2013 Honda Accord Consumer Review: Mixed Review

2013 Honda Accord Sedan - Consumer Review

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful
Mixed Review
By brymil2 on


2013 Honda Accord LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl CVT)


I have a fairly long commute and after narrowing down mid size cars by gas mileage, the 2013 Accord was one of few choices.
After drive tests and seeing what the car offered for the price, I thought is was a great bargain.
It's sharp looking and has a great interior and lots of features for the price.
And, the gas mileage has been phenomenal!
I am averaging around 35 mpg in approximately 65/35% highway/city driving.
There is one issue that is ruining my new car experience.
The CVT transmission is jerky at low speeds.
It is quite noticeable and irritating in my stop and go commuting.
I recommend test driving the car quite a bit before making your choice to see if the trans is jerky.

Update: After living with the car for three years now, I have a lot more experience with it. I am still averaging just over 35 mpg which is awesome. Probably the best part about the car. Handling is sound and the car is still pretty quick, especially for a four cylinder. The car still runs well but the trans remains a bit jerky at low speeds, although it is better than when I first got it. One annoyance is that it has a rough idle when it is cold. Once it warms up it is fine. Another con is that the car is just not that comfortable. The seats are hard and the ride is stiff. I have had to add a cushion to my seat. Also, on IL expressways, where they brush the concrete for traction, a lot of road noise enters the cabin. Not overly bad, but after driving a Fusion, I realized what a quiet car sounds like. The Accord is not that quiet, at least compared to a Fusion. Winter traction is poor as well. Worse than my tiny Corolla. Also, to my knowledge, Honda has not issued any updates to the infotainment system. They could really improve in this area as it is becoming dated. But, it does connect to my phone every time so for calls, it works well. Overall, the car is just OK. Normally I keep my cars a long time. But, I have already shopped for new cars but did not pull the trigger. So , would I buy it again, No. My next car will be based more on comfort and quietness, two areas where the 2013 Accord falls way short of.

UPDATE: The CVT trans continues to concern me. A few times it seemed to slip when backing out of my garage like it is low on trans fluid. It's not. I have found similar posts on the web. As a former mechanic, I realize that intermittent problems are difficult to resolve so I have not wasted my time bringing it to the dealer as it will likely be fine when they test it. Fast acceleration is also concerning as the CVT tends to be very jerky under initial hard acceleration. Twice now the car failed to start right away and when it did, the check engine, traction control, power steering assist, and low tire inflation lights were on and the car was in limp mode. The code is vague pointing to throttle assembly. Anyway, each time the lights went off on their own after a day or so and the car ran normal. Again, an intermittent problem. Honda used to be solid quality but they have definitely declined over the years based on my experience with my Accord and previous, very poor, experience with an Odyssey. IMO, they are no longer worth the premium that they used to be (for used cars) because many others have caught up or even surpassed Honda, according to Consumer Reports. If you want reliability, Toyota is the continued champ. BTW, I continue to look at other cars even though I will take a beating on trade in value.

Best Features

  • Road holding
  • Braking
  • Steering
  • Getting in out
  • Instrumentation
  • Quality of materials
  • Cargo storage
  • Logic of controls
  • Interior design
  • Outward visibility
  • Active safety
  • Headlights
  • Climate control
  • Bluetooth
  • Purchase cost
  • Fuel economy
  • Resale value
  • Maintenance cost

Worst Features

  • Shifting
  • Noise and vibration
  • Front seats
  • Rain snow traction

Recommend (16) (0)

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Comments (6) Post a Comment
By mred72
on 06/30/13 10:22 AM (PDT)

I would like to add that Nissan CVT's are no better. I have a 2013 Nissan Sentra and I am HATING how the car handles in stop and go traffic. Once on the highway, the CVT runs great, but trying to merge into heavy traffic, turning at a light or stop sign and it's quite frightening because you never know what the hell the car will do. If you gas it too much, you go into a turn with too much speed. Not enough gas and the RPM's will start out ok but as you complete the turn the CVT goes sluggish and the RPM's drop. You have to once again give it a good push of the throttle to get back up to speed. This is NOT SAFE if you are trying to turn at a stop sign in heavy traffic. Never again, I'll avoid CVT's in the future. Nothing beats a traditional automatic, MPG be damned.

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By brymil2
on 05/26/13 13:31 PM (PDT)

I am not sure how to update my own review so I am posting this comment. I brought my Accord to the dealer to have them check the jerkiness. After a test drive, they checked the trans fluid and specs. Everything checked out OK. So, it appears that some degree of jerkiness is normal. I have become a bit more accustomed to it so it bothers me less. I keep reminding myself that I am averaging 35mpg, so that helps a bit. As I stated in my orignal review, make sure you test drive your Accord a lot to see if it is jerky and if so, whether it is bothersome to you. Other than that and a somewhat stiff ride, it's a great car, especially for the money!

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By brymil2
on 06/07/13 05:52 AM (PDT)

This past week the jerkiness has been worse. I called American Honda and they have logged the issue but I do not expect that they will be offering a resolution, as the lady I spoke to had no information on either a recall or TSB. Here are a couple more minor considerations directed toward iPhone users. When connected via USB cable, the audio system on the LX offers the ability to search music and artists on your phone by alphabet. However, this handy feature is disabled when the vehicle is moving. This seems counter-intuitive as you are now required to scroll through your music list using the scroll wheel which can take a long time depending on how many artists are on your phone, and takes your eyes off the road more. Even an inexpensive after-market stereo allows this feature, so I think it was poor planning on Honda's part to disable this feature when the vehicle is moving. Also, after hooking the iPhone to the USB port you have to then sekect the source. As you scroll through the input source list the moment you pass over Bluetooth Connection, the phone automatically connects via bluetooth and disables USB connection on the iPhone. This requires you go into the music player on the iPhone and select the small connection button which is highlighted in orange in the lower right of the screen, and select "Dock Connection." What Honda needs to do is program a pause before establishing the connection allowing you enough time to pass over bluetooth to get to either iPod or USB input. These are minor irritations but may be helpful information to some people. But, the biggest issue remains the jerky transmission. My next move will be to drive another new Accord and see if they all do it as some claim, or if I just got a lemon.

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By brymil2
on 06/22/13 11:41 AM (PDT)

For those of you who may be discouraged by my earlier post stating that the alphabetic music search is disabled, I have found a solution that works well. The music search allows you to search by artist, playlist, genre, etc. when the vehicle is moving. You just can't search by alphabet in any category. My solution: I do not use genre for anything. So, I added my own genres to iTunes for each letter of the alphabet and then assigned this genre to each artist according to what letter of the alphabet their name starts with. For example, I created a genre called "B" and assigned to the Beatles and all other artist that start with the letter B. Do this for each artist. In iTunes and Media Player it is an automated function so you can select all artists that begin with the letter B and change the genre to B for all at the same time. So, when driving, I select search, scroll to genre, select it and all the letters of the alphabet that I created a new genre for appear in alphabetic order. I scroll to B and then scroll through all artists that I assigned the B genre to and select my choice--they appear in alphabetic order as well. However, if you do use the preset genre choices such as Rock, Country, Blues, etc., this is not a good solution as it overwrites these genres. But, I think most people hardly ever use the genre function. BTW, this works on both iPhone and Android. iPhone genre is changed using iTunes and Android via Media Player or you can change it via Explorer.

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By wcascrs
on 06/17/13 11:11 AM (PDT)

brymil2, thank you for your detailed review(s). I'm interested in the new Accord and will keep a close eye out for the low speed CVT behavior when test driving. I've test driven Insights (which are totally different but do have a cone/belt type CVT transmission) and I've noticed a bit of jerkiness in them when just starting to move. I've been in 3rd gen Prius for couple years and although its CVT (totally different type of design) is butter smooth, I'm sure it doesn't hold a candle to the Accords driving dynamics, quietness and comfort. Good luck with your Accord and thanks again.

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By rtlh
on 10/05/13 13:08 PM (PDT)

Agree on the transmission. If CVT is the future then they are going to have problems.

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