That latest Honda Accord marks a major change from the previous car in several important ways, all of which we find appealing: it's smaller outside though still roomy inside, it's much more economical, and it also manages to be sportier to drive. When a new Accord won our mid-size sedan bakeoff, that cemented the case to revisit the Accord for a long-term test.
What is perhaps harder to argue for is our selection of the V-6 coupe rather than the vastly more popular four-cylinder sedan.
It could be that we were feeling a bit retro. Six-cylinder engines used to be common in mainstream mid-size cars like this; now only Honda and Nissan offer one. Most other manufacturers have switched to turbocharged fours as their higher-output engine option, but there's a certain charm to the effortless power and linear response of a good, naturally aspirated V-6. The Accord's makes a stout 278 hp and 252 pound-feet of torque. For a real throwback experience, we paired that engine with a six-speed manual, another increasingly rare offering in this -- or any -- segment. Completing our out-of-the-mainstream Accord, we opted for a coupe, Honda being one of the very last automakers to offer the option of two doors (Nissan dropped its Altima coupe this year).
Looking at our final spec, it could be that we should blame Ezra Dyer. He took an Accord V-6 coupe just like this on a trip from its birthplace in Marysville, Ohio to the Charlotte Auto Fair, where he dressed up as Elvis (don't ask -- we didn't). The point is, he came away particularly enthused about the V-6 coupe, saying: "I know it's front-wheel-drive, but the soul of the NSX is in there, I tell you."
We have the next twelve months to determine whether he's onto something with that -- or if maybe he was under the influence of a few too many peanut-butter-and-barbiturate sandwiches.