The all new 2013 Honda Accord is Honda’s most important vehicle EVER. That’s right, EVER! It comes after lackluster reviews of the latest cost-reduced mind-numbing Civic. It enters the mid-size car product segment where the oldest high volume competitor was launched as a 2011 model in early 2010 (Hyundai Sonata) and each new model is more impressive than the one that came before it… Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Altima, the coming-soon Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and next year’s Mazda6. Each new mid-size entry is better, more finessed, more technologically capable and available with a wider range of features than ever before. The question is “Did Honda bring their ‘A Game’ to the 2013 Accord, or is it another misstep like the Civic?”
Bring their “A Game”? Wow, did they! This Accord is a take-no-prisoners attempt by Honda to reclaim leadership in the premium mid-size car class. With this car, Honda appears to have its MOJO back!
The 2010 Luxury Crossover segment winner is the Lexus RX, outscoring strong domestic and import brand competition in the segment. Lexus dominates their segment, with a package owners consistently give high marks to.
This third-generation RX is slightly larger than the previous model giving it a notably larger exterior size and greater interior room; it’s no wonder the RX was tops in its class in consumer satisfaction with exterior size, driver’s seat comfort and rear seat comfort.
The VSA’s measure both importance and satisfaction and the RX performed where it matters most to consumers. Areas of highest importance to consumers in the Luxury Crossover SUV segment are reputation, reliability, durability and driver’s seat comfort. The RX scored best in class in each of those attributes, as well as ease of getting in and out and feel of interior fabrics and materials.
A well-deserved class winner.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.
Owners of the 2010 Honda Accord rate the car strongly a give the Accord a win in the hotly contested Premium Mid-Size Car Category. The Accord’s victory comes with the car winning twenty-two of forty-eight satisfaction categories.
Accord Delivers on Honda’s Promise Accord’s win comes from some superlative scores (4.5 or higher on a 5.0-point rating scale) including: seating capacity (EPA rates Accord as a Large Car, not a Mid-Size Car), driver’s seat comfort, vehicle and brand reputation, color, power and acceleration, braking, handling, reliable/dependable, forward visibility, safety features and durable/long lasting. Clearly, the Accord delivers its owners the promise of “Honda” – reputation, reliability, dependability and durability.
Has Honda developed yet another blended vehicle–or just a big hatchback? On sale since November 2009, the Accord Crosstour aims to be a modern and stylish CUV. To our eyes, it is more like a hatchback on steroids. Honda’s not the only maker exploring this shape, as it is not unlike the idea behind the BMW 5-Series GT or Toyota’s Venza or Acura’s ZDX (the larger and more expensive ZDX is not a Crosstour in different metal). Accord Crosstour offers everything you expect from the Accord, wrapped in a new shape. Is that enough?
While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, most people we’ve talked to have not found beauty the shape of the Crosstour. A love-it-or-hate-it shape can be great for image and buzz. But it seems to be difficult to find the love-it Crosstour crowd, at least relative to styling.
If Honda’s goal was for the Accord to reflect “Honda’s desire for accord and harmony between people, society and the Automobile,” they’ve been hitting their mark for more than thirty-three years. The Honda Accord has been attracting hoards of loyal buyers since its successful debut in 1976. In fact, the Honda Accord has been so successful it is practically synonymous with the brand. And Accord has done so by adapting to its environment. Growing in terms of size, options, and price, the Accord has kept pace with our society and its core audience; the Baby Boomers.
Interesting Aside: Redesigned just last year (2008MY) the Accord four-door became rated a large car by the EPA, whereas the coupe still squeaks by as a mid-size car.
The Hyundai Genesis wins AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award in the Aspirational Luxury Car segment. In its first year on the market, the Hyundai Genesis swept AutoPacific’s owner awards. “The most recent win by Genesis is of AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award shows that Hyundai expertly targeted its owners when designing this luxury sedan,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “That Genesis won both Vehicle Satisfaction and Ideal Vehicle Awards is testament to the Hyundai product-development process and fine-tuning the marketing message to attract the right buyers to the car.” Categories in which the Genesis excel include:
* Passenger room
* Cargo space
* Power and acceleration
* Ease of getting in and out
May sales reports are coming in. Ford F-Series, for the first time since 1991 (according to Automotive News) has been outsold by a car. In fact, by four cars.
The world is coming to an end!
Numbers after the jump…
In September 2007, the eighth-generation 2008 Honda Accord sedan and coupe go on sale, bearing a look previewed by the 2007 Detroit show’s Accord Coupe Concept. The standard for premium mid-size sedans has rested with the Accord and Toyota’s Camry for many years, as clearly as the BMW 3-Series is the luxury sport sedan to beat. Last year, the Accord accounted for 354,500 of the 1.3 million cars and trucks Honda sold in the United States. Beyond the volume it brings, Honda’s Accord carries much company history. The Accord was the first car Honda built in the States, starting twenty-five years ago, and the first Japanese product to be built in the USA.
The third-generation, launched for 1986, showed us we could have a smart and savvy midsize sedan instead of a simply boring one. The third-generation Accord had a very low cowl and pop-up headlamps – very sporty for a Mid-Size Car of its day. The following fourth-generation car took Accord in a more elegant, upscale direction. Then, Accord began to struggle a bit.
Along the way, Accord never lost its rational element, but stylish, fun-to-drive elements were watered down. For 2008, Honda looks to revive that image with the eighth-generation Accord and raise the bar against the sporty and stylish Nissan Altima
and the finally expressive segment icon Camry.
Honda targets Altima and Camry directly, but competition also includes Saturn Aura, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, and even Chrysler’s Sebring and Dodge Avenger. Chevrolet’s latest Malibu goes on sale later this year with a stronger, more modern exterior and a much-improved interior. In a hotly contested market, Honda is looking to again provide buyers the
smart, stylish, fun-to-drive option. Honda also is looking for sales above the 400,000-unit mark, something Accord hasn’t seen since 2001.
We had the chance for a short drive following a presentation of the new bread-and-butter car. Honda has brought another terrific mid-size sedan, but we’re not convinced the bar is raised significantly. We didn’t have a chance to drive the coupe, but the two-door brings style to Accord’s coupe line that hasn’t been seen before. The Accord coupe should hold its own from an image standpoint against coupes in the Nissan Altima and Pontiac G6 ranges.
Most competing brands offer a mid-size and a larger sedan (Avalon, Maxima, Azera, and Taurus), but Honda’s top model is the Accord. The new Accord is bigger, nearly as long as the Maxima overall and with wheelbase and width nearly the size of the Avalon. The new Accord is about five inches longer than Camry and Altima (only an inch between the axles). The larger exterior allowed for interior space large enough for Accord to be classified as a Large Car in EPA ratings, and Accord now may be better able to straddle the line between mid-size and large.
Nissan Mid-Size Sedan All New for 2007
Altima Evolves in Style Even With All New Platform
Whenever a high volume mid-size sedan is introduced it is, by definition, big news. These high volume sedans are the mainstream movers of the auto market. The king of the hill is the Toyota Camry, new for the 2007 model year and on the market in Spring 2006. Camry is the top selling “automobile” on the market. The Honda Accord is the second of the top tier Japanese heavyweights. The Nissan Altima is the third of these top tier Japanese competitors. Just about every buyer of a mid-size car looks at one of these three entries before buying. Of course, we can’t forget the likes of the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Impala, Mazda6 or Mitsubishi Galant, but the top three from Toyota, Honda and Nissan command the most attention.
Nissan showed its new-for-2007 Altima at the New York Auto Show in April and slipped in a few surprises. Counter to most recent design moves, the new Altima’s D-Platform body rides on a 1-inch SHORTER wheelbase. This is a bit surprising when most new cars get longer wheelbases as they evolve these days. Overall length remains the same.
CVT Standard with V6 – Brave Move Reminiscent of Murano
Additionally, Altima’s automatic transmission is now a CVT with the V6 rather than a geared automatic. A 6-speed manual is available for those who like to row between gears. This CVT news is major. Probably means a substantial cost reduction. The Nissan Murano crossover SUV has had a CVT since day one and has done pretty well. Whether a CVT in a major application like Altima is accepted time will tell. Brave move.
Styling Evolutionary – Interior Execution Critical to Success
The new Altima has evolutionary styling. You can probably say that it is not as distinctive and sophisticated as the previous generation Altima, but it is more distinctive than Accord or Camry.
A major bugaboo for the last Altima was its cut rate interior for the first three years on the market. Until a major interior upgrade for the 2005 model year, Altima interiors were downscale. Clearly met cost targets but not touch targets. After adding hundreds of dollars in interior upgrades for 2005, Nissan suppliers were given very aggressive cost reduction targets for the 2007 model. Hopefully, they have found the cost offsets in places where consumers can’t see or feel them.
Nissan’s abbreviated press kit states, “Enhanced interior feel with refined workmanship, expanded use of soft materials (such as padded armrests) and chrome accents.” Can’t wait!
Altima Still Nicely Powered
Power for the Altima comes from a 3.5L DOHC 24-valve V6 with 265-plus horsepower. Its 2.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder has 165-plus horsepower.
Well, jury is out on the new generation Altima. We’ll have to wait until we drive one and experience the interior over several miles before reaching a verdict.