The sedan version of the 2013 Honda Accord is obviously much more popular than the coupe. It seems that the consumer has lost interest in two-door cars because they're generally less practical than the four-doors they're now based on. And let's not forget that insurance premiums are usually higher on coupes, too.
Most manufacturers have given up on coupes, but not Honda. Back in the days when I was a teenager, the Honda Prelude and Acura Integra were both on my affordable dream-car list, and I definitely wasn't the only one admiring them. Today, maybe Honda figures that I, a responsible, grey-haired father, would love to stroll down memory lane in a 2013 Honda Accord Coupe HFP.
Honda Factory Performance
That's what HFP stands for. It's basically a hotter version of the midsize coupe, visually and dynamically.
The HFP starts out as an Accord Coupe EX-L V6 NAVI, which means it's equipped with a 3.5L V6 that belts out 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a slick six-speed manual, it provides impressive performance, as long as you realize that all that muscle spinning the front wheels will cause the occasional torque steer shenanigans.
In a straight line, it can't match the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe's 348 horses and rear-wheel drivetrain. However, the HFP's engine and clutch are smoother and more refined, and fuel consumption is slightly lower. We averaged 10.9 L/100km over the course of the test.
So, the HFP isn't more powerful than an ordinary Accord V6, and frankly, it doesn't really need more power anyway. On the other hand, it gets a sport-tuned suspension with springs that lower the car by 15 mm as well as sticky 19-inch summer rubber.
All this translates into flatter cornering while barrelling down twisty mountain blacktop, which is good. Yet for the daily grind, the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe HFP's ride is stiff, especially on rippled city streets. This might not have bothered me when I was 20 years old, but it does now, as I'm about a year away from blowing 40 candles on my birthday cake.
Adds flair and… bling?
In order to distinguish itself from lesser versions of the Accord coupe, the HFP benefits from lower-body aerodynamic add-ons, a decklid spoiler and specific badging. It also gets something I'm not used to seeing on a Japanese-brand car: chromed alloy wheels.
While the package does make the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe HFP stand out, in my opinion the company's designs don't wear body kits very well. And I would much prefer dark alloys on the car, such as the gunmetal-grey ones that equipped the beloved previous-generation Acura TL Type-S. Inside, nothing much is changed, except Honda threw in some red-coloured floor mats.
Still an Accord
Whether the HFP package interests you or not, the car remains an Accord, with all its qualities and very few shortcomings. The cockpit is roomy and ergonomically sound, while the leather-lined perches can support people of all sizes. Even rear-seat occupants – once they squeeze in – will be at ease with just enough head- and legroom.
What used to be a dense centre stack button array has neatly been split up in the redesigned-for-2013 Honda Accord. A touchscreen has been added for the trip computer, and responds fairly well to finger pressure. A camera system called LaneWatch is optional, which activates itself when you turn on the right-side turn signal or press a button located at the tip of the turn signal stalk. Through the dashtop screen, you get a good view of what's happening on the side of the car before changing lanes, but only on the right side of the car.
In the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe HFP, the only option is the no-charge six-speed automatic transmission with wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Oh, and you get to choose between black or white paint. That means heated front seats, navigation, a seven-speaker stereo with USB port and HondaLink infotainment connectivity, Forward Collision Warning, a rearview camera and an intelligent key are all standard.
HFP or not?
As mentioned earlier, there are virtually no more competitors to the Accord Coupe; the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Nissan Altima Coupe have both been euthanized, Toyota dumped the Solara a long time ago, and GM axed the Chevrolet Monte Carlo when moustaches went out of style. Comparing the front-drive Accord to a Chevrolet Camaro or a Ford Mustang is like comparing pumpkins to watermelons. That leaves the Genesis Coupe as the only true rival.
At $38,290, the limited-edition Accord HFP is by no means affordable, although you do get a lot of car for the money. I don't feel that this ride could be considered as a spiritual successor to the Prelude; the HFP might interest younger dudes than me, but at the same time, I don't really see someone under 30 shopping for an Accord; in that regard, the Honda Civic Si HFP makes better sense, and so does the Hyundai.
So, the extra $2,845 asked for stepping up from the EX-L NAVI to the HFP and its stiffer ride didn't convince me. However, the $35K Accord Coupe V6 with the manual transmission is a mighty interesting proposition as a refined and sophisticated two-door automobile.
4/5: No problem fixing the child seat in back, but a coupe isn't very practical with small kids. The baby stroller fits easily in the Accord Coupe's roomy trunk.
In collaboration with Canadian Tire.