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Car Tech Video: 2013 Honda Accord Coupe

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Car Tech Video: 2013 Honda Accord Coupe

7:17 /

I'm not quite sure why Honda makes the Accord Coupe, but I'm glad it does.

Honda Accord Coupe. I think we have an oxymoron there. I mean, you're saying you've got the sporty version of one of America's most white bread everyday cars. Let's find out if there's really something pulling two directions here. As we drive the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V-6 with navigation, or in other words, top of the line and check the tech. Now, I wouldn't blame you for saying, "Ah, it's just a sedan Accord with two doors removed and some sheet metal stuck where they used to be, but not true." This car is actually a little over 2 inches shorter from nose to butt and has two fewer inches between the wheels -- the wheel base. That's a pretty substantial difference from the sedan. So, this is a car that's actually a different platform in many ways, and most importantly, it looks hot. There's no denying that. Now, the first thing I'm struck by in the Accord Coupe is two things right off the bat you often ask about. First of all, how's the head room? I'm about 6'2" and I can go solo in this seat that I feel too far from the ceiling. So good news for you tall folks. Now, looking at the trim, you probably also noticed that you have double vision. You're not hung over. This is the new Honda Acura thing -- dual screens that sometimes complement each other. Sometimes, they go different directions, like, right now, I've got nav on the top, media on the bottom. That's great. At other times, it gets real wonky, like when you wanna go enter a destination, you get this weirdness. So, I've got two entry screens and that makes no sense to me. Check on our review on the Acura RLX which is their new flagship, and of course, uses a very similar system to get a real deep dive on where this works and doesn't. Let's get to some media sources now. When you go to the audio screen over here -- and by the way I hate that stupid little interstitial screen that shows everything, just weird to me -- here's a nice display of the Aha music service. This is being done through something called the HondaLink app. Once you install HondaLink, Aha is wired into there and you get a really nice stream from the internet handed off to the head unit experience from your smartphone. Now, because we have navigation -- that by the way is an up-trim option, it's a different level of the car-- that also brings you 16 gigabytes of hard drive storage. You see that when I go through the sources here. And of course, you also see Pandora is in there. USB and AUX are down here supporting iPod as Honda has done rather nicely. And the music on the hard drive or on your iPod is available by voice command for artists or titles. You can actually talk to the music collections on those two devices. Over here on the left, you can see these guys here. That's an economy button that kind of dampens the behavior of the vehicle. Obviously, we've got a manual transmission -- we'll talk about it in a minute -- so it does not affect shift profiles. And down here is the lane departure warning button. We have lane departure warning on this car, but it's passive. All it does is tell you you're drifting. It doesn't correct it. Same thing goes for forward collision warning. FCW will flash this guy right up there a series of yellow LEDs that will blink right up inside the windshield if you're about to rear end somebody. Last thing I wanna show you is this little button here on the turn-signal stalk. If you push that or if while you're driving, you execute a right turn signal, you get this interesting view in the screen which is looking out of a camera on my outboard right-hand side mirror. This is pretty unusual. Now, up here in the engine room, you've got the 3.5-liter V6. Now, that's the premium engine on the Accord. But it's Coupe's today and most of them are gonna ship with a 4 but this is a nice motor. It says Earth Dreams here on the front. That's nice. I'm happy for them. What I really got here is pretty conventional but damn nice V6. It does not have direct injection, though Honda's 4's do now. The numbers are good, though -- 278 horsepower, 256-foot pounds of torque gets this roughly 3400-pound Accord up to 60 in a sprightly 5.6 seconds. Front wheel drive only. There's no all-wheel drive version on this guy. Now, the MPG is no thing of beauty with a manual, 18/28. Not bad. [unk]. Big improvement with the automatic. You get the 21/32. So, you shave quite a few MPG off if you go over to 6-speed, but the 6-speed is really cool. By the way, if you get the 6-speed, you also give up active cylinder management. And the automatic, this car can run on as few as three cylinders when you're loafing for that better fuel economy, but with the manual, it can't communicate with the transmission enough to know when it should do that. As a result, it doesn't do that. You're always running on all 6. That's part of these guys went through. The first thing you notice in this Accord Coupe is that the powertrain is really direct. This is not what you expect from an Accord. You expect it to be kind of a driving appliance? This is actually more or less a road machine. First of all, that V6 has good numbers on paper, but more importantly, great responsiveness on the road. It's a right-now engine. It doesn't stop and think when you tell it to start to spin. Now, front wheel drive only as I mentioned, the car handles very well. It's not a street fighter. It's more refined than that, but it's absolutely no problem to toss on a little corkscrew road like this and it feels great. It's very good, ride quality all the time, which you don't always get from a car that has a really gutsy chassis and suspension. Of course, being a Honda, it can't help itself but have a giant speedo and a little tach. That kind of lets the air out of the performance balloon in terms of the ergonomics, but you can live with it. Great gearbox, nice clutch. This is a real drivable car that feels very much like it was built around this transmission, not sort of had that added on as another option. This is gonna turn out to be one of the sleeper hits of the year in my book. I'm pretty sure that, even though, we're only mid-2013 right now, because it's a nice balance of being a refined car that can also give you a grand on the open road. It's very much got a little bit town and country built into it. I didn't expect that coming into it. I didn't expect a sharp powertrain, a great manual gearbox, refined ride, and at the same time, sporting feedback coming back to me. All wrapped up in one. I think it's a pretty hot-looking car. So, Honda, good work. Okay, an Accord V-6 Coupe EX-L, not with nav yet, is $31,100, delivered. The navigation package is 2 grand more. It gets you the nav, voice command for it, FM based traffic, so no need for satellite radio if you don't want it. And it also throws in that 16-gigabyte hard drive space that you'll probably never use. On top of that, you can get backup sensors for 520 bucks to augment that, otherwise, very good camera. And that's about it when it comes to going CNET style. So, all in, you're at about $33,600. Now, bottom-line, the Accord is a very grownup kind of sporty coupe. One of the most direct competitors would be the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but that's a whole different age demographic to be honest. This guy doesn't sell at all compared to their sedan. I mean, it does okay, but why they didn't make it? I'm not entirely sure. It's not different enough to be a halo car. It doesn't sell enough in volume to be a major business success, but I'm still glad they do.

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