2013 Honda Accord coupe

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The two-door layout might just do it.Accord lead

Buyers who in past years would probably have never considered a Kia or Hyundai – much less a Ford or Chevy – over a car as blue chip as the Honda Accord now frequently do consider it. Toyota’s got the same problem as far as the Camry. People are starting to consider their options.

But Honda still has a trump card to play – the Accord coupe.

Because Accord competitors like the Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu, VW Passat and even the Toyota Camry (now that the Solara is gone) are available only with four doors. Not everyone needs or wants the extra pair of doors. But they do still want viable back seats – which the mid-sized Accord coupe has but which other (usually smaller) sporty two-door models do not. Even the roughly same-size Hyundai Genesis coupe has only 30.3 inches of rear seat legroom vs. 33.7 for the Accord coupe.Accord rear

The only direct threat is – well, was – the coupe version of Nissan’s Altima. It’s about the same size overall and like the Accord coupe, it has a viable back seat. But, it no longer has a V-6 engine – or even a manual transmission, for that matter. Nissan has thrown in the towel … the CAFE towel. It has apparently decided that fuel economy uber alles is the only thing that matters. Which is true – as far as the government is concerned. So a four cylinder/CVT Altima coupe is all that’s being offered. Whether Nissan’s customers will like it is something else.

That leaves the Accord coupe alone on the field. It’s the only mid-sized FWD coupe priced in the mid-high $20ks with decent back seats – and an available V-6 that’s also available with a manual transmission with either of its to engines.

WHAT IT ISAccord inside

The two-door version of Honda’s Accord sedan. Buyers can pick either a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual or CVT automatic; or go with a 3.5 liter V-6 with either a six-speed manual or six-speed (conventional/not CVT) automatic.

Prices start at $23,250 for the base EX-S with 2.4 liter engine – and top out at $30,350 for an EX-L V-6.

Primary competition for the FWD Accord coupe is the also-FWD Nissan Altima coupe, which starts at $24,230.

WHAT’S NEW

Bucking the trend toward ever-bigger (and ever beefier) Honda has tightened up the dimensions of the 2013 Accord. It is almost two inches shorter overall, but with a slightly widened front and rear track. Though the styling and engineering changes are subtle, the 2013 looks (and feels) significantly sportier than the 2012. Same goes for the interior, which features a new gauge cluster with a larger, centrally mounted speedometer flanked by secondary instruments.Accord dash

The base 2.4 liter now gets fed fuel via direct injection – with the result being a best-case 36 MPG on the highway, about 4 MPG better than last year’s four cylinder Accord. The V-6′s power upticks slightly to 278 hp (from 271 hp previously) as does its gas mileage, which stands at 21 city, 34 highway vs.19/29 last year.

Also new is HondaLink connectivity, which integrates your iPhone/Android apps with the car’s infotainment systems.

WHAT’S GOOD

Manual six-speed transmission available with either engine.

Four now performs – with either transmission.

V-6 sings.Accord stick A work of industrial art.

People-viable back seats.

More proportionate – almost Acura – styling.

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

Manual transmission clutch travel is minimal. Engagement can be a little abrupt – until you get used to it.

Manual gear selector’s action could be tightened up for more mechanically engaging feel.

Major MPG drop if you choose the manual transmission with the optional V-6.

UNDER THE HOODAccord four

The Accord still offers what is quickly becoming hard to find in this segment: Your choice of either a four or a six and either of them with a manual or automatic transmission.

The base engine is an updated version of the 2.4 liter four used previously. It features direct injection, which is responsible for a solid uptick in fuel efficiency (27 city, 36 highway) with the added bennie of an uptick in hp (185) relative to last year’s base four (177). If you select the optional Sport package, which includes a lower-restriction exhaust system, hp notches up to 189.

Replacing last year’s five-speed manual/five-speed automatic transmissions are a new six-speed manual transmission (standard) and a continuously variable (CVT) automatic (optional).

Best news of all: The four cylinder-powered 2013 Accord is almost two seconds quicker to 60 – about 7.4-7.3 seconds – with either the manual or the CVT – than last year’s four cylinder/automatic Accord (which took over nine seconds to get to 60).Accord V-6

Similar upgrades have been conferred upon the optional 3.5 liter V-6, which now produces 278 hp (vs. 271 last year) and delivers much better MPGs: 21 city and 34 highway vs. 20 city, 30 highway last year. Well, with one catch. To get the best-case numbers, you’ve got to go with the six-speed automatic (it’s a conventional automatic, not a CVT) that’s optional with the V-6. If you go with the six-speed manual, the numbers drop to 18 city, 28 highway.

But, your compensation is quickness. With the six-speed manual, the Accord can scoot to 60 in just under 6 seconds flat. The automatic-equipped V-6 is almost that quick, too.

And most important of all, any version of the 2013 Accord coupe – four cylinder or V-6; automatic/CVT or manual – is quicker than the 2013 Altima coupe, which is offered in only one version: 2.5 liter four, 175 hp, CVT – and 0-60 in 7.8 seconds.2013 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe

But wait, there’s more: The pitiable ’13 Altima coupe doesn’t even beat the Accord at the pump: 23 city, 32 highway. That’s 4 MPG worse in the city (and on the highway) than the four-cylinder/CVT Accord coupe.

Lawsee!

Both Accord engines can be driver-optimized for maximum fuel economy by depressing the little green “Eco” button to the left of the steering wheel. This works like the similar systems in other cars. Press the button, and throttle response is muted a little – and if the car is automatic-equipped, it’ll try to get into top gear sooner (and stay there longer). Is it noticeable? It wasn’t to me. Probably, just keeping your foot out of it would work about as well.

ON THE ROADAccord road

Drive the 2012 and 2013 Accord back to back and you will definitely feel a difference – a lean toward the sportier side of the aisle.

The Accord has always had a firmer ride – relative to rivals like the stay-pufft Camry – and that continues to be the case. But the ’13 is also noticeably more sure-footed in the curves, which may be a function of the slightly wider front and rear track (62.4 inches/62.3 inches, respectively, for 2013 vs. 62.2 and 62.2 inches last year) and the slightly decreased wheelbase (107.3 inches now vs. 107.9 previously).

The tighter gear spacing of the new six-speed manual adds to the sporty ambiance, with the extra gear being a win-win for both fuel efficiency and the fun factor of driving this car. I only have two small complaints, hinted at earlier: First, the clutch take-up is a little abrupt. It is fairly easy to stall this car. The clutch is either in . . . or out. Modulating it for a smooth transition will probably take a day or two of getting used to it. Don’t be scared off during your initial test drive. Next, the shifter action could be tightened up. It’s not that it’s sloppy or vague. It’s just that it could be more . . .  mechanical. This is something the aftermarket surely will address.accord sideview

Steering is electrically assisted, and though it’s arguably a bit overboosted, it’s very precise at normal driving speeds.  At well above normal driving speeds, it sometimes has trouble keeping up with your intended line – but this isn’t supposed to be a BMW M3, after all.

The V-6, on the other hand, is operatic. You will probably keep it in fourth rather than fifth or sixth, just to keep the revs up – and hear the magnificent sounds of this VTEC jewel coming on its cams. Seriously, this is one of the sweetest sixxes on the market – at any price point. Try it. You’ll see. Accord action

Though the Accord – being FWD and more of a multi-tasker (luxury/comfort and sportiness) – won’t out-autocross RWD sport coupes like the Hyundai Genesis or the new Scion/Subaru BRZ/FR-S, it is fun enough to be enjoyable as an everyday car with all the advantages of the FWD layout over the RWD layout – as well as the advantages of a passenger-viable back seat.

AT THE CURB

As with the changes to the chassis and suspension, the cosmetic changes are subtle, but they change the personality of the car in a very big way. Park the ’13 next to the ’12 and the tightened-up proportions are immediately apparent. The new car is wider and lower – and so, sleeker-looking. The big metal bar that used to sit on top of the grille is gone, replaced by a thinner chrome “u” lower surround. The lower grille/air intake, meanwhile, is much larger – and wider – and the emplacements for the driving lights (also bigger) are accented with flat black surrounds. The hood now spreads out the entire width of the car – vs. the old design, which tapered toward the grille. It looks much faster, especially when viewed from the front.Accord rearview

The back end is also less soccer mommish than before, for similar reasons. Tail-lights are (again) wide and low – rather than tall and short. The lower rear fascia has cut outs for airflow, as well as larger cutouts for the also larger (elliptical) dual exhaust tips – with a chrome trim strip tying it all together.

It’s still very much an Accord – just a much more athletic-looking Accord.

Inside, there’s a revised cluster with a large, centrally mounted speedo and subsidiary gauges off to either side. The numbers are also – you guess it – larger – with red hashmarks adding to the sport-minded ambiance. Carrying on the wider/lower theme, even the air vents are – yep – wider and lower.Accord gauges

One of the things that I – as a “big and tall” guy – really like about the Accord is the amazing extent of the driver’s seat adjustment range. Higher/lower, less or more upright . . . the combinations seem almost infinite. Few modern coupes are genuinely accommodating for the big and tall. The Accord is one of these. If it you don’t fit comfortably, you’re probably an NBA forward. No joke.Accord back seat

Ditto the back seats – which likewise are no joke. As they are in every other mid-sized and compact RWD performance coupe in this class – and even in full-size coupes like the Dodge Challenger, which is a landshark compared with the Accord: almost eight inches longer and nearly 400 pounds heavier. Yet it only has 32.6 inches of backseat legroom vs. 33.7 for the Accord coupe. Rear headroom in both cars is almost exactly the same – 37.2 for the Accord vs. 37.4 for the Challenger – which is surprising given the blockier proportions of the full-sized Mopar muscle car.

But a better cross-reference is to compare the Accord’s interior real estate stats with a roughly same-size RWD sport coupe like the Hyundai Genesis. With just 30.3 inches of rearseat legroom and only 34.6 inches of backseat headroom, the back seats in the Hyundai are more for groceries and gym bags than people. .Accord above

Even the gelded Nissan Altima coupe comes in as less practical than the Accord coupe. Though it’s got marginally more backseat legroom – 34.4 inches – it also has much less headroom – 35.6 inches. I have no clue what they are smoking over at Nissan corporate.

Someone really ought to open up a window.

THE REST

This is not a fussy car. It has a lot of electronics – as is true of all current cars – but they aren’t overdone. Or over-nannyish. The touchscreen GPS and mini-mouse input aren’t inscrutable – or awkward to use. You can turn off the traction control with a single push of a single button – as opposed to the mutli-step process in some other cars. “Off” is off, too.Accord electrics

I’m not a huge fan of the Lane Departure Warning system – which you don’t have to buy, thank god. Being old-fashioned, I think people should learn to, you know, stay in their lane – and stay focused on their driving – without depending on a computer nanny to nudge them when they wander into the other lane. Which brings me to the other reason I do not like Lane Departure. Sometimes, you want to depart from your lane – as when executing a pass. But if there’s a broken yellow line, the system will beep at you – which is both distracting and annoying. Throw it in the woods!

But, I love the manual pull-up emergency brake – as opposed to the electronic parking brakes that are becoming common. If the main bakes fail, you’ll be able to use the emergency brake to bring the car to a safe, controlled halt. With electric parking brakes, you won’t be able to do a goddamn thing – except plow into whatever’s in your way.

The seat heaters are also excellent. Some just warm.

These heat.Accord last

THE BOTTOM LINE

In the past, the Accord sedan was the go-to car in its segment (along with the Toyota Camry sedan). That may no longer be true – for the sedan.

But the coupe is still in a class by itself.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  33 comments for “2013 Honda Accord coupe

  1. mithrandir
    April 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Eric,

    I like your review of the Accord coupe. I will consider this car if I need to look for a new car.

    That leaves the Altima coupe alone on the field. It’s the only mid-sized FWD coupe priced in the mid-high $20ks with decent back seats – and an available V-6 that’s also available with a manual transmission with either of its to engines.

    Did you mean to say Honda Accord?
    .

    Being old-fashioned, I think people should learn to, you know, stay in their lane – and stay focused on their driving

    .
    Amen.
    .

    • April 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks for the catch, Mith – fixed!

      This is what comes from not having a copy editor….

  2. April 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    This Coupe is a brilliant blend of practical and sporty. My 04 V-6 Acura TL has the same clutch issue. But it’s easy to adapt. Surprised to read that the manual gearbox is uninspired. Honda usually provides manual magic.

    At the price of a loaded Accord Coupe, I’d probably opt for a V-8 Mustang instead. In the long run though, would probably be happier to have the Honda.

    • April 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      I agree, Mike!

      On the shifter: The only reason I made the comment was because I’m used to the shifter in cars like the S2000. The Accord deserves no less.

      Otherwise, it’s a great car. Much as I like the Mustang – much as I am a muscle car kind of guy – if I had to buy one car and one car only, I’d buy the Accord. A Mustang (or Camaro or Challenger) is – for me – a weekend car, a toy. Not an everyday car.

      But the Accord is an everyday car that’s also a lot of fun, as well something you can have more fun in on a regular basis – because it’s less of a cop magnet than a muscle car.

      • BrentP
        April 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

        I’d still buy the Mustang. Why? RWD. I have a fwd car for hauling stuff and driving in the muck but that’s not because it’s FWD, but for wear and tear and cosmetic reasons. I drove my SN95 mustang year round for many years before I got the Mazda and it has been pressed into bad weather duty even in recent years when the FWD car has been sidelined. Maybe I’d have other ideas if I wasn’t in the flat land part of the country :)

        • April 6, 2013 at 11:58 pm

          “Maybe I’d have other ideas if I wasn’t in the flat land part of the country :)”

          Yup!

          Where we are, if you have a RWD car, you’re going to be regretting it for 3-4 months out of the year!

          Just 48 hours ago, we had five inches of snow/freezing rain.

          Hence, my 4WD truck!

  3. Chris
    April 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Eric,

    Honda’s(and Acura’s) V-6 is still SOHC. I love Honda’s V-6; very little has changed on it in the past 18 years or so. It’s still belt driven, and SOHC, but that engine is still on top IMO. Although, Nissan makes one hell of a V-6. We have seen a ton of problems with the Honda VCM system, however. My advice to anyone buying an new Honda with a V-6 — opt out of the VCM option.

    The 2013 Accord Coupe Sport is a very sharp car. I’m very impressed with the upgrades to the 4 cylinder. It is very loud, but that’s to be expected with a DI engine. We’ve had client complaints on the loud engine operation already.

    I really like the new Accord sedan, too. We’re thinking about trading in our 2006 six-speed TSX on a new Accord sedan, and I absolutely love the TSX if that tells your anything. The new green color on the Accord is very sharp looking.

    • April 7, 2013 at 12:01 am

      Ach! I meant to type VTEC… again, kingdom for a copy editor… damn, I miss them.

      But, at least I have you guys!

      • mithrandir
        April 7, 2013 at 1:48 am

        Eric,

        At least you know people are reading your articles and paying attention to what is written. :) I do not know how many times I written/spoken one thing while meaning to write/say another.

        • dom
          April 7, 2013 at 2:16 am

          “I do not know how many times I written/spoken one thing while meaning to write/say another.”

          I do. Pretty much every time I write!

          • DownshiftFast5to1
            April 7, 2013 at 2:38 am

            It irks me to no end when that happens, “written/spoken one thing while meaning to write/say another.”

            My motto: “I mean what I say. And I say what I mean.”

            …So very contrary to ‘woman code-speak’ which I often don’t catch, frequently can’t understand, and have no notion it’s even happening when it occurs. ‘Clover-speak’ is very similar. ‘Newscaster’ speak isn’t far behind that.

          • mithrandir
            April 7, 2013 at 3:57 am

            DSF521,

            ‘woman code-speak’ is a foreign language less intelligible to me than Chinese.

            Every time I think I cracked the code a new code book is employed.

          • DownshiftFast5to1
            April 7, 2013 at 4:53 am

            “Every time I think I cracked the code a new code book is employed.”

            HAHAHA!

            So true.

        • April 7, 2013 at 9:19 am

          There’s that!

          Actually, you guys have been my de facto copy editors for some time. I try to get the copy (as we onetime “journalists” like to say) as “clean” (free of typos, spelling errors, grammar problems and so on) as possible before it goes “to bed” (old habit, dies hard) but just as the lawyer who has himself for a client is a fool… so the writer who edits his own stuff can expect less-than-perfect results.

          Remember the “dream called Rome” from the movie, Gladiator? Sometimes, I daydream about the era when I sent my finished story to the copy desk…. and it came back, ready to roll, thoroughly vetted and (usually) free of any structural, grammatical, or spelling embarrassments. But the best part was having a pro ask me, “hey, did you mean to say….” before the thing ever got into print!

          Copy editors are becoming – have all-but-become – extinct. Which is too bad, because the work they did was – is – valuable.

          It’s just that our do-it-faster-do-it-cheaper-don’t-sweat-the-details society doesn’t value valuable things much anymore.

          • Eric_G
            April 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm

            That sounds like an opportunity. Email the copy to a freelance copy editor, set up a chat session or phone call to go over the story, markup the changes and send it back, free of errors, typos and poor grammar. Collect either one-time fee or go with a monthly rate.

            Just don’t look at me to start it, I barely made it through freshman English!

          • April 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm

            It’s a great idea – except for one thing. I can’t afford to pay one. Instead, I get to do both jobs (plus graphic design) for one-third the pay I used to get for doing my job (writing). The Internet has both liberated and destroyed journalism. It’s opened up the field to almost anyone; it has facilitated the widespread dissemination of ideas (especially heterodox ideas) that previously almost never found readers – because such ideas were almost never printed.

            But at the same time, it has made it almost impossible to earn a living doing real reporting or thoughtful commentary – or any form of reporting or commentary, for that matter.

            The result of that has been a decline in quality journalism. Even such basic things as spelling and grammar are falling by the wayside. Let alone worthwhile journalism that involves taking time to research, document and elaborate in a thoughtful way. Because few people otherwise capable of producing such material can do so as a hobby or sideline. They, like most people, have to earn a living. This includes me. Most have either gone into something else – or become “churnalists” or PR hacks. The only reason I am still writing is because I am able to do so more or less as a hobby – because I made enough money while it was still possible to earn a living as a writer, and saved/invested it. If I were in my 20s today – forget about it.

            Musicians have been similarly screwed over – and the results are also similar. Where once there was original, quality musicianship, today – to a very great extent – there is synthesized, interchangeable, manufactured noise. Least common denominator dreck. The real life version of Huxley’s versificator and Arch Community Songster. Hollow, empty. Worthless.

            As someone who is not only a writer but who values good writing – as well as good music – I have very mixed feelings about the Internet.

          • Eric_G
            April 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

            Good point. I just saw “valuable service” and thought “business opportunity.” I know that there’s a huge gulf between people making money on new media and people who don’t. It’s a real problem for consumers too, although most of us don’t realize it yet.

            One thing the music industry did fairly well was spot trends in music and bring them to the forefront. Note I said “trends” and not “talent,” two very different things. Now we’re seeing entertainers like Lewis CK and others reach out directly to their fans and getting to keep a lot of their money that used to go to promoters, TV networks and other middlemen. The problem is that’s Lewis CK, who was a product of the “old system” and able to leverage his fame for money. The up and coming talent faces a massive uphill battle to break through the noise and lackluster competition. Note that Justin Beiber isn’t any more a new-media performer than Elvis. He got “discovered” in the YouTube noise by Hollywood.

          • April 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

            Yeah – and in re Beiber and The King:

            Elvis had talent – one of the great voices of all time. This kid Beiber? He’s appealing to 12-year-old girls and can dance – and that’s about it. I look forward to seeing him on Dancing With the Stars in about five years, when his cuteness has worn off.

            Can you say Leif Garrett?

  4. DownshiftFast5to1
    April 7, 2013 at 3:51 am

    RE: the article.

    “People-viable back seats.”

    What? You mean I can actually fit into the back seat? I’ll have to check that out.

    “Major MPG drop if you choose the manual transmission with the optional V-6.”

    Like so many things these days, That’s a disappointment.

    I was just getting back ‘into’ a manual. I’m not sure I want to go back to an automatic. Ever. The better half, on the other hand… well.

    Also, those wheels are really ugly, imho.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about when you write, “the little green “Eco” button to the left of the steering wheel.”

    Ha! I don’t like the idea of that button ONE bit. It reminds me of the “high efficiency furnace” that’s anything but, and never seems to get the house warm.

    However; IF I ever do decide to shift from a 4×4 to a car, the coupe seems like an option to consider. Every Accord owner I’ve talked to really likes them.

    • April 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Depends how big you are!

      See the video – embedded in the article. It shows me putting myself back there. I fit, with room to spare. And I’m 6 ft. 3 and 200 or so.

      For me, even trying to get into the back seat of a Camaro or Mustang is like trying to do Yoga. Sitting back there in any semblance of a normal position is literally not possible. Literally. I have to move my legs to the side like I’m doing oblique crunches – and duck my head down to my chest. Basically, the fetal position.

      I’d still go with the manual – if it were me buying. Worth losing a few MPGs – to me. Whether it is to you….

      The ECO thing is a gimmick. It’s a way for Honda to show it cares about ….”the environment.” These days, you’ve gotta play patty cake….

      • April 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Dear Eric,

        I used to like coupes, for the looks. But over time I changed my mind about them, for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

        The interior space in the back half of a coupe is so difficult to access, it is essentially wasted, unless the coupe is a hatchback that allows access from the rear.

        Personally, having owned a roadster/convertible, I can’t ever see buying a coupe again.

        Aside from the incomparable “wind in your hair” experience, a convertible is surprising practical. With the top down, the rear seat area is highly usable for groceries and luggage. Just drop them in or lift them out from the side of the car. As convenient as the bed on a pickup truck.

        My first choice is always going to be a convertible. My second choice would probably be a four door sedan.

  5. April 7, 2013 at 4:07 am

    I’m a big fan of the 3.5 Altima coupe… I came very close to buying one, but ended up with a Mustang (no complaints). It’s a shame to see it go!

    That being said, kudos to Honda for not buckling under the pressure.

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      April 7, 2013 at 4:46 am

      I haven’t driven any of the newer Mustangs around in the snow or rain, do they still retain the ‘light in the rear end’ like the older versions? I’ve been told that’s the way they’ve always been.

      I owned one, once. Long ago. It was fun to drive, way back ‘in the day’.

      I imagine the Accord gets around in the snow wayyy better.

      • April 7, 2013 at 9:04 am

        RWD muscle cars in the snow are like knives at a gunfight. You might be able to do something with them, but the disadvantages are legion.

        Also, the Mustang’s (and Camaro’s) back seats are unuseable except by small kids. The Accord’s back seats fit me, a fairly big adult male.

  6. Joe
    April 7, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I have a friend who has been selling Hondas for 10 years and he is taking a lot of Mercedes/BMW/Audi in on trade for the Accord Touring V6…Says he can’t keep them in stock. He says it’s nice not having to haggle for hours over free floormats and other crap he has to take from the Proles.

  7. Brandonjin
    April 8, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Nissan, like Every. Single. Other. automaker, is abandoning the (FWD) midsize coupe market (Sadly). I haven’t heard if they’re going to make a new one based on the new Altima Sedan. I hope they do, because we need some competition here. I don’t want just Honda, I don’t really like them since owning one of their products…
    As for the ECO thing, yeah gotta appear green. They even named their new engine series “Earth Dreams”. You’d want to brag to your friends about that engine, right? -/-’

    I love midsize coupes, but as many of you pointed out, there are numerous disadvantages to owning them, mainly unwanted attention from authorities.

    And, wouldn’t traction control and ESC alleviate some of the disadvantages of RWD in snow?

    • April 8, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Yeah, I’m disappointed, too – especially because it’s Nissan. This company – typically – is pretty ballsy. More like BMW used to be back in the ’80s and ’90s. (A For Instance: Nissan cars are the only cars that do not have “buckle-up” buzzers. Just a light.)

      But, the pressure is on. This 35.5 CAFE thing is going to utterly transform the car market. The transformation is already well under way, too. It ought to tell people something that even BMW (and BMW is not alone) is ditching sixxes in favor of turbo fours….

      On traction control/stability control in the snow: These are to a great extent idiot-proofing technologies, designed to “help” people who never learned to counter-steer or modulate throttle pressure to control wheel slip themselves. Sometimes, trac/stability control can be a liability in the snow – as when the system cuts engine power/cycles the brakes as you’re trying to make your way up a grade. Momentum is your friend in such a case – and trac/stability control – if it’s very aggressive, especially – will work against you (Dom can tell you some good stories).

      A competent driver can do amazing things with even a ’78 Malibu with an open (non-posi) rear end riding around on crappy whitewalls!

    • Chris
      April 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Let me guess — trans problems with your Honda?

      Yeah, the “Earth Dreams” tag is pretty dumb, but it’s still a DOHC VTEC 4 cylinder. It’ll still scoot. Nissan has had their fair share of problems. I worked for them when they had the massive rear sub-frame recall on the Altima and Maxima. And, when they came out with the 4 cylinder 2.5 engine, there were many problems with that engine. I’ve done more engine replacements working for Nissan than any other car company. Their V-6, however, is fantastic. Other than the chain guides wearing prematurely.

      • April 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        I’ve had good luck with Nissans, with one exception: There is (apparently) an unacknowledged defect with the gauge cluster used in ’98-2000 (IIRC) Frontier pick-ups. I have a ’98. What happens is the entire cluster just stops working one day. Fuel gauge pegs, temp gauge pegs. Tach doesn’t register – and speedo only registers up to about 25 MPH, irrespective of actual speed. Odometer reads 999,9999.

        The OE supplier was apparently sketchy as far as quality control. Nissan won’t help you – and your only options are to have the cluster repaired or replace it with a used unit from another Frontier – but that one will eventually fail, too. The cost to fix the cluster is about $200 plus any R&R labor if you can’t do that yourself.

        Nissan redesigned the cluster (and probably used a different supplier) for the later Frontiers (I also have a 2002).

      • Brandonjin
        April 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        The trans was the one thing I was worried about when buying my accord. Its the only thing that has lasted though.

        Car still gets me from A to B but along the way it: burns oil (piston rings I’m told, not going to have that done), gets an average of 18mpg, alarm goes off randomly(I sorta took care of this) and the key holes break easily. I only got one external slot left (passenger door).

        A 2000-2003 Maxima is a potential replacement I’d like. Though, I’d like pretty much any car better.

        @Eric thanks for the reply but honestly my question was irrelevant because I can’t afford any RWD new enough to have traction control. I live in a mountainous, snowy area and I’m looking for any excuse to tell myself its okay to buy a RWD :P I’m on the fence about it and really WANT to lean that way.

    • Simsu
      April 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Yeah…What fucktard MBA came up with “Earth Dreams”? LOL!

      I like the look of their last coupe better. Honda really has some infantile designers on their staff but so do all of these car companies.

  8. Matt
    December 31, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Good impressions so far but don’t forget after the honeymoon is over the reality of Honda is in the middle of doing damage control to both the Honda & Acura models.
    Honda literately decimated their entire line from the Civic to the Accord. Pretty much the same story with the Acura line. So Honda has yet to prove itself as an iconic brand it use to be……..no brainier buy and bullet proof. Save the ticker tape parade for down the road.

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 6:45 am

      Hi Matt,

      No doubt, Honda is fording some troubled waters. But as much as the Crosstour is an atrocity (the Japanese Aztek) and as disappointing as the Civic has been lately, models like the Accord and CRV are still very solid in their segment.

      I just got done driving the new MDX – one of Acura’s latest products – and other than the creepy self-steering thing (optional, thank Elvis) I like it a lot, especially as a sportier/more engaging to drive alternative to the Lexus RX.

      Both Honda and Toyota (Hell, everyone) is facing a juggernaut of excellent product from Korea.

      Those rittle yerro men are going to shiv everyone.

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