A long-time favourite soldiers on |
If you look at the big picture, the Accord coupe does make a lot of sense.
Every single mainstream manufacturer’s staple has always been the four-door family sedan. At some point, these manufacturers decided (for better or worse) to lop off two doors from their staple and sell whatever came of it. However, like sequels to a movie, it’s a formula that has only worked for a very select few manufacturers – typically the Germans. Nonetheless, Honda has done a good job of bucking the trend with the Accord Coupe. Of course, credit where credit is due; they did have a very athletic, potent, and not to mention good-looking car to mold their coupe from. But Honda didn’t just perform a simple chop job.
The 2014 Honda Accord V6 Coupe I drove looks far more muscular and aggressive compared to its eighth-generation predecessor. Luckily, Honda decided to not change too much to the front; perhaps the most striking part about the car. New for 2014 is a set of LED headlamps in lieu of the halogen projectors from 2013, which serve to give the Accord a classy and luxurious look to it. The biggest change compared to the sedan though is at the back of the car, the chrome piece between the rear lights is gone, and the trunk lid receives a steeper angle giving the car a far sportier look. The dual chrome exhaust tips on my EX-L V6 model also stick out more to complete its sporty look.
Compared to its four-door brother though, the Accord Coupe is 2.2 inches shorter in length, and features a wheelbase that is 2 inches shorter as well. The smaller wheelbase and length also means just a few less pounds carried by the wonderful 3.5L V6 engine – I’ll get to that in a moment. Indeed, the coupe weighs in at a not-too-heavy 3536 lbs (or 3400 lbs if you opt for the manual transmission like this tester). Also new for the ninth generation was the change in the front suspension, Honda decided to swap out the double-wishbone front for MacPherson struts, while keeping the multi-link in the back. Ultimately, these changes allow for the Accord to retain its nimble and sporty ride without sacrificing too much on ride comfort. At the heart of the Accord Coupe is Honda’s 3.5L Earth Dreams V6 motor. With nearly 280 horses (278 exact), and 252 lb-ft of torque on tap, it suddenly becomes evident the potency of the Accord.
The Earth Dreams motor also offers Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system to shut down a bank of cylinders when the i-VTEC system sees fit. However, this feature is limited to the automatic transmission only. Still though, Honda rates their V6 with the manual at 8.9.0L/100KM highway, and 10.9L/100KM combined. During my week with the tester, I managed 11L/100KM combined and 9.4L/100KM on the highway highway. Although my figures were higher than the rated numbers, it wasn’t because the engine didn’t perform as rated. It was 100% because the V6 with the manual was just such a blast to drive.
While my colleagues have remarked in the past about the V6 having too much power in the first few gears (and the torque steer) I rather enjoyed the raw nature of the car. It juxtaposes the comfortable utilitarian (or as much utilitarian as a coupe can possibly be) aspect really well. It should be stated right now that if you’re looking for a weekend track toy, now is probably the best time to look elsewhere. But for someone who just wants something fun in the city and for occasional cruises on the weekend, the car doesn’t disappoint.
The sporty suspension may have made each bump in the road a bit more noticeable, Honda’s 6-speed manual transmission more than made up for the stiffer ride. As we’ve said in countless other reviews, Honda’s manuals have always maintained a great throw and notchy feel. Rowing through the gears in the city was always a satisfying experience and dropping a gear on the highway offered up the bonus of the fantastic exhaust note from the V6. There’s just something so appealing about a car meant for the family with a crazy side.
Inside, the Accord is no different than its four-door variant, save for two less doors of course. Back seat room is ample and quite comfortable. The tester I received was the fully loaded EX-L with Navi (the only way to get the V6) and at $35,650 (less taxes, freight and delivery) it is a pretty high ask for a FWD sports coupe. Especially when Honda’s other Japanese and Korean competitors offer RWD coupes that have far more power.
If you look at the big picture, the Accord Coupe does make a lot of sense. For $35,000, you get all the tech goodies found in the four-door variant, a manual transmission to keep a smile pasted on your face during the weekend, and rear seats that can seat adults without any complaints. Finally, the FWD means a lot less hassle during the winter. Suddenly, the Accord begins to make a lot of sense. In fact, with practicality in mind (again, only as much practicality as a coupe can offer) the Accord is literally the only car that will fit the bill.