5 best redesigns for 2013
MORE AT THESTREET.COM
Automakers have redesigned nearly two dozen models for 2013's U.S. market, and Kelley Blue Book's Jack Nerad says many of the revamped models stand head and shoulders above their 2012 counterparts.
"It's a very, very strong year for redesigns," says Nerad, who recently led a team of KBB editors that picked the new Ford (F_) Fusion as 2013's Best Redesigned Vehicle.
Nerad says consumers will like not only the new Fusion, but also such midsized models as the updated Honda (HMC_) Accord -- "which in any other year would likely win our Best Redesign award. You also have cars in other segments that are good as well, like the redesigned Nissan (NSANY_) Pathfinder SUV."
The expert says the best automotive redesigns are those that make "the largest step forward from what a model was before. A lot of people think it just has to do with exterior design, but interior design and any redoing of a vehicle's mechanics are equally important."
Here's a look at five models that KBB editors believe manufacturers revamped particularly well for 2013.
Nerad says the vehicles below all offer significantly improved styling, comfort, performance, safety, fuel economy, electronics, convenience features, value and overall refinement. All models are listed in order of their manufacturer's suggested retail price.
Base price: $21,680
This popular midsized car's ninth generation gets a shout-out because "it has all of the Accord virtues that you'd expect -- high fuel economy, a high-tech [base] engine and powerful available V-6," Nerad says. "It's one of those cars that have all-around goodness."
The expert particularly likes the Accord's optional new Honda LaneWatch system, which comes on automatically whenever you make a right turn. Using a rear-facing external camera and a display screen on the dashboard, LaneWatch shows you whatever's in your right-side blind spot so you don't run into it.