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Accord Makes Big Changes For 2013

Headroom in front and rear is about on par, and the Accord's trunk space of 15.8 cubic feet is up from last year's 14.7 cubic feet but less than the 16.4 in the Sonata.

The new, front-wheel drive Accord is quieter than the old model, and in the Touring model, rode smoothly and handled curvy mountain roads with poise. Steering is a bit on the light side.

Honda devotees will appreciate the low cowl which, with slimmer-than-some-competitors' metal pillars at the sides of the windshield, gives an airier feel to the front seats.

The middle of the dashboard in the Touring model commanded attention because it had not one, but two, large display screens. The top one handled navigation items.

The lower one displayed views from the rearview camera and, more strikingly, a new LaneWatch blind spot system that's standard on EX and higher Accords. The first few times it activated, which was during right-hand turns, the driver was mesmerized by the clear portrayal of the curbs and sidewalk crossings displayed as the car passed by. It's not a view normally seen by a driver. Note this LaneWatch camera works only for the passenger side of the car.

Meantime, the rearview camera on the test car had a snafu once, turning on as the car traveled forward down an avenue. The camera stayed on for nearly a mile.

After the car was turned off and restarted, the rear view was only seen when it was supposed to â¿¿ when the car is in "reverse."

Seats were soft-to-firm, and fit and finish inside and out was excellent on the test car.

Standard safety equipment includes six air bags, front-seat active head restraints to reduce whiplash, electronic stability control and traction control.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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