First off, get yourself away from that mindset that the four-cylinder is a penalty box, as it sure isn't in the Accord. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines are both smooth and responsive. Though both the 177-horsepower version and the 190-hp version (in EX sedans and all four-cylinder Coupes) feel about the same from a standing start, you the latter has some added pep for passing. Stepping up to the V-6 gives the Accord an all-out luxury-sedan feel; it makes 271 horsepower and has Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) to help keep the cabin hushed and vibration-free. Meanwhile, the V-6 can rocket the Accord up past the speed limit so quickly that you'll be glad you're in the camouflage of a mid-size sedan.
Four-cylinder models can be equipped with a manual transmission (five speeds in sedans, six in Coupes); it's enjoyable, though the automatic is particularly responsive and smooth.