Last post on Dec 07, 2013 at 12:35 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat, Mazda MAZDA6, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#16858 of 20212 Auto News on Accord
Sep 13, 2012 (12:36 pm)
To me this is an interesting story of what some of the execs and engineers at Honda wanted as they worked on the new 2013 Accord.
ACCORD: HONDA'S COMEBACK CAR?
Honda goes all-in with 2013 Accord
Automaker bets redesigned car brings its mojo back
Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120910/OEM03/309109942#ixzz26NseJzvF
Here's a taste of the article. More at the link...
"This is our most important car," said Takuji Yamada, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. "This car is who we are."
The Accord is Honda's make-or-break profit center. More than 11 million have been sold in the United States since the car was launched 36 years and eight generations ago. But the Accord has slipped in sales, share and consideration as other automakers' mid-sized sedans have improved...
Honda cannot afford another public humiliation like the one it received with the lambasting of the cheap interior materials used in the 2012 Civic redesign. The Accord is the car that defines whether Honda has regained its mojo.
Honda Motor has taken its lumps of late from a string of uninspired products; the Japan earthquake that crippled its r&d operations, making it the hardest hit of any Japanese automaker; the Thailand flooding that smashed a chunk of its supplier network; and a strong yen that squeezes the profit from dollar-denominated U.S. sales.
The 2013 Accord also is the first Honda developed completely under the watch of Ito, who took command of Honda Motor in February 2009 soon after the global economy imploded.
Ito, an engineer who helped develop the aluminum body of the Acura NSX supercar, also has taken his lumps. He formally took blame for the Civic's cheap interior, saying he approved a last-minute removal of content from the car to lower its price in the slumping U.S. market. But Ito also gave the underlying message that such an error would not be repeated.
At the Accord press event here, a phalanx of Japanese engineers beamed with pride -- indeed, with rarely seen swagger -- when standing next to their new charge. That also was a sea change, for two reasons: First, there was little mention of U.S. engineering involvement in the car's development, whereas Honda's PR message normally reinforces how "American" a vehicle is. And, second, for the past several years, Honda engineers typically have been reserved rather than boastful.
Might this be the start of a renaissance at Honda?
Shoji Matsui: No excuses allowed
For the 2013 Accord redesign, Honda called on a 30-year veteran to be chief engineer.
Shoji Matsui engineered Accords for the 1986 to 1996 model years -- the car's heyday, when its road performance and refinements gave it an aura of prestige. Matsui's first job was to design the fuel-filler cover for the 1986 model. His mentor: Takanobu Ito. For the 2013 car, Matsui says his mission from Ito was to "put our power together on this, without excuses."
Sep 13, 2012 (2:00 pm)
If the new Accord is as good as it is written-up, the Altima could be the loser is all this. Honda appears to have come up with a genuinely better car and done good work to create more function/price combinations. So Honda has a good car, a good reputation and good value. The Camry had the head-start, resale value and reputation. The Altima is stuck is the middle and may again be relegated to populating the rental fleets. Nissan's quality, in reputation or reality, does them no favors.
The forthcoming Mazda 6 does fare well in the scenario either since it will be the last of the Japanese mid-sizeers to market. Its track record is nothing to build on.
#16860 of 20212 Re: Camry should be called Chintzy.... [ctl]
Sep 13, 2012 (2:22 pm)
When you see a 5 years old Hyundai, you also know what they are made of.
I certainly know what my 9-year-old Elantra GT is made of when I look at its glossy red paint and near-perfect interior: a lot of quality, even for an old (late '90s) design that's not nearly as good as current Hyundais. Still drives like new too. Oh, and my wife's 6-year-old Sonata is doing fine also, except she beats up cars so it has more scratches than the GT.
#16861 of 20212 Re: blind spots [benjaminh]
Sep 13, 2012 (4:52 pm)
I expect that EVERY car on the road is about to hit me. An inattentive driver is an inattentive driver regardless of which car they're driving. Trucks and delivery vans have zero rear visibility other than their side mirrors.
What I'm saying is it's the driver, not the vehicle. Not that I would argue against better rear visibility.
#16862 of 20212 Re: blind spots [akirby]
Sep 13, 2012 (10:30 pm)
Yeah, I watch out for trucks too! As you say, it's good to be a cautious and defensive driver....But imho excellent visibility from inside your vehicle at least helps.
Here's the first ad from Honda for the 2013 Accord. For a commercial it's pretty long—1 minute 30 seconds. It talks about Honda's long time MM2 design philosophy: Man Maximum, Machine Minimum. They first talked about that in the early 80s, I think. But even though they talked about it back then with car reporters for Motor Trend, etc., I think this is the first time I've ever heard it in an ad.
The ad also talks about the importance of excellent visibility. It's worth a watch:
Sep 13, 2012 (10:53 pm)
I'm seriously thinking about buying one of these myself.
One of our cars is already an Accord, a 2008 EXL Navi 5MT Sedan, which is by far the best car we've ever owned. Our other car is a 2010 Mazda 5 5MT.
That Mazda5 looks from the outside like it would have good visibility from the inside, but it's actually only so so. The far back rear quarter window on the driver's side is almost unusable from the driver's seat, because of the thick pillars in the far back. The interior quality and handling are also not at the Accord level.
Anyway, even though this car has only 13k miles, I think we're probably going to trade it in on a 2013 Accord. I've always liked manuals, but my wife prefers an auto, even though she can drive a stick well. And so the model we are leaning toward is a 2013 EXL Navi CVT in Basque red pearl with a white leather interior. I feel a bit guilty about not getting a manual, since I'm part of the save the manuals crowd, but it happens that we love factory navi for trips and even for around town, and the navi is only available with the auto these days (I had to special order mine with a manual back in 08, but now that's not an option).
I'm also intrigued by Honda's Earth Dreams G-shift CVT. The idea of cruising at 60 mph while only running at c. 1500 rpm seems appealing. No wonder this car gets high highway mpg. My 2008 Accord runs, I think, at c. 2700 rpm in 5th at 60 mph. There are many reasons I like manuals, but one of them has always been that I felt I could get better mpg than with an auto. But no matter how well I shift I can't ever beat this new CVT on the hwy.
The new Accord has a best in class smooth shifting 6 speed manual too available for some models. That is appealing! But even in 6th with the manual you'd be running at maybe 2400 rpm. That's why the EPA mpg ratings for the first time for the Accord are lower for the manual than for the auto.
#16864 of 20212 Camry, Accord, and the Korean models......
Sep 14, 2012 (3:58 am)
1) Hey guys. I am not looking for a fight about the Camry. There is no question they are good cars, but at the time I bought my new car they were still making a 5 year old design. I have 3 grade school kids so I had a limited budget.
2) The reason the pillars are so thick on ALL the late model sedans is because the federal government demands it for the ever increasing roll-over and crash protection standards.
3) The mid-size sedan segment is THE toughest automotive class to design and sell. These cars have to be everything to everyone. For example; I want a sports sedan, my neighbor wants great gas mileage, other neighbor needs a big trunk, and the kid down the hall want a fast car w/o high insurance premiums that go along with 2 door coupes.
4) I probably should not have bashed Toyota so thoroughly in my last post, and would like to apologize to Camry owners who I may have offended.
Anyway, great discussion!
#16865 of 20212 Re: Camry should be called Chintzy.... [backy]
Sep 14, 2012 (4:14 am)
Ditto. My sister's '04 Sonata has 194K miles and is just starting to get aged car random quirks. She has a 60+ mile each way commute and is strongly considering an Elantra to replace it. Absolutely no problems with quality.
#16866 of 20212 Re: Camry, Accord, and the Korean models...... [cski]
Sep 14, 2012 (5:02 am)
"2) The reason the pillars are so thick on ALL the late model sedans is because the federal government demands it for the ever increasing roll-over and crash protection standards."
Good post overall. But this part is, I believe, incorrect. New higher grades of steel make thinner pillars possible while still *increasing* the strength of the car. It's not a structural problem, it's a *style* problem.
If what you write is true, how is is that the Accord, both the current generation as well as the all new 2013 Accord, get or are expected to achieve top scores in all safety and crash tests while still having *excellent* visibility? I'm not try to annoy or argue with you needlessly, I'm just trying to give you more information for what I think is an honest mistake you are making in that one sentence there.
Here's a little on the new Accord to give you additional info on this:
The 2013 Accord unit-body uses 55.8-percent high-tensile steel, more than in any previous Accord. In addition, 17.2-percent of the steel is now grade 780, 980 and 1,500 – extremely high grades that have never before been used in any Accord. This contributes to higher body rigidity and reduced weight, which directly benefits ride and handling, interior quietness, performance and efficiency and long-term durability.
The measured improvements in rigidity are significant. In static tests, bending rigidity is up 34 percent and torsional rigidity is up 42-percent compared to the previous-generation Accord. In dynamic tests, front lateral rigidity is up 16 percent and rear vertical rigidity is up 39-percent....
Collision safety capability is enhanced in the 2013 Accord, thanks to the newly revised Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, while the more extensive use of high-tensile steel allows protection to be provided with less weight. While official testing had not been completed at press time, internal Honda results indicate that the Accord will earn 5 Stars (the top rating) in federal NHTSA crash testing, along with Good crash ratings (the top level) and a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Projected test results include:
Overall Vehicle Score
Overall Frontal Crash Safety rating
Overall Side Crash Safety rating
Frontal collision rating
Side collision rating
Neck protection rating
Roof strength rating
Narrow offset frontal collision rating
http://www.hondanews.com/channels/honda-automobiles-accord/releases/2013-honda-a- - - ccord-safety
#16867 of 20212 Re: 2013 Accord [benjaminh]
Sep 14, 2012 (4:52 am)
I commend you for sticking to your guns & buying manual transmissions for so long. You even went as far as special ordering your '08 Accord with a stick. You've done all you can to "save the manuals" & shouldn't be ashamed for buying an Accord with a CVT.
I have 1 car of 3 that's a stick, my 2001 Honda Prelude Type SH.