2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 Navi. Click image to enlarge
Review and Photos by Justin Pritchard
It’s a bit of a modest looker and amounts to a sports coupe built from the guts of a family sedan – but the 2014 Accord Coupe is the most powerful car in Honda’s lineup, the highest-performing car Honda currently builds, and a machine that, on some levels, does other Honda performance greats like the Prelude, S2000 and NSX proud.
Admittedly, it is the Honda Accord of sport coupes. It’s practical. Easy to drive. Every-day friendly. You can use the back seat for things like adult humans, since they’re big, comfortable, easy to access, and don’t have a roof sitting impossibly close to the top of their headrests. It’s an easy machine to enter and exit, thanks to a huge door aperture and a floor height that’s not of the road-scraping variety. There are cupholders and a big centre storage bin that’ll fit an SLR camera. And the trunk will easily accept a full complement of camping gear for a two-person weekend away.
All the other Honda Accord stuff is in place here too. Accord Coupe is safe, should be reliable for years, and even turns in pretty good gas mileage. It’s plenty relaxed on the highway and overall, easy to drive.
So, you might say it’s a family-ready sporty coupe [except for it being a coupe and all... –Ed.]. And, as a sporty coupe should, it’s got some passionate styling and equipment that supports a more personal driving experience. Though it’s based on the four-door Accord sedan, the coupe is lower to the ground, shorter in wheelbase, and beefier in stabilizer-bar diameters. Plus, it comes with the greasy-smooth six-speed stick you won’t find with the V6 engine in the sedan. So although it’s nearly sedan-big inside and looks largely familiar, it’s not just a four-door with two doors cut off.
And in between those two doors, you’ll find a great new interior fitting of a range-topping model. The last-generation Accord Coupe had an interior made of fifty shades of grey plastic and showcased a passion for design and style on par with the bathroom in your local 7-11. With the new cabin, you see some effort applied towards the look and atmosphere: plenty of detailing, contrasting materials and colours, and a more upscale and premium look and feel.
Some slick features, including a dual-tier display with adaptive touchscreen eliminate the confusing button clutter from the last model. Honda’s LaneWatch gizmo uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to display a wide-angle image down the side of the car on the centre screen whenever you signal, or tap the corresponding stalk-mounted button. This is slick, handy, and could eliminate accidental side-swiping of another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist when turning.
But probably the best thing about Honda’s latest Accord Coupe is its delightfully evil split personality – which has largely come about because of some fine-tuning for its latest iteration. Though it’s sensible and easy to drive gently and roomier than you probably think, the Accord Coupe V6 puts on a hell of a show when you get to driving it hard.
The powertrain is a key reason why. Under the hood, a Honda staple: a 3.5L VTEC V6, now generating the better part of 280 horsepower. It’s smooth, eager and loves to work – and now operates with a more tuned sound from its intake and exhaust that result in a rewarding howl-turned-growl as the VTEC hot-cam kicks in. And oh my goodness, what a noise. Operation approaching redline sees the engine sounding worked, hard, and gloriously loud and mechanical. But all the while, it’s an eager and comfortable noise. It sounds like it likes it.