Honda and Acura coupes, usually older models that are out of warranty, have long been the vehicles of choice for the hard core tuning community. Besides the obvious Civics and Integra coupes there has also been an incredible amount of interest in the last generation Acura CL.
What, pray tell, would make a tuner want to “pimp out” a refined, leather clad luxury coupe? Well, even if the tuner has slammed the suspension to such a degree that getting into parking lots is an exercise in underbody scraping, it is hard to deny the appeal of a navigator, leather sport seats, a moonroof and premium audio. Come on now. These people are tuners not savages.
But what if you want a new Honda coupe to trick out but want to keep within the bounds of your factory warranty? Well, that is where Honda Factory Performance (HFP) parts come in. HFP is currently only available with the Civic, Civic Si and the Accord Coupe with plans for further expansion of the range. But let’s be honest here, it really is Honda’s coupe range that is best suited to a little bit of extroverted personalization.
So, if you miss the days of luxurious Acura coupes or want something a little less hardcore than a Civic Si, then you should definitely check out the 2010 Honda Accord HFP EX-L V6 Coupe. While the current generation Accord Coupe is a common sight most anywhere, there is little doubt that this is one stylish (yet remarkably affordable) two door. But really, has Honda ever made an ugly Accord coupe?
Our tester came in a luscious shade of Arrest Me Red (not the real name) that, in conjunction with the HFP visual add-ons, created a coupe with a seriously menacing appearance. And for all you purists out there, it came with one of Honda’s glorious six-speed manual transmissions.
While an excellent five speed automatic is optional, the six-speed suits the animalistic growling that emanates from the V6 engine at high revs. This 3.5 liter V6 motor makes the kind of pure metallic symphonies that BMW used to specialize in before they added turbochargers to all their engines in a quest for ridiculous amounts of power.
Plus, this fully loaded V6 Honda Accord Coupe is about $10,000 cheaper (and better looking) than a BMW 328i. That leaves an awful lot of extra cash left owner to spend on HFP performance parts. Actually, you could probably buy all of them. Just a thought.
Before we get to what it’s like to drive a 2010 Honda Accord HFP Coupe EX-L V6 (and why that is the longest car name in history), here are all of the HFP parts that were on my test vehicle. First there was the sport suspension which lowers the ride height by an inch and has a negligible effect on ride quality ($885), the essential smoked grey 19-inch PDS-10 HFP alloy wheels ($2967 with performance tires), an evil looking (in a good way) front under spoiler ($378), side skirts ($563) and a rear under spoiler to complete the look ($376).
While adding all of these parts can add a serious chunk of change to what you pay for a standard Accord Coupe V6, the end result really makes this vehicle really stand out from the crowd. The look is more aggressive (and a little bit angry looking) but it still maintains a sense of timeless class that is inherent in all Honda luxury coupes. (Note: All prices for HFP accessories do not include dealer installation costs as those may vary.)
In its latest incarnation the 2010 Honda Accord Coupe tossed aside curves for a more muscular and tailored appearance. It is conservative, yes, but you really can’t deny that this is one attractive two door when you lay eyes on it.
For instance, on the V6 edition of the Accord Coupe you get expensive looking chrome effect door handles and they work much better here than on V6 versions of the Accord four door. This generation Accord coupe also bears little resemblance to the sedan, allowing it to distance itself stylistically from its more common big brother. And let’s be frank here, the Accord Coupe’s only real competition in this price class is the Altima Coupe which even in flattering colors always manages to look cheap.
But styling is utterly subjective and no more so than in the luxury performance coupe market. You don’t buy a coupe because they are utilitarian. You buy them because they look cool and sexy and you want people to think you are cool and sexy. And to my eyes, the 2010 Honda Accord HFP Coupe is sexy.
Interior, Build Quality and Features
The interior of the 2010 Honda Accord HFP Coupe EX-L V6 is a true sanctuary of ergonomic sanity in a world where car interiors strive seemingly only to confound and annoy. You can get into a 2010 Accord and actually figure out the air conditioning, stereo and navigation controls without any need to consult the owner’s manual. What a crazy idea!
The beige leather in my test EX-L model was truly sumptuous and felt like something from the price class above. Unlike some competitors, Honda doesn’t ever put slimy, cheap or wear prone leather in any of its vehicles. Interior plastics were all of very high quality and will probably still look new and work as they were designed 20 years from now.
My test EX-L V6 came equipped with dual zone climate control, the aforementioned leather seats, heated seats, satellite navigation, power windows, keyless entry, cruise control, easy to use steering wheel mounted audio controls, Homelink, power seats, Bluetooth and an impressive 270 watt 6-disc audio system with 6-speakers. XM radio and an Aux-input jack round out the most important standard features of the EX-L Accord Coupe if you are like me and require driving music at all times. And trust me, you will want to be driving if you are in the 2010 Honda Accord HFP Coupe EX-L V6.
Driving Experience and Economy
As the V6 engine/6-speed manual combination does not allow the use of Honda’s VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) engine technology it only returns a “so-so” 17 miles per gallon city/25 miles per gallon highway EPA rating. (Note: VCM shuts down the engine to run on 3-cylinders only at cruising speeds to save gasoline.)
But this is a sport coupe with a sweet short throw six-speed manual transmission so who cares about fuel economy? The 3.5 liter 271 horsepower V6 is a real muscle car motor in this application and its power is spread smoothly and evenly all across the rev range. The engine is nicely subdued at cruising speeds but it lets out a ferocious growl as you head to the redline.
There is also a duality to the driving experience with the Accord HFP Coupe V6 as it is extremely refined, comfortable and luxurious. But then if it suits your whim you really can get a lot of precision and robust performance out of this powerful bruiser. It may not be as razor sharp focused on being a sports car like a Civic Si but it then it wasn’t designed to be that kind of car.
Steering feel in this Accord Coupe V6 was exemplary but if you do a full throttle launch from a stop in first gear you will be torque steered into the nearest shrubbery (it disappears at higher speeds). While nowhere near as bad as in some front drive models from Nissan or Mini, the Accord does still require a more delicate approach when accelerating from a stop. At passing speeds, however, this puppy has some serious accelerative capabilities and flooring it will result in no annoying tugs at the steering wheel.
The six-speed manual transmission, while not quite as idiot proof as the one in the Si, felt much like the much vaunted units you find in much more expensive BMW models. Braking was strong and they were definitely resistant to fade during an extended test in stop and go L.A. traffic.
With the 2010 Honda Accord HFP Coupe EX-L V6 you get healthy helpings of luxury, utility (it has a big back seat and a nicely sized 11.9 cubic foot trunk) as well as plenty of muscular power and stellar handling ability. It may look and feel like a car a grown up would buy but driving it will appeal to the kid in you.
How Dog and Kid Friendly is It?
Dogs and kids generally do not go well with two door cars. Although the 2010 Accord Coupe is plenty spacious and the interior materials are up to the usual Honda super-standards, the fact remains that the Accord sedan makes more sense for hauling around the family or your yapping army of attack Chihuahuas.
Luxurious six-cylinder sport coupes with six-speed manual transmissions may be rarities in this world but you have to thank whatever Deity you pray to for Honda’s continuing insistence on manufacturing vehicles like this 2010 Accord HFP Coupe V6. It is stylish, affordable, fun to drive and with incredible scope for personalization-now there really is no reason to spend all that extra money at that Audi, BMW or Infiniti dealership.
Vehicle Tested: 2010 Honda Accord HFP Coupe EX-L V6
Price as Tested: $31,305 (plus destination and handling)
HFP Options on Test Car:
Engine: 3.5 liter V6
Power: 271 horsepower/251 lb. feet of torque
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Economy: 17 city/25 highway
Gas Tank: 18.5 Gallons
Required Fuel: Regular Unleaded
Trunk Size: 11.9 cubic feet
0-60: 5.9 Seconds
Manufacturing Site: Marysville Ohio (75% North American Parts Content)
Crash Test Ratings (Government)
Front: Five Stars (both sides)
Side: Five stars (driver), Four Stars (passenger)
Rollover: Five Stars