I just wanted to do this right after I got back from my first test drives while its fresh and new. I will rely on this forum when I make my final decision on my next new car. So please provide your feedback and thanks for reading.
I'm looking into replacing my current car. I've had a Nissan 350z for the last ten years. I'm about to turn 30 and ready to buy a house and start a family. I just got back from the dealership about an hour ago where I test drove the 13' Accord for the first time. I spend about 2 hours at the dealership test driving a 4cyl CVT and a V6 both in EX-L trims. I also got to sit in the showroom EX model. Here are my observations:
Game changers that I found out today that I didn't know before seeing the car in person:
- The Sports edition while 4cyl, has dual exhaust pipes just like the V6. I like this a lot. For the rear to me is the worst part of the new Accord. However the dual exhaust setup looks way better. For the rear bumper is the same for both the dual or single exhausts. While the rear bumper doesn't look like a pipe is missing in the 4cyl version; you can tell the symmetrical look of the dual exhaust was built for the rear bumper and I like it alot.
- Models without the center touch screen, or basically anything that is not a EX-L, the aux input in located below the radio turn knob. Similar to the Toyota Sienna, the 3.5mm jack is covered by a rubber stop, and it is located awkwardly. The aux input is 15 inches above and to the right of the audio device tray. So if you can imagine when you have a device plugged into the aux input and have it sitting in the tray area the cord will be in the way of many of the button and especially for 6MT drivers, it will be very annoying.
- I haven't seen too many large trunks recently, but the Accord has a huge one. I'm ~260lb 6' 4'' and two of me can fit in there no problem.
- The wheels on the LX version look better than the EX or EX-L models. However, the best looking wheels care the 18s on the Sports edition.
Coming from an 03 350z, this Accord is definitely a welcome change. First of all, all the buttons, knobs, and switches are all very high quality. This quality and feel extends to the sunglass holder above the rear view mirror, compartment above the usb port, shift knob, and all door trimmings where your knee or elbow can touch. The leather wrapped steering wheel is very nice to hold and feels very Acura. The seats were very very comfortable. I feel like I can drive hours without any aches to my neck or back. The leather was very good so good that I may consider the EX-L, even though I sweared that I would never get leather again. My only gripe with leather seats is that I live in Southern California, where the heated seats will not get much use. I'm disappointed that the Accord doesn't come with cooled seats as well.
There are some downfalls to the interior however. The last Accord that my family owned was a 1994 2dr LX 4cyl auto. While that tiny little thing only came in 127hp and a cassette deck, the interior feel was better. The "feel" of the materials, not the function or looks of these materials can feel cheap and just plain lack of attention to these details. The horn / driver airbag cover is made of a hard plastic that is somehow even worse than my 03 350z. Also the base plastic, meaning anything that is not covered in leather or padding is very disappointing in that it feels just like the new Civics. It is just hard and thin, like most cheap plastic materials.
This is true for every 13 Accord. While this feels like Honda is cutting corners, I can easily overlook this because I can see Honda's vision. Every where I should be touching is nice and refined, it is only the places that I wouldn't touch anyways that are rough to feel. If this material is able to last a long time then its well worth the change.
I first drove the 4cyl CVT EX-L. I must agree with youtube reviews in that the CVT transmission pairs very well with the iVtech engine. Just like most economy Japanese cars, you have to rev the heck out of it to get full power, this engine requires a trip up to the 5k+ rpm range to go onto a steep on ramp. The 0-80mph experience is very pleasant, the ride is very nice and while the engine noise is very noticeable, it is racey not droning like my girlfriend's 06 Corolla S. While driving around I noticed the MPG gauge in the middle of the MPH gauge, I like it very much, very BMW like. I also got to use the Econ button for a brief moment. I've driven my brother's Prius and when you turn on the Econ button the car nearly drops down to a crawl off the line. However in the Accord it seemed like the system is very forgiving, even with the Econ button on, the car was able to get off the line very well. The sales person claims this button saves 3MPG, for me this system is nice to have but seems like a little bit of a gimmick, when the difference is only about 10%. I feel I can just drive slower and get the same results.
13' Accord Sedan V6 EX-L Test Drive:
Coming from a 350z the V6 in the Accord is very much comparable in terms of peak power. I believe the V6 can keep up with my Z in a straight line just fine. However, I am not a fan of the torque steer. For me this V6's power delivery is a little too much for a FWD car.
The way I think of it, the sheer size and weight of this vehicle and any family sedan limits its ability to enter a corner at high speeds, so sedans require high HP to exit corners. With the V6 I am not confident in its ability to plant all that power down. The Vtech in this V6 comes just like most Hondas, which means the power is peaky and the sudden charge in power is what will create torque steer every time. The laws of physics wants the weight to shift to the rear wheels during acceleration but the power is going to the front ones. The V6 is definitely very powerful and the it really put a big smile on my face the first time I let it rip. However after driving both cars today I have decided to get a 4cyl Accord.
At this point I can pretty much say I'm going to be a owner of a 13 Accord Sedan before the end of October. However I still have one last decision to make.
EX-L or Sports edition. The touch screen on the EX-L is very nice, mainly because of my gripe about the AUX input jack on the non EX-L models makes it on the top of my list right now. However the Dual exhaust and no moonroof option on the Sports edition is what I would prefer. Also the Sports Edition have very nice cloth seats which I prefer over the leather seats.