The redesigned 2013 Honda Accord marks the rebirth of an American icon. Yeah, we said "American"--believe it or not, the Accord's been built in Ohio for the past thirty years. But this time around, Honda's pride and joy has got a few new tricks up its sleeve. Here are five reasons why the 2013 Accord could be the best one yet.

1. Slicker Styling

The outgoing Accord always seemed overgrown, like a big car squeezed onto a midsize platform. But the 2013 Accord has been nipped and tucked in all the right places. It's shorter now, and it's got crisp new lines that give it a muscular, athletic presence. If you ask us, this is what the last Accord should have looked like all along.

2. Power Train Progress

The 2013 Accord with the base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine receives direct-injection technology and a continuously variable automatic transmission, or "CVT." That means fuel economy will improve significantly, and acceleration is better as well. It's good to see Honda getting back to cutting-edge engineering. As for the powerful 3.5-liter V6, it's still available, and its automatic transmission now has six speeds instead of five.

3. Up-to-Date Technology

The 2013 Accord offers an all-new infotainment system called "HondaLink" with an attractive multicolor display. Highlights include Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, Pandora internet radio and an available "Aha" feature with restaurant searches, Facebook audio feeds and more. The new Accord can even read your text messages for you as they arrive. What's more, every model comes standard with a rearview camera. It took a while, tech fans, but your Accord has finally arrived.

4. Innovative Plug-In Hybrid Model

The 2014 Honda Accord sedan will have a plug-in hybrid variant that can run solely on battery power for 10 to 15 miles at up to 62 mph. After that, a gas engine kicks in for extended range. Recharging time is said to be just a few hours, and that's using a conventional 120-volt outlet, so there's no need to install an expensive converter for fast charging like with the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf. The Accord will be the first mainstream sedan to offer plug-in technology.

5. Nifty Safety Features

Like many rivals, the 2013 Accord can be equipped with lane-departure warning and forward collision warning systems. But the big news is an exclusive "LaneWatch" display that shows vehicles in your blind-spot like bogeys on a fighter plane's radar screen. It looks cool, and it really works.

With the 2013 Accord, Honda has made key improvements while keeping the basic formula intact. The iconic Accord is reborn and ready to continue its best-selling ways.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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