A week spent in the coupe variation of Honda's flagship midsize Accord


Ride quality
Styling that eclipses the sedan


Distracting audio control setup
LandWatch system hardly useful

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

Growing Up

It was 38 years ago this May 7th that Honda launched the first-generation of a passenger car based on "Honda's desire for accord and harmony between people, society and the automobile."

Those very first Accords weighed roughly 2,000 pounds and were powered by a 1.6-liter engine that produced all of 68 horsepower.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

2014 Honda Accord Coupe

But while the latest 4-door now dukes it out in the highly-competitive midsize sedan segment, the ninth-generation coupe variant, which has been around since 1981when the second generation model made its debut, now stands as the lone affordable sedan-based midsize offering still being sold in the U.S.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

You'll find no argument from us that the 4-door sits at the top of the midsize sedan segment, but how does this translate to the Accord Coupe?

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6


Unlike the plain-vanilla sedan, the stylists at Honda chose to spice up their flagship coupe. The look begins up front with a narrow black grill comprised of small hexagonal inserts and surrounded by a wide U-shaped chrome surround. It's bracketed by narrow headlamp enclosures that are accented with lower L-shaped LED running lights. All this sits above an aggressive bumper bar, narrow low air intake (with a matching chrome lower strip) and a pair of round fog lights set in square, deep, outer lower recesses.

Along its flanks there are but a pair of single upper and lower character lines to break things up.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

Things again get interesting in back, where the aggressive fastback roofline meets a forward tapering deck lid in a line that's broken up by an integrated lip spoiler. Two wide, horizontal, tail lights flank the deck lid and sit above an aggressive rear bumper sporting a pair of deep outer ports that hold a pair of rear reflectors. At the very bottom, a narrow, full-width chrome trim strip sits above a pair of chrome, oval rear exhaust outlets.

Overall, the coupe is 2.2-inches shorter and 1.2-inches lower than the sedan with a 2-inch shorter wheelbase, while its width, ground clearance and front and rear tracks are identical.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6


The interior of the coupe is nearly identical to that of the sedan. It's nicely finished with soft-touch surfaces and, in our EX-L tester, striking faux carbon-fiber trim. Our top-of-the-line EX-L also comes with standard Forward Collision Warning and lane Departure Warning. Inexplicably and unlike its sedan counterpart, an automatic dimming rearview mirror is missing and unavailable.

At the same time, the gauges and controls are typical Honda – easy to understand, smooth, intuitive and within easy reach of the driver. The only offender in our tester was the touch screen radio. For one, it has two buttons for on/off and volume. Secondly, there is no redundant tuning knob. For that you have to use a distracting touch function on the screen.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

Interior room is a fairly spacious 100.8 cubic feet and features soft, supportive, well-bolstered leather-covered seats with plenty of head, shoulder, hip, and leg room. That also holds true for the two outboard rear seats. But while there's a center seat belt and head rest, adults might find it uncomfortable for anything other than short trips around town.

Thanks to a low beltline, cowl, and narrow A-pillars the driver's view out the front and sides is excellent. But looking out the back and rear three-quarters, the coupe's low roofline shows its limitations as the low, wide C-pillar and high deck lid make viewing difficult. Fortunately, a rear camera with guidelines is standard on all Accord Coupes, making maneuvering much easier.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

The Lane Watch system, on the other hand, is more show than go. A camera placed on the underside of the right outside rearview mirror is turned on when the right turn signal is actuated with the view displayed on the upper 8-inch color screen designed to give the driver a view of the passenger-side curb. Basically it's more of a distraction as it's activated even when using the flash-to-pass feature.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6


Even the least expensive Accord Coupes come with a laundry list of standard features. Air conditioning, 8-inch color display screen, alloy wheels, power windows, locks and doors, dual-zone automatic climate control, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, stability control, traction control, rearview camera and six airbags are all there. The steering wheel also includes controls for the audio and cruise control systems.

Stepping up to the EX adds multi-angle and guidelines to the rearview camera along with a proximity key with push-button start, touch-screen radio, power moonroof and fog lights.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

In addition to a leather-trimmed interior and steering wheel, EX-L models get a standard CVT automatic, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, the aforementioned LaneWatch system, a power driver's seat, heated front seats and a more powerful 360-watt audio system.

EX-L with navigation models also receive illuminated steering wheel controls and a 16-gig audio-linked hard disc drive.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

The EX-L V6 adds the 278-horsepower iVTEC 6-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation, either a 6-speed manual or a conventional 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters and sport mode, 18-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, 10-way driver's power seat with 2-position memory and chrome exhaust finishers.

Picking the EX-L V6 with navigation tops it all off with the same extra goodies found in the EX-L with navi.

3.5-liter V6

Under the hood

Accord Coupes are available with a choice of 2 engines. The base powerplant is a 2.4-liter direct injection inline four generating 185 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque paired to either a 6-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission.

Our top of the line EX-L tester was equipped with the optional 3.5-liter V6 producing 278 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque. It can be matched with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission at no extra cost.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

On the road

Like many vehicles in this class, on the newest Accords you'll find Macpherson struts up front, while the rear consists of an independent multi-link arrangement.

The ride was on the firm side – surprising for an Accord - but well dampened. The steering was sharp and nicely weighted with only a bit of numbness on-center. The brakes on the Accord Coupe are some of the best I've ever encountered - both strong and easy to modulate with plenty of feedback through the pedal. Put your foot into the accelerator and the engine responds immediately with a satisfying low growl. On the expressway the Accord felt well planted and was unaffected by crosswinds.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

Tossing it into a corner provoked very little in the way of body lean. The Accord also soaks up most road imperfections with ease.

Honda has done a great job of keeping interior noise levels to a minimum as very little in the way of tire, road wind or engine noise enters the cabin – until you accelerate hard and then it's just the sweet sound of the high-revving V6.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6


Accord Coupe pricing begins with a base LX manual at $24,415 and tops out with a fully-accessorized manual or automatic-equipped EX-L Touring emptying the wallet to the tune of $44,851. Our EX-L lacked only a few accessories with a base price of $32,400 plus $790 in destination and handling charges adding up to a total MSRP of $33,190.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6

The Bottom Line

There's a great deal to like about the Accord Coupe – especially one equipped with the 3.5-liter V6. Not only does it look good, its handling and performance back up those good looks. It's also the quietest Accord we've ever tested. The only criticisms I had were with some of the overly-complicated radio controls and the overall usefulness of the Lane Watch camera system.

Having said that, the Accord represents the lone holdout in the affordable midsize coupe segment. Fortunately, even though the aforesaid market is shrinking the lone choice is still an excellent one and buyers at least considering a vehicle this size with two doors owe it to themselves to check out the Accord Coupe. I guarantee they won't be disappointed.

2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6