Honda Accord NT 2013 Review

Honda Accord NT 2013 Review

Some things get simpler in life while some things get more complex. In the case of the Honda Accord NT, it has got both simpler and more complex in this latest iteration.

honda-accord-nt-2013-rqIt’s more complex because there are just so many more features than the previous model, and you will need to sit down with the instruction manual to find them all. I could write a couple of thousand words just describing all the bells, whistles and jangly bits it has. It’s simpler to drive, though, because it has some features that mean you don’t need to think. Or even look where you are going.

honda-accord-nt-2013-steering-wheelI am not lying when I say that I drove the Accord NT from the top of the Bombays all the way to Mt Wellington off-ramp only touching the steering wheel four times. No, I don’t have telekinetic powers (although that would be useful), and I definitely didn’t trust the car enough to put my hands behind my head and kick back. However, if you are driving on a relatively straight motorway the Honda will steer itself, keeping the car between the white lines (albeit in a slightly meandering way) using Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS).

It deals with gentle curves with ease, and I only had to take control when it either lost the lane marking (it was missing on the right for a short stretch once), or the corner was too sharp for it to cope (three times). Each time this happens, you get an orange warning light on the dash telling you to steer. Convenient…unless you’ve fallen asleep.

honda-accord-nt-2013-front-interiorI took full control again at Mt Wellington because traffic thickened up like someone had added cornflour to it, and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the safety of someone else’s tonne and a half of metal to circuitry when there were cars diving between lanes trying to eke out a 5-metre advantage.

I probably could have trusted it though, because it won’t even run into the car in front if the adaptive cruise control (ACC) is enabled. If the vehicle you are following slows down, the Accord brakes, too (sometimes quite a lot harder than a human would); if it detects an accident might happen it will warn you and ultimately perform an emergency stop using the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).

honda-accord-nt-2013-rear-seats

So, we can definitely say that letting the car drive itself is not as smooth as a human driving. It’s a little erratic in its lane positioning and it’s keen on the brakes if someone pulls in front of you in your lane (i.e. instantly closing the predetermined gap, which has four settings).

All these technologies are what Honda calls Helping Hand+, but there are plenty of luxuries that are of the more standard variety: electric heated seats, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth integration for the stereo (including audio streaming), satellite navigation and sunroof.

There’s also a large amount of room for rear seat passengers. With the front seat slid forward slightly you can easily fit a bike in the back (I did), which is useful because there’s no way you’d get one in the boot, and the rear seats are not split folding.

honda-accord-nt-2013-sat-navOne of the Honda’s other tricks is a camera on the wing mirror which shows you, well, almost exactly what’s in the wing mirror. I can see some advantages here: if you are likely to end up, say, at someone else’s residence of an evening, and that someone else invites you to extend the evening stay until the next morning so that you can explore the substantial release of oxytocin through skin-to-skin contact, but their pillow isn’t very comfortable, you might have a situation where you can’t turn your head without pain. In this case, only having to look at the large screen in the dash to see what’s on your left while indicating could be immeasurably advantageous.

honda-accord-nt-2013-side

Other than that, it is completely ridiculous and redundant. For one, the more popular BSM (Blind Spot Monitor) is much better because it’s a simple orange light that warns you if something is in your blind spot, and two, if you break this wing mirror it’s going to cost as much as a second hand car to fix it. At first I found it distracting and probably slightly dangerous; eventually I came to ignore it as I’m sure you will, too.

honda-accord-nt-2013-bootAnyway, to the nitty gritty of the Accord NT. It runs a 2.4-litre, 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC motor putting out 129kW and 225Nm of torque. Honda reckons you can achieve 8.1l/100km combined fuel economy, around 11.6l/100km urban, and as low as 6.1l/100km on the open road. This is OK, but not class-leading. The large central screen doesn’t only show the side-mounted camera, it shows the reversing camera images, too. This has much better functionality because there are three modes including one that looks almost directly down. Congratulations to Honda for doing this because it is actually useful.

honda-accord-nt-2013-dashboardIt’s only got a 5-speed automatic where some manufacturers are offering 7 or 8 speeds (e.g. Lexus), but you do get Hill Start Assist (HSA), and Grade Logic Control which stops you gaining speed when you’re in cruise control going downhill and Gear Logic Control which is supposed to stop gear hunting when you’re in cruise control and you encounter a hill, and also it monitors your throttle control and general driving when deciding what gears to select for you.

It really is acronym alley when it comes to the safety features. VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist), LaneWatch Camera (LWC), ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), EBA (Emergency Brake Assist), ESS (Emergency Stop Signal – turns the hazards on if you brake hard), TSA (Trailer Stability Assist – helps keep an unruly trailer under control) and DWS (Deflation Warning System – it monitors tyre pressure).

Given all the electronics and the obvious luxury aspirations there are a few odd exclusions, for example favouring a foot brake rather than an electronic handbrake. But, my overall verdict is that the Honda is only $55,000, so you do get quite a lot of equipment for the money, plus it rides competently and is easy on the eye. It looks like a mid-level executive car, but it packs the kind of features you would have had to have spent well into the six figures for just five years ago. Of course, you’ve got a large amount of choice within a few grand of the Accord’s price, including that Holden Malibu, Ford Mondeo Titanium, and the Mazda6. Does that make the decision to try it less complex?

Price: $55,000

Pros

  • Executive looks
  • Comfortable
  • Lots of room
  • Learning all those acronyms will help you develop new neural networks

Cons

  • Wing mirror camera is an expensive gimmick
  • Not having to pay attention when driving will diminish your neural capacity
  • Performance

    • Engine

      • Engine Type: 2.4-litre, 16 valve, DOHC, i-VTEC
      • Maximum Power (kW @ rpm): 129kW @ 6,900rpm
      • Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm): 225Nm @ 4,000rpm
      • Drive-by-Wire (DBW) electronic throttle control
      • Compression Ratio: 10.1
      • Bore x Stroke (mm): 87 x 99.1
      • Fuel tank capacity (litres): 65
      • Honda Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
      • Recommended Fuel: 91-octane regular unleaded fuel
    • Handling

      • Brakes: 16″ front ventilated brake discs and 16″ drum in disc brakes
      • MacPherson strut front suspension
      • Front and rear stabiliser bars
      • Independent multi-link coil spring rear suspension
      • Speed-sensitive electronic power-assisted rack and pinion steering
    • Transmission

      • 5-speed automatic transmission
      • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
      • Gear Logic Control with Grade Logic Control
      • Racing-inspired steering wheel mounted shift paddles
  • Safety & Security

    • Airbags

      • Driver and Passenger front i-SRS airbags
      • Side airbags in front seats with OPDS (Occupant Position Detection System) on passenger seat
      • Full length side-curtain airbags
    • Seating

      • Seatbelts: 3-point ELR seatbelts (front and rear). E-pretensioners and height adjustable anchor points for front seatbelts
      • 3 child seat tether points and ALR (Automatic Locking Reel) seatbelts in the rear
      • 2 ISOFIX child seat attachment sets
      • Seatbelt reminders (all seats)
      • Head restraints for all 5 seating positions
    • Safety

      • Electronic Stability Control – VSA (Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist) incorporating Traction Control
      • Front parking sensors (number): 4
      • Reverse camera (three modes)
      • Rear parking sensors (number): 4
      • EPS (Electronic Power Steering)
      • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
      • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
      • Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS)
      • LaneWatch Camera (LWC)
      • ABS (Anti-lock braking system ) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist)
      • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) – Hazard light activation
      • Impact absorbing bumpers
      • G-CON (G-Force Control) Collision Compatibility body design
      • Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
      • Tyre Deflation Warning System (DWS)
    • Security

      • Integrated security alarm system
      • Engine immobiliser
      • Remote central locking on all doors
      • Key less entry, with boot opener
      • Interior master door lock switch
      • Smart Entry with push-button start
  • Fuel Economy & Environment

    • Fuel Economy

      • Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms: 8.1
      • Urban – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms: 11.6
      • Extra Urban – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms: 6.1
    • Emissions

      • Emissions fall within Euro IV standards
      • Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) CO2 (g/km): 192
    • ECON system

      • ECON Switch for Super Economy Mode
      • Ecological Drive Assist Programme for improved fuel economy
  • Entertainment

    • Audio

      • Audio type: Premium
      • Speakers: 17cm front and rear speakers, plus tweeters and subwoofer
      • Front Tweeters
      • Subwoofer
      • CD player
      • USB input (memory stick and iPod compatible)
      • AUX 3.5mm input for music player (e.g. MP3 player / iPod)
      • Speed sensitive volume control (SVC)
      • Active noise cancellation (ANC)
      • Bluetooth music streaming
    • Bluetooth

      • Bluetooth hands free telephone (HFT) system
    • Navigation System

      • Honda Genuine Navigation System with USB audio integration
      • Reversing camera with three viewing modes
  • Dimensions

    • Dimensions

      • Length (mm): 4885
      • Width (mm): 1850
      • Height (mm): 1465
      • Weight (kg): 1572
      • Max Weight (kg): 2035
      • Wheelbase (mm): 2775
      • Ground Clearance (mm): 150
      • Maximum warrantable towing weight (kg): 1600
      • Boot capacity seats up (litres, VDA method): 457
  • Exterior

    • Body

      • Mirrors: Power adjustable, manually retractable body coloured door mirror with integrated side turn indicator and reverse gear tilting
      • Body colour bumpers and chrome door handles
    • Features

      • Single Exhaust with chrome finisher
      • Variable intermittent front windscreen wipers with automatic rain sensor and automatic speed adjustment
    • Wheels

      • Wheels: 18″ x 8″ Blade Silver alloy wheels with 235/45 R18 98W tyres.
      • Full size alloy spare wheel
    • Lights

      • Auto-off headlights
      • High beam support system (HSS)
      • LED headlights
      • Front fog lamps
      • LED rear lights with high-level rear brake light
      • Daytime running front LED lights for enhanced visibility
      • Active cornering lights (ACL)
  • Interior

    • Cargo & Seating

      • 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with Memory and lumbar support
      • Heated front seats with two heat settings
      • Rear seat heating ventilation
      • 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat
      • Power windows with auto up/down and anti-trap on all four doors
      • Cargo luggage floor hooks: 4
      • Rear seat folding centre armrest with cupholders
      • Seating Capacity for 5 – 2 front, 3 rear
      • Magazine Rack Drivers Seat
      • Magazine Rack Passengers Seat
      • Under boot storage, boot side storage and bag hooks
      • Cupholders
      • Centre console storage
      • Storage compartments and CD storage
      • Coin pocket
      • Leather upholstery
    • Comfort & Convenience

      • Independent driver and passenger climate control air conditioning with i-Dual zone
      • Air conditioning dust and pollen clean air filter
      • Leather trimmed tilt and reach adjustable 4-spoke steering wheel
      • Double action foot parking brake
      • Leather trimmed gear shift lever
      • Central locking
      • Paddle shifters for +/- SportShift on steering wheel
      • Cruise control integrated into steering wheel
      • Window open/close operation with remote key-fob and driver’s door lock activation
      • Electric glass sunroof with tilt/slide function and integrated sliding shade, with onetouch open/close function and anti-trap
      • Auto dimming rear view mirror
      • Drivers and passengers vanity mirror with light and lid
      • Seatback Pockets (driver)
      • Seatback Pockets (front passenger)
      • Sunglass storage box
      • Front map reading lights
      • Ambient interior light
      • Door courtesy light
      • Cargo light
      • Ticket/card holder (driver only)
      • Glove box light
      • Accessory power outlet (12V socket) 2x (front and centre console)
    • Driver display

      • Multi information display (iMID) with clock, Bluetooth, iPod/mp3 integration, with wallpaper selection and trip computer
      • Outside temperature display
      • Tachometer
      • Average fuel economy (litres/100km)
      • Instant fuel economy
      • Elapsed driving time
      • Distance to empty
      • Average Speed Indicator
      • Bluetooth HandsFreeLink
      • Digital Odometer and Digital Trip Meters
  • Warranty

    • Warranty

      • Vehicle 3 year, unlimited kilometre warranty

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