2016 Honda Accord Coupe

The Japanese muscle car

"Rear seats never are a point of discussion when discussing coupes, but the Accord Coupe is the coupe with the best rear seats in the world."

"Recent upgrades and improvements on the car are definitely a step in the right direction," said Ershad.

The biggest changes on the 2016 Honda Accord Coupe are on the exterior."

"The Accord Coupe is the lone contestant in its segment and Honda looks in no mood to stop."

Practical and comfortable sedans. Fun and sporty coupes. That's how the old saying goes. However, new-gen sedans have been increasingly bridging this gap with little or no effort from newer coupe models.

We have the 2016 Honda Accord Coupe with us today. Honda Accord is one of the best selling family cars globally, and has a rich heritage of reliability and practicality. There is no doubt that the same characteristics will be passed on to the coupe guise of the Accord, but will it have the sporty nature of coupe cars? Will practicality and comfort take a beating? Let's see.

Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine with Earth Dreams technology, the engine is good for 278 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. Earth Dreams is a Honda technology initiative to make environmentally friendly cars without losing out on performance. It is a combination of engine, transmission and powertrain technologies that work together for a greener planet (the same block taken from the sedan variant).

The biggest changes on the 2016 Honda Accord Coupe are on the exterior. The design is much sleeker compared to previous versions, but poised and easy to look at. The front bumper is redesigned to lend a sporty feel with sleeker grille slats, lower air dams and an overall clean look. Horizontal strips of chrome line the front grille and the bumper, and are well placed to add to the mild bling up front. The restyled headlamps now house LED units, which look great and provide good illumination. Added to these are the daytime running lights in LED pipe guides and sleek fog lamps, which are LED powered as well. The Accord Coupe features a lightweight aluminum hood, which helps in weight reduction as well as provides improved crash protection. Overall, the front-end design is similar to other members of the Honda family.

Viewed from the side, the new Accord Coupe is almost identical to the previous model in nearly all aspects other than the alloy wheel design. The new diamond-cut alloys feature a much more dynamic design compared to its predecessor, and helps in boosting the car's look-factor. The heavily sloping roof is unmistakably an Accord Coupe attribute, and looks perfect. The rear end of the car has an updated look to it, thanks to the new bumpers and taillight cluster. The taillights now feature LED guide pipes, which is the current trend in the auto-illumination world and helps the new car keep up with the competition. The vertical reflector strips help to remove the bulk of the rear plastics, but I have a feeling that they could have been better designed. Twin exhaust tips help to differentiate the V6 version from the four-cylinder base model. A chrome strip runs along the lower section of the rear bumper, which takes care of ‘bling' on the rear side.

278 horsepower and 342 Nm of torque allow the Accord Coupe to be pretty quick off the line, and can generate ample wheel spins with a heavy foot on the gas pedal and the traction control switched off. This is an engine that likes to be revved and has a good exhaust sound to boot. The six-speed automatic transmission is a traditional gearbox with silk-smooth shifts. The electrically assisted steering feels just right and is more comfy than sporty. Suspension is also on the smoother side with Macpherson struts up front and torsion beam axle in the rear. Disc brakes all around take care of stopping the car under all conditions. The 245/45, 18-inch tires on the V6 version handle gripping duties with ease and love to be pushed to the max. The car likes to be driven spiritedly, but we got a lot of nosedive under hard braking. And then we come to one of the biggest cons of the Accord Coupe: the front wheel drive system. Corner speeds are limited and torque steer dampens your confidence at times. With almost 63 percent of the car weight acting on the front axles, this does not come as a surprise.

The interiors of the new Accord Coupe are well appointed with a lot of elements from its sedan cousin. Seats are big and comfortable. This is a car made for long straight stretches rather than short twisties. The interiors of our test car were finished in shades of beige and black, which felt a tad bland. There are two screens on the center console. One shows information and footage from the rearview blind spot cam, and the other controls the audio and various other settings on the car. The touchscreen controls on the screens are still light years behind the competition, and we noted the same issue even on the new Honda Pilot. A humble request at this point to the Honda guys: look into the touchscreen feedback, please! Rear seats never are a point of discussion when discussing coupes, but the Accord Coupe is the coupe with the best rear seats in the world. Getting in and out of the rear seats is still a gymnastic affair, but two adults can comfortably fit into them. Brand new on the 2016 Honda Accord Coupe is a safety package called Honda Sensing, which is a compilation of various features: namely ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control), LKAS (Lane Keep Assist System), CMBS (Collision Mitigation Braking System) and RDM (Road Departure Mitigation) system. As the names suggest, these systems help in keeping the car safe under various situations that may lead to an accident. Honda has been a bit late in bringing these technologies to the masses, but better late than never.

Verdict
With the Nissan Altima Coupe pulling out of the market, the Accord Coupe is the lone contestant in its segment and Honda looks in no mood to stop. I still want to keep the muscle group away (Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger) but on paper, they all share a similar segment. The recent upgrades and improvements on the car are definitely a step in the right direction – we look forward to other Japanese factories gearing up to go against the Accord Coupe.

Pros: Handling, refreshing looks, daily-go ride
Cons: Pricey top spec variant
Rivals: Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger
Engine: 3.5 L, V6, 278 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 342 Nm @ 4,900 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode, FWD
Performance: 0-100 km/h: 7.5 sec, 8.5 L/100 km, top speed: 208 km/h
Weight: 1,608 kg
4 STARS
one word: reliable

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