Best Family Cars for 2013
The 2013 Honda Accord Sedan, Civic Sedan and CR-V compact SUV were all named to the 10 Best Family Cars list compiled by the experts at Parents Magazine and Edmunds.com.
The three family-friendly Honda vehicles were selected out of hundreds of models for excelling in the key areas of safety, fuel efficiency, technology and connectivity. And much like families comes in different sizes, these three Hondas offer a variety of space and features to fit different needs.
FUEL EFFICIENT SEDAN
2013 Honda Accord
Redesigned for 2013, the Accord offers pretty much all of the features buyers want in a family sedan. Its available powertrains offer crisp acceleration while at the same time delivering the sort of frugal mileage (27 city/36 highway) that saves dollars at the pump. There's also a long list of standard features to enjoy, including a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity and dual-zone climate control.
Safety: Every 2013 Honda Accord comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems are available on upper trim levels.
Worthy of particular mention is the LaneWatch blind-spot system (EX trim and above), which instantly switches the 8-inch screen's display to a low and expansive view of the passenger side of the car when the right turn signal is engaged. A camera in the right-side mirror dedicated to this function provides a confidence-inspiring view, and acclimating to catching the view in the center-dash display is quick and natural.
In government crash testing, the Accord sedan received five out of five stars for overall and side crash protection. In the Institute's new "small overlap front crash" test, the sedan received a "Good" rating, while the coupe got a second-best "Acceptable." This is particularly noteworthy, as most vehicles have scored poorly in this new test.
Space: Despite the Accord's slightly smaller exterior dimensions, its interior room remains impressive. There is plenty of leg and shoulder space for front occupants, and rear-seat passengers should be quite comfortable and happy. We're also fond of the visibility afforded by the Accord cabin, which offers a lower beltline, slimmer roof pillars and a generous amount of glass.
COMPACT COMFORT AND VALUE
2013 Honda Civic
The Civic is one of the most popular cars on the market, and with good reason. Its assets include strong fuel economy (28 city/39 highway), a roomy cabin and a comfortable ride. Standard features include a rearview camera and audio controls on the steering wheel.
Safety: The 2013 Honda Civic comes with standard safety features that include stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems are standard on the Civic Hybrid.
Although the government has yet to test the updated 2013 Civic as of this writing, the 2012 Civic sedan received a perfect five stars in the overall, frontal and side crash categories. The 2012 Civic coupe received four stars in each. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Civic sedan the highest possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.
Technology: The Civic comes packed with a full complement of tech amenities this year, including text messaging functionality (which allows you to listen to and respond to text messages while you drive without taking your hands off the wheel) and Pandora radio functionality.
5 STAR SAFETY IN A CROSSOVER
2013 Honda CR-V
Though it's a small crossover, the CR-V offers a roominess and versatility that's more typically associated with larger SUVs. Fuel economy is superb (23 city/31 highway mpg), and the list of family-friendly features is lengthy. The CR-V also offers the latest in tech amenities, including a Pandora interface and an available text messaging function that allows you to listen to incoming text messages via the audio system.
Safety: Standard safety equipment on the 2013 Honda CR-V includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. All CR-V models also come with a back-up camera.
The 2013 CR-V earned a perfect five stars for overall protection in government crash tests, scoring five stars for both frontal- and side-impact protection. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CR-V received the best possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests.
Technology: Abundant tech features are available, with a Pandora interface and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio being offered as standard equipment on all models. The CR-V is also available with an SMS text messaging function that allows you to listen to incoming text messages via the audio system and reply with one of six preset responses.
Space: The CR-V also swallows more stuff than its outside appearance would suggest. With the rear seats in place, the CR-V can carry 37.2 cubic feet of cargo; fold the rear seat down and that figure grows to an impressive 70.9 cubic feet.
And coming soon…
A VAN THAT CLEANS ITSELF? WELL ALMOST
2014 Honda Odyssey
When Honda pulled the wraps off the refreshed 2014 Odyssey in its top-spec Touring Elite trim, the appropriately named HondaVAC was installed, ready to inhale all the errant cereal, dog hair, and pocket change your brood can dish out.
Developed in conjunction with Shop-Vac, the vacuum employs a replaceable filter and canister bag just like the full-size one in your garage. Nozzle accessories fit neatly into a dedicated storage space located on the driver’s-side bulkhead of the rear cargo area. You get enough hose to reach each and every nook, cranny, and corner of the Odyssey’s cabin. It’ll run indefinitely when the engine is running, and for up to eight minutes when the 3.5-liter V-6 is off.
Many structural improvements have been made also, which Honda speculates will help the Odyssey achieve top marks in safety tests, although no one’s yet tested the 2014 model. Odyssey Touring Elite also will get standard safety systems like forward collision warning and lane-departure warning, and the vacuum is standard here, too.
Interior trims have been updated, and a bevy of standard and optional features are available, including HD radio, keyless entry and start, a text-message reading function, and HondaLink, which uses an occupant’s smartphone to access internet radio, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps.