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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
The base 2008 Honda Accord Coupe features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out an impressive 190 hp and an estimated 21/31 mpg. The optional 3.5-liter V-6 with 268 hp will be on the top of the list for those who crave more performance, but despite the huge power increase, the V-6 isn't much thirstier at the gas pump. Thanks to Honda's Variable Cylinder Management system that shuts down cylinders when they're not needed, the V-6 earns an estimated 19/29 mpg.
Popular Mechanics believes that Honda will probably sell more Accord Coupes with the 190-hp four-cylinder engine, and those who opt for this package will be pleased with the engine's silky smooth operation and seamless power delivery. They also praise the Accord Coupe for its miserly fuel consumption, saying the four-cylinder Accord has "simply excellent fuel economy for a car this size."
The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe V-6 is the most powerful Accord to date; TheCarConnection.com found that the majority of reviewers praise its smooth power delivery, silky smooth six-speed shifter, and sportscarlike handling. Car and Driver believes that the Honda Accord Coupe is a better machine than its No. 1 competitor, the Nissan Altima. "It's certainly fast," the reviewer notes, and even though the Accord Coupe has fewer ponies under the hood, it's quicker and has a "slick and easy to use" six-speed gearbox. Motor Trend reports that the 268-hp Accord Coupe EX-L they tested "drives like a dream." It also has 248-pound feet of torque, "and yet at WOT, there's no wheelspin or torque steer.”
Cars.com praises the V-6's smooth power, but knocks off a few points because "it doesn't feel as strong as its 268 horsepower rating would suggest". The V-6 Accord Coupe exhibits good acceleration, "but it doesn't blow you away with its power the way the Toyota Avalon's V-6 can."
Edmunds compares the Accord Coupe's performance to that of the discontinued Acura CL Type-S. The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe has more power, however, and the six-speed shifter and clutch mechanism "feels exactly the same" as the Acura's. They report that six-speed shifter also shares the CL's notchy feel, "and the clutch take-up is abrupt, making an Accord Coupe with its powertrain difficult to drive smoothly." They have no gripes about the Accord Coupe's power and report that even though it "is narrowly outgunned by the 270-hp Altima Coupe," the Honda's engine is "far smoother" than the Altima's VQ-Series V-6.
TheCarConnection.com believes the new 2008 Honda Accord Coupe is one of the best compact coupes to drive, in four- or six-cylinder guise. It handles very well, too. Though bigger, the new Accord has a lower center of gravity, thanks to Honda engineers. They've modified the double-wishbone front suspension geometry and gone with a multilink rear. The result is a very supple suspension package that seems to soak up bumps almost imperceptibly, without numbing its road feel. The new, variable gear ration steering is precise and supple, with a clear, on-center feel. At Honda, 2008 brings the Coupe standard 18-inch wheels, too.
The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe offers class-leading performance and handling.