HONDA'S old Accord line-up - with saloon, coupe and Aerodeck models - was a mish-mash of British, American and Japanese design: engines and transmissions and even the platforms varied from model to model, making the range difficult for customers to understand and even harder to sell. But now Honda has cleared the decks of the old range in favour of a brand new coupe, one of four distinctly different styles of Accord produced for European, Asian, American and Japanese markets. Based on the latest Accord saloon's floorpan, the new coupe shares not a single body panel with its Swindon-built brother. But it does come with the saloon's advanced all-independent suspension system giving the new coupe a big improvement in ride and handling over its predecessor.
Styling was penned in Honda's Los Angeles studio and the car is built exclusively at the company's Marysville, Ohio, plant. Two engines are available, a 2.0-litre unit that's a development of the previous 2.2-litre VTEC unit producing 147bhp, and a 3.0-litre V6 developing 200bhp.
It's the 2.0-litre we test here, priced at ú20,795 on-the-road in manual form. Automatic transmission is available at for ú1,000 extra and it's standard on the V6. At that price it competes directly with the Peugeot 406 Coupe, Toyota Celica (though in 1.8-litre ST form only at this level) and, interestingly, Honda's own Prelude, which undercuts the Accord by ú1,725, though its looks place it more on a par with the likes of the Fiat Coupe.