It may be a Honda Accord, but with a powerful V6 and six-speed manual transmission, this car is anything but mainstream.
Every year, Honda sells some 350,000 Accords in the United States – it’s a mainstay of the midsize sedan segment, and quite often the benchmark of the class. Of course, when you think of the Accord, your mind no doubt pictures a commuter-spec, four-door sedan. But I’m here to remind you that there’s a decidedly rare, really sweet package hiding within the lineup. Honda still makes a two-door Accord Coupe, and you can get it with a V6 engine and six-speed manual transmission.
The coupe only accounts for a small number of Accord sales every year, and even smaller is the fraction of those two-doors that are sold in V6/manual form. This is a really interesting car, built on the foundation that makes the Accord a massive success, but with an extra helping of fun-to-drive baked in.
- The powertrain is excellent – powerful and refined. The naturally aspirated, 3.5-liter V6 delivers 278 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque in a progressive, linear fashion. This engine is classically Honda, with a revvy nature and plenty of pull at higher rpm. It’s great when paired with the six-speed manual, too. Another typically Honda trait: the transmission is a delight to work, with a notchy gearbox and a light clutch.
- Like all Accords, the V6 Coupe delivers a composed, compliant ride. Steering feel is above average, considering the midsize sedan platform, and there’s plenty of communication through the chassis. You can toss the Accord Coupe into a bend with confidence; it’s much more eager to be driven enthusiastically than its name might suggest.
- Despite the two-door shape, there’s a ton of room inside the cabin. Adults of all sizes will have no problem fitting up front, and the rear seats are surprisingly spacious. Plus, the cabin is neatly organized with nicely finished materials throughout and space enough to store smartphones and water bottles. There are plenty of amenities, too – this EX-L tester comes with a full infotainment suite, Honda’s LaneWatch side-view camera, heated seats, a sunroof, auto headlamps, and more.
- From a styling standpoint, the Accord Coupe isn’t overly aggressive, but still speaks to a sportier nature than the sedan. Still, even in bright red, this two-door slides nicely under the radar.
- I still have a hard time with Honda’s two-tier infotainment screen setup. Some features are redundant, others aren’t, and while the lower screen is nice for the side-view and backup cameras, I feel like the whole kit and caboodle could be better organized in one place.
- Good as it is to drive, there are better ways to get bang for your buck around the $31,760 as-tested price of this EX-L tester. A similarly priced Ford Mustang EcoBoost or Chevrolet Camaro V6 offer just as much kit with a far more entertaining driving experience. The Pony cars are rear-wheel drive (right-wheel drive), too; isn’t that what you really want? Listen to your heart.
- Which brings us to the main point: it’s hard to argue for buying a large, front-wheel-drive coupe these days. It’s why just about every other automaker has already abandoned the segment. Unless you’re really committed to the V6/manual/front-drive concept – and who is? – there’s very little reason to recommend the coupe, good as it may be, over the just-as-charming, more-functional Accord sedan.
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Ford Mustang
- Hyundai Genesis Coupe
- Dodge Challenger
|2016 HONDA ACCORD COUPE EX-L V6|
|OUTPUT||278 Horsepower / 251 Pound-Feet|
|EPA FUEL ECONOMY||21 City / 32 Highway / 25 Combined|
|CARGO VOLUME||13.4 Cubic Feet|