2010 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L

This Accord surprised me the minute I walked up to it, because I discovered a six-speed manual sprouting from the center console. Imagine my shock once I actually fired it up. The combination of front-wheel drive, a V-6, and the "Accord" nameplate may not sound like an ideal recipe for a sports coupe, but it is -- and I'm hard pressed to think of any other affordable two-door cars I've driven recently that I enjoyed so much.

Most of my joy, it seems, lies with the powertrain. Honda's 3.5-liter V-6 has long been a favorite of mine -- it's smooth, chock full of power, and pulls until the cows come home. Mate that to a silky smooth six-speed manual, and it's only more engaging. Handling seemed crisp and relatively neutral for a front-drive car, but when you do encounter slick roads, torque steer quickly reminds you which wheels do the real work.

My only gripes lie with the infotainment system -- at $32,000, you'd think Honda would provide drivers with a little more sophisticated display, a user-friendly interface (the dual knobs on the center stack continually confused me), and at the very least, a USB audio input (for the record, our $18,000 Fit Sport with navigation has such a feature).

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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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