By KBB.com Editors
The 2008 Honda Accord Sedan is a car that needs no introduction; the popular four-door has been a mainstay of the mid-size market for years. However, the Accord Coupe is a different story. Here is a Honda that many people couldn't pick out of a lineup. Though unknown to many (and sure to undersell the sedan by a considerable margin), its availability offers buyers more choice in the form of a two-door alternative to the familiar Sedan. The Coupe shows Honda's sporty side and competes in a segment that includes the Nissan Altima Coupe and the aging Toyota Solara.You'll Like This Car If...
The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe straddles the sporty-or-sensible divide as well as any car in its segment. It's quick and responsive enough to satisfy all but the hard-core enthusiasts, and its rear seat and trunk are large enough that it makes a great daily driver.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're a hard-core enthusiast, the Accord Coupe may be too big to be truly satisfying. And if you plan on making use of the back seat on a regular basis for passengers, you might want to opt for the Sedan.What's New for 2008
Compared to its 2007 counterpart, the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe is nearly three inches longer and about an inch wider and taller. With the redesigned body the Coupe looks more distinct from the Sedan, and the interior received a total makeover as well. All engines get a power boost for 2008.Driving It Driving Impressions
The Accord Coupe feels more lively than the Accord Sedan. That's partly a function of size: The Coupe is a few inches shorter in both wheelbase and overall length than the Sedan and also weighs slightly less. Honda's four-cylinder engine gets good gas mileage and has enough power to handle all normal driving needs. But the V6 has a satisfying surplus of power and its crisp responsiveness makes for fun driving. The six-speed manual transmission that's exclusive to the EX-L V6 matches the engine's power band nicely and, so equipped, the Accord Coupe still earns respectable fuel economy. However, the shifter isn't as impressive; some of the gear-to-gear exchanges feel less precise than we might prefer. The independent suspension is firm enough to deliver a responsive level of handling, yet ride quality remains quite good.Favorite Features
Designers tend to take more chances with the styling of coupes than with sedans; they can make the roofline rakish, because they know there's seldom anyone sitting in back. As a result, the Accord Coupe's design is a lot edgier than that of the Sedan and, from the wedge-like front end to the refined rear view, the Accord Coupe is easy on the eyes.
Looking sporty is good, but having enough power to back up the looks is even better -- especially in the coupe category, where performance can be relatively more important. Honda's 3.5-liter V6 has a silky power flow that adds greatly to the Accord's driving enjoyment.
Overall, the quality of fit and finish in the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe is first-rate. The dual-level dashboard has a curving, "V" shape, and the driver's view of the oversized speedometer and tachometer is framed by a handsome, three-spoke steering wheel. The center stack is tightly packed with buttons for various functions and a central control knob. The layout is widely spaced, but the grouping of some of the switchgear isn't very intuitive. Front seats are comfortable and highly adjustable, the back seat will hold a pair of adults -- unusual in this segment -- and the trunk measures a respectable 11.9 cubic feet.Exterior
Although the Accord Coupe and Sedan share a nameplate, the only shared exterior parts between the two models are the side mirrors and door handles. The sporty Coupe has an aggressive-looking front end, with a recessed grille framed by narrow, wraparound headlights and chrome exhaust tips. The V6 is differentiated by projector-beam headlights and 18-inch wheels. The curvy roof and high waistline give the car a low-slung look. Balanced proportions make the Coupe seem smaller than it actually is.Notable Standard Equipment
All sound systems in the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe have steering wheel-mounted controls, MP3 playback capability and an auxiliary input jack. XM Satellite radio is standard on Accord EX-L models. Safety equipment includes electronic stability control, plus front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is standard on all trims except the EX-L with the six-speed manual transmission. ANC monitors low frequency noise entering the cabin (such as a "boomy" exhaust note), and sends an audio signal to cancel out the noise.Notable Optional Equipment
The optional navigation system on the EX-L has voice activation and a Bluetooth hands-free link for your cell phone. It also includes information from the Zagat Survey guide for restaurants, hotels and attractions. The eight-inch screen is an easy read and the unit itself is straight-forward in operation. And to up the sporty quotient, 18-inch wheels are standard on the EX-L V6.Under the Hood
All three trim levels (LX-S, EX, EX-L) of the 2008 Accord Coupe offer a 190-horsepower, four-cylinder engine matched with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. In addition, the automatic-equipped EX-L offers a new 3.5-liter V6 with an updated version of Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology that saves fuel by allowing the engine to run on six, four or three cylinders, according to demand. When paired with the available six-speed manual, the engine loses VCM and gains increased low- and mid-range power, making it the most powerful engine ever offered in a Honda (even though the peak horsepower and torque figures are the same).
2.4-liter in-line 4
190 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 (manual), 21/30 (automatic)
268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (manual), 19/28 (automatic)
The 2008 Accord Coupe starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $22,500 for the LX-S trim level with the four-cylinder engine and ranges to roughly $31,150 for a loaded V6 model in the top-of-the-line EX-L series. Fair Purchase Prices -- the prices that consumers are typically paying for these models -- run slightly less than the MSRP. Two of the Accord Coupe's prime competitors are the Toyota Solara and the Nissan Altima Coupe. The average transaction prices for the Solara start a little lower than the Accord for the base model and extend higher than the Accord for top trim levels. The Altima Coupe typically sells for slightly more than either the Solara or the Accord in fully loaded form. The Honda and Nissan coupes have almost identically good projected resale values over time, with the Solara trailing slightly behind.