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1405 2014 Honda Accord Ex L V 6 August Update
four seasons long-term tests

2014 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 - Too Much Power?

Miles To Date: 15,484

SUMMER
2014 Honda Accord reviews to date
“While the engine’s power is ample and can be a lot of fun to tap into, most of the time it feels ill-suited to the car it’s stuck in.”

Our 2014 Honda Accord coupe made a quick trip to New York in early July, with associate online editor Eric Weiner behind the wheel. Two weeks later, he drove it back to Michigan. With lots of seat time, Eric comments as follows:

“Excellent, excellent highway car. So much power everywhere. Comfortable seat, and what’s that there? Adjustable lumbar support in an Accord? That’ll do just fine, thank you.

“I did have a few beefs about the Accord during my drive out to New York and back. First of all, while the tank is pretty large, 30 mpg on the highway just doesn’t cut it for a midsize car. I also had trouble getting the right seating position. The seat was plenty comfortable, but it seemed like whenever I got it in the right place relative to the steering wheel, the wheel rim blocked the top of the speedometer.

“While the engine’s power is ample and can be a lot of fun to tap into, most of the time it feels ill-suited to the car it’s stuck in. The V-6 easily overwhelms the front tires and the chassis, and the result is frequent wheel spin, torque steer, and a squirrely front end while trying to accelerate through turns. The front end also wiggles quite a bit under hard braking. The clutch is communicative, but the take-up is extremely low and sudden. The Accord seems like it should be a lot more exciting, with a big V-6 and a six-speed manual, but the pieces just don’t add up. It’s the wrong version of the right car.

“I say it’s the right car because there’s a lot to love about the Accord. It has a compliant ride and a quiet cabin. There’s also a ton of space, even if folding the one-piece rear seatback is a two-person job when really it should be a one-person affair (you can’t pull the release latch and fold the seat at the same time unless you use a broom or some sort of long pole to push the seat-back).

“Technology-wise it is very well equipped, although the total price tag is steep for this class. Still, my passengers were impressed with Lane-Watch. They thought it was pretty cool that it was a Honda-only tech. The only time it disappointed me was in a heavy rainstorm, when water collected in the little camera opening underneath the side mirror, completely obscuring the Lane-Watch feed.

“By far the most annoying thing, though, is a quirk in the Bluetooth programming. When you voice-activate a contact in your phonebook, Honda recommends another person from your phonebook that you could also call. So right below where it says, ‘Calling Isaac’ (my friend) it says in even bigger, yellow letters “You can also say ‘Call Tony R’” (my ex-girlfriend’s dad). The suggestion is totally random each time, which is bizarre and really throws you off.”

While on the East Coast, the Accord was in the care of New York Bureau Chief Jamie Kitman, who had this to say: “It had been forever since I drove an Accord coupe. And while I was never a big fan of the models through the years, I was hopeful, based largely upon the unexpectedly excellent view I took of the new Accord Hybrid sedan, which I drove for the first time just the other month. But raised expectations may not have done the coupe any favors.

“It doesn't look like much, in my view, inoffensive but neither sporty nor alluring (although, in fairness, one might ask, has any Accord ever?). The more serious buzz-killer is that it seemed to have terrible steering, with torque steer like I haven't experienced since the first front-wheel-drive Cadillac STS broke cover one hundred years ago. To counter the torque steer it appears that Honda dialed out steering feel. Again, I have to go back to motoring antiquity to find steering so over-boosted that the slightest corrections became sloppier and more vexing than I could've expected. The problem with the steering is compounded by a chassis that just doesn't want to play—excessive body motions and poor body control made our coupe seem less sporty than the Accord Hybrid four-door and less sporty than just about anything that can make it through the chicane without making you sick.

“It's a shame, too, as the V-6 engine is a delightful powerhouse of serious potency and sophistication, something Alfa Romeo would be proud to put its name on. The six-speed manual box is relatively joyous to use, working well with the honking mill. Put it all together right and it's a fast and capable car, but the way it is it usually feels like a fast car let down by its chassis.”

This is a familiar refrain: A great engine, but too much engine for this chassis. Upon the Accord’s return to Michigan, it was repeated again.

“At lunch today, I just about torque-steered myself into a Cadillac in the next lane as I accelerated out of Kalamata Greek Grill onto Woodward Avenue in the Accord coupe,” noted deputy editor Joe DeMatio. But, tell us Joe, what was the real highlight of that lunch? “On a happier note, I’m pretty sure Detroit Red Wing goalkeeper Jonas Gustavsson was standing in front of me in line, clutching the key to his black Porsche Panamera GTS that was parked out front.”

2014 Honda Accord Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
Body style 2-door coupe
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.)$31,415
As tested $33,190
Engine 24-valve SOHC V-6
Displacement 3.5 liters (212 cu in)
Power 278 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 252 lb-ft @ 4900 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 18/28/22 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.5 turns
Turning circle 39.0 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 18-inch aluminum
Tires Michelin Primacy MXM4
Tire size 235/45R-18 94V
Headroom F/R 37.2/37.2 in
Legroom F/R 42.2/33.7 in
Shoulder room F/R 58.9/55.1 in
Wheelbase 107.3 in
Track F/R 62.4/62.4 in
L x W x H 189.2 x 72.8 x 56.5 in
Passenger capacity 93.1 cu-ft
Cargo capacity 13.4 cu-ft
Weight 3400 lb
Weight dist. F/R N/A
Fuel capacity 17.2 gal
Est. fuel range 370 miles
Fuel grade 87 octane (regular unleaded)
  • Standard Equipment
    • LaneWatch
    • 10-way power driver's seat
    • HomeLink
    • LED DRLs
    • Chrome exhaust tips
    • 18-inch aluminum wheels
    • Paddle shifters
    • Leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel
    • Rearview camera
    • 7-speaker audio system
    • SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription
    • Bluetooth
    • Keyless entry and ignition
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • Heated front seats
    • Cruise control
    • Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
    • Auxiliary audio jack
    • USB port
    • Power sunroof
    • Fog-lights
    • Automatic headlights
    • Heated exterior mirrors
    • Rear spoiler
  • Packages & Options
    • Navigation package
    • $1775
    • Navigation Steering wheel-mounted controls Song by voice 16GB audio hard drive
    andyoo
    Because you are a automobile magazine employee, and you have to stick with the stock wheel and tire for testing.For us, with the V6, I can buy a slightly wider rim set or wider summer tires that are more sticky and quiet.Once the tires are upgraded, it will ride be the right engine when your tires can handle the torque.
    Wolf47
    Sad to see sporting is no longer a Honda virtue.  And for this much $, I'd buy a Mustang. 
    Sir Crabble
    The Accord Coupe is handsome and practical.  But let's face it, for $31K you can get a Camaro RS with more power, better handling, and awesome styling (inside and out).  I test drove an Accord Coupe back in 2010 and my biggest complaint was the shoddy interior.  It has been through a redesign since then so maybe they corrected this issue.  I still think this is a good vehicle for people that do not care much about handling and power and want a good looking vehicle that does well in the snow.  Because of the FWD, there is no need for snow tires and the wheels can be rotated since they are the same size.  On the Camaro, snow tires are required in Northern states and the rear wheels are wider and cannot be rotated, eating up expensive tires faster.
    Warren McIntosh
    You think the Camaro interior is "awesome"? You're smoking crack!
    bigiron58 .
    @Warren McIntosh Accord: better interior. Camaro: better everything else.
    andyoo
    @Warren McIntosh the old style camaro is no where near awesome. really. the large twin silver square that stares at you and the ugly steering wheels and all the big buttons like a toy for 3 year old . really? accord interior is no good but no where as bad as camaro.if you talk about latest corvette, that is a good looking interior.(not prior version).

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