2013 Honda Accord
The family sedan, elevated.
Let us get this straight: The new Accord has ditched its control-arm front suspension for struts; a CVT has displaced its four-cylinder's step-gear automatic; and gasoline direct injection is new this year—but only on the four—nine years after Audi first offered it in the U.S. So why is this car back on this list for a record 27th time? It's not because the Accord is a looker. What it has is inner beauty: Luxury-car big inside and yet smaller outside than before, this ninth-gen version fully delivers on Honda's "man-maximum, machine-minimum" philosophy. The Accord's greatness has always derived from its ability to disappear under its driver, but this new car verges on the ethereal—it is so easy to see out of, so easy to point into a corner, so elegant and light and forgiving in its responses that one big fluid loop develops between man and machine. This is true whether you're talking about the base four-cylinder sedan or the six-cylinder coupe with its clockwork manual. Its playful and graceful spirit makes taking grandma to the doctor and the kids to soccer and the boss to lunch no chore. You only think it's a driving appliance until you drive it. Then you understand.