We visited a nearby Honda dealership to look at Accords. We went with the intent to look at a 2006 or 2007 Accord Sedan to possibly trade my Mini Cooper S Convertible in for. The Accord would make a good family car to save miles on our SUV. Plus it would be a great first car for our kids when they reach driving age.
We got hooked by the cool looking 2008 Accord Coupe. They had a nice black one sitting front and center of the dealership as you drove on the property. We liked the coupe so much we thought about it as a family car. I sat in the back seat as the salesman drove it off the lot. Yes, it is a little but of an effort to get back there, as with any coupe, but once there it really does have quite a bit of room. Two adults can fit comfortably as long as the front seat passengers are under 6 feet. Surely two teen age boys can fit back there behind my wife and myself.
I still think a sedan would be the better car to haul the family around in, but the looks of the coupe are so compelling compared to the sedan. Let’s look at it. Here is the front of the two cars:
Notice the lower nose, and the sleeker headlights of the coupe. The sedan’s headlights are not only taller they also stick out from the body lines. If we head around to the back of the car it is almost two different cars:
I know, the sedan picture does not show the rear very well. But I could not find a proper rear view on Honda’s web site for the sedan. I suspect they know about the problem. The sedan is totally different looking, and it shouldn’t be. With the sedan the license plate moves from inset in the bumper to inset in the truck lid. Also, the side body line continues around the trunk in a clunky way. It makes the trunk look broken up. The coupe’s smooth truck lid looks great, especially with the small lip spoiler on the V6 model. I don’t understand why the sedan could not use the same trunk lid & rear bumper. The sedan is actually ugly compared to the coupe from behind, and this is probably why they don’t show it on their web site. It was also the main reason my wife and I were “selling ourselves” that the coupe would make a good family car.
As for the drive… we drove the V6 coupe and a 4 cylinder sedan. I wanted to compare the two engines, because the 4 gets better gas mileage in this day of $3+ gasoline. Don’t do it. The 4 was extremely loud every time you pressed on the pedal. The exhaust noise boomed throughout the interior. It would become quite tiresome on my 75 mile round trip drives to work.
The coupe and sedan interiors, from the drivers seat, are very close. You would have to compare them back to back to notice any difference. The coupe’s seats are a little better. I was disappointed with the power of the V6 in the coupe. The Accord comes with a 3.5 liter engine pushing 268 horsepower. It didn’t feel that fast. I remember driving my in-law’s Avalon with 220 hp and it feeling faster. The Accord certainly did not feel anywhere near as fast as my 93 Camaro with 275 hp. I believe the V6 with a manual transmission should be in the high 5 second range in the run to 60 mph. The car I drove did not feel anywhere near that fast. In fact, it did not feel as fast an my Mini Cooper which is only good for 7.0 seconds in the sprint to 60.
Other than the low feeling of power, the car felt great. This is a very comfortable cruiser. The door panel was of a cheap plastic that did not feel at all good when I tried to rest my elbow on it. The Accord is wider than my Mini or my old Camaro that I could not rest my elbow on the door panel and hold the steering wheel. SO I guess that becomes a blessing in disguise. I found the console top/arm rest to be too soft. Yes, too soft. It is leather (I assume) and it is very plush. But I would be worried how leather this soft would stand up to being rested on for 100,000 miles.
Overall I would say the Accord is a success. I don’t think many Accord buyers are as picky as I am about 0-60 times. The V6 is very smooth and speed builds well, though I just felt like I was waiting too much without any feeling of urgency from under the hood.
If you want a great sedan or coupe than these cars are worth looking at. They are a bit boring, especially the sedan, compared to some other cars I can think of. The coupe we drove was “menu” priced at $28,495. I might think about buying a used Infiniti G35 Coupe for the money of an Accord coupe. Certainly if you are in the market for an Accord Coupe you should test drive a used G35 coupe before deciding the Accord is right for you. That is as long as you don’t have a problem buying a used car. Some people are adamant about buying new cars, which means the Accord Coupe is a bargain next to the new G37.
I have read a couple of reviews on the new Nissan Altima Coupe that said it had significant torque steer. I would still test drive the Altima Coupe before buying the Accord Coupe as well.
I just can’t get over the lack of power in the V6 Accord, which was compounded by the fact there is no manual mode for the automatic transmission. I did not try shifting the car by using the 1,2, D3, D gate, but a manual mode with paddles might help. I did notice it shifted at least 500 RPMs below reline when left in drive. Go figure!
Overall I can recommend these cars to the people that would shop for them. If you are more performance oriented you should make sure you test drive a manual equipped version or shop elsewhere.