There’s a misconception that since the death of the S2000, Honda’s only really “fun” car is the Civic Si (with respect to the tossable, but ultimately underpowered CR-Z). We’d dispute this point of view, and we think you would too, if you’d just got done testing Honda’s new Accord Coupe.
In particular, we’re talking about the Accord Coupe EX-L V-6. With 278 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque transferred to the front wheels via an honest-to-Zeus six-speed manual, the Accord Coupe is the other “fun” car in Honda’s stable, and the obvious ride for adults who’ve outgrown their Civic Si.
Don’t believe us? Check out this video from Chris Amos, and make sure you’ve got some headphones on. We’ll wait for you.
Welcome back. With the abundant power of the 3.5, the Accord Coupe is surprisingly fast. Its 278 horsepower is tasked with hauling around about 3400 pounds of car, giving the Accord Coupe a slightly disadvantaged weight-to-power ratio than a manual-trans Ford Mustang V-6 (11.5 pounds per horsepower in the pony car, and 12.2 in the Accord).
On the road, especially in slick conditions, the Accord is a riot. It’ll happily spin its front tires, but it’s quite easy to keep pointed straight. Torque steer, even with 251 pound-feet going to the front wheels, is well managed. Mid-range punch is equally adequate, but the V-6 really comes into its own at the higher end of the rev range. There’s not a ton of power to be had, but it makes a sweet, smooth sound that we could listen to again and again.
Part of the fun of running the Accord hard is that we get to work the six-speed manual a lot. We don’t care who you are, but you’re a fool if you don’t believe Honda still makes one of the best manual gearboxes on the market. The throws are light, with the shifter entering the gate in a smooth, crisp motion. The clutch is easy to learn, with a reasonable level of travel and a broad catchpoint.
Overall, the Accord Coupe is an overlooked choice for those who want a sporty coupe. If you’re turned off by the shoutiness or rear-drive of a V-6 Mustang, Camaro, or Challenger, aren’t willing to pay the price premium on an Infiniti G37 Coupe, or are just ready to upgrade from a Civic Si while remaining in the Honda family, then the Accord Coupe is a car you need to drive.