Last Update: Thursday, April 17, 2014
|Form and Function: Honda Accord Coupe Has Grown-Up Appeal|
|Written by Mark Maynard|
|Wednesday, 22 January 2014 20:41|
The Honda Accord Coupe (and sedan) was re-engineered for 2013, marking the ninth generation -- 37 years -- of this likable two-door. The footprint is a little more compact but with more interior room and trunk space. The 2014 model is a carryover with just minimal price increases, ranging from about $275 for the entry model to $40 for the top.
The redesign also debuted Honda's Earth Dreams engines, which boost fuel economy and cut emissions. And both engines used in the coupe were named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2013. Nearly every 2013 Accord coupe (and sedan) on sale in the United States use one of the honored engines, either the direct-injected 2.4-liter fourcylinder or the 3.5-liter V-6 engine equipped with Variable Cylinder Management, in today's test car.
The coupe is sold in four trim levels with two engine choices and three transmissions. Starting prices range from $24,415 for the entry fourcylinder with six-speed manual to $33,190 for the loaded EX-L V6 with navigation. Four-cylinder models also have an option for a continuously variable transmission, which adds $850 but also boosts mileage by one mpg or two. The V-6 has a no-cost option for the six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Pricing includes the $790 freight charge from Ohio. The five-seat Accord coupe has some incremental assets over others in this segment, including the Hyundai Genesis, Nissan 370Z, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Honda helps rear-seat entry with its passenger-side walkin feature. Utility is expanded with seats for five (not four as in most of the competition) and a fold-down rear seatback.
The seven-speaker audio system is fully functional with 360-watts, a subwoofer and a text-message reader. It also has satellite and Pandora Internet radio capability, USB and auxiliary audio inputs and Windows media audio. Honda's Lane Watch technology puts a camera pointing backward at the passenger-side mirror.
It is an astoundingly effective and simple feature that adds another set of eyes on the road. When the turn signal is used the camera is activated and puts the image on the eight-inch display screen. You can even drive with the camera running, which can become too much of a distraction, though it is fun for a while.
Standard safety features include forward collision warning and lane departure warning. The 278-horsepower V-6 has EPA fuel mileage estimates of 18 mpg city and 28 highway, which rise to 21/32 with the automatic. The engine requires just 87 octane. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe has no V-6 option, but its R-spec model manual with turboed 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rated 21/30 city hwy, which requires premium to get its peak 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. The EX-L V6 model gets the beefier stabilizer bars, 19/16 millimeters front/rear, which are a couple millimeters larger than the other models.
The support helps keep the V6 manual strapped down, which can have wildly fun pull on a hard takeoff. The clutch is light and the transmission has hillstart assist for a few seconds of braking on engagement. The V-6 also has variable cylinder management and active noise cancellation, via the audio system. The turning circle is fairly wide at 38.1 feet and the doors are long 55.5 inches.
Those two stats are something to consider when trolling the cramped parking lot for an open space. The stock 18-inch alloy wheels have OK styling, but there are more dynamic aftermarket choices to help enhance the sleek styling.
The tires are all-season 215/55. Four-wheel disc brakes (11.5- inch vented discs front, 11.1- inch solid rear) are the same for all Sport and V-6 models. It doesn't seem fair to judge the Accord coupe among the other mainstream choices clamoring for a sporty image.
The Honda is classy and more grown up in its presence -- a tasteful reward for work well done. Mark Maynard is online at mark.maynard@utsandiego. com. Find photo galleries and more news at Facebook.com/ MaynardsGarage
|Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:44|