2013 Honda Accord Coupe

2013 Honda Accord Coupe Review

An Accord minus two doors equals a lot of fun.

By: Tim Healey

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: February 27th, 2013

Honda's popular Accord has long come in both coupe and sedan flavors, even though most mid-size buyers are content with four doors. Indeed, the only other mid-size car that offers both a coupe and a sedan is Nissan's Altima. Sure, the Accord Coupe could be considered a competitor of V-6 pony cars and a rival of the V-6 powered version of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but it doesn't have rear-wheel drive or the outright sports-car mission of those vehicles. It may be presented as a sportier alternative to the sedan, but no one is pretending that it's a Mustang killer.

The Accord Coupe does offer performance options that the sedan lacks. For instance, you can get a manual transmission with the V-6 engine in the coupe, but not in the sedan. While coupe buyers sacrifice some practicality--mainly in rear-seat size and entry--we can see the appeal of a two-door for buyers who want a mid-size but don't need the extra rear seat space, especially if folks are looking to balance performance with full economy and utility.

  • On the Road

    The 278-horsepower V-6 helped the car leap off the line, often overwhelming the front tires. While we appreciated the acceleration, torque steer--that tendency of front-wheel-drive cars to pull from side to side under heavy acceleration--reared its ugly head often. Getting on the gas too early out of a corner could lead to trouble.

    Which is too bad, since the Accord had accurate and precise steering and a balanced nature that made it a pleasant companion when cornering. It didn't have the outright capability of a rear-drive V-6 sports coupe, but it came close enough for our tastes. It also felt ready to go at a moment's notice without being jumpy or nervous. It was never boring. That manic energy could get annoying on longer drives, but we generally liked the Accord's aggressive demeanor.

    Another area in which the Accord equally thrilled and annoyed us was with the exhaust note. It produced a pleasing growl in hard driving that gave the car a sinister character, but that same growl never faded into the background at more sedate speeds. Again, this was a fun characteristic that would nevertheless get old quickly on a road trip.

    The Accord doesn't sacrifice much in the way of ride quality for handling, either. The settings are clearly tuned for sport, but not so much that the car becomes uncomfortable.

    We found the clutch and shifter to be a joy to use--the shifter's throws are precise and fluid, and the clutch is neither too light nor too heavy.

  • Exterior

    Honda redesigned both the coupe and sedan for 2013, but the overall proportions remain the same. The grille gets a cleaner look, thanks to the removal of a cross bar, and the overall look is slightly sharper and less bulbous than it was before. The look isn't a dramatic departure from what it was before.

  • Interior

    For 2013, the coupe gets a little more rear-seat space (although this being a two-door coupe, space is still tight back there), which will thrill those buyers with young families. What thrilled us, however, was Honda's LaneWatch feature, which uses the rearview camera to monitor the passenger-side blind spot whenever the right turn signal is activated.

    Some things didn't thrill us. We lamented the loss of a tuner knob for the radio--there's a volume knob, but no tuner knob, even though there's space for one. The large control knob that manages the rest of the infotainment system works well, but we found that a few menus had unnecessary redundancy, and the touch screen located in the middle of the center stack occasionally was distracting to use.

  • Final Thoughts

    There's a lot to like about this car. It strikes a nice balance between performance and utility, it looks good, and it can be had with a manual transmission.

    Where it gets sticky is with the price--our fully-loaded EX-L with navigation (Honda doesn't offer options, rather options are tied to trim level) stickered for over $33K. That's a lot of scratch.

    Then again, that amount of cash isn't unusual for V-6 sports coupes. Given its all-around ability, we find it hard to find fault with this sporty mid-size coupe.

  • Specs, Features, Prices

    Engine: 3.5-liter V-6

    Transmission: Six-speed manual

    Drive Wheels: Front-wheel-drive

    Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway

    Base Price: $32,350

    As-Tested Price: $33,140 (includes $790 destination fee)

    Available Features: navigation system, LaneWatch rearview camera system, rearview camera, heated front seats, USB port, fog lamps, push-button start, auxiliary port, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Pandora internet radio.

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