We recently had a 2014 Honda Accord EX four-cylinder sedan in the office, a.k.a. the Accord that everybody buys. Assistant online editor Joey Capparella and road test editor Chris Nelson took the opportunity to compare it to our Accord EX-L V-6 coupe, a.k.a. the Accord that nobody buys. Are we missing something?
“By all accounts, the car enthusiast in me should prefer our red manual-transmission V-6 coupe to the beige CVT four-cylinder sedan,” Capparella begins. “But I don’t. The Accord sedan is a much better executed vehicle than the coupe, which is trying too hard to be something that it’s not. The Accord sedan, like its competitors, is a well-engineered, solidly built car that disappears around you while you’re driving. But it also offers great visibility, nicely weighted steering, an unobtrusive CVT, and a balanced chassis that make it pleasant to drive quickly where the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry are just numb.
“I’m glad that Honda still makes a manual V-6 coupe. I just wouldn’t buy one.”
“I like ridiculous cars,” says road test editor Chris Nelson. (This is the guy who did a three-state road trip in an Ariel Atom).“And while you might not believe it, the Accord V-6 coupe is one of the more ridiculous cars on the market. It’ll spin its front tires with little effort, it goes like a sports car, which it certainly isn’t intended to be, and the steering wheel does almost as much steering as the accelerator pedal does. And yet, strangely enough, I am not in love with the Accord V-6 coupe.
“I like the concept—a big engine stuffed into a two-door version of the best family sedan out there. But the idea is better than the execution. The coupe is hard to see out of, feels big for no good reason, and doesn’t handle that well. You’re left with a car that has some ridiculous and grin-worthy characteristics, but mostly one that treads on all of the qualities that make the Accord a great car.
“My recent eight-hundred-mile road trip to and from Louisville in the four-cylinder four-door Accord EX reminded me what I find so attractive about the seriously unsexy sedan. It’s easy to see out of, it has comfortable seats, it has a fantastic CVT paired to an engine with predictable and smooth power delivery, it has a soft ride, and futzing with its controls is like second nature. It does the mundane so well that I can’t help but appreciate it. While I’m typically drawn to over-the-top cars, I’m not such a numbskull that I can’t appreciate something being so perfect in performing its function. I’ll take the fire-alarm-beige Accord sedan over the fire-engine-red Accord coupe any day and get my fill of ridiculousness elsewhere.”