If you want a knock out, drag out fight in the automotive world, look no further than the midsize sedan market. Automakers are trying to one up each other in class to try and grab a slice of this very important and lucrative segment. One of the big players in this class for the longest time was the Honda Accord which offered the best combination of driving fun, comfort, reliability, and resale value. But automakers within the past few years have been stepping up their game in the class; Ford has the dramatically styled 2013 Fusion, Nissan has the all-new Altima, and Volkswagen has the new Passat. For Honda, it was a wake-up call. They knew the next Accord had to better the competition and with the 2013 Accord sedan, they have just done that.

The 2013 Accord sedan’s design is mostly the same as the previous generation Accord aside from a revised front end that includes a new grille and headlight, new shoulder lines, shorter front and rear overhangs, and a new trunk lid. What has changed is how much smaller the 2013 Accord is. Honda engineers lobbed off 3.6 inches out of the new Accord to help remove some of the bloat the old model had. With this decrease in length, you would think the interior space would be affected. Not so. Thanks to some clever packaging, the 2013 Accord sedan retains the large space the outgoing model was praised for. The interior also got some major changes with the instrument cluster and center stack getting redesigned. All Accords come with a large eight-inch LCD display to provide information about what you’re listening to and for the standard back-up camera. The LCD screen also plays a key role in a new piece of safety tech in the Accord. Called LaneWatch, the passenger side-view mirror has a camera mounted in the bottom that turns on when a driver flicks the right turn signal. The video from the camera is fed to the to screen letting a driver know if its safe to move into the next lane.

The base engine in the 2013 Accord is a new Earth Dreams 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder producing either 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet or 189 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Those looking for more power can get Earth Dreams 3.5L V6 with 278 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. Four cylinder models have the choice of either a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. V6 models stick with a six-speed automatic. The Honda Accord sedan lineup starts at $21,680 for the base LX model with a six-speed manual and goes all the way up to $33,430 for the V6 Touring.