2013 Accord puts Honda back in Consumer Reports' good graces

DETROIT Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:59pm EST

DETROIT Dec 18 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co's redesigned 2013 Accord tops the U.S. mid-size class for four-cylinder sedans, according to Consumer Reports, edging the Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata.

The six-cylinder version of the 2013 Accord is nearly as good, the independent product testing organization said on Tuesday. The vehicle challenges the Camry V6 and Camry Hybrid for the top spot in the group's overall ratings of mid-size cars.

The latest test results will be published in the February issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which said the redesigned Accord "alters the mid-sized sedan landscape" and "returns to the front of the pack." Results also can be viewed on the group's website, ConsumerReports.org.

Consumer Reports cited the car's "roomy interior, frugal fuel economy, fun-to-drive character and an attractive combination of features and price."

"Honda missed the mark with other redesigned models in recent years, but it nailed this one," said the group's vehicle testing director, Jake Fisher.

The 2013 Accord with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission is rated by the EPA at 40 miles per gallon in highway driving, with a combined fuel-economy rating of 30 m.p.g.

The Accord's 3.5-liter V6 "is super smooth and quite powerful," according to the magazine, and can out-accelerate some sports cars.

Consumer Reports a year ago surprised some U.S. car buyers when it rapped the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic, which it said was "less agile" and had "lower interior quality than its predecessor."

The group charged that Honda took "too many shortcuts" when it overhauled the Civic and urged its readers to avoid the car.

Responding in part to the criticism, Honda rushed a mildly improved version of the Civic to market for the 2013 model year, with some chassis tweaks and an upgraded interior with better-quality materials.

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