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2017 Honda Accord Coupe Touring V6 Road Test Review

 Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.


Living up to the Acura coupe Legend 

Looking for a luxury sport coupe that won't break the bank? Premium brands can cost tens of thousands more than volume carmakers just for their fancy badges, so why not consider Honda and its superb Accord Coupe instead? After all, the Accord Coupe comes very close to premium levels of materials quality, refinement and features, plus Honda has long derived much of its engineering acumen from motorsport, by both contending and winning Formula One races and championships, not to mention IndyCar and the Indy 500, World Endurance, CART, SCCA Pro, and so on. This puts the brand ahead in driving dynamics, something you can feel from the wheel, while it seems to be influencing styling these days as well.


 

One look at the recently updated Accord Coupe and it's easy to see that it's more than just mainstream, my tester's top-line Touring trim adapting particularly well to Honda's edgy new design language. It certainly commands attention with a unique dark chrome strikethrough grille, high-tech LED headlamps, a sharply angled lower fascia with integrated LED fog lights, a sweptback roofline, a short spoiler-enhanced rear deck lid, tidy LED taillights and a chiseled back bumper highlighted with vertical reflectors on black mesh vent-like trim at each corner, these visually connected by a long chromed strikethrough above dramatic dual oval tailpipes, the entire design coming together for a forward looking performance flagship with a sensual yet powerful presence that's made yet more alluring thanks to twinned five-spoke machine-finished 19-inch alloys with black painted pockets.


 

Near premium refinement allows luxury shoppers a less expensive alternative 

Inside, it looks just as modern albeit doused in plenty of near-premium luxury. It doesn't quite go to the level of luxe that Acura might if it were still building its lovely Legend Coupe or CL, although the dramatically shaped dash top is made from a very high-quality pliable synthetic that travels right across the door uppers. Each door insert is nicely trimmed out too, with padded and stitched leatherette folding into the armrest, the same application benefiting the centre armrest.

Spiffing things up further are engine-turned metallic inlays across the instrument panel and doors, as well as slightly lighter metal-look trim under the latter, which curves downward to dress up the door pulls, while plenty of piano black lacquered surfaces add richness.

 
 

Speaking of black, my tester's exterior was finished in Crystal Black Pearl paint, while additional colours include a medium-grey called Modern Steel Metallic, plus sporty San Marino Red, eye-catching Still Night Pearl electric blue, and White Orchid Pearl. Depending on the exterior paint choice, you get the option of Black leather upholstery like my tester, or Ivory.

This brings us back inside where the Accord's mostly analog primary gauge cluster is plenty attractive, with a centre-mounted speedometer that sticks out at least an inch from the other dials before getting carved out inside to show small mph digits around a trip computer at centre, this display incorporating the odometer, temperature, range to empty, and other functions.


 

Impressive dual-display infotainment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 

Over on the centre stack, just to the right of a bright red engine start/stop button, Honda has now adopted the double infotainment display design like Acura, which allows simultaneous use of features such as monitoring audio info up top and navigation mapping on the lower touchscreen. The top display is managed by steering wheel controls, first a menu button and then by one with a pages graphic that lets you scroll through various functions such as navigation, vehicle settings, etcetera, after which you can use the four-way dial controller to dig deeper. It's more of a large multi-info display with the lower touchscreen for full use of navigation, phone, audio, HondaLink and auto settings systems, all enhanced with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for more seamless integration with your smartphone.

Of note, the remaining steering wheel switchgear includes audio, phone, and voice commands to the left and cruise controls to the right, the latter of which are fully adaptive. Not missing a beat, Honda also includes a wireless device charger at the base of the centre stack just ahead of the shift lever, while an appreciated padded sunglasses holder sits within the overhead console that also houses lighting, a toggle for the powered moonroof, and a universal garage door opener.


 

A sports coupe with a focus on safety 

I've mentioned many of this top-line Touring V6 model's features already but should touch on a few others before moving on, with additional items exclusive to this trim including Honda's Variable Cylinder Management for the engine when hooked up to the automatic, plus active engine mounts to enhance refinement, and amplitude reactive dampers to improve the ride and handling, while automatic models also get remote start along with Honda Sensing features such as aforementioned adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, and lane departure warning with mitigation via lane keeping assist, all helping to earn the car an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating, whereas every Accord Coupe gets a full five stars across all NHTSA crash test categories.

The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, incidentally, a sure sign that Honda hasn't lost its performance edge even in this personal luxury coupe segment, while other features that get pulled up from lesser trims to this top-tier Touring V6 include auto-on/off LED headlamps with auto high beams, LED front turn signals, side mirror-mounted LED turn signals, proximity entry with pushbutton ignition, rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, one-touch turn signals, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Honda's fabulous LaneWatch blindspot display, a multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth hands-free, a 10-way powered driver's seat with powered lumbar support and memory, heatable front seats, perforated leather upholstery, the infotainment system mentioned earlier with text and email capability, Wi-Fi tethering, Siri Eyes Free, two USBs, 360-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio with seven speakers including a sub, Bluetooth streaming audio, HD and satellite radio, active noise cancellation, and much more.


 

Mid-size sport coupe delivers big on performance 

The leather-clad powered seats live up to Honda's usual high standard for overall comfort with an emphasis on good lower back support, while side bolstering could be more aggressive considering how quick this car is. Yes, the Accord Coupe Touring likes to go fast, this model's 3.5-litre V6 an absolute jewel of an engine providing 278 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque while its $1,000 optional six-speed automatic benefits from paddle shifters that increase the car's fun factor effectively, this gearbox providing quicker shifts when its shift lever is pulled all the way back into "S" mode.

The car stays flat through sharp quick corners too, reacting better than expected despite delivering a ride that comes close to pampering on less than ideal city streets, the Touring upgrades mentioned earlier improving on the Accord Coupe's inherently well balanced MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension setup that even benefits from a front strut tower brace under the hood.



Driving aggressively won't get you close to the Accord Coupe Touring V6's claimed five-cycle EnerGuide fuel economy rating of 11.4 L/100km city, 7.3 highway and 9.5 combined, but slotting the gearbox into "D", pressing the big green dash-mounted "ECON" button and going lighter on the throttle works wonders to eke out the best possible mileage. Of note, these numbers aren't that much higher than the manually shifted 181 horsepower base four-cylinder car's 10.3 city, 7.2 highway and 8.9 combined rating, although the V6 starts to pale when compared to the entry engine's optional CVT that does somewhat better with an estimated 9.1 city, 6.8 highway and 8.0 combined. The V6 manual, incidentally, is thirstiest with a rating of 12.9 city, 8.3 highway and 10.9 combined. Still, for all that power and driving enjoyment I'd be willing to put up with a little more cost at the pump.


 

A performance coupe that's practical too 

All this performance and luxury comes in a car that offers loads of room up front and fits fairly large adults in the rear too, my five-foot-eight medium-build frame leaving about three to four inches ahead of my knees, plenty of room for my feet, approximately the same three to four inches above my head, and no shortage of space on either side. Additionally, the rear seatback folds forward to expand on the 379-litre (13.4 cubic-foot) trunk.

All in all the Accord Coupe Touring V6 provides a wonderfully rare combination of performance, luxury and practicality in a fabulous looking package for just $36,190 plus freight and dealer fees, which is very low considering that all of its personal luxury coupe competitors are branded with premium badges and therefore cost tens of thousands more when similarly equipped. It might wear slightly less prestigious Honda badging, but it certainly lives up to the Acura coupe Legend.

 


Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press 
Photo credits: Trevor Hofmann and Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press 
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.

 
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