Whilom a two-door coupe often featured in a manufacturer’s line-up, they are now something of a rarity as we have already discussed.
Honda beforetime sold quite a few different versions of their Civic and Accord cars. This vehicle is from the tail end of the last part of the final bit of the glory days of sub-model variation Golden Age.
As a global car, the Accord has a complex life-history. My search for information started badly because I thought the car looked like a Civic so I went after them. It looks rather small, you see. Further research led me to suspect the vehicle really wasn’t a Civic at all and should be wearing an Accord badge (which it doesn’t in this case). So I started looking under A for Accord on the internet. That worked better. So, what is the received wisdom saying? Car magazine (Jan., 1998) considered the saloon dull but overall called the range “slick and surprisingly satisfying”.
The coupe here is the 1993 to 1997 version (which you knew). At the moment mobile.de has a mere 10 for sale, ranging from pocket-money to around €5000. In the UK such a car cost £21,000 in 1998. The car topped out at 129 mph, propelled by a 2.0 litre engine and generally it gurgled one gallon every thirty miles.
And the competion? A Nissan 200 SX cost about a thousand more and could reach 145 mph. Peugeot´s 406 coupe cost pretty much the same as the Honda and performed about the same. It just happened to look fabulous. Rover who partnered with Honda for the 600, didn´t bother with a 600 coupe (but should have). They had a 400 coupe for about £16-18,000 but this was a different bowl of fish.
Autocar reviewed the Honda coupe in August 1998. Something is stopping me from spending €10 to find out what they said. There is also a review from June 1994 of the 2.0 LS Accord coupe which I guess is an early write-up of the 1995 car. Again, something is stopping me from pursuing this line of inquiry. Is that revealing?
The coupé is rather handsome, more distinguished than the saloon shown above. It has not much of an internet presence though and the review material I tracked down came from US sites. So, it hasn’t made much impact at all, like a large number of Japanese cars that didn’t fall into the obvious categories. I’d be intrigued to know about the typical user-owner profile, if there is such a thing for an oddity of this sort – is the owner madly in love with it or is it merely cheap transport for a recent graduate?
If we turn to Parker’s we find most of the owners like their car (which is not unusual). One owner says about the driving: “Smooth and comfy. Not slow, per se, but no sports car. Once it gets going, it’s adequately quick. Nail it at the right time and it will move. Auto box thinks it knows best – it doesn’t. Overall though, the auto does suit this car very well.” Another writes: “Definitely not sporty. Accurate steering, but not great handling. Torque steer, slow off the mark but remarkable v-tec performance at higher speeds”. This person says “Nice to drive. Just wish suspension gave you more confidence when going round bends!” And this owner says “Front wheel drive and a little soggy on tight corners, but even so it’s still a lot of fun.” I do wonder about how people drive their cars. I note that there was also a 2.2 litre version of the car, which is what most of these owners reported on.
The upshot of all this is that the Accord coupé is one among several good coupés from the period. In a growing market it would have found more fans. In a collapsing market buyers tend to gravitate in a dramatic fashion to the best of the crop, which was the Peugeot 406 coupé.
For the follow-up car, the American-market Accord coupé stepped in and smothered what remaining demand for Accord two-doors might have remained. I rather like the later car’s style and for the same reason many others didn’t, since it was viewed as ‘too American’ (by people who probably never went there or ever drove an American car).
1994-1997 Accord coupé verdict: a gallant.