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2013 Honda Accord Sport Long-Term Update 2

Ron Kiino
Mar 18, 2014
Photographers: Motor Trend Staff
At the 10,000-mile mark, the Accord Sport's Maintenance Minder light came on, alerting me that the car required an A1 service. In Honda-speak, that equates to an $86.38 oil change (Quaker State Ultimate Durability full synthetic OW-20), tire rotation, and inspection. The first service is a good time to have the dealer fix any loose trim pieces, adjust misaligned parts, or remedy nagging squeaks and rattles, but lucky for me the Accord has thus far been a rock-solid piece devoid of any annoyances. In fact, of all the midsize sedans I've driven, the Accord feels the most robust. No wonder it achieved a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS.
To see if I could improve the Sport's already solid handling and braking (lateral acceleration of 0.88 g, 60-0 braking of 129 feet), I swapped the OE wheel/tire package (8 x 18-inch alloys shod with 235/45 94V Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-season tires) with a set of Yokohama Advan RSII alloys wearing Continental ContiSportContact 3 summer tires. (Both the Advans and Contis were OE size.) Manufactured for Yokohama by Enkei in Japan, the Advans boast a 10-spoke design and "flow-forming" rim shaping, helping achieve low weight and high strength. The aftermarket set -- 19 pounds per wheel, 23 pounds per tire -- dropped the unsprung weight by 12 pounds per corner compared to the OE set (28 pounds per wheel, 26 pounds per tire), but didn't pay off as much as I'd hoped at the track. Lateral acceleration proved less sticky, sliding to 0.85 g, while 60-0 braking improved to 116 feet. Win some, lose some. Next up, I'll be trying a set of Enkei Raijin wheels (20 pounds per) wrapped in Pirelli's new PZero Nero GT summer tires (25 pounds per), which our friends at the Tire Rack sent over. Stay tuned to see if that combo nets better results.
Photo 2/12   |   2013 Honda Accord Sport Wheels 02
Whether on the stock all-season Michelins or the non-OE summer Contis, the Accord delivered a compliant ride and laudable sportiness. I recently spent a day in the new Accord Hybrid, and while I certainly appreciated the plusher ride, I wouldn't trade it for the Sport's firmer suspension and sharper handling. If anything, I think the Sport's front strut/rear multilink setup could be stiffened a half step further -- I'd prefer a little less wallow and roll on twisty, undulating pavement. Of course, I understand that this is a family sedan at heart, so, Honda, go ahead and save my suggestion for the Accord Type-R -- c'mon, you know you want to build it.
Photo 3/12   |   2013 Honda Accord Sport Front Three Quarters In Motion 03

Our Car
Service life 7 mo/13,161 mi
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 26/35/29 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.67 lb/mi
Energy consumption 116 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $86.38 (oil change, tire rotation, inspection)
Normal-wear cost $0



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