March 15, 2013
Review and photos by Justin Pritchard and his mom, Angie Pritchard
Angie Pritchard with 2000 and 2013 Honda Accord
2013 Honda Accord Sport. Click image to enlarge
Not that it’s a big hit to my ego or anything, but there’s a Honda Accord expert in my family, and it isn’t me.
Angie Pritchard is my mom. She drives a grey, four-cylinder, automatic 2000 Honda Accord EX, which replaced her trusty 1996 Honda Accord EX. It was powder blue and equipped similarly.
After my mom got her newer Accord, the 1996 became Dad’s work beater, then the kid’s car, then my sister’s daily driver when she moved out of town. The blue 1996 had 400,000 kilometres of reliable service under its belt when the family finally sold it.
Now, mom’s 2000 Accord has 245,000 trouble-free clicks on the odometer, too. Both Accords posed few problems, started reliably at 30 below, and got mom around when she needed to purchase ingredients or come visit her favourite son [Aren’t you her only son? –Ed.]. That son, incidentally, puts thousands of kilometres on a new car every week – though when it comes to Honda Accords, Angie is the authority in the Pritchard family.
So, charged with creating an evaluation on the new 2013 Accord Sport, I decided to hand the keys to Mom for some insight. We traded Accords for the better part of a week.
I am, after all, desensitized to things like back-up cameras and electric power steering in a way. I see them every week. Mom doesn’t. She’s been driving the same car every day for years, and I can hardly imagine what that’s like.
Turns out it was, largely, a list of the new Accord’s thoughtful features that she loved the most. After a few days in her possession, we went for a ride to discuss what we thought of the latest ‘bread and butter’ Honda family sedan.
All said and done, the Accord expert liked the thoughtful touches, the car review expert loved the ride, and both of us (for the first time ever) agreed on something. We loved the powertrain.
At the end of the day there’s nothing mind-blowingly incredible about this new Accord. As has always been the case for this long-lived model, it just ticks all the right boxes as something easy to drive, nice and comfortable, and ready for action all year round, for years to come. Pricing from $23,990.
“The steering is really easy when you park it, I liked that”
That’s the electric power steering. When the car is moving at parking lot speeds, it signals the power steering system to work harder, so you don’t have to. You get normal steering feel at highway speeds, and an easier time parking. At low speeds, you could steer with one finger. Mom likes that. Her old Accord requires a lot more work. I noted the steering in the newer Accord to be well matched to the size, weight and suspension calibration of the new model at highway speeds, too. Not too quick, not too heavy. Pretty much feels just right.
“It’s so smooth shifting”
That’s because the tester had a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), which executes the smoothest gearshifts possible: none at all. With no gears to shift, power comes on a linear wave, rather than in ‘steps’. This saves you gas, and makes acceleration smooth and seamless. Mom loves what that does for the refinement. And since she’s not exactly an enthusiast driver, she’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference from a good automatic.