2013 Honda Accord Sport Long-Term Update 4
One benefit of Motor Trend’s large long-term fleet is the ability to compare vehicles in the same segment, e.g. my 2013 Honda Accord Sport and our 2013 Nissan Altima SL. Both are midsize family sedans with sporting intentions. Each boasts a 180-plus-hp inline-four paired to a CVT, a front strut and rear multilink suspension, and EPA combined fuel economy of at least 29 mpg.
In terms of performance testing, the 188-hp, 3328-pound Accord held the edge over the 182-hp, 3174-pound Altima, besting it from 0-60 mph (7.5 seconds versus 7.7), the quarter mile (15.8 seconds at 90.8 mph versus 15.9 at 88.9), around the skidpad (0.88 g versus 0.82), and through MT’s figure eight (26.7 seconds at 0.68 g versus 28.0 at 0.60). In 60-0 braking the lighter Nissan outdueled the Honda at 120 feet versus 129.
Despite being heavier and offering more power, the 2.4-liter Accord made fewer visits to the gas pump, returning observed fuel economy of 28.6 mpg, notably better than the 27.2 of the 2.5-liter Altima. (FYI, the Accord is EPA rated at 26/35/29 mpg city/highway/combined, while the Altima touts 27/38/31.) Maintenance? Essentially a wash over their respective 20,000-plus miles of service. Each required two scheduled dealer visits that totaled just over $200 -- $209.42 for the Accord and $204.92 for the Altima.
Zach Gale, MT.com’s senior production editor and chaperone of the Altima, spent some time in the Accord and had this to say:
“I've spent many months behind the wheel of a 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL, and after a couple more nights in the 2013 Honda Accord Sport, I think I could easily live with both CVTs. People freak out over how CVTs feel, but for me, it's only in full-throttle blasts I really notice much is different. Otherwise, you just get smoothness instead of the subtle jerks between shifts in a conventional automatic transmission.
“I've said it before in an Altima long-term update, but I love Honda's placement of the info screen at the top of the dash, and pushed far back for optimal visibility. They've been doing it that way for years now, and I can see why. Overall, the Honda may look better and have more interior space than the Nissan, but I have a feeling you can get a better price on a similarly equipped Altima than an Accord in most places around the U.S. Though I like the seats in this Sport model, I’d probably sacrifice them for a model with more features if I were considering an Accord – in 2014, there’s just no way I’d ever buy a car without hands-free keyless access.”
More on our long-term 2013 Honda Accord Sport: