Over the holidays, associate web editor Joey Capparella spent lots of time with family and friends—and with our 2014 Honda Accord Coupe. He covered nearly 1900 miles in his travels, plenty of time to form some impressions of the new Accord. Take it away, Joey:
“I took our 2014 Honda Accord for my trip down south. I first went to Ohio to visit cousins, then home to Nashville to stay with my family for the week of Christmas. Finally, I drove to Memphis to see my alma mater (Rice University) play in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
“As I made the quick jaunt down to Ohio from Ann Arbor, my first impression of the Honda Accord Coupe was that it feels very mature. Everything about it is polished and purposeful, especially on the inside. The gauge cluster is clean and uncluttered, the shifter snicks into place in typical Honda fashion, and the interior materials are tasteful. The exterior styling is nicely done as well; when I parked the coupe in my aunt and uncle’s driveway, I looked back to admire its wedge shape that is solid and sleek without standing out too much from the crowd. There’s no nonsense here, as you’d expect from an Accord.
“Based on the reactions of my family and friends, though, the coupe body style makes this car somewhat of a novelty. One of my friends even called the Accord ‘spicy,’ contradicting my initial judgment of the car. After driving on roads more interesting than I-75, I started to agree, mostly because of this great engine. The V-6 is really thrilling as you get above 4000 rpm, but it also has plenty of torque for highway passing in sixth gear. In this front-wheel-drive car with a family sedan chassis, however, 278 horsepower is sometimes too much. One time when I really put the power down on a highway on-ramp, I experienced serious torque steer and had some trouble controlling the front end. It may have been exciting for a moment, but it definitely wasn’t sporty.
“Once I was home in Nashville, I started to explore the Honda Accord’s calmer, family-sedan side as I finished up my Christmas shopping and took my family out to dinner. When you drive more sedately, this chassis shines. I especially loved the Accord’s ride-handling balance. There’s just the right amount of firmness for a slightly sporty edge, but the car is almost always composed. In fact, multiple passengers commented on how comfortable the car was. Honda also seems to have figured out noise issues that have been a problem in the past. There’s not much wind or road noise, but I like how you can still hear the engine note.
“As I hopped back onto the freeway to go west to Memphis for the football game, I looked at the fuel economy display that I had reset at the beginning of my trip. My indicated average of 26 mpg (mostly highway with a fair bit of around town mixed in) seemed low, but sure enough, our Accord is rated at 18/28 mpg city/highway. Now that we’re in 2014, a Honda Accord that can’t even get 30 mpg on the highway seems a little behind the times. (For the record, the V-6 with the automatic gets 21/32 mpg, and the four-cylinder with the manual—the Accord I would choose—gets 24/34 mpg.)
“In the technology arena, I wasn’t pleased with the dated look and operation of the Accord’s pricey ($1775) navigation system. The Accord’s novel LaneWatch feature, however, quickly became a favorite. I spent most of New Year’s Day in the Honda for an 11-plus hour freeway slog and was really thankful for the visibility benefit afforded by LaneWatch, especially when I ran into some snowy weather. Eliminating the car’s blind spot made the trip a lot less fatiguing, and it even works pretty well at night.
“In the end, I enjoyed my time with this Honda Accord because of its balance. It’s stylish but not flashy, sporty but not uncomfortable, and capable but not overwhelming.”