2013 Honda Accord Coupe
2013 Honda Accord Coupe. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

You only have to run through the gears once in the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 Navi to be reminded of Honda’s mastery when it comes to building racy naturally aspirated engines.

Granted, there has been little for enthusiasts to get excited about in the Honda camp of late, and a nose-heavy front-drive two-door version of a family sedan won’t do much to change that. But what an engine.

And the slick-shifting six-speed manual is a sweetie too.

While the Accord has been redone for 2013, this 3.5L SOHC i-VTEC V6 carries over into the sedan and coupe as an upgrade over the base 185-hp 2.4L four.

It generates 278 hp at 6,200 rpm and 252 lb-ft at 4,900 rpm. Indeed, in these times where 300 hp seems to be the bare minimum for V6 performance engines, this Honda mill might seem a tad wanting.

Let’s just say the numbers don’t do it justice. It feels pretty strong even in the lower reaches, but as the revs rise with effortless mechanical zeal, the thrust escalates with equal vigour. As does the lovely raspy exhaust note.

Then at about 5,000 rpm the i-VTEC variable valve timing does its Jekyll and Hyde thing, turning the bent-six all feral as it charges to the redline. Nice.

This engine should be mounted north-south within a great rear-drive chassis. And that is all I’ll say about that.

Not to suggest the 2013 Accord EX-L V6 Navi isn’t a fine handling front-drive coupe. Yes, there is some torque steer when matting the go-pedal in the lower gears, and you’re well aware of the weight out front, but the chassis has been expertly tuned and will actually rotate a bit with a little trailing throttle (I discovered this while exploring the limits on a deserted roundabout).

2013 Honda Accord Coupe2013 Honda Accord Coupe2013 Honda Accord Coupe
2013 Honda Accord Coupe. Click image to enlarge

The pedals are placed perfectly for heel-and-toe action, helped here by a throttle that seems to have a direct connection to the tach needle. The clutch has some heft to it and a quick take-up – your left leg takes some recalibrating to keep the forward progress smooth.

The ride is on the firm side, getting a bit crashy over the really rough stuff, but as usual the payoff is good body control. This coupe eats up a twisty road very nicely when on the boil.

I do wish the steering had a better sense of connection to the front wheels. Pretty numb, it is.

The 2013 Accord Coupe EX-L V6 Navi has an all-in price of $35,445 and for that you get a lot of kit, notable bits being navigation with tri-lingual voice recognition, active noise cancellation, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, Lane Watch blind spot display, back-up camera, push-button start, moonroof and full LED headlights that do a stellar job of illuminating a dark country road.

A new-for-2013 six-speed auto with paddle shifters is a no-cost option, but you’ll pay $961.17 for rear park sensors. If you seek extra badass ‘tude, a 19-inch wheel upgrade runs $2,708.32 and a butchy body kit is $2,235.04.

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