While dwindling demand has led most automakers to abandon the mainstream midsize coupe market, Honda recently reaffirmed its commitment to the segment by launching a new-generation Accord Coupe. Like the more practical Accord sedan, the two-door features a pair of fuel-sipping powertrains along with a refined interior, capable handling and ample standard equipment.
All-new for the latest model year, the Accord Coupe essentially stands pat this year. Models with cloth seats gain premium fabric, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is newly standard.
Despite being just under an inch shorter than the last-gen model, the latest Accord Coupe actually packs an additional 3.5 cubic feet of passenger space thanks to improved packing. Trunk space is also up by nearly 2 cubic feet.
Clothing the larger interior is more stylish sheetmetal characterized by abbreviated front and rear overhangs and a deep character line running along the flanks that reduces the appearance of heft. All of the sleek styling aft of front wheels is specific to the coupe, while the hood, grille and lower front fascia are also unique and a bit sportier than their sedan counterparts.
Inside, in place of the last-gen model's somewhat cluttered dash is a simple and elegant design with an intuitive control layout. The button count is way down, thanks in part to a standard high-resolution eight-inch display in the center stack that includes a display for the standard rearview camera as well as Pandora internet radio compatibility and SMS text message functionality. Upmarket models include Honda's HondaLink infotainment interface and a second, smaller display in the center of the dashboard that replaces.
Uniquely, Honda's available "LaneWatch" system uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to transmit an image of the blind spot to the eight-inch infotainment screen on certain higher-specification Accords. For more information on LaneWatch, visit our Spotlight On: Honda LaneWatch in-depth article.
Although not a dedicated sports car, the Accord Coupe nonetheless features responsive driving dynamics thanks to a well-tuned MacPherson strut suspension and a precise electric power steering system.
The base engine is a direct-injected 2.4-liter "Earth Dreams" four-cylinder that pairs with either a six-speed manual or a CVT. With dual overhead cams and Honda's i-VTEC system, the engine puts out 185 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 181 lb-ft. of torque at 3,900 rpm. An available dual-exhaust system bumps output up by 4 ponies and 1 lb-ft. With the CVT, the Accord is rated at 27/36 mpg (30 mpg combined), while the six-speed manual dents those figures to 24/34 mpg (28 mpg combined).
A 3.5-liter V6 is optional on higher-spec Accord Coupes. Fitted with Honda's i-VTEC variable valve timing system, the engine is rated at 278 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 252 lb-ft. of torque at 4,900 rpm. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. The auto-equipped V6 model returns 21/34 mpg (25 mpg combined) thanks to variable cylinder management that cuts half of the cylinders for highway cruising, while the manual reduces mileage to 18/28 mpg.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Accord Coupe can be had in LX-S, EX and EX-L and EX-L V6 trim levels.
The LX-S includes the aforementioned eight-inch screen and rearview camera in addition to 17-inch alloy wheels, dual zone automatic climate control, cruise control and a rear spoiler. Also part of the package are expected features like a height-adjustable driver's seat, power windows and locks and keyless entry.
The EX adds a moonroof, proximity key, a touch-screen audio system, fog lamps and a 10-way power driver's seat.
The EX-L ups the luxury quotient with heated leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel plus Honda's new LaneWatch system, lane departure warning and forward collision control.
Finally, the EX-L V6 includes LED running lamps, memory for the driver's seat, dual exhaust and 18-inch alloy wheels. Navigation is optional. Notably, the V6 Coupe is the only Accord model that offers the six-speed manual gearbox/six-cylinder engine powertrain combo.
Newly available as a dealer-installed option is a package that fully integrates Apple's Siri virtual assistant with the Accord Coupe.
Using Apple's new Eyes Free mode, Accord Coupe drivers can access Siri via their iPhone without taking their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. The Eyes Free function uses the vehicle's steering wheel-mounted buttons to access Siri's voice commands, which Honda says reduces distractions behind the wheel. Eyes Free also turns off the iPhone's screen so drivers aren't tempted to look at their device.
All Accords come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side-curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Available on certain trim levels (detailed above) are a blind spot display system, lane departure warning system and forward collision alert system.
As a front-wheel-drive sedan-based coupe, the Accord Coupe's only true competitor is the Nissan Altima Coupe. Actually, make that was - Nissan recently discontinued the two-door Altima.
The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are in the same price range but are much smaller and more driver-focused, while the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro represent powerful, retro-flavored alternatives.