2008 Honda Accord EXL V6 Coupe

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In two door form, the Honda Accord Coupe is a lone wolf in what is essentially a dying segment. Once upon a time, the midsize coupe market was crowded with the Nissan Altima Coupe, Dodge Avenger/Chrysler Sebring twins, Toyota Camry Solara, and many more. Now, the aforementioned twins are gone, and the Toyota Camry Solara and Nissan Altima Coupe were put to pasture in the last few years. The Honda Accord Coupe is the only one remaining. The key to its success is that it builds on the the Accord sedan’s traits in a much sportier package. The alternative body style to the first Honda Accord generation was a three door hatchback. With the third generation (1986-1989), a two door coupe was added. It was not until 1998 that the sixth generation Honda Accord Coupe would employ a different design and performance approach. From then on, the Accord Coupe was designed with sleeker styling and sharper handling. Following the redesign in 2008, the Accord Coupe aimed to provide a much more drastically different driving experience than the sedan.

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Compared with its predecessors, the Accord Coupe is sleek and distinctive. Looking at the front, you notice the furrowing large headlights, the mesh grille, and the slightly sculpted bumper which all give the Accord a muscular stance. It is apparent that the Accord Coupe is a large car. You are reminded of this fact in the side profile. However, the sharp roofline and the character line help to give some excitement to the design. As I noted in my Accord Sedan review, the rear has the effect of looking bulbous. This is the same with the Coupe. The taillights are enormous, and the overall appearance comes off slightly frumpy. The interior is stark, and ambiance is business like.

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Whereas the sedan is a fairly fun (relatively) car to drive, the Coupe is an entirely different car. The steering is surprisingly heavy, reminiscent of a BMW. The steering is heavy at parking speeds but it loosens up gradually at higher speeds. Compared with the sedan, the Coupe’s steering is so much more communicative, and it responds with such fluidity that the sedan cannot match. Body lean is well contained, and it is very balanced. Go on a twisty road, and you will note how faithfully it responds to the driver. Tire grip is excellent, and its agility belies its size. The ride quality is commendable. It is taut but comfortable enough.

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With 268 horsepower from its 3.5 liter V6, the Accord is not short on horsepower. It is quick. Torque steer can be problematic but it is manageable. It is easy to peel the tires, even with the traction control on. There is always reserve power at any speed so merging or overtaking should not be a hassle. The five speed transmission is smooth although there is no manumatic mode which is unusual in a sporty coupe. A 177 horsepower and 190 horsepower 2.4 liter four cylinder engine is available as is a six speed manual transmission for the V6 (four cylinders get five speeds.).

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Road noise is an issue as tire rumble and coarse road surfaces infiltrate the cabin. Other than that, the Accord is a hushed cruiser. In contrast to the four cylinder’s melody, the V6 emits a frenzied growl when floored.

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Fit and finish is impeccable with fastidious attention to detail. There are numerous handy storage spaces. The controls may seem daunting at first but they are intuitive. It can be hard to distinguish the buttons as they are similar in appearance. The display screen for the controls seems bleak and underdeveloped in terms of graphics. The driving position is excellent, and visibility is decent.  It is roomy in the front, and the rear seats are surprisingly spacious for a coupe. The trunk is large. The leather seats offer excellent comfort.

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In my Honda Accord Sedan review, I noted how I was brought up in a family of Hondas. It still has that Honda magic. Some people may question the existence of a two door coupe if its not a sports car but I can see why the Honda Accord Coupe sells. It’s an Accord, meaning it is a well designed car that is capable of handling family duties while displaying Honda’s legendary reliability and fuel efficiency. The Coupe sacrifices some utility for a much better driving experience. Long story short, I fell in love with this car. Driving this car reminded me of Honda’s great sporty cars such as the Del Sol, the S2000, and my favorite, the Prelude. This feels like a modern Prelude. When you drive a Honda, you just love your Honda. How much did I like this car? I am one of those people who prefer manual transmission cars but I would gladly have the Accord Coupe V6 with an automatic transmission. It is that good.

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2 thoughts on “2008 Honda Accord EXL V6 Coupe

  1. […] 2008 Honda Accord EXL V6 Coupe automotive weblog […]

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