Suggestion No. 1 – 2014 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6
We’ve taken a three-prong approach with this week’s Ask AutoGuide. We’re going to highlight a trio of powertrain layouts, and of course each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Kicking things off, let’s start with what’s likely the most depressing, sorry, make that sensible of them all.
For better or worse the Honda Accord Coupe is front-wheel drive. This means the car should provide decent traction and predictability when the weather turns foul. It should also return respectable fuel economy and offer space-efficient packaging. Remember, this is a two-door version of a family sedan so it’s got a lot of levelheaded virtues baked right in.
But the Accord Coupe is targeted at drivers, or at least people that don’t hate spending time behind the wheel. It’s got a reputation for quality that’s second to none, somewhat sleek styling and an alluring powertrain. Have we sold you on this car yet or are we damning it with faint praise?
Under the Accord’s hood sits a transversely mounted 3.5-liter V6. It delivers a muscular 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. A significantly less well endowed four-cylinder engine is also available, but who wants that, especially when the six is so smooth and wails like Leadbelly singing the blues?
Naturally the engine can be matched to a proper transmission, a six-speed manual. In typical Honda fashion this unit feels ultra smooth through the gears and more precise than an integrated circuit chip.
Aside from an efficient basic design cylinder deactivation helps improve fuel economy when all-out power is not required. The car also features active noise cancellation to block any unwanted ruckus. According to the U.S. EPA this car should be able to travel 18 miles on a gallon of gasoline in the city and 28 on the highway. Combined it should return 22 mpg.
Signed, sealed and delivered, a top-of-the-line Accord Coupe EX-L V6 can be driven home for $33,190, including $790 in shipping and handling fees. At that price you get plenty of fancy features, things like dual-zone climate control, navigation, a rear-view camera, leather seats and power all around. Curiously it’s only available in three colors. Drivers can choose between red, black and gray, but customers that opt for an automatic transmission have many more options. Why does the transmission matter? Color us confused.
The Accord may be handicapped by front-wheel drive and unobtrusive styling but it really is quite a bit of fun. The engine screams, the gearbox is slicker than a baby seal and it ought to be as reliable as a Honda, which is convenient because that’s just what it is…