More performance than meets the eye
At first blush, the Honda Accord Coupe EX-L Navi V6 doesn’t appear to be all that remarkable. That was in my mind when picking up a Tiger Eye Pearl tester for a week of driving.
Completely redesigned both inside and out for the 2013 model year, the Accord doesn’t appear to be dramatically different from the outgoing car, which is a good thing given the car’s broad appeal and impressive North American sales figures.
The exterior receives new front and rear end treatments with LED headlamps and DRLs being the most noticeable addition. A honeycomb grille replaces the more traditional slotted unit on the old car. Touches of chrome on the door pulls, around the grille and around the window frames add a luxury feel without appearing ostentatious.
Honda has taken care to update the look and feel in a manner that is both fresh and familiar. The two-tone cream/black leather-trimmed interior gives me the sense of being in a more expensive car, which is further driven home by the rich feel of the interior trim materials.
Because this is a range-topping model, the list of standard equipment is lengthy. No need to dwell on them except to say everything works exceedingly well and with a minimum of fuss.
A few new items, however, are worth mentioning: Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Watch blind spot monitor. The latter allows the driver to see if anyone is approaching (such as a cyclist) in the event of a right hand turn. As soon as the right-turn signal is engaged, the navigation screen displays a rearward view of the car’s right side thanks to a camera mounted in the side mirror.
This car is a delight to drive – the re-engineered 3.5-litre V6 growls approvingly, encouraging the driver to row through the silky six-speed manual gearbox. Unleashing the 278 hp and 252 lb-ft-feet of torque is much easier than I was expecting. While peak torque doesn’t arrive until 4,900 rpm, Honda’s drive-by-wire throttle makes it feel like it’s there almost immediately and spreads out nicely as the revs climb.
It does zero-to-100 km/h in the mid-upper sixes, pretty fast for a relatively long (4,805 mm) and heavy (1,552 kg) coupe. Combined with firm, but not harsh, suspension settings and 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in P235/45 R18 Michelin Primacy rubber, the car is ready, willing and able to engage in as much performance driving as you care to throw at it.
Say this for the Accord Coupe EX-L; it is attractive, well-equipped and reasonably priced – an accomplished all-around performer. Combined with Honda’s legendary reputation for quality and reliability and a starting price of just $35,445, this car has the winning formula, and more performance than meets the eye.
2013 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L Navi V6
BASE PRICE: $35,445
PRICE AS TESTED (BEFORE TAXES): $37,085
ENGINE: 3.5L i-VTEC V6
HORSEPOWER / TORQUE: 278 hp / 252 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS (L/100 km): 11.5 / 7.1 / 9.5 (city / hwy / combined)
BASIC WARRANTY: 48 months / 80,000 km