The 2013 Honda Accord has won the top spot in the Cars.com/USA TODAY/”MotorWeek” Midsize Sedan Showdown, a competition between six popular midsize sedans that retail for under $26,000 and achieve 28 mpg or better combined EPA-rated fuel economy.
The formal announcement, made by Honda on Dec. 27. noted that this is the fifth win for a Honda in a Cars.com/USA TODAY /”MotorWeek” showdown.
The three-year-old event combines a real-world family with five automotive media experts from Cars.com, USA Today and the PBS television show, “MotorWeek” into a judging team to drive and score the features and performance of the vehicles that are considered to be mainstream in the midsize segment.
For the 2012 competition, mainstream was defined by the experts as a midsize with a MSRP under $26,000 and an EPA-rated fuel economy of at least 28 mpg.
The winning 2013 Honda Accord was recognized for its athletic and dynamic handling, comfortable driving experience and ample standard feature content. “We’re pleased that the real-world customers have determined that Accord excels in all areas, which makes the Cars.com/USA TODAY /”MotorWeek” showdown victory for the 2013 Accord all the more meaningful,” said Michael Accavitti, vice president of marketing operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The consistent strength of Honda products in these shootouts supports our strong position with in-market consumers.”
“Accord is one of the oldest and most trusted midsize sedans on the market,” said Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief of Cars.com. “With each redesign, the Accord continues to get better and better. The 2013 won our showdown because of its high-end standard features, value for money and great driving ability.”
Beyond this latest Cars.com/USA TODAY /”MotorWeek” shootout win, the 2013 Honda Accord is among the first vehicles awarded the TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and was named to Car and Driver Magazine’s ’10Best Cars’ list for a record 27th time.
Additionally, the 2013 Accord was announced as a finalist for the 2013 North American Car of the Year which will be announced as part of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to be held in Detroit in early January.
The Cars.com/USA TODAY /”MotorWeek” competition measures all the needs of the average car-buyer including fuel efficiency, practicality, driving ability, comfort and features.
All of the 2013 contenders were four-door sedans. They were the 2013 Ford Fusion, 2013 Honda Accord and 2013 Nissan Altima which were all new for 2013 and the 2013 Toyota Camry, 2013 Kia Optima and 2013 Hyundai Sonata, all refreshed or new in the last two years.
The competition is very strict starting with the eligibility requirements that the MSRP not exceed $26,000 and the minimum mileage being 28 mpg. Several mid-size sedans did not participate in the competition because they did not meet one or both of these requirements.
The judges are five automotive experts from the media and a selected “typical” family who represent what would be the market target for this vehicle segment.
The competition consists of a one day 185 mile gas mileage test using rotating drivers in mixed highway and city use beginning and ending at the same place followed by a fixed course testing by the five judges over a single day and another day of driving by the family to drive and review each competing vehicle.
The scoring is done across 10 specific categories with 14.4% (72% total) of the score from each expert judge, 18% from the family and 10% from the mileage test.
Competition was very close this year with only a few points separating the top three vehicles.
The final scores which included the experts and family evaluations plus the mileage test put the 2013 Honda Accord in first place (687.1) edging the 2013 Ford Fusion (678.5) and the 2013 Kia Optima (677.6).
Interestingly, the family judged the 2013 Camry as the best followed by the 2013 Kia Optima in their scoring as reported by USA TODAY.
USA TODAY reported the full results of the Midsize Showdown in their Dec. 27 issue.