Acura doesn't offer a two-door car right now, and that's probably a good thing. With a rich leather interior and surplus of electronics, the Accord V-6 EX-L we recently spent some time with makes any Acura coupe redundant.
A three year old design that still looks fresh
The latest generation of the Accord (its eighth!) made its debut with the 2008 model year, and halfway through its run, the coupe keeps heads turning. Its long and low styling and steeply raked windshield give the car a very sporty look. We were, however, slightly disappointed to see that stepping up from the base LX to the top-of-the-line EX-L doesn't net you much in the way of exterior upgrades to differentiate the flagship model. Wheels are slightly larger (going from 17-inch to eighteens), fog lights are part of the package, as is a rear deck lid spoiler. These improvements are awfully subtle; we'd like to see a bit more to denote the high-end version, like perhaps a new front fascia.
Interior doesn't disappoint
The inside is a completely different story though, as the seating surfaces and the steering wheel are covered in soft black leather. Standard equipment includes heated front seats, 10-way power adjustment for the driver, and a moon roof. The Accord coupe may have seating for five, but the back seat is most suitable for small children. Unlike others in its class, the Accord coupe's trunk is very spacious, with 11.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is only 2.1 cubic feet less than in the sedan. Although we didn't drive across the country in the Accord, having plenty of cargo space, comfortable seating, and an excellent stereo, we sure wouldn't mind doing so.
Gadgets a plenty
Honda's infotainment systems tend to be very busy with lots of buttons, but after taking the time to figure out each one's purpose, we didn't mind the clutter so much. The audio system delivers excellent sound reproduction, so having several different sources to pipe music through the 270-watt, 7-speaker stereo was an enjoyable treat. In addition to the AM/FM tuner, XM Satellite Radio is an option, along with a 6-disc CD changer, and an AUX input. Bluetooth connectivity comes packaged together with the navigation system, and pairing a phone to the system is very easy. One element that's missing is Bluetooth audio streaming. The navigation system is easy to use and still modern enough to be worth the extra cost. Honda, like many other automakers, offers voice recognition software to make inputs easy, but we generally prefer the standard key-in method.
Six cylinders, six speeds
In the Accord Coupe, Honda reserves its V-6 engine for the top-spec EX-L. The engine is a 3.5-liter unit, that sends 271 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. The V-6 doesn't provide neck-snapping acceleration, but it has plenty of get-up-and-go. The V-6 is an upgrade over the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which makes 177 hp and 161 lb-ft of torque. Our test car was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission (a no-cost upgrade over the five-speed automatic). As is typical for Hondas, the gearbox feels solid and has fairly short throws, and the clutch is very easy to adapt to. One thing we wouldn't mind seeing, however, is a more upscale knob and a leather boot to better match the otherwise snazzy interior.
Impressive on the road
There's no avoiding the mess of potholes here in Michigan, but the Accord Coupe does a good job at making our battered pavement seem better than it is. With a double-wishbone suspension setup in the front and independent rear, the Accord is well behaved on the roughest of roads. A front strut-tower bar and beefy antiroll bars help this car handle twisty back roads with ease. Road noise is at a minimum, and the engine sound is almost totally muffled.
One slick coupe
With ample power, a quiet ride, and a luxurious interior, the Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe would make a pretty convincing Acura. Lots of standard goodies, comfortable seats, and an excellent navigation system all serve it well on the daily commute. The slick-shifting gearbox and excellent handling make the Accord Coupe a great weekend driver too. The low and sleek Accord stands tall among midsize coupes.
2010 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L with Navigation
Base Price: $23,305
Engine: 3.5-liter SOHC 24-Valve V-6
Horsepower: 271 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 251 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
L x W x H: 190.9 in x 72.8 in x 56.4 in
Legroom F/R: 42.2 in x 33.1
Headroom F/R: 37.4 in x 35.1 in
Cargo capacity: 11.9 cu ft
Curb Weight: 3401 lb
EPA Rating (city/highway): 17/25 mpg