Comparison: 2011 Ford Mustang V-6 vs. 2010 Honda Accord Coupe V-6

Matt Tierney

Just as it was in 1967, the 2011 Ford Mustang and 2011 Chevrolet Camaro are natural rivals, not only in their design and performance, but also in showroom sales. So we didn't need Ford to tell us that the Camaro is the most cross-shopped vehicle for Mustang buyers. We were surprised, however, when Ford revealed the second most cross-shopped vehicle. We suspected -- as you may -- either the Dodge Challenger, the Hyundai Genesis coupe, or the Nissan 370Z. After the Camaro, though, Ford says shoppers are most likely to compare the Mustang with the Honda Accord coupe. So we gathered the two coupes for head-to-head comparison.

Ford's emotive pony car stands in dramatic contrast to the conservative styling, family-sedan roots, and front-wheel drive of the Honda. The pairing, though, starts to look more natural once we have keys and window stickers in hand. Both cars offer the sporty image of a coupe with high-output V-6 engines and six-speed manual transmissions and just $600 separates the two cars we're driving. The Accord -- an EX-L with navigation and no other options -- is the more expensive at $32,055. Standard equipment includes leather, heated seats, a ten-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, and a seven-speaker audio system.

The premium-trim Mustang starts at $26,695 but is priced at $31,445 here. Upgrading from a base car to the premium package is worth it simply for the meatier leather stitched steering wheel that replaces the wimpy, cheap molded plastic wheel. You'll also get leather seats, a partial power driver's seat, and Ford's Sync system that connects cell phones and portable audio devices. Our options included the cosmetic Mustang Club of America package ($995), security package ($395), backup camera ($385), a shorter 3.31:1 rear axle ($395), and heated seats with a partial power passenger's seat ($595). Our test car also boasted the $1995 performance package, which is a must-have in our opinion. It adds a firmer suspension similar to that in the Mustang GT, 19-inch wheels, Pirelli PZero tires, upgraded brakes, and a sport mode for the stability control. Navigation, while not here, can be had in combination with automatic climate control and HD radio for $2350.

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mb19
I realize this is an old review, but really, it is quite clear this was weighted to make the Mustang seem competitive.  First, the article compares a stock Accord Coupe EX-L V6 to the Mustang V6 Premium WITH the optional track package.  A more equivalent comparison would have been to get the Accord with the HFP wheel and tire and sport suspension option -- this gives the Accord 245/40-19 tires and a firmer suspension together with approximately 1 inch lower stance, reducing wheel hop and improving handling.  The article handwaves the quality issue -- and of course, we now know 2 years down the road that the V6 Mustangs have had serious quality issues, including the notorious broken axle problem due to Ford using too light an axle for the car in an effort to keep the MPG numbers up. That's why the V6 Mustang has a 112mph limiter.   Not only that, but Ford has been fudging MPG numbers -- as the article acknowledges in a somewhat backhanded way.  You have to read closely to notice.  That's why the V6 Mustang has a 112mph limiter.  The manual transmission in the V6 Mustang has also demonstrated quality problems.  All in all, a rather disappointing review if objectivity rather than a false "balance" is desired.
audio217
The Honda Coupe manual does 0-60 in 5.5 seconds!I own the coupe and I would have never considered a Mustang!The fit and finish is superior to the Mustang and it's like Camaro's,everbody has one!
02hondafreak
this really is not a comparison that is fair for either car. They are not even listed in the same category, except 2DR. This article is saying something for both manufacturers. Both are being compared with one another that would not have happened 5 years ago or longer. One's credibility is getting better or one's getting worse? U make the call. If i would compare 2DR vehicles it would by FF, MR, FR or AWD & then by price. I do not think this is a true comparison with like cars & more of a study of what the general public is comparing before buying.
marmil68
I have the 2011 Mustang premium V-6 coupe and so far have been impressed. The seats are vastly more comfortable in my opinion in the Mustang vs the Accord. Hard to believe the ergonomics are superior in the Mustang as well. I found the fit and finish of the Mustang interior was excellent. No rattles and all seams lined up perfectly. The only interior gap I found was around the steering column but you really have to look for it. My only gripes include the sync system (terrible voice recognition and must have a compatible phone) as well as some cheap plastic on the doors. The doors could make a more satisfying noise upon closing. Gas mileage has been as advertised so far (22mpg in suburban driving and 30-31 on the highway with a/c on).
monoblocks
Seems like a fair--if non-traditional--comparison. People these days are less locked into brands as they once were. I have a number of once import-only friends looking domestic. The state of the economy, the loss of jobs offshore, the Toyota debacle, pride in America...all are aspects that have changed how many look at foreign products, even if they're actually assembled and/or built here. A few years ago it would've been hard to see a hardcore Honda shopper in a Ford showroom, but attitudes of us Americans are shifting.Personally, between these two I'd take the 'Stang, and I'm far from being a Blue Oval guy. However good they might otherwise be, Accords and Honda-branded cars in general are just so generic and appliance-looking. As fugly as I think their Acura TL might be, at least that design has some personality.
jeepersjoey
I own a 08 Coupe 6cyl-6sp and was amused to see this comparison. I had a 90 mustang with 2.3l engine (given to me by my sweet father) that I had for slightly longer than the summer of 91. I hated the car because it was slow, lethargic and floated like a lumbering boat. When I could handle it no more, I called the sweet dad and he said if it was a good car, don't you think I would have kept it?All my experiences since have confirmed that me and Mustang do not agree with each other. Even with a good friend that actively races and builds super-mustangsI have never considered them again.Jump ahead to 2009 when I bought my 08 Accord coupe. The thing is a BLAST and very fun to drive. The 6 sp is not the best by a long shot. 2nd gear is useless. It has a long throw. It is difficult to row through the gears quickly and at speed.However, it runs on 87 octane and I get 25.47 mpg average over the last 36K miles. This is a HUGE selling point when considering my daily 75 mile commute
MrFelix
The Accord V6 coupe with a 6 speed manual has a dirty little secret: 25 mpg on the highway. Opt for the no extra cost automatic and you get cylinder deactivation, so mileage goes to 29. The slushbox is no fun to drive, which totally defeats the purpose of the V6. I did cross shop the Mustang along with the Accord. The Ford's illegible 60's style speedo is a huge turn off, along with the suspension's sub-par highway ride. My choice: the Accord, but the I4 with a 5 speed manual. Better mpg than the V6 Accord, higher 36 month residual value than the Ford.
Thed
@CJinSDthe hp #'s amd mpg figures are with, in fact, 87 octane fuel
CJinSD
I'd be curious to know what the real world fuel economy is for both of them, and also whether the Mustang can run on 87 octane like the Honda. As political pressure inspires the automakers to increasingly game the EPA tests, EPA ratings will once again have nothing to do with owners' experiences.
etingwall
As the article clearly states, people DO consider both the Accord coupe and Mustang, tmvu13. After the Camaro, the Accord is the most cross-shopped vehicle for Mustang buyers.Car buyers frequently shop across segment, and typically the differentiation of those categories is more varied than front-wheel-drive coupe vs. rear-wheel-drive coupe. Rather than a single segment, buyers will shop in a single price range over many segments. Families will often shop a minivan against Mid-size sedan buyers will check out small crossovers like the Escape, Equinox, RAV4, or CR-V. A single buyer's personality and lifestyle often doesn't slot into one vehicle segment like automakers and marketers might have you believe.
compassstl
This was a good comparison. In fact, I rather enjoyed it's unique approach: reams have been written about Mustang vs. Camaro vs. Mopar whichever, but a mid-$30K coupe comparison from full-range brands is pleasantly refreshing, and suitable to the market, as well. Think of all the (sorry for the prejudice here, but it seems appropriate) women drivers who want something fun, "fast", and "cute"/attractive. Mid-size coupes fit this quite well, and at this price point, the Accord and Mustang are two excellent contenders. Were it not dead, the Toyota Camry Solara could have been included as well and possibly done better than the Accord, as it has a similar package to the Accord with much less staid styling, especially had they kept making it and put in the engine from the Camry SE. I'm glad that a U.S. manufacturer was able to beat the well-regarded and popular Japanese brand, and I feel that of all the U.S. mid-size coupes, the Mustang is the only one that could have held its own in this comparison. Well done, For
tmvu13
What an absurd comparison. The people that would consider an Accord coupe wouldn't consider the Mustang, and vice versa. This is comparing apples and oranges, and you simply can't compare the two. Accord vs. Hyundai Genesis coupe or Mustang vs. whatever US pony car, then yes, I can understand. But not this.

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