2010 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L

At 70 mph on the highway, I was amazed at how quiet this Accord coupe is. The Honda mid-sizer is easily at the head of its class but is also calmer than luxury cars costing tens of thousands of dollars more. While it's the lack of wind noise that's most impressive, the engine is also absolutely silent, both at speed and during conservative acceleration.

That smooth character also pays dividends when you ask the engine to perform. Rev over 6000 rpm and the engine contently hums as it approaches its 271-hp peak as if it would be happy to stay there all day. Of course it won't, because the six-speed manual is what delivers a lot of the joy in this car. As usual, Honda's gearbox isn't just a good one for the segment, it's a great one relative to all cars. During my night with the Accord coupe, snow kept the wheels spinning as I left from stops, reminding me that power is going to the wrong end for a truly sporty car. Still, the Accord coupe is definitely a fun package for the mid-size segment.

I've railed on Honda navigation interfaces many times before, but in the Accord I find the physical buttons on the center stack more offensive than the dated graphics. Particularly bad are the climate controls that were apparently placed solely as an ill-conceived effort to provide symmetry to the center stack. With buttons split on either side of the audio and navigation controls, the driver has to make two distinctly different reaches to alter temperature and fan speed at the same time. Among the larger cluster of buttons, I can imagine even well-acquainted owners have to move their eyes from the road to find their target.

Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

Who needs Acura when you have Honda? There isn't enough distinction between Acura and Honda, much to the former's destriment. In some cases, Honda is even better than Acura. Perhaps Honda should incorporate Acura completely into its folds instead of having two branches that are barely distinctive from one another.

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