Few cars have left a mark on the auto industry as indelible as that of the Honda Accord.
Credited with helping open up the American market for Japanese autos, the “reliable” Accord was once the bestselling car in America before it began losing ground first to Japanese rivals and more recently to resurgent domestic automakers and South Korean upstarts.
This week, shoppers had their first chance to check out a redesigned Accord as Honda begins a comeback push that is crucial to the automaker's recovery from recent missteps in the United States.
After getting panned for last year's redesign of the smaller Civic and letting South Korean rival Hyundai grab a slice of Honda's reputation for fuel economy, the car company needs the new Accord to be a home run.
The 2013 Accord competes against a recently redesigned Toyota Camry, as well as other new-generation cars, including the Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat and Chevrolet Malibu. Ford will sell a new Fusion this fall, and waiting in the wings is a new Mazda6. The older but still popular Hyundai Sonata is another important player in the mid-size sedan market, which accounts for 18 percent of auto sales, the largest segment in the industry, according to R.L. Polk & Co.
Honda's previous stumbles have made it vulnerable to once-loyal consumers taking a look at other brands. Honda has seen its share of the U.S. market slide from 11 percent in 2009 to 9 percent last year, according to Autodata Corp.
“Honda learned its lesson,” said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with auto information company Edmunds.com, who has driven the new model. “The interior was very high quality and well appointed. The engines performed extremely well. And most impressive, Honda is packing a lot of content into the price.”
The LX, the base model with an automatic transmission and 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine, starts at $22,480. But Honda expects that most buyers will opt for higher trim levels, such as the middle-grade EX, which has added amenities such as 17-inch alloy wheels, a LaneWatch feature that displays a video image of the passenger-side blind spot when changing lanes, a driver's power seat and electronic entry. It has the same engine and starts at $25,405 for the automatic.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PPG puts brand 1st in strategy to reach commercial paint market
- Travelers find Internet direct route to Priory’s spirited past in Pittsburgh’s North Side
- EPA ordered to ease limits on cross-border air pollution that involves Pennsylvania
- Consol Energy, Range Resources report 2Q losses, plan deeper cuts
- U.S. Steel posts quarterly loss, declares dividend
- Muni bond funds stressed
- Pa. improves performance among competitive electric markets
- Stocks end 5-day slide on strong Ford, UPS earnings
- Invasive beetle costs Pittsburgh-area power companies plenty
- U.S. Steel joins major producers in new dumping complaint
- Bayer sets sights beyond aspirin