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Car and Driver
It’s all too easy to dismiss coupes based on family sedans as conformity dressed up as rebellion. Simply putting two doors where once there were four does not create a sporty car. Starting with one of the most athletic and most powerful family sedans and then turning it into a coupe? Well, that just might work.
The 10Best-winning 2013 Accord coupe feels a lot like its four-door sibling. That’s not a bad thing. All Accords share the same delicate wheel control and supple yet balanced ride. It’s a nimble and playful car that more than makes good on the promise of its rakish styling. Where the coupe differs from the sedan is in its size; this is not a family-style meal. Its overall length is 2.2 inches shorter than the sedan and two inches have been clipped out of the wheelbase.
Carting around less car is a good start on the road to sportiness. The Accord V-6 coupe we tested weighed in at 3399 pounds. The manual gearbox isn’t available in the Accord V-6 sedan, but an automatic version we tested recently tipped the scales at 3552 pounds.
What really makes the Accord feel light is the 278-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. Careful chassis tuning keeps the coupe on an even keel, but the powerful V-6 under the hood dominates the experience. Driven normally, excessive wheelspin and torque steer are kept in line. Revving the engine and dumping the clutch, however, will result in tire smoke and some steering-wheel tug. A hard launch will bring a 0–60 time of 5.6 seconds; a quarter-mile time of 14.0 seconds at 103 mph is possible. Foregoing the brutal launch, as we do with our 5–60-mph rolling start, only adds 0.4 second to the 60-mph sprint.
Manual fans will delight in the mechanical feel of the Accord’s shifter. Quick shifts and nicely placed pedals make the stick a purist’s delight. Buyers who prefer an automatic get a new six-speed and better fuel economy than the manual version (21/32 versus 18/28). We’d gladly live with the fuel-economy penalty to enjoy the involvement and precision of the manual transmission.
As you’d expect, rear-seat space is not a priority here. The new coupe has actually lost a few cubic feet of rear-seat space to its predecessor. The front seats are just as comfortable as the sedan’s, though, especially when the V-6 is pressing you firmly into them. Rearward visibility is more restricted than on the sedan, a victim of styling, but our loaded V-6 model came with Honda’s new blind-spot camera that displays the right-side blind spot on the dashboard screen.
At the end of its life, the sedan outsold the previous Accord coupe by a factor of 10 to one. And yet, Honda continues to offer the Accord coupe. It’s not a rational decision, but neither is the 278-hp V-6. We’re certainly glad that both the coupe and the optional V-6 exist. Sporty, mid-size coupes are getting harder and harder to find. Nissan’s pared back its Altima coupe offerings to just one four-cylinder with an efficiency-over-fun CVT. Hyundai offers the sporty-looking rear-drive Genesis coupe in both four-cylinder turbo and V-6 form, but that car lacks Honda levels of refinement. There are several six-pot mid-size coupes available from luxury brands—the Cadillac CTS, BMW 128i, Infiniti G37, and Mercedes C250 among them—but they routinely cost many thousands more.
So if you’re looking for a popularly priced mid-size coupe with six-cylinder power, Honda levels of refinement and, rarer still, a slick-shifting manual gearbox, your shopping list is as short as it possibly can be.