Nuts & Bolts: 2013 Honda Accord Sport

November 2, 2012

Bottom line: The 2013 Honda Accord Sport is a buy, especially for frugal young families in search of a high-quality midsize sedan.

Ride, acceleration, and handling: It gets very good marks in all three. “Very good” means the car’s road performance will please motorists more interested in fuel economy than they are in living out racetrack fantasies.

Head-turning quotient: Handsome, somewhat sinewy. It is attractive inside and out. Goodbye to blah Accords.

Body style/layout: The 2013 Accord is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive midsize automobile available as a sedan or coupe. The sedan is available in four trim levels—base LX, Sport, popularly equipped EX and upscale EX-L.

Engine/transmissions: The car comes with a base 2.4-liter, 16-valve, gasoline-direct-injection in-line four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing (185 horsepower, 181 foot-pounds of torque). A six-speed manual transmission is standard and is recommended here. A continuously variable automatic transmission is optional.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. There is enough cargo space for a week’s worth of groceries for a family of five, or for two large bulky items (such as space heaters). The fuel tank holds 17.2 gallons of gasoline — regular grade recommended.

Mileage: We averaged 35 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving — driver, front-seat passenger, two large space heaters (approximately 160 pounds combined) in trunk.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; side and head air bags; and Honda ACE-frame construction expressly designed to mitigate injury to vehicle occupants in crashes.

Price: The 2013 Honda Accord prices start at $21,680 for the base LX. Accord Sport (manual transmission) prices start at $23,390 with a dealer’s invoice price of $21,409 on that model. A continuously variable transmission will cost you $800 extra. Add a $790 destination charge.

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