them.  U.S. Accord owners can also use the Pandora internet radio service, but that’s not available in Canada.  The trend seems obvious: a car’s audio/video system is becoming an extension of the owner’s smartphone.  The tricky part will be to take advantage of the smartphone’s features without distracting the driver from his/her primary task.

We found engine and road noise are well suppressed in the V6 Accord, but that’s partly because our ears are being tricked.  2013 Accords feature Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control, which use two microphones, a processing unit and four speakers to analyze undesirable noises entering the cabin and counter them with out-of-phase audio signals.  More desirable noises, however, such as the sporty engine note, are actually enhanced.  So don’t believe everything you hear, or don’t hear, in the Accord.

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