Honda Accord Sedan sports innovative features KUMHO TIRES FREE FREE FREE

SWIOWA AUTO
The Daily Nonpareil
Saturday, December 22, 2012 7B
Honda Accord Sedan sports innovative features
The toughest new car market in the U.S. has to be the
mid-level sedans where cars
like the Toyota Camry, Honda
Accord and Nissan Altima
reside. In the last two years,
this category has taken on
impressive new models like
the Hyundai Sonata, Kia
Optima and Volkswagen Passat. In addition, in the last
few months, the list of reengineered and redesigned cars
has the addition of new versions of some of the top models including the new super
stylish Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Dodge Avenger,
Mazda6 and Subaru Legacy.
Now the mid-size fleet is
filled with an amazing bunch
of beautifully designed cars
loaded with great features and
new levels of performance and
fuel economy. A customer looking for a new midsize sedan is
now faced with the most difficult buying decision ever.
Honda, which has been one
of the perennial leaders in
the category, has just rolled
out their latest and greatest
Accord, and it features some of
the most innovative out of the
box thinking we’ve seen.
From a styling standpoint,
the large Honda sedan doesn’t
excite us. Certainly, it has
some interesting new design
elements with a great deal
more body sculpting and character lines than previous models, but it’s not really a head
turner.
The Accord interior is all
new with a bold instrument
panel that includes two full
color screens mounted at the
top of the center stack. The
eight-inch screen at the top of
the stack is the “intelligent”
Multi-Information
Display
(i-MID). It serves as the screen
for the navigation system,
the backup camera and several other electronic functions.
However, it’s most innovative
use is for the new LaneWatch
Submitted photo
2013 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 Sedan.
feature. When you turn on the
right turn signal, the screen
switches to a full color display
of the right hand lane looking
back from the sideview mirror.
It’s the coolest blind spot detection system we’ve ever seen,
plus it’s great when you are sitting at an intersection about to
turn right. Check that screen
quickly and you can avoid hitting a bicyclist or another car
sneaking into that space.
The smaller screen an inch
or two lower is the touchscreen
for the audio system, which
includes standard features like
a Pandora internet radio interface and a convenient SMS
text messaging function that
reads incoming texts aloud and
allows the driver to respond
with factory preset text messages. For example, you can
select from answers like “Talk
to you later, I’m driving,” “I’m
on my way,” “I’m running late,”
or “OK”.
The Accord also includes
a Bluetooth HandsFreeLink
phone interface and some models have the Honda SatelliteLinked Navigation System™
with Voice Recognition and FM
Traffic. In the past, we’ve considered the Honda navigation
system to be the best in the
business but, perhaps because
it’s was new to us, this new version seemed a little less user-
friendly than the original. If we
had time to master the voice
commands, we’re sure it would
be easier, but like many people,
we don’t do very well with voice
commands.
Honda engineers always
seem to have a new innovative way of doing things, and
that trend continues for 2013
with Earth Dreams technology. Honda describes it as “an
expression for a set of technologies which takes into account
both our need to protect the
environment and our desire to
provide a joy of driving.” The
Accord is the first American
Honda to get the new technology.
The Accord continues to offer
four-cylinder and V-6 engine
choices, and there is also a
plug-in hybrid in the pipeline
for the summer of 2013. Both
the gasoline engines have an
improvement in fuel economy
with the four-cylinder rated
at 36 mpg for city driving and
the V-6 at 34 mpg. The 2.4liter four-cylinder is the first
Honda engine sold in North
America to be equipped with
direct injection.
Our test car was equipped
with the 278-hp 3.5-liter V-6
engine and new for 2013, a sixspeed automatic transmission.
According to buff magazine
testing, it accelerates from 0
to 60 in a very quick 6.1 seconds. The transmission used
with the four-cylinder engine is
now a CVT (continuously variable transmission) replacing
the five-speed automatic used
previously.
On the safety front, the
upper level Accords have a new
Forward Collision Warning
system to warn the driver of
impending crash possibilities.
Other features we like are the
Adaptive Cruise Control, the
LaneWatch blind spot monitor
and the active noise and sound
controls, which keep the cabin
quieter. Honda has expanded
technology in the Accord to
push it into a leadership role in
the category.
The Accord sedan is available in six trim levels. Pricing
ranges from $22,470 for the
LX with manual transmission
(the CVT is $800 more) to the
Touring V-6 at $34,220. We
like the way Honda prices its
vehicles with the exception of
technology packages and color,
there are virtually no options.
They have added a selection of
dealer installed accessories to
dress up your Accord.
We enjoyed the Accord; it
drives like a Honda, which
means it’s responsive, positive
and agile. The ride is comfortable, the interior is one of the
roomiest in the category and
it rates high in fuel efficiency.
The Accord is certainly still a
category leader.
– Barbara and Bill Schaffer, Auto Digest
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