A winter drive in a favourite Some things are best left up to fate. It was by chance that I ended up with this Accord EX-L Coupe for a week, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to enjoying it.
I was in the 3rd grade in the year 1995. I vividly remember a particularly snooty teacher at my elementary school. She was probably in her late twenties, always dolled-up in the latest fashions, clearly spent a significant amount of time each morning on her hair, and the male teachers always seemed to give her a lot more attention than she deserved. Though she wasn’t my favourite person in the world (a 7-year old probably wouldn’t notice a Louis Vuitton purse and Prada sunglasses), the one thing about her I remember is her car. She drove a brand-new Honda Accord Coupe. Black on black, manual transmission, a factory spoiler on the trunk, and if I remember correctly, it was an EX-R model. To this day, I maintain that I have a huge soft spot for the Accord Coupe. This soft spot only increased after I had the opportunity to bond with the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe V6.
Toyota no longer makes the Camry Solara (thankfully), and Nissan recently discontinued the Altima Coupe. With these two competitors out of the market, the Honda continues to soldier on as the sole front-wheel-drive coupe available with a V6 on these shores. Some things are best left up to fate. It was by chance that I ended up with this Accord EX-L Coupe for a week, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to enjoying it. Six cylinders, six speeds, and Honda refinement; the real definition of everyday perfection. The only thing appearing to hold this Accord back is its front-wheel-drive, but is that truly a downside?
One of the huge selling points of the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe V6 over its Civic sibling is interior space. Four adults can comfortably take a long-distance trip in the Accord without any complaints from those in the back. It’s easy to get in and out of for everybody, and it’s far more appealing visually than the sedan. Step on the throttle and the sound of the 3.5L “Earth Dreams” V6 is absolute music to my ears. There’s a ridiculous amount of power and despite being an i-VTEC engine, I didn’t have any complaints about a lack of low-end power either.
Despite enjoying the car, I can’t help but wonder why it exists. It’s a gorgeous vehicle inside and out, but in reality, what advantage does it have over the sedan? Sure, it looks cooler, and it’ll probably pick up more high school girls than your mom’s silver Accord LX, but at what cost? I’ve said it numerous times over the years; Honda needs to bring back something rear-wheel-drive and truly tossable. It’s not as though they aren’t capable of it; the S2000 remains amongst my favourite cars of all time. Their powertrains are insanely good (minus the absolutely stupid “Earth Dreams” moniker on this engine), and they’re even efficient to boot. No matter how much I tried to flog the engine on my tester Accord, the average fuel economy sat right at the 10L/100km mark in combined driving. The “Econ” button seemed to make the throttle resist my foot more, and turning it off sure livened up the engine, but mileage didn’t seem to change in the slightest.
The Accord Coupe made my everyday commute “pleasant”. Finished in a beautiful Tiger Eye Pearl, my test car was great to look at and even greater to be in. The LaneWatch™ camera is gimmicky but neat, and the i-MID multimedia system is easy to use. Bluetooth call quality is among the best I’ve used. The seats, while lacking side support around brisk corners, are Lexus-comfortable to be in. Honda seems to have even put some effort into the headrests. Seriously; the attention to detail has always been a forté for the Japanese and this car hasn’t diverted at all.
No matter how much I tried to love the Accord, I couldn’t express any feelings beyond “liking” it. Though only having 278 horsepower, I actually felt as though there’s too much power in the first two gears. The tires love to light up with even the slightest push on the throttle, and the torque steer is just immense. I’d try to blame this on the winter tires, but my colleague Krish drove the Accord Coupe on all-season tires earlier in the fall and had the same complaint. As a highway cruiser, the Accord is brilliant, but if you have a city commute and have a lot of stop-and-go to do, there are definitely better options out there; especially from Honda. For a city commute, the Civic Si is a much better alternative. Plus, it actually has grip.
All of this being said, the redesign of the Accord sedan seemed to steal all the glory from this stylish new coupé. Though it isn’t a huge revolution aesthetically, this big 2-door gets attention everywhere it goes. Apart from the typical Honda-driving demographic of the fitted-hat variety in North York continuously attempting to race me, I had numerous people at gas stations and traffic lights giving me the thumbs up. Some people just plain stared at the car. Perhaps it’s the LED daytime running lights; perhaps it’s the swooping lines. Whatever it is Honda’s doing seems to be working perfectly, and they had better continue with it.