2008 ushered in the eigth-generation Accord, perennially one of the top five best-selling vehicles in the U.S. and second best-selling midsize car after the Toyota Camry. As with the previous-generation Accord, Honda minted both a four-door sedan and sexy coupe but this time endowed the two-door with especially alluring sheet metal, featuring a long hood, sleek roofline and muscular wheel arches. While it carries most of the Accord Sedan's running gear, such as double-wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, and variable-effort rack and pinion steering, the Accord Coupe is nearly 3-1/2 inches shorter and it sits almost two inches lower to the ground, accenting its sporty and more aggressive stance.

 

Why you want it

Only one in 20 new Accord buyers choose the Accord Coupe over the Accord Sedan, so as mainstream midsize cars go, this is a fairly exclusive club. What buyers get is a svelte looking two-door that shares no sheet metal with the four-door and has more rear seat room and trunk space than its competitors. In the go department, the 2008-2010 Accord Coupe has sharp, precise steering. It's one of the few in its segment to offer a slick-shifting manual transmission, and the available V6 engine makes sweet sounds. Being a Honda, the Accord Coupe has impressive fit and finish, enjoys a reputation for better-than-average reliability and a strong resale value.

 

Notable features and options

Fitting its stylish persona, the Accord Coupe starts out with a higher level of standard trim than the Accord Sedan. The "base" LX-S coupe is powered by a 190-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and counts as standard fare items such as 17-inch alloy wheels, projector-beam headlamps, keyless entry with power window control, cruise control, tilt/telescope steering wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat, fold-down rear seat, six-speaker 160-watt stereo with six-disc CD changer and MP3 interface, and a whole slew of other features. Moving up to EX adds a power tilt moonroof, heated side mirrors, premium interior accents and a seven-speaker 270-watt premium audio with subwoofer. Climbing the trim ladder to EX-L enhances with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and manual transmission shifter, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, leather interior trim with a heated 10-way power driver's seat, XM radio, a compass and ambient temperature readout. The "all-in" Accord Coupe is the EX-L V6, which includes the 268-hp 3.5-liter V6, 18-inch alloys, fog lamps, rear spoiler, dual exhaust, and a Homelink garage door opener.

Honda likes to keep it simple, so it doesn't have free-standing options. However, available on Accord Coupe is an EX-L sub-trim with navigation, voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity.

 

Model milestones

2009 - No major changes.

2010 - Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is made standard on the EX-L.

 

Engines and performance

Though the Accord Sedan starts out with a 177-hp 2.4-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, the Coupe gets treated to the 190-hp version of the 2.4-liter base four-cylinder with a high-flow exhaust system. It can be paired with a five-speed manual good for an EPA-rated 22/31 mpg, or the optional five-speed automatic transmission stickered at 21/31 mpg. The four-cylinder engine is an efficient all-aluminum design with variable valve timing and lift for good performance and flexibility. Active noise cancellation working through the car's radio speakers remove engine noise from the cabin.

The optional 268-hp SOHC V6 is configured differently depending on whether it's bolted to a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. With the automatic, the V6 has variable cylinder management that cuts out two or three cylinders when the car is just cruising, saving fuel. Electronic engine mounts and active noise cancellation take care of any vibration that might have otherwise occurred and the V6 automatic is EPA rated at 19/28 mpg. Performance fans will appreciate the manual six-speed and V6 combo that drops the electronics in favor of a sweet-shifting gearbox and two distinct VTEC cam profiles for more robust low- and midrange torque. EPA estimates also drop to 17/25 mpg. Regardless of transmission, the V6 equips the Accord Coupe dual exhaust with chrome outlets and runs on regular unleaded fuel.

 

Recalls, safety ratings and warranties

NHTSA has announced the following safety recalls involving the 2008 to 2010 Honda Accord Coupe:

2008-2010: A dealer-accessory full-nose mask may prevent the hood from closing fully, allowing it to open while driving. Dealer will replace the mask with a revised one.

2010: Front suspension damper brackets and spindle nuts and bolts on V6 cars may be loose and result in loss of steering. Dealer will inspect and replace as necessary.

2010: Faulty engine wiring harness connector may cause engine stalling. Dealer to inspect and replace as necessary.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the 2008-2010 Accord Coupe at five stars for driver and front passenger frontal impacts and rollover performance. In side-impact testing, the car also received a five-star rating for rear passengers but only four stars for the driver and front passenger. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did not crash test the 2008-2010 Honda Accord Coupe.

Honda backed the 2008 to 2010 Accord Coupe with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and five-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty. Roadside assistance was not included.

Honda Certified Used cars feature a free CarFax report. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is extended to four years/48,000 miles or if the original warranty is expired, another one year/12,000 miles. The powertrain warranty is stretched to seven years/100,000 miles.

 

Word on the web

Generally speaking, the Honda forums are filled with owners who like their cars, with one exception. There was a class action lawsuit regarding premature wear of the brakes of the 2008-2010 Accord Sedan and Coupe. Honda settled and some owners have been compensated partially for the cost of repairs.

CarComplaints.com lists premature brake wear, squeaky brakes, warped rotors, high oil consumption and fouled sparkplugs as the most frequent issues on 2008-2010 Accords.

ConsumerReports.com gave the 2008-2010 Accord generally good marks for predicted reliability, except for brake systems on 2008-2009 models which it predicted would be much worse than average.

 

Competitive Set

The Nissan Altima Coupe has comparable power and excellent steering, but compared to the Accord Coupe is a little cramped inside. Mitsubishi's Eclipse Coupe is the bargain in this bunch, but torque steer and less refined mechanicals spoil some of the fun. The Toyota Solara Coupe really is a Lexus wannabe with good build quality and resale value, but looks only mother could love.

 

AutoTrader recommendation

Accord Coupes are significantly more difficult to find than Accord Sedans, and manual transmission models even more so. But if you are a coupe enthusiast who also wants a front-wheel-drive car for poor traction conditions, a V6 manual Accord Coupe should deliver many miles of driving enjoyment. Many competing coupes are available with six-speed automatic transmissions; don't let that fool you because Honda automatics do just fine with five forward speeds. Do make sure you get the brakes checked out before purchasing as many of these vintage Accords suffer from premature brake wear, particularly at the rear. As a rule Hondas are reliable machines, but it's still a good idea to have the car you are considering checked out by a mechanic. We always say this but given the choice, stick to lower-mileage cars for fewer problems down the line.

author photo

Lee Ronson started out creating new car product training videos and auto repair manuals, along the way penning for Auto, Gear, Car Craft, Exotic Cars Quarterly, Four Wheeler, Auto Hebdo, Bilsport, Travel/Holiday, Open Road, Chevy High Performance, Sport Auto and more. Today, Lee suits up for vintage car road rallies whenever the opportunity strikes.

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