Angie Pritchard is my mom. She drives a grey, 4-cylinder, automatic 2000 Honda Accord. It replaced her 1996, which was powder blue and similarly equipped. That earlier model had 400,000 kilometres of reliable service on it when she sold it. Her current Accord has 245,000. Both posed few problems, started reliably at 30 below, and got mom around when she needed to purchase key cooking ingredients or come visit her favourite son.
Charged with creating an evaluation on the new 2013 Honda Accord Sport, I decided to hand the keys to Mom for some insight.
I am, after all, desensitized to things like backup cameras and electric power steering, in a way. I see them every week. Mom doesn’t. She’s been driving the same car, every day, for years. I can hardly imagine what that’s like.
Turns out it was, largely, a list of the new Accord’s thoughtful features that she loved the most.
“The steering is really light when you park it. I liked that.”
That’s the electric power steering. When the car is moving at parking-lot speeds, it signals the power steering system to work harder, so you don’t have to. You get normal steering feel at highway speeds, and an easier time parking. At low speeds, you could steer with one finger.
“It’s so smooth shifting.”
That’s because it has a CVT, or Continuously Variable Transmission, which executes the smoothest gearshifts possible: none at all. With no gears to shift, power comes on a linear wave, rather than in “steps.” This saves you gas and makes acceleration smooth and seamless.
“I’m going to use this all the time.”
Mom was talking about the “ECON” button. Press it, and the 2013 Honda Accord
’s computer brain makes changes to the sensor in the gas pedal, the engine and the transmission. These changes work with your gentle driving to help save fuel. You press this when you’re trying to drive as efficiently as possible, which Mom always does.
“I love that screen that lets you see what’s behind you.”
That’s the backup camera. Its standard on every new Accord sold, because Honda says everyone wants one. It helps with parking and navigating while you’re in reverse, and makes the area in and around the Accord safer. Winter sees it easily blocked with salty road spray, but a lick of your finger and swipe over the tiny lens as you walk by clears it.
“The turn signals blink three times... on their own?”
That’s an added convenience when you’re changing lanes. Tap the stick once, and it blinks the blinker three times. Makes you look like a more courteous driver, even if you aren’t.
“The lights stay on all on their own.”
Left in “AUTO,” the headlights turn on when it gets dark, turn off when it’s not, and even stay on for half a minute after you lock the car so you can see your way up to the house in the dark.
|Photo: Sébastien D'Amour