I suspect this is a rare bird because only a few outliers would knowingly select two doors and six gears in a Honda costing well over $20,000. Nonetheless, it’s good to see this brand tip its hat in the enthusiast’s direction. Overall, I’d give the Accord coupe an A-minus for execution and a B for value. High points are the stylish envelope, beautifully finished interior, and reasonably roomy rear seat. Practically every control function feels liberally lubricated and friction-free. The most noticeable exception was a slightly heavy shift effort moving across the H-pattern. Hints of gear whine while cruising and notable impact harshness on frozen roads also took the edge off the Accord’s perfect score.
Don Sherman, Technical Editor
The Accord coupe is one of those cars that we take for granted. Then you get in it and realize why the Accord is one of the best-selling cars year after year. For many buyers, the coupe has just enough flair, even if it’s far from a sports car. And although no one will ever confuse the Accord coupe with a BMW 3-Series coupe, the Honda is no slacker in the performance department, because it’s got a smooth and refined V-6 making a completely respectable 271 hp. Actually, when you think about it, 271 hp for a front-wheel-drive coupe is more than respectable: it’s impressive. I also liked our car’s silky six-speed manual transmission.
I drove home last night and back again this morning in our first major snowstorm of winter 2010, and the Accord coupe plowed through 3-5 inches of the white stuff quite handily, even though it has only all-season tires rather than dedicated snow tires. The two-setting seat heater warmed up quickly and soon became hot enough that I needed to turn it to low, and both the front and rear defrosters did their thing rapidly as well.
The interior of the Accord coupe is pretty luxurious, also, for a mainstream car, and the ergonomics are generally first-rate. There are quite a few buttons in the center stack to control radio, climate, and such, but they are easy to figure out quickly.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor
At 70 mph on the highway, I was amazed at how quiet this Accord coupe is. The Honda mid-sizer is easily at the head of its class but is also calmer than luxury cars costing tens of thousands of dollars more. While it’s the lack of wind noise that’s most impressive, the engine is also absolutely silent, both at speed and during conservative acceleration.
That smooth character also pays dividends when you ask the engine to perform. Rev over 6000 rpm and the engine contently hums as it approaches its 271-hp peak as if it would be happy to stay there all day. Of course it won’t, because the six-speed manual is what delivers a lot of the joy in this car. As usual, Honda’s gearbox isn’t just a good one for the segment, it’s a great one relative to all cars. During my night with the Accord coupe, snow kept the wheels spinning as I left from stops, reminding me that power is going to the wrong end for a truly sporty car. Still, the Accord coupe is definitely a fun package for the mid-size segment.
I’ve railed on Honda navigation interfaces many times before, but in the Accord I find the physical buttons on the center stack more offensive than the dated graphics. Particularly bad are the climate controls that were apparently placed solely as an ill-conceived effort to provide symmetry to the center stack. With buttons split on either side of the audio and navigation controls, the driver has to make two distinctly different reaches to alter temperature and fan speed at the same time. Among the larger cluster of buttons, I can imagine even well-acquainted owners have to move their eyes from the road to find their target.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor
This Accord surprised me the minute I walked up to it, because I discovered a six-speed manual sprouting from the center console. Imagine my shock once I actually fired it up. The combination of front-wheel drive, a V-6, and the “Accord” nameplate may not sound like an ideal recipe for a sports coupe, but it is — and I’m hard pressed to think of any other affordable two-door cars I’ve driven recently that I enjoyed so much.
Most of my joy, it seems, lies with the powertrain. Honda’s 3.5-liter V-6 has long been a favorite of mine — it’s smooth, chock full of power, and pulls until the cows come home. Mate that to a silky smooth six-speed manual, and it’s only more engaging. Handling seemed crisp and relatively neutral for a front-drive car, but when you do encounter slick roads, torque steer quickly reminds you which wheels do the real work.
My only gripes lie with the infotainment system — at $32,000, you’d think Honda would provide drivers with a little more sophisticated display, a user-friendly interface (the dual knobs on the center stack continually confused me), and at the very least, a USB audio input (for the record, our $18,000 Fit Sport with navigation has such a feature).
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
2010 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L Nav
Base price (with destination): $32,015
Price as tested: $32,015
Side and side curtain airbags
Daytime running lights
Leather trimmed seats
Leather steering wheel
270-watt 7-speaker premium audio system
Dual-zone automatic climate control
10-way power driver seat
Heated front seats
Heated sideview mirrors
XM satellite radio with 3-month subscription
Options on this vehicle:
Key options not on vehicle:
19-inch aluminum alloy painted wheels – $2994
Sport suspension – $880
Rear parking sensors – $509
Remote engine start – $509
17 / 25 / 20 mpg
Size: 3.5L SOHC VTEC V-6
Horsepower: 271 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 251 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Weight: 3401 lb
18-inch aluminum alloy
235/45 all-season tires