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New Car Test Drive has declared the 2013 Honda Accord Best Commuter Car for 2013.
By Mitch McCullough, New Car Test Drive editor-in-chief

New Car Test Drive has declared the 2013 Honda Accord Best Commuter Car for 2013.

All-new, the 2013 Accord is an outstanding sedan in every respect. Its smooth ride, smooth, responsive powertrain, smooth brakes, comfortable cabin, and easy to use features make it a joyous refuge from the daily grind. And that's what makes a great commuter car.

We think we were the first to focus on commuting for a product award, though other media quickly glommed on. The mistake most of them make, however, is they focus almost exclusively on fuel economy. But if fuel economy is your sole criteria for selecting a car for your daily commute you don't need them: Simply go to www.fueleconomy.gov and pick your own winner.

Here at New Car Test Drive, we think a great commuter car is much more than a highly efficient transportation appliance. After all, you practically live in this thing. A two-hour commute means you may spend more than 20 hours a week in your car. And that's just getting to and from work. You use your car on weekends and evenings, also. Saving money on gas is good, but it may not be everything. Some of us want more. After a long, stressful day, we want to get into a car that makes us feel good. We want a happy place, whether that means gliding along in silence lost in our thoughts, celebrating with some tunes, or enjoying the response of the steering, brakes and throttle. A noisy, reluctant car that's cheap to operate doesn't do that. And as you motor home, that extra three bucks in your bank account will not reduce your stress levels the way a smooth, refined machine will.

Next to a house, a new car is one of the most expensive things most of us buy. It's the most complex mass-produced product on the market. The good news: Cars have never been better. And this is a good time to buy one, assuming you can afford one.

That brings us back to the Honda Accord. First of all, it's a sedan. Sedans are handy for commuting because you can open the back door and toss in your stuff. It's so easy, and it saves walking around the car and cluttering up the passenger seat.

Second, the new Accord is outstanding from the standpoint of driving dynamics. It handles grinding stop-and-go traffic supremely well. There's no hesitation when you tip in the throttle; it accelerates exactly how you want, and it does this smoothly and quietly. The 7-speed automatic changes gears smoothly, almost imperceptibly. The brakes are not grabby, as they are on many hybrid-powered vehicles. Instead, they are smooth and progressive, slowing the car exactly the amount you want for the situation. The nose of the car doesn't dive excessively when you brake nor does the rear squat under acceleration. Traffic during commuting hours around Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, Seattle, you name it, can be vexing because you stop and go, stop and go, stop and go, sometimes a half-dozen times a minute, and the dynamics of repeatedly accelerating and braking can greatly affect your stress levels. It can be really annoying in some cars. In the Accord, it's minimized.

Third, the 2013 Accord is supremely comfortable, easy to operate and offers the driver a vast array of features. The navigation system is easy to operate. The stereo is easy and it sounds good. The seats are comfortable. Visibility in all directions is excellent, reducing your stress levels further. There are passive safety features galore, should you or someone else make a mistake that results in a collision. Active safety features are there to help you avoid a collision.

Fourth, the new Accord does get excellent fuel economy: With the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, Accord rates an EPA-estimated 27/36 miles per gallon City/Highway, or 30 mpg Combined, with the continuously variable transmission. With the 7-speed automatic, it rates 26/35 mpg City/Highway. Regular gasoline is recommended for all 2013 Accord models, so there's no need to spend more money buying Premium.

Finally, it even looks great. The outgoing Accord was bland in appearance, but the 2013 Accord offers sleek styling that won't quickly grow old.

For these reasons and more, we're calling the new Accord Best Commuter Car for 2013.


Price your 2003 Honda Accord at CarsDirect.