Honda built a reputation on economy cars that displayed a touch more quality than the competition. To this day, Honda's lineup consists of practical, well-built cars. However, the company has not had a new idea in years. The 2013 Honda Accord heralds the revivification of Honda's collective brain cells, bringing with it new technologies necessary for the company to face off against its already modernized competition.
At a press preview, I drove a few of the many variants of the 2013 Accord about to be unleashed on the American public. Honda's sales model has always been a bit different from other automakers'. Rather than adding options piecemeal, Honda buyers have to settle with whatever equipment comes with the trim levels they select. Even navigation is considered a different trim level within the Honda system.
However, this lack of optional equipment does not mean there is little choice. The body of the new Accord can be had in sedan or coupe styles. Honda makes two engines available, a direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V-6. For all but one body style and engine combination, buyers can choose an automatic or manual transmission, and that automatic comes in two flavors, continuously variable (CVT) and six fixed gears. Then there are the different trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L with Navi, Sport, and Touring. And coming soon will be a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.