• Siri virtual assistant coming to Accord, Acuras
  • Option available as dealer-installed accessory
  • Chevrolet also offers Siri; other brands to follow

Honda is adding Apple's Siri virtual assistant into some 2013 models. According to Honda, the feature will be offered as a dealer-installed option on the 2013 Honda Accord. Luxury brand Acura will also offer it in the RDX crossover and ILX sedan.

According to Honda, the system will function using Apple's Eyes Free mode. The program turns off an iPhone's screen so drivers don't use it behind the wheel. Instead, drivers can access Siri through steering wheel buttons and voice commands. Honda says the goal of adding Siri is to improve technology and cut down on distracted driving.

"The iPhone has become so integral to peoples' lives that they continue to use them in their vehicles," said Vicki Poponi, American Honda's assistant vice president of automobile product planning. "Offering Honda and Acura owners Siri ... is an incredible opportunity to meet our customers' ever-changing needs."

Owners of 2013 Accord, ILX or RDX models who opt for the feature can only use the system if their iPhone includes Siri. That means they'll need the latest iOS 6 operating system, standard in the iPhone 4S and the new iPhone 5.

By adding Siri, Honda becomes the third brand to offer the novel Apple feature. Chevrolet added Siri last year, while Mercedes-Benz uses the feature on some models in Europe. In June, Apple announced that six other brands -- Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Jaguar, Land Rover and Toyota -- were also looking to add Siri to their cars.

The 2013 Honda Accord went on sale in September with prices starting around $22,000. Also new for 2013, the RDX is Acura's smaller crossover. The Civic-based Acura ILX is the brand's least expensive vehicle, with a base price around $27,000.

The connection of smartphones and cars will likely continue to heat up in the coming years. Several other brands -- most notably Ford, Hyundai and Kia -- have partnered with Microsoft to develop in-car infotainment technology.

What it means to you: Siri integration may be enough to convince some shoppers to choose the 2013 Accord over rivals that don't offer the feature.

What do you think of Honda's new option? Let us know in the comments below.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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