By on May 20, 2015

2015 Honda Civic

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to bring an end to an automotive segment that simply needs to die: the non-sporty coupe.

For those of you who aren’t sure what I mean when I say “non sporty coupe,” allow me to describe the two types of coupes that currently exist today. One is the sporty coupe. This is a car with sleek styling, and a cool interior, and a lot of power, and some modicum of performance suspension, or performance brakes, or something performancey, like a faux carbon fiber door panel.

Examples of the sporty coupe include the Porsche 911, the Ford Mustang, the Subaru BRZ, and – if you ask the Germans – the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, though the rest of us just consider that to be an overpriced sedan.

And then you have the other type of coupe. The non-sporty coupe. This is a car that was a sedan, until some auto industry geniuses got ahold of it and decided they could create an entirely new segment by just throwing on a new, two-door body and marketing it as “sporty.” Examples include the Honda Civic, the Honda Accord, and, well, that’s about it.

2015 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe

There’s a reason those are the only options: because everyone else has gotten out of this segment. For years, we had the Toyota Camry coupe, later called the Camry Solara. It’s gone. The Chevy Monte Carlo. It’s gone. The Chevy Cobalt coupe, the Chevy Cavalier Coupe, the Ford Tempo coupe, the Ford Focus coupe (look it up!), the Dodge Avenger, the Chrysler Sebring coupe. Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone. All gone. The Nissan Altima Coupe. Gone. All because this segment is a massive dud; the automotive equivalent of Kevin Costner’s Waterworld.

So why is Honda still in it?

My theory is Honda has abandoned every other sporty car they’ve ever had – from the NSX and the S2000 on down to the CR-Z – so they feel like they have to offer some piece of “performance” somewhere in their lineup. So they offer the Civic in sedan and coupe varieties, even though virtually everyone else has realized the actual place to be, when it comes to compact cars, is sedans and hatchbacks.

Interestingly, it seems like Honda still doesn’t have the hatchback memo. At this year’s New York Auto Show, Honda displayed a bright green Civic intended to preview what’s to come for the compact car’s next generation. So what body style did it use? The highly popular sedan model, which accounts for more than 80 percent of all sales? A hatchback to let us know they’re finally going to take on the Ford Focus, the Mazda3, the Kia Soul, and the Volkswagen Golf?

No: they showed off a Civic Coupe, suggesting they plan to continue the non-sporty coupe even after everyone else has jumped ship.

It’s the same situation with the Accord. Every time there’s an Accord redesign, I expect Honda to finally announce that they’re doing away with the Accord Coupe. And every time there’s an Accord redesign, Honda instead surprises me and brings it back for another round.

The question I have for people who buy these cars is: WHY?????

If you really examine the Civic Coupe and the Accord Coupe, what you’ll find is that both models are really just less practical versions of the sedans. Neither one is a sports car. Neither one offers especially sleek styling. In fact, if you ask me, the Civic Coupe is actually a bit ungainly in its current form, in the sense that it appears, at any moment, that it may be blown over by a strong gust of wind.

So basically, the “non sporty coupe” is just a sedan with less practicality. Same Accord styling. Same Accord engines. Same Accord equipment, and platform, and suspension, and brakes. The only difference: in the regular Accord, you can get out of the back seat without making the front passenger get up and exit the vehicle first.

I’ve talked to a few people who own these vehicles, and I’ve come to learn they actually believe these are sports cars. “Well,” they say. “I couldn’t afford a 370Z. So I decided to get an Accord Coupe.” As if the two are equals. This would be like saying that you couldn’t afford a place overlooking Central Park, so you instead decided to get a studio apartment in downtown Newark.

So I guess the simple truth here is that Honda is going to continue to make these things as long as people keep buying them. But as the market shrinks, and as people realize they’d really rather have a sedan, and as the tens of buyers disaffected by the cancellation of the Chevy Cobalt coupe move on to something else, I hope Honda wises up and gives us hatchbacks instead. Because the days of the non-sporty coupe are coming to an end.

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283 Comments on “It’s Time To End The Non-Sporty Coupe...”


  • avatar

    Let’s just start with something easy. Let’s stop with the 4-door Coupe thing.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Bingo. I know this is driven at least in part by the demands of aerodynamics and fuel efficiency gains, but if that is the case, why not just turn the impossibly short decklids and disappearing rear windows into a useful hatch? The current Accord thankfully shows us that you can have a large fairly upright greenhouse and still look great in a sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        reclusive_in_nature

        Because the majority of consumers don’t want hatches, duh.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’d be perfectly happy with the old-style ‘hatchback’ (now called ‘liftback’).

          • 0 avatar
            Higheriq

            “Liftback” was a term coined by Toyota back in the 70’s to describe Celicas and Corollas wherein the hatchback had a much lower slant than regular hatchbacks. I had no idea that the “liftback” term/bodystyle was making a comeback.

        • 0 avatar
          skygreenleopard

          Exactly. It’s styling. Yes, impractical, but an Audi A7 or Bimmer 6 Gran Coupe looks miles better to the average consumer than a hatchback sedan (lol Honda CrossTour), a real small performance hatch (I know enthusiasts love their GTIs and Golfs but… there are only about 50,000 of you in America willing to drive a small box), or god forbid, a *station wagon* (excuse me… a “shooting brake”).

          The fact that the few car companies repeatedly willing to enter the wagon segment have to come up with funny Euphemism like “cross tourer” and “avant” just to convince a few hundred consumers to buy them shows you how ungainly the market is when you step out the practical enthusiast bubble.

          Hence, “4-door coupes.” Yes, completely impractical and a misnomer. But it clearly works. It makes a sedan more palatable to the buying public at large, not less.

          • 0 avatar
            greyjohn

            a shooting brake is a wagon with only two doors, think Z4 Hardtop. but anyway, you are right on the money:
            Americans will buy SUVs, they will buy CUVs, they will buy whatever the BMW X1 is suppose to be, but they will NOT by a wagon.

            why? my bucket list includes a 3-series of any vintage, wagon’d out and with a third pedal!

            fun fact: the R34 Skyline had a wagon variant called the Stagea with damn near matching power plants. clever tuners buy the Stagea and have it imported for its power plants, as its cheaper to buy the Stagea vs. the actual Skyline. why so much wagon hate?

        • 0 avatar
          zerofoo

          Au contraire – Americans love hatchbacks – so long as they sit high and have 4WD.

          In the last 10 years, every sedan and hatchback former owner I know is now a SUV/CUV owner.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      The 4 door coupe concept is basically the automakers responding to customers wanting the coupe shape, but needing the extra doors. The 4 door coupe styling is what killed the actual coupes.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This pandering enables bad behavior and its the worst of both worlds: a sedan with an unusable back seat and a coupe without the style and profile.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I’m with you on this. I hate 4-door coupes. One of my best friends drives a CLS. I suspect hidden character flaws. Its interior room is inferior to SECs and CLs, but it looks like a boring sedan. It’s only when you get close that you realize how small the doors are and how cramped the interior will be both back and front.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I once rode in a CLS around 2010, I was less than impressed in both the ride and interior headroom (and I am 5’9). Give me W126 or give me death.

            “One of my best friends drives a CLS. I suspect hidden character flaws.”

            This made me chuckle.

    • 0 avatar
      Vojta Dobeš

      There’s nothing wrong with 4-door coupe. There was a time when it was normal to have a 2-door sedan and 2-door coupe on one model. The coupe just had lower roofline. Now, it’s the same with 4-doors.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        For some bizarre reason, the average American is unable to grasp this simple concept. Whether something is a coupe or a sedan has nothing to do with the number of doors. There have always been 4dr coupes and 2dr sedans, they are nothing new.

      • 0 avatar
        Higheriq

        There’s nothing wrong with four door coupes – except that they don’t exist.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Can you say “insurance”? If not for some green-eyeshade type thinking every whippersnapper with a 2-door is hankerin’ to crash, you probably would never have seen a “4-door coupe,” seeing as how such a thing doesn’t exist.

    • 0 avatar

      A four door coupe is an oxymoron just as the “pillared hardtop” that Ford tried to convince us was the same as a four door hardtop back in the ’70s.

    • 0 avatar

      Preach.

      Call it a fastback if you must, but don’t call it a coupe if it has more than two doors.

  • avatar
    Mike N.

    Jack Baruth would beg to differ re: the Accord Coupe. Though it may have been the case that V6+6MT was available only in coupe form.

    But yeah, I don’t get it either. Honda is fully capable of making a warm or hot hatch that could take on the GTI and Focus, but doesn’t seem to care.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      That’s the first thing I thought of. Doug wants to end the car Jack bought last year and seems to really like. The Accord coupe is a good looking car too, and I have to believe it would eat a BRZ’s lunch. So what is “sporty” really? Is a Civic Si not sporty?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Exactly. Complaining about choice, and a choice Jack B himself partook seems ill advised. But then it seems these two have history after Doug left TTAC last time for another site with no advance notice or word afterwards.

      • 0 avatar
        djsyndrome

        “The Accord coupe is a good looking car too, and I have to believe it would eat a BRZ’s lunch”

        In what form?

        If you’re talking four-cylinder, then not in a million years, unless we’re talking about back seat room.

        If you’re speaking of the Good-Luck-Finding-One V6 6-speed, then yes, it will crush a BRZ in a straight line and probably brute force its way through turns. And now you’ve spent 370Z money.

    • 0 avatar
      DownUnder2014

      At least you have the option of V6+M/T (even if it is for the coupe only). No US-spec Accord sold new where I am, currently has the option of a manual. Only the Accord Euro (what was sold as the Acura TSX in the US), has the option of a M/T where I am.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      As I recall, Jack settled on the coupe because he couldn’t get a sedan with the V6 and the manual transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      Don Mynack

      Writer fight! Writer fight! Writer fight!

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I like that Doug is being contrarian, but in this case that’s all it is.

      Since when is variety a bad thing? I think Honda should be applauded for giving us a choice that nobody else does anymore. The fact I don’t happen to want it doesn’t negate that contribution, as Baruth’s choice demonstrates.

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez_Returns

      Jack has said before that he hates that he had to buy a coupe to get the V6 and MT combo, that he always wishes he had the extra doors.

  • avatar
    ccode81

    I like coupe as statement of having no kids to care for in the lifestyle.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I didn’t buy my first coupe until after my wife had our daughter. I did wait until she was front facing.

      My coupe is one of the mentioned allowable coupes, though.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I like it as well. There’s something about a V8 SL500 that is very “IDGAF about anybody else” which is excellent.

      • 0 avatar
        elimgarak

        As attested by 2pac when he name checked it in Picture Me Rollin:

        “Picture me rollin in my 500 Benz / I got no love for these niggaz, there’s no need to be friends”

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        SL (and S-Coupe, yum…) 6, XJ, XK, Brooklands (and, if you can’t find one, a Conti GT), and Wraith.

        2 doors, and the only reason there’s one on the passenger side is so that your Arm Candy/Evening’s Entertainment/Stunning Wife/Lesser Dutchess of Choice doesn’t have to climb over the center console in her $1200 heels.

        The kind of car that says “If I have children, they live at school most of the year.” The kind of car that exists largely in misty, slightly cool mornings and evenings where the evening’s dissapating heat is killed by the silent AC within seconds of startup.

        An engine that threatens nuclear-apocalypse levels of violence if pushed, but that spends 99% of it’s time just above idle, silent and smooth.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Nothing says “I ride alone” like a nice big coupe.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It also says, “I’m going to this executive meeting now.” and “My plane has just as many passengers as this car.”

        …And suddenly it’s the early 70’s and I’m in a navy blue Lincoln Mark IV with blue leather. And I have a double-breasted suit and a briefcase. And I work for Texas Instruments.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    So, before Jack beats you to death, I think the business case for the Accord Coupe is pretty clear.

    It’s for people who’d like a V6 Mustang, but don’t want RWD.

    And in that context, it works very well. It’s not a slow car by any stretch, and works well as a modern “sporty car” in the sense that Jack successfully lambasted here: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/trackday-diaries-civics-lesson/

    Some people want 2-door style, and don’t have the money for a “premium” brand. Hell, most people wanting stylish cars are in that bracket. There’s your market-base, and it seems pretty stable and profitable.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      But how many Accord coupe buyers only buy because you can’t get the V6 MT in the sedan?

      • 0 avatar
        hotdog453

        How many Jack Baruths are there in the world?

        I suppose that’s a good question: Did Jack by the coupe because it had the 6MT and that was the only way to get it, or would he have purchased the 4-door, given the chance?

      • 0 avatar
        2drsedanman

        I wonder about this too. I think I will look up the take rate on V6 MT in the sedan from a few years ago and compare to coupes. I like coupes but admit they are less practical. The Accord coupe does seem to have a strong following, in no small part due to the V6/MT combo.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        I still would have bought the coupe back in 2011. It just looks hot.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I did a search on Cars.com for manual transmission Accords. In the Atlanta metro area, I turned up 40, of which 39 were four bangers. I’m guessing that other than Jack, it’s about 10 people.

        By comparison, there are 159 six cylinder automatic transmission Accords available, and 480 4 cylinder automatics.

      • 0 avatar
        Buford T. Justice

        But how many Accord coupe buyers only buy because you can’t get the V6 MT in the sedan?

        Not many. I was a faithful fan boy, and loved the cool cars of the late 80’s Honda turned out (Prelude 4WS). Know I have kids, a coupe is out of the question. Rather than buy the stripped down sedan to get a manual, I bought a BMW 3 series instead. It has 4 doors, a high revving inline 6, a smooth 6MT, and shitty reliability. Oh well, you can’t have everything.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Five.

        Well, I kid.

        But “not many”, is my guess, no matter what people on online car websites – an unrepresentative sample! – would lead you to think.

    • 0 avatar

      The thing of it is, the majority of Accord Coupe sales are 4-cylinder. I suspect it’s more along the lines of: people who want a Mustang, but don’t want to commit to something that sporty/fuel inefficient/potentially unreliable/compromised as a daily driver. Which I can respect– but again, why not just go for an Accord sedan?

      BTW, I didn’t know Jack had an Accord Coupe when I wrote this. But I will say this: for years, my brother kept buying 2-door Ford Explorers. He had two of them. They were the perfect car for him. But just because some people buy and like a car doesn’t justify a business case for an entire car to remain in production, and indeed, the Explorer Sport eventually died a sad death. Now he has an Xterra.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “but again, why not just go for an Accord sedan?”

        Because you see a zillion a day, and they’re not that attractive. An Accord coupe, while not exactly a Delahye, is at least more attractive than the sedan, and you don’t see 10 on every corner. And if you aren’t going to use the back seat, why bother buying the extra doors?

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I think the premise of the article is silly Doug. Yes most other manufacturers pulled out of the segment due to lack of sales, but obviously Honda sells enough coupes to justify their existence. I see loads of Accord coupes around, of all generations but more than ever the latest 9th gen cars. In my old apartment complex my direct neighbor drove a plain-jane 8th gen 4cyl coupe in some forgettable shade of greenish grey. A guy across the lot had a garage-parked new 9th gen 6 cylinder V6 in Milano Red. They have some serious presence in person IMO, at least as striking as a Mstang or other ‘sporty’ coupes. All with a very roomy rear seat (adults fit back there!), and the practicality of FWD in the winter and Honda reliability and MPG. What’s not to like? Yes, of course a V6 6spd manual Accord sedan would be incredible and I’d vastly prefer one to a coupe, but plenty of people want and buy the Accord coupes.

      • 0 avatar

        And now Nissan is going to kill the Xterra. Clearly, your brother is the angel of death for cars. Or at least BOF SUV’s.

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    Well Doug, you missed 2 “sporty” coupes: Kia Forte Koup and Hyundai Elantra Coupe.

    They are alive and kicking. And Kia Koup SX (1.6 turbo) is a hoot to drive, apparently.

    It looks like a lot of single women are driving these around.

    So, Honda is not alone.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I absolutely disagree with the author’s views; rather, it’s the sedan/saloon that needs to be ended as they have effectively been replaced by CUVs. Let the so-called ‘non-sporty coupe’ become the go-between of family car and sport coupe instead. With, at the moment, only and exactly ONE sedan I might ever purchase, I refuse to buy any car with more than two full doors. I’m the same way about pickup trucks–they’re two doors too many for my needs and have been all my life. I have never, once, purchased a sedan since I’ve been driving and don’t intend to start.

    The author asks “Why?” Why would somebody buy a non-sporty coupe over a sedan? How about the very simple fact that the back seats will never be used for anything but a trash bin? The required high roofline and two unnecessary doors make the car look bloated and certainly don’t help the aerodynamics. If they’re not going to be used, why have them?

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Year to date, here are the rankings for sales:
      Truck
      Truck
      Truck
      Sedan only
      Sedan only
      Sedan only
      CUV
      Sedan only
      Sedan or Coupe (heavily leans sedan)
      Sedan or Coupe (heavily leans sedan)

      America has clearly lost their appetite for sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        He doesn’t like sedans, therefore they’re bad.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          He doesn’t have kids. Or friends.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            But no shortage of baggage.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Flipper: You’re right, I don’t have kids; I have a wife. That’s all I need. The only thing a back seat gets used for in any of my cars is to carry a dog–and the folded down coupe seat works just fine for carrying him. Why? Because even when the back seat is up, he lies on the floor instead. This is true even in my Fiat 500.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Good data, as far as it goes. However, when your only choices are a pair of Japanese models and you want an American brand… well, there are still quite a few Americans that would like a proper 2-door version of their favorite model. Certainly not as many as choose sedans, but I’ll put it this way; I wouldn’t be opposed to a 2-door Buick or Chevrolet that doesn’t carry the insurance premiums of the Camaro or Mustang. There’s a thing to be said about being a ‘non-sport’ coupe. As it is, my ‘car’ is a 2-door Fiat while my ‘truck’ is an SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Exactly. For many, sedan back seats are hardly ever used. I’d rather not have the extra dead weight of back doors. A seat back there is OK, but I’d rather have one that folds down and not comfortable.

      Actually coupe versions of a sedan used to cost you considerably less. A much sleeker look for a lot less cash?

      You don’t buy these coupes for speed anyways. But in the old days, these were the ones to Hot Rod. You skipped the crazy expensive SS Nova and built a sleeper Nova coupe with a V8 from a crashed Muscle Car or pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        “I’d rather not have the extra dead weight of back doors.”

        Wat

        Do coupes not have metal where rear doors would be?

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          They don’t have the extra door handles, locks and hinges and extra structures that will go with a door, but mostly the weight difference is negligible in todays cars.
          As a sedan hater,I have oen as a daily driver right now, and it is as useless as it is ugly. Anyone using the practicality excuse to buy a sedan over a coupe is just being silly. Apart from a coupe the sedan is still the least practical car you can still buy, especially in a country where you aren’t allowed to tow anything.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “Anyone using the practicality excuse to buy a sedan over a coupe is just being silly.”

            Know how I know you don’t have kids in car seats?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @s2kChris

            If you have kids in car seats, a minivan or a CUV/SUV/wagon/hatch is one heck of a lot more practical than a sedan.

            I agree with him, sedans are completely and utterly useless, at least in any size smaller than a LWB S-class. ESPECIALLY with the modern stupidity of needing a swoopy roofline even on the most staid 4dr sedan. At least with a coupe you get a car that is theoretically pretty, and on small cars the bigger front doors are useful for those of us of larger size.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “If you have kids in car seats, a minivan or a CUV/SUV/wagon/hatch is one heck of a lot more practical than a sedan.”

            Yes and no. We have in our fleet a CUV, a sedan, and a roadster/sports car. The CUV is the kid carrier 90% of the time. The sedan is the kid carrier 10% of the time. I occasionally pick up my kid from daycare, or take her out in my car on the weekends, or whatever, and in those cases it’s nice I’m not trying to squeeze her into the back seat of a coupe. OTOH, I don’t need or want to drive around an empty CUV or minivan (ugh) the rest of the time for that 10%. So for an occasional use car, I find the sedan strikes a great balance.

            On the wagon front, I disagree completely. There are zero things about the back seat of a TSX wagon that make it more accomodating for kids than my TSX sedan. And all we’ve ever carried around for my kid is a stroller and a diaper bag, both of which fit just fine in the trunk of the TSX sedan, so no additional luggage space is needed. The only advantage a wagon has over a sedan is if you usually carry large bulky cube/rectangular shaped things that don’t fit under a sedan decklid, and I don’t. Other than that, despite the protests of automotive hipsters every where, there is nothing about a wagon that makes it better than the equivalent sedan at carrying people.

          • 0 avatar
            Reino

            I’m with S2k Chris. Wagons and hatches ARE sedans. They just have an open greenhouse in the trunk. I’ll add that if you want to make sure you have safe visibility in a wagon, you can’t put more stuff back there than you can in the trunk of a sedan.

            The ONLY advantage that a wagon has is being able to put your dogs in the trunk. Mine prefer the back seat.

            Krhodes1, your practicality argument just doesn’t hold water. It is far more practical to transport 4 adults in a sedan than in a coupe. Period.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Reino: Exactly how often do you carry four adults in your car? How often do you carry two adults and two children? Heck, how often do you carry THREE adults in your car? In the last six months, I have carried a third person in my Fiat exactly once. In my SUV exactly twice. I admit I’m not everybody; I don’t expect anybody to be ‘everybody’. Every single person has their own wants and needs and to be quite blunt, I don’t like being forced to accept what “everybody” drives. If I want a proper two-door coupe, I refuse to settle for a sedan that will never get used as one. I know I’m not alone, even if I am part of a minority.

          • 0 avatar
            Reino

            Vulpine, I carry adults in the back quite a bit. My dogs too. Both human and canine alike enjoy having operable windows back there.

            Don’t get me wrong, I love coupes and I believe we are on the same side in this article. I was merely refuting another statement that the sedan is ‘completely and utterly useless’. It’s not.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It doesn’t matter what you or anybody else does. It only matters what Vulpine does.

            The entire automotive industry should gear its design and production around Vulpine’s (peculiar) tastes. Why the automakers haven’t figured this out remains a mystery.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Chris2K

            There is a big advantage of a wagon over a modern sedan (not sure if your TSX has this “feature”, as they are pretty old now) for carrying people. Given the required swoopy roofline, the back doors of most sedans today have nearly triangular upper door opening. The roofline slants right through where your head would like to be getting into the back seat. Like sedans of the olden days, the back door openings of a wagon are SQUARE, making it much easier to get in and out. Then the added practicality advantage of cargo capacity and ease of getting that cargo in and out of the car.

            If I needed to carry people all the time I would have a minivan, that is what they are for.

            @Rieno

            I never said a coupe was practical for carrying people in the back seat. I simply said if you are going impractical, you might as well go all the way and buy pretty, and coupes are easier to get in and out of the front seat – you know, the seats you actually use ALL the time. Not that I think the Honda coupes are even remotely attractive.

            But I would buy a CUV LONG before I would buy a sedan, if I could only have one car.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “There is a big advantage of a wagon over a modern sedan (not sure if your TSX has this “feature”, as they are pretty old now) for carrying people. Given the required swoopy roofline, the back doors of most sedans today have nearly triangular upper door opening. The roofline slants right through where your head would like to be getting into the back seat.”

            You A) wildly overstate the problem on sedans and B) wildly overstate the benefit of the wagon. For MOST PEOPLE who are going to drive kids around in the back seat, and maybe Bob from marketing to lunch once once in a while, the difference to which you refer is negligible on most cars except maybe a CLS or Gran Coupe which aren’t available in a wagon anyways.

            It’s silly to hear car enthusiasts talk about cars, because if your garage doesn’t consist of a Caterham 7 and an E-150 cargo van you’re making a stupid compromise. Out here in the real world most people buy a mid-pack compromise of size and space and price, which is why midsized sedans and compact CUVs are by far the most popular vehicles sold.

            “If I needed to carry people all the time I would have a minivan, that is what they are for.”

            You hear this most often from single dudes who don’t actually have to make good on that statement. It’s real easy to make judgements from afar, but when real people spend their own money it’s stupid to second guess them unless you’re kicking in on the bill.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I used to have coupees back when such a thing was available in Europe, and apart from backwards facing child seats, they are perfect when you have children. First of all, putting them into their seat and fastening their belts is a lot easier done from the front than from the side in my experience. Second, as soon as they learn how to operate windows and door handles they (and cars that are parked close to you) are a lot safer in a 2 door car.
            Mind you, all the coupes I had were also liftbacks (with towhitches) so they were still at least 3.7 times more practical than any sedan.
            (it’s worth mentioning these coupes had the same roofline as the sedan of the same model)
            Add to this that most modern sedans have really tiny rear doors anyway, with hopelessly rounded openings, so getting a child seat in and out of them is still hard.
            In my eyes there is nothing useful in between a coupe and a wagon.
            (unless it’s a pillarless hardtop with tailfins or a bigblock, or both)

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’ll agree with that, Reino; for sedans, useless they are not, but neither are they practical when the owner simply has no need for full-time back seats and quite honestly the design is almost strictly as a passenger hauler with sometimes extreme limitations as to the size and shape of non-human cargo you may wish to load. I’ll grant that “notchback” coupes are equally as limited, but liftbacks are eminently practical by comparison and don’t look ‘odd’ when the seats are folded down as compared to a sedan where folding the seats exposes a black hole. I’ve owned (but never purchased) sedans before and in one case, despite having a Panther-sized model, I simply couldn’t carry a load that I needed to carry where a same-year Nova “hatchback” (liftback) coupe could have carried the entire load and more due to the large open space and flat load floor it offered. Only a true wagon or a pickup truck could have carried more in that case (we didn’t have minivans then). Heck, if I’d still had it, my Mitsubishi Sport pickup could have carried the load without even coming up over the bed walls.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @S2K Chris

            Well, my garage has a Spitfire, a Range Rover, a BMW wagon, and soon a BMW performance coupe, so no, I am not really all that big on vehicular compromise.

            Sedans are a compromise which makes no sense – what is with the love of a body style that apes the silliness that was strapping an actual steamer trunk onto the back of a car in the 20’s and 30’s? It’s not pretty, and it isn’t all that practical for carrying people or cargo at average car sizes and below. I guess a sedan kind of makes sense as a luxury people hauler once you get to S-Class/A8/7-series size, but the smaller they get the more stupid they get. If you just love, love, love your sedan, more power to ya. Ultimately, opinions are like @ssholes, everyone has one and they usually stink.

          • 0 avatar
            Noble713

            “Anyone using the practicality excuse to buy a sedan over a coupe is just being silly.”

            This is entirely dependent on both your lifestyle and where you live. The RWD sport sedan is ideal for bachelor street racers in dense urban environments….a common demographic in Asia and some US cities (LA, Miami, maybe Texas?). Assuming you can only afford to own a single vehicle:

            With a coupe you cannot easily transport your friends to parties/nightclubs/etc. You also can’t comfortably have sex in one (carsex because the girl lives with her parents, your place is too far away, love hotels cost too much/etc.).

            With a CUV…well, they aren’t sporty. Heavy, high center of gravity, typically FWD or at best AWD. Definitely not a platform for drifting or canyon carving. The only SUVs you can drag race are the big expensive ones with V8s (Grand Cherokee SRT).

            Meanwhile, a Toyota Mark X has room for 5 adults, 300+hp, and a 3,450lb curb weight.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          What do you think doors weigh? With regulators, crash bars, hardware, hinges etc, etc? Plus all the reinforcements, double steel for the body/shell?

          Was that a serious question??

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            The published curb weight difference between the 2 door Golf and the equivalent 4 door model is something like 100 pounds. Coupes contain plenty of hardware to make sure back seat occupants don’t die in crashes too you know, which is where most of the weight from doors come from.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            The 4 door version of my 2001 Impreza 2.5RS was lighter than the 2 door version. The shell of the vehicle was essentially identical other than placement of the B pillar and the skin that covered the gap from the B to C pillar on the coupe. The big, heavy doors (needed to support the wide span and the big glass) caused the difference. The 4 door was also more torsionally rigid than the 2 door because the huge hole created by the long doors of the coupe.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s not that coupe rear riders have less protection but a weak area of the shell is created by the opening. Look at the extra double steel around a sunroof. Doors are weaker than body shells hence the crash bars inside.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            I’m aware, but it doesn’t translate into as large of a weight difference as you are suggesting. Especially since, as Quentin pointed out, most coupes have larger doors, and thus an even larger structural hole, to ease entry into the back seats which cuts into the savings.

            Nobody cares what an individual door weighs (except maybe some Wrangler owners), they care about what the overall vehicle weighs. A quick google search also shows that the Civic coupe and sedan, for example, which actually have different wheelbases and other more pronounced changes than my Golf example also have basically equivalent curb weight.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You have a point with the larger door but 100 lbs is still lots of dead weight for a small car, unless you need it, want it. The Civic I looked up said zero difference or around 250 lbs depending on Civic model. So info is sketchy at best.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “Do coupes not have metal where rear doors would be?”

          They have less metal where the doors would be. No doubled-up framing, no door latching mechanism, usually smaller glass windows (even the roll-up ones) and a few other things that would remove a few extra pounds on each side like the heavy hinges.

    • 0 avatar
      Reino

      The CUV has not replaced the sedan. The Accord sedan has a much roomier cabin and bigger trunk than a CUV. CUV’s are awful vehicles that compromise space, storage, and handling all to gain 8″ in ride height.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Because the comparable sized car to a CUV is a compact like a Civic, not a large car like an Accord. Sit in the back of a Civic (sedan or coupe) and then the back of a CRV and tell me which is more comfortable.

        • 0 avatar
          Reino

          Consumers don’t compare sedans to CUVs based on size. They compare on price. The CRV may be the size of a Civic but it is the price of the Accord. So in that market, the Accord has more space.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I might give you the trunk space, Reino, but only partially; some CUVs offer more cubic footage behind the back seat than even your Accord sedan. When matching length for length, I think you’d find the Accord quite cramped by comparison between it and a CUV. It’s not just ride height, it’s headroom too.

        • 0 avatar
          Reino

          Perhaps we can find agreement then, that the body style that truly needs to go away is the COMPACT sedan. The Civic should be coupe only, because the back seats are worthless in either iteration. You might as well get a sporty style in a coupe.

          Midsizers, on the other hand, should be sedans. But the oddball coupe like the Accord exists for other reasons (lack of an Integra successor)

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Not everybody is enormous. A compact sedan is perfectly suitable for transporting four average-sized (5′-11″) adult males, or two large males and their wives/girlfriends. The only compact I’ve seen that can’t do that comfortably is the Acura Vigor. That one can’t fit more than small women or children behind two average-sized men.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Reino

        The CUV equivalent of an Accord is a Pilot. An Accord is most assuredly NOT more roomy than a Pilot. It definitely is cheaper though. Not surprisingly, you pay for added utility (and profit).

        YOU may only shop based on price, but I suspect most people shop on a combination of size and what they can afford, usually based on monthly payment. An extra $5-10K is not really a lot when expressed monthly over 60-72mo.

        As I have said before, if the only reason people bought CUVs and SUVs was the added height, we would see strong demand for sedans-on-stilts since people seem to love the stupid things. But we don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        And one bonus to a sedan – that I really started thinking about when I got my wagon – is that a sedan’s cargo area, while smaller, is not something people outside your car can see into … or snatch-and-grab from with a simple window break.

        (Sure, someone can break your front window, open the door, and pop the trunk, unless you used the valet lock.

        But they’re not gonna do that unless they have some reason to think there’s goodies inside.

        With a wagon or hatchback, well… glance, smash, run.

        It’s a consideration, depending on where you are, even occasionally.)

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Nobody can see anything in the back of my wagon, (or any decent wagon or hatch from the past couple decades for that matter), as it has a very nice integrated cargo blind. And an integrated cargo net to separate the cargo bay from the passengers.

          Any added security of a sedan was long gone once inside trunk releases became standard equipment.

          Does everyone on here but me live in the ‘hood??

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Don’t forget the Kia Forte Koup.

    I love me some coupes, so on this point I disagree. I also think wishing automakers to stop making some variety of car is a bad idea. Next thing you know you will have your choice of large, medium, or small CUVs in any shade of black, gray, or silver you can think of. I want more choices, not fewer.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The issue isn’t so much that there are non-sporty coupes—the Monte Carlo never offended me because you could get an Impala SS that did everything it did, except make your passengers contort themselves into the rear seat—it’s that Honda offers sporty options only on their two-doors.

    Want a stick-shift V6 Accord? You have to deal with two doors (yes, they did offer, for about eight months, a four-door V6 accord with a stick). They did this with the TL/CL as well. Heck, until recently, getting a Civic with four doors, a stick and the iVTEC powerplant was a no-go. You either got a sports coupe, or a grocery-getter sedan.

    Honda isn’t the only company that does this, but they’re more determined than most to stick to the two-door=sporty car thing and about the only brand for whom their two-door versions aren’t just styling exercises. I think someone very high up in Honda has this sporty=two-door thing hard-wired into his or her brain, even after the Subaru WRX basically, mercifully, thankfully, put a bullet in the mainstream two-door entry-level sports car almost fifteen years ago.

    As far as I’m concerned, you need two doors for every row of seats, sliding doors excepted. Anything else is just a form-over-function that should have died out decades ago.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    You forgot the Camaro.

    Aside from that, it’s time to end a 4-seat coupe practical only for two.

    It’s time to once again make a real 2 door coupe with a greenhouse and interior designed for FOUR people. Of course, that necessitates a more formal roofline with side glass that actually opens for rear seat passengers.

    Think pre-1973 Chevelle, non-pillarless hardtop 2 door sedan.

    I can dream, can’t I?

  • avatar
    michal1980

    I think this post needs to ‘die’.

    No truth, just some dudes opinion.

    Thanks for your blog post I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Orange

      Come on be nice to the guy. What other site would have even have their been a question asking this?

      But why exactly is Honda being the last stalwart in this market segment? Is it the same people who kept Acura branded cars around when most didn’t care for one. Is it Honda stubbornness? Do they have plants that they have to keep running ,pre-bankrupt GM had that part down to a science? Is their an executive who only drives non-sporty coupes thereby in his position he keeps Honda producing these for selfish reasons. Or maybe the Accord and Civic coupe have been the only “sporty” anything produced by Honda Automotive for the last few years.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        Or *gasp* maybe they sell enough of them that they feel it’s worth keeping around? I mean it’s the only scenario that not one soul so far has seemed to consider.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          More than one soul has considered it. It seems we’ve all forgotten the VW Beetle, clearly a 2-door coupe and while ‘sporty’ is certainly not “Sport”.
          There are others, but most tend to fall into the sub-compact classes.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The original Beetle was a 2dr sedan. As is a BMW 2002, e21, and e30 2dr. A Porsche 356 is a 2dr coupe. So is a 2dr BMW e36, e46, e92 and a 4 and 6-series GranCoupe.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Every car sells enough to keep around until they year they stop making it.

          The issue being, how long is it mistakenly kept on life support before they admit that?

          (Are the Honda coupes in that category?

          Beats hell out of me.)

      • 0 avatar
        michal1980

        all your questions are better then this blog post. especially if there was some investigating involved, maybe some hard facts.

        Instead this reads like some one woke up one day and sad, I dont like _____, lets write about what I dont like.

        • 0 avatar

          I always figured if you don’t like what the other guy’s blogging, you start up your own blog.

          Not to say that the guys at TTAC are above criticism, but there’s a difference between constructive criticism and pointless moaning.

          • 0 avatar
            michal1980

            my moaning fits this ‘article’ perfectly then.

            When theres something to constructively criticize I’ll do it, but when you publish below jalopnik rubbish I’ll honestly call you out for it.

            least you forget this is the ‘the TRUTH about cars’, not random ramblings about cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Reino

        Mr. Orange, the answer to your question is that ever since the Integra/RSX died, the Accord Coupe is the closest thing Honda/Acura has to a G37 or 4-series. Hopefully since Lexus just added the RC to the market, it may spur Acura to bring out a new sport coupe, and then the Accord won’t be needed.

  • avatar
    Keith_93

    If only Honda Senior Management could have read this post a few years ago they could have avoided their deep coupy embarrassment.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Why is still Honda in the coupe market? when they discontinued the Prelude over a decade back, they pledged to continue having an alternative sporty car in their lineup. The Accord Coupe fills that role as a FWD pony car of sorts, shared platform/parts with a top-selling sedan but available with the hotter powertrain.

      Automakers aren’t going to discontinue the 4 door sedan anytime soon, they’re still big sellers – Accord, Civic, Camry, & Corolla made the top 10 last month. They’re also priced cheaper than hatchbacks and far less than CUVs sharing the same platform.

      • 0 avatar

        Seems to me that Honda’s fallen 10 years behind the curve when it comes to current trends. Watch them wise up and reintroduce sporty hatchbacks just as the hatchback craze comes to a shuddering halt.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Honda makes two at this point to my knowledge, Civic coupe and Accord coupe. I personally see this as a wise move on the part of Honda in light of the fact they have the other non-truck segments well covered. If I were working for Honda I might suggest moving Accord Coupe into Acura for the next generation but I would keep the Civic coupe as-is.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Is it too much asking to bring some data to the table? I mean, there must be customers out there for these things, otherwise Honda wouldn’t be building them.

    How much volume are we talking about here? Is the OEM willing to walk away from those sales?

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      Doug doesn’t do data!

      Just opinions!

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        AFAIK Honda doesn’t release a breakdown for the Accord or Civic by door count; at least GCBC doesn’t think the data exists.

        So that’s a good reason to not include it.

        (And remember, as stated above, every car keeps getting sold *until they decide to kill it*; sometimes pride or internal politics or delusion can keep that going *long* after it was unwise to continue production.

        I suspect Honda’s not in that position yet; they’re not *that* uncommon.

        Beaverton Honda [a local example] has 69 Civics on the lot.

        15 are Coupes; about 20%.

        Of their 44 Accords, 6 are coupes; about 14%.

        Not a top seller, I suspect, but adequate.)

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          And remember, a car only needs to sell enough to support its investment. For a rebody of an existing car, the investment is significantly lower than a standalone model. The incremental cost to develop and sell (and market) a Civic or Accord coupe is likely minimal.

  • avatar
    sintekk

    The 2-door Camry/Solara was alright. 5-speed models were nearly indestructable hoon-mobiles and the convertibles wound up with the elderly crowd who gave up on GM/Chrysler. I don’t know what Honda is doing without a convertible option — that’s the only first-hand market I see for these things.

  • avatar
    Reino

    Ask anyone who was a teen in the 90’s: coupes were all the rage. Berettas, Cavaliers (Z24 of course), Montes. These were inexpensive cars for the youth of the working class that looked ‘cool’. Some kids were lucky enough to have a Mustang or Camaro. The eccentric ones had a Talon or Eclipse.

    Now times have changed. Teens are into CUVs, hatchbacks, or those ‘cube’ cars. Some aren’t into cars at all. But…a few teens are still into inexpensive coupes, and that’s why the Civic and Accord exist.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      I came back from college one year to have my dad pick me up in a brand new 97 Grand Am GT coupe.

      My feelings as a budding car guy: On the one hand, it was a brand new car. On the other hand, it was a Pontiac Grand Am. = At least it was a coupe so I was more or less happy with it. But damn, I grew to hate that car.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Personally, I think the Accord Coupe is pretty snazzy. If you don’t have kids, it’s a perfectly reasonable choice that doesn’t give up much in practicality.

    My wife LOVES her 2nd-Gen Solara Convertible (not a “Car Guy” car, but for a convertible, I’ll admit it’s quite practical; a back seat usable by adults and a roomy trunk) but the 2nd-Gen coupe was horrible-looking. While most convertibles look like a coupe with the roof chopped off, the Solara coupe looked like a convertible with an aftermarket hardtop.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Honda is an efficient producer. If it didn’t have a formula for adding these to the lineup in a cost-effective manner, then it wouldn’t keep doing it.

    This is the sort of thing that VW is hoping to do with MQB. Adding niche vehicles at a reasonable cost could be the next wave if everyone can figure out how to do it profitably.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      That sounds like the dream. But Mini did that, and no one wanted overly-compromised cars like the coupe or roadster, so they scaled back. Anyway, more choice is always better, as far as I’m concerned.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I’ve had a few coupes. An 81 Regal coupe, an 84 Eldorado, a 95 Cougar and my last one was my 01 Focus ZX3. I won’t own another as a DD, as I’m just to practical now and there’s NO practicality in a two door car.

    But I don’t think the segment should die. Obviously, some folks out there want them and it’s enough business to keep Honda in it. I always thought the Altima coupe, especially the last one, was a very odd looking car.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I would argue the supposed lack of practicality in a 2-door car. With modern models now all allowing the rear seats to fold down, a 2-door liftback (in the sense of the late-’60s, early ’70s hatchbacks) offer almost wagon-grade carrying ability while the sloped roof offers marginally-improved fuel economy through aerodynamics. Someone who knows what they’re doing can load a surprising amount of gear in one for camping and travel or certain hobbies while still having a smart-looking car and not some family-mobile. You don’t have to have a full second set of doors to load/unload one of these.

      I’ve owned several coupes, starting with a ’73 Cutlass S and continuing through a ’75 Cutlass Supreme, a ’79 Dodge Aspen, an ’86 Buick LeSabre ‘T-type’ and an ’85 Toronado–not to mention my ’96 Camaro. As I said, I’ve never purchased a sedan–ever. My first 4-door purchase was my ’02 Saturn Vue (SUW) followed by an ’08 Jeep JKU Wrangler. The ONLY sedan I might ever purchase would probably be the Tesla Model ≣ and honestly, I’d rather it be a coupe than a sedan (which is what I expect, though may not be the final design).

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>It’s the same situation with the Accord. Every time there’s an Accord redesign, I expect Honda to finally announce that they’re doing away with the Accord Coupe. And every time there’s an Accord redesign, Honda instead surprises me and brings it back for another round.

    The question I have for people who buy these cars is: WHY?????<<

    Replace "Coupe" w/ "Wagon" and ask why people still pine for the Accord Wagon. I know I do. Pine for one, that is.

    If BMW can make something like 100 model variants, some of which sell close to nothing, I guess Honda can have a fraction as many selling close to nothing.

    "BMW’s model count in the U.S. has grown from just four in 1975 to 100 in 2015. There are a staggering variety of sizes, body styles and engines, all designed to prevent BMW owners from defecting to rival luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. “We don’t ever want our customers to grow bored,” said Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America. "
    http://fortune.com/2015/05/12/bmw-luxury-sales/

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I just bought my second Altima sedan this week (2007 V6 6MT sedan, just like the other one). I wasn’t going to get the car until next year, but there was no way in hell I was passing up the deal I got.

    Point is, even though I’d like an Altima coupe, I probably won’t ever get one because it fails where many coupes fail- horrendous back seat and mail-slot trunk.

    In 2011 I looked at the Alti 2-door and compared with the Accord, it couldn’t come close. The Accord coupe has a huge trunk, and probably the 2nd most accommodating back seat, behind only the Challenger. I bought the Accord.

    The 2-door Honda can work with a family, regardless of what the people who have never bothered to physically examine one might say.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    You pose an interesting question Doug. What you did not ask is for those that have them, what are the reasons they like the coupe better than the less practical sedan version?

    My first car was a 1985 Ford EXP. Essentially a two seat ford escort with a fast back. 4 Mil, 5 sp, no AC, manual steering/windows. What a fun car! For the time it was quick, I had the widest, lowest profile set of meats I could fit on the factory wheels. Car handled great.

    Fast forward to today. I recently bought an Accord coupe 4 mil 5MT. It was cheap, had low miles, a sunroof, and was the same color of silver as my EXP. You know what? It’s a hoot to drive, gets 35 MPG. My kids don’t like it, except when only one is present and they can ride in the front. It is my version of a motorcycle. As 90% of the time I am the only one in it. The other 10% we could use one of our other cars. Why not let some us 40 year olds have some fun on our dreary commutes?

  • avatar
    formula m

    Who would buy a mustang or brz if they want a 2 door and it snows where they live? Not many people. People need these cars because insurance companies are making anything sporty unaffordable to insure. An accord or civic 2door won’t be so bad to insure compared to a mustang/camaro or brz for someone under 30. If your young and get one ticket the insurance will be double the amount of your car payment every month. It’s incredible what they charge here in Ontario. Had a RSX completely stock in my late 20’s and insurance was pretty high even after one speeding ticket for 10kph or 6mph over and it went up $45/month. Young people can’t afford to pay $250 – $450 a month on top of a car/gas/maintaince for a camaro or brz.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      What do you mean who would buy a BRZ or Mustang where it snows? Tons of people do that.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        They are not good winter vehicles. I have worked for Ford and Hyundai and the mustang and genesis were horrible in the winter time. Genesis couldn’t be driven at all in snow without snow tires and even then the cost of off-set sized wheels front and rear with wide a low profile where still awful. Had customers that couldn’t make it up their city street because of a hill a few times. Not to mention the stupid way the window has to drop to open the door on the mustang and genesis doesn’t work in ice and snow… Can’t even get in your car when water freezes the glass from dropping to get the doors open. Anyone driving those cars in bad weather knows that it is alot of extra stress to be in a storm. I bet they won’t buy another after unless they have a second vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Why would anyone buy wide, low profile, staggered tires for winter?

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          But yeah, I wouldn’t want one of those for my only car in my climate. I don’t want to accelerate that slowly into traffic, or avoid using cruise control on slippery highways, even if the doors didn’t tend to freeze shut. Though it certainly is pleasurable to drive RWD in winter if traffic is light.

    • 0 avatar
      Bp3dots

      Great points here, huge difference in the insurance cost, especially for younger people trying to get a fun car.

  • avatar
    Curt in WPG

    I’m against anything that means less choice for buyers. it’s bad enough that it’s almost impossible to find a vehicle that isn’t white, black, silver, tan, red or blue in primary shades. More choices is always better. If I was a young ‘un I’d have a coupe rather than a sedan any day, even if it was a non-sporty one. It]s bad enough that all cars look pretty much alike these days, very few models actually stand out from the crowd.

    My lawn, get off it…

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    My dad was in his late 30s when he bought an Acura Integra. When time came to replace that, he was in his early 50s, and he bought an Accord coupe. He spends 99.99% of his time just driving to/from work and golf. He needs a trunk to fit his clubs and space for a briefcase. He doesn’t care about cars aside from wanting something reliable and inexpensive to run, and he likes a sunroof.

    Given that fact pattern, why wouldn’t he buy something like an Accord coupe? No one was ever in the back of it in the 4 years he owned it. He doesn’t need a sedan. Plenty of people with grown kids or no kids or a spouse with a sedan/SUV don’t need a back seat but also don’t want a sports car and the sacrifices that it entails.

    All that said, dad traded his coupe for a CRV and has had 2-3 more since. So what do I know?

  • avatar
    MidLifeCelica

    How about getting rid of the rear seats in two-door coupes entirely? I would be forever grateful to lose them in favor of more (and more accessible) storage space. The hatch on my old Celica opened onto more volume than the trunk of an Impala with the seats down – many times I had to drive home in the Impala, and bring back the Celica in order to take home a flat screen TV, or a load of lumber. It was the car my wife and I took shopping to Maine, because she could bring back more stuff! My Genesis coupe, on the other hand, can barely fit one set of golf clubs, due to both the weird trunk opening and the tiny pass-through into the back seat area. I had heard many years ago that the seats were only there for insurance reasons – a 4-seat car was ‘tame’ or ‘safe’, but a 2-seater had to be some kind of dangerous race car prone to being driven into trees and bridges and so the rates were higher. If this is in fact still the case – WAKE UP, insurance companies!!

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The answer you seek is a hatchback with rear seats that fold down. Which is what the Genesis should have been, ala your Celica. Hatchbacks are WAY more practical. Its the main reason I got a Z instead of the G35 coupe. I knew that I would never use the rear seats (no kids) so I gained the extra space the hatch offers.

      I’m in favor of coupes, I’m SICK of these 4 door vehicles where the rear seats spend 90% of the time unused. If you do need extra seats how hard is it to slide the front seat out of the way?

      As a kid of the 80s coupes and hatchbacks where the way to go. Now all we have is sedans and SUVs. Its sad. Thus I’m glad Honda continues to offer coupes. The other day I was missing my Prelude and parked next to an Accord Coupe… then I though “ah you can still buy a Prelude, its just called an Accord Coupe now”. Hopefully more people feel that way and continue to buy coupes. BMW doesn’t seem to have a problem selling them.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        I am a little confused about the lack of an Accord hatchback. My dad had an ’87 Accord hatchback, the one with the flip-up lights. IIRC, those hatches were everywhere, nearly as popular as the sedan. Coupes were almost non-existant, all you saw were sedans and hatches. But then they kept the sedan and discountinued the hatch. The only thing I can think of is that it cost too much to build the hatches (hard to keep them rigid, for instance) and so they weren’t worth it. But it does seem like there was a huge market for them back then, and could still be again.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        The practical hatch is one way to go but who makes a reasonable RWD one? I owned an XR4Ti which was replaced by a Mustang hatchback. Of the two the XR was the better car space wise. The Mustang’s truck was not deep enough and even with the rear seats down did not offer much space for bulky items. The XR had rear seat bottoms the flipped up allowing a deep flat floor in the rear.

  • avatar
    CB1000R

    I just logged on to comment that I hate comment-bating article/blog posts driven by Vertical’s click/post mandates/quotas. And also to make another post. https://youtu.be/lNKEtXHyYVQ

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      There do seem to be a whole new slew of “QOTD” and ‘click-baity’ type articles since Derek’s departure, the sorts that basically goad readers into commenting. I can understand that, and if that’s what it takes to keep TTAC going then so be it.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Doug – I think market demand will determine the death of the non-sporty coupe and not an Internet comment section. Sure non-sporty coupes combine the mundane driving dynamics of FWD family sedans with all the packaging drawbacks of a sports car, but if people buy it for the looks then Honda will keep on making them.

    Also, this article is click-bait pure and simple. I usually like your stuff but this may be a sign that you’re spreading yourself a little too thin.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I miss the real FWD sports coupes, the Eclipse, Probe, Integra/RSX, 240sx, Celica. With the chassis’s and engines all the automakers have available, there could be some really hot sports coupes.

  • avatar

    Let’s not forget the recent demise of the Volkswagen Eos, and Buick’s plan to single-handedly control the FWD semi-premium cabriolet niche with the upcoming Cascada.

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    While it’s hard to argue that there is much of a remaining market for them, I love 2 door cars that still have functional rear seating. Another way of saying much the same thing is that I *hate* B-pillars blocking my view to the sides. Additionally, the wide door lets me easily stow my briefcase or a bag of groceries safely on the floor behind the driver’s seat without screwing with a second door. Also, in the case of small 4-doors, it’s often harder for passengers to get into the rear seats because they have to fold themselves just right to get through the small opening.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Side visibility is the biggest advantage. The other big advantage of a 2-door is the door armrest. For taller drivers – and even males of average height – the armrest is often too short in sedans to be usable, especially when manufacturers inexplicably cut the edge of the armrest off well before the edge of the door panel.

      There was a time I actually thought I’d never own a 4-door vehicle. But I’ve since decided that rear doors are more important than that extra side visibility. If I were taller and had less friends, I’d maybe still prefer a 2-door.

      • 0 avatar
        Occam

        Many cars (particularly Japanese) aren’t designed for long-legged drivers. The signs are all around

        – seat travel artificially limited,
        – seat bottom cushions shorter than a middle schooler’s attention span,
        – height adjustment that moves the seat forward as it rises
        – telescopic steering columns that adjust between normal and closer-to-the-dash, cramped floorpans (I’ve driven cars where the space between the floormat and the DBW control box on the throttle pedal didn’t allow my size 12-13 shoes to fit, forcing me to turn my foot at a 45 degree angle and push the pedal with my toe),
        – undersized dead-pedals,
        – seatbelt anchors that are too far forward and/or unadjustable, bulky steering columns with limited knee clearance
        – consoles that intrude into the right knee space

        European cars seem to be the best in this regard, even in smaller models, probably because they have to sell them to tall, strapping Scandinavians. If the designer is in a country where 5’10 is “tall,” they’re not even going to think about people who can see over bathroom stalls.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          Agreed on most points. Even my CR-V’s which had massive interior space (compared to any European car) suffered from several of these points. Luckily I’m ‘only’ 6 foot tall and have ‘normal’ length feet. My 2nd gen was capable enough (except for the short seat cushion), but my 3rd gen had little room for knees, and the steering wheel telescoped from ‘just within reach’ to ‘I’m actually leaning forward to reach it’…
          Apart from the seats and steering wheel you still need to go premium (or van) to get a roomier car here in Europe though.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      I agree 100 percent on this.

      – Armrest extends all the way back
      – B-pillar is further back
      – Seatbelt is firmly on my shoulder

      Some cars seem to solve this issue by simply restricting rearward seat travel, even when there’s ample space behind the rear seat; “Good job, Lou, problem solved” (The Honda Fit is the worst offender here – it has a cavernous rear seat, but the front seat stops well short of accommodating long-legged drivers).

      A four door makes sense in a car the size of the Accord (and larger). Once you get down to the a compact or subcompact, better to put two generously-sized doors instead of a four narrow portholes. There have been a few interesting compromises that allow rear seat access without resorting to the 3/4 sized front door – the Mini Clubman, Saturn Ion, Mazda RX-7 and Hyundai Veloster come to mind.

      I have a two-door with a generously sized rear seat – the funny thing – it’s JUST me commuting to work most of the time. We use my wife’s four-door as our family outing car (though both kids can easily ride in my car).

      The whole premise of this post is disappointing – It’s like saying “It’s time for supercab-short-bed pickups to end” because I don’t like them, or find them to be a functional compromise between a true five passenger + secure cargo area vehicle and a full size bed. The marketplace needs MORE variety, more niches, not less.

  • avatar
    Vojta Dobeš

    Non-sporty coupes need to COME BACK. We need Chrysler 300 Coupe – base it on Challenger, but throw away all the sportiness. Make it comfy and cushy.

    We need a Lincoln Mark X. It may be based on Mustang, but it should not be sporty in any way.

    And we need a coupe version of all the midsize and fullsize sedans on the market.

    The big, comfy coupe is my favorite body style. I hardly ever have any people in the back and having extra two doors feels like running around town in a suit, with a backpack.

    And BTW, there are more nonsporty coupes on the market. Like the Mercedes E-class. Things like E250 CDI are not even a bit sporty, and it’s really a sedan with one less pair of doors. And that’s great. I want more cars like that.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Preach it my friend! I agree 110%! I for one currently own a 2-door coupe (Acura RSX-S, some say it’s sport, some say not, I say I love it) even though I have a wife and daughter. Simply put, I will never own a 4-door car, and I will never own a hatchback. OK, my RSX is kindof a hatchback, it’s a liftback. So at least it doesn’t look like a hatchback.

  • avatar
    jmiller417

    I owned a 2004 Accord coupe for several years. The main benefit is that you don’t see your car everywhere like you do with the sedans. I rarely used the backseat, so that loss of practicality was very minor.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    “My theory is Honda has abandoned every other sporty car they’ve ever had – from the NSX and the S2000 on down to the CR-Z…”

    Never driven one myself, but I thought the CR-Z was derided for not being sporty (while also not being as efficient as other hybrids). Does it get counted as “sporty” here because it’s a dedicated coupe design, rather than a sedan-turned-two-door?

  • avatar
    Reino

    Doug, where do you draw the line, somewhere between the Civic coupe and the 428i? They’re not that far apart. Or does the 428i get a pass because it is RWD?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      He seems to draw the line at “sporty” vs. “non-sporty”. I would certainly consider the 428i to be just as sporty as a base Mustang or Camaro.

      I’m in the more choice is better than less choice camp, even if I think some of the choices make no sense (X6 anyone?). And I do think Doug has a point that it really makes no sense that Honda offers coupes but no hatches in the US market.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Since it’s a post about 2-door vs 4-door, the line should be drawn where a 2-door has a 4-door equivalent.

      The 428i could be had in 328i form. So, yeah, it’s in the same camp of the Civic.

      • 0 avatar

        I would disagree because the 428i is a luxury car, and it has a high take rate for a coupe variant. Most people would agree that coupes tend to be better-looking; the argument against them is primarily that they are impractical compared to their four-door counterparts. And that’s a major detractor at the price point at which the Civic . But once you start looking at luxury cars, practicality becomes less of an issue.

  • avatar
    George B

    Doug, the primary functional advantage of the coupe body style is that the long doors push the B-pillar back and out of your field of vision. Honda traditionally offers a relatively low cowl and belt line so a Honda in coupe body offers the driver a relatively unobstructed view of the road and surrounding countryside.

    The coupe body style is overrepresented in cars that escape the crusher. Two door cars survive long after the equivalent four door car has been converted into rebar and Chinese appliances.

    In my opinion, high insurance rates is what is killing the two door car. The penalty for the non-performance coupe isn’t too bad, but forget about buying a performance coupe until you’re middle aged. Vestigial rear seats also seem to help keep insurance rates lower than rates for true two seaters.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The problem isn’t these coupes. It’s that there are no Civic or Accord hatchbacks or wagons or Aerodecks or Caminos.

    MORE variants, not less.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    By Doug’s definition, isn’t the Cadillac CTS-V coupe non-sporty since it shares underpinnings with a sedan? ;)

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      …AND a station wagon?!?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Naw: “One is the sporty coupe. This is a car with sleek styling, and a cool interior, and a lot of power, and some modicum of performance suspension, or performance brakes, or something performancey, like a faux carbon fiber door panel.”

      The CTS-V has a lot of power, and performance-y parts.

      Opinions on the styling and interior vary, but I’m willing to say – and as a Cadillac not-fan – that it gets a pass on both.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I think the presence of the Accord coupe is due to “market concentration”. See, there ARE people out there like me who would rather walk/take the bus/use Uber than drive a 4-door car. I still prefer the stylish looks of a 2-door car, sporty or not. As the other coupes have died its pushed more and more of the market to the survivors.

    It’s like the Ford Crown Victoria. There are still people out there who prefer a good old fashioned US-style body-on-frame car with a V8. And as the sole seller of such a car, Ford was able to continue selling the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis for over a decade longer than it otherwise would have. I think the Accord coupe might have another 10 years left in it for just this reason.

    So in short, the day I can’t buy a 2-door coupe that can fit my family comfortably is going to be the day that I either buy a Chevrolet Spark or Mitsubishi Mirage or sign up for Uber. Because I am not paying a penny more than I have to for some worthless 4-door hatchback.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      “So in short, the day I can’t buy a 2-door coupe that can fit my family comfortably is going to be the day that I either buy a Chevrolet Spark or Mitsubishi Mirage or sign up for Uber. Because I am not paying a penny more than I have to for some worthless 4-door hatchback.”

      This. There’s no reason to pay big money for any vehicle that fundamentally displeases you. I’m in the market for a car right now and I despair at the relative sameness of the vehicles being offered. Thank God there are a few two-door coupes left. But if I can’t find what I want, I’ll just hold off buying completely and pick up a Hyundai Accent hatch or Kia Soul when I finally have to make a purchase. Come to think of it, at age 58, would I look ridiculous in a Veloster?

      • 0 avatar
        otaku

        Hey don’t sell yourself short. ANYBODY, regardless of age, would look ridiculous in a Veloster.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Personally, I think the Veloster is an ingenious design. The driver’s side is a sporty, two-door look while the passenger’s side still offers access for rear seat occupancy. It looks weird, yes. But it’s highly functional.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Seriously? If you had to choose between driving an E39 M5 and taking the bus, you’d take the bus?

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        Well, yes, but I don’t have to make that choice do I? There are still plenty of E46 coupes around in decent shape.

        What raises my hackles are opinions like these. “This choice is stupid and I hope it goes away taking away your choice”. I for one would rather see every stupid niche filled as much as possible. I know going forward that 2-doors are an unpopular choice and as such I will have to pay for it. For example, the Toyota Solara/Camry Coupe is dead. But Toyota would be happy to sell me a Lexus RC350 for $43k instead. And I am happy for that. I want something that doesn’t jive with current trends, I get to pay for that. I just don’t want to be told “No! Buying a coupe is stupid, wouldn’t you rather have this hatchback instead?” No, I don’t want the hatchback.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      The LTD Crown Victoria also came as a 2 door, until 87 I think.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Well Douglas, in the attempt to oversimplify to appeal to the Yahoo Autos reader, you forgot entirely the third type of coupe, which is the large non-sporting high luxury grand tourer. Entrants here include:

    S-Class Coupe (Nee CL)
    E-Class Coupe (credit: DevilsRotary)
    SL (you may strike this if you wish as it’s convertible)
    Aston Martins (non-sporting variety)
    Bentley coupes
    Rolls-Royce coupes
    Regular 6-Series
    Regular A5

    So these must all die as well, since they are non-sporting. Eh?

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Don’t forget the E-class coupe!

      Seriously, these cars in the used market might be my only hope of avoiding self-exile to a Chevrolet Spark in the distant future.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Added, with credit! My brain always goes straight to the CLK, then I remember they don’t make that any more – and I don’t ever link it to the E-Coupe replacement.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          This is why I love Mercedes-Benz. They don’t tell the customer ‘no’.

          You want a non-sporty coupe? You want a good old fashioned “personal luxury car” in the same line as the Continental Mark IV’s of yore? Well, we have 2 options at different price points! The E-coupe and the S-coupe.

          You want a station wagon? We have one!

          Want an SUV? Plenty of ’em

          Oh, you don’t like those because they are really wimpy CUV’s and you want an old-fashioned truck-like SUV? May I show you the G550?

          Want a stick shift? Well, we have one left in the SLK!

          Mercedes-Benz. You may not like the price they quote but they won’t tell you ‘no’!

    • 0 avatar
      Mike N.

      There’s no E63 coupe because MB never engineered the design for it.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2013/05/29/exec-admits-benz-should-have-created-an-e63-amg-coupe/

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      The SL has pretensions of sportiness, and plenty of power, so it fits his definition of “sporty”.

      The Astons and Bentleys and such don’t matter because nobody actually buys one; they’re rounding error.

      (And the E400 Coupe has a trifle more power than the V6 Mustang … which would make it “performance” by his standard.

      In fact, the only non-sport car by the Mustang bar that I can see there is the wampy base A5.)

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Anything that can accelerate while sideways is sporty enough for this exercise. The A5 qualifies in northern climates because it’s plenty sporty in the winter with the right tires.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Just for laughs, I wonder which one is used less: the back seat of coupes or the bed of the vast majority of trucks on the road today? Essentially, a truck (either single cab or extended cab) is a coupe with a big open trunk.

    • 0 avatar
      Andy

      A small pickup is one of the cheapest ways to get RWD… That doesn’t make it sporty, but it does let you do some fun shit now and then.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Yeah, Andy. But you can’t get a small pickup either. What happened to the idea of choice?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I’ve always said base regular cab, smaller pickups are a kick to drive. Especially when stick shift. Terrific value too.

        Beats any small fwd any day. When they’re gone, folks will realize they were highly useful and 2-seater RWD Runabouts they missed out on. I didn’t.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          On the other hand, my old Toyota lost traction every time I turned while accelerating if the road was the slightest bit damp or there was anything at all on it.

          RWD + Nothing in the bed = Not actually very good, I found.

          (My F250 doesn’t have that problem, because even empty it weighs about ten billion tons.)

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          +1 Denver Mike. My 2003 Ford Ranger: standard cab, standard bed, four-cylinder, manual transmission and two-wheel drive. Only the XLT package to add carpeting, nicer seats, power windows and a sliding rear window. 25mpg in town, 27-28 average, 30-33 on the highway.

          No problem driving on snow-covered or even icy roads in winter with the OEM Continental all-season tires. But when the time came to replace it, Ford could only offer me an F-150. Result: No sale.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            +1 though Ranger has rubber floor covering and crank windows (I do have cruise tilt and ac)

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I notice. The back seats of any car type, are hardly ever used. I notice because of the endless complaints of pickup beds hardly ever used. Same difference. But this morning I was at The Home Depot picking up a box of screws in my empty F-150 when I noticed the “cull” pile had 35 slightly bowed 12ft 2X4s at 70% OFF! SCORE!!!

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      I have had a Nissan Hardbody, Montecarlo, RSX, Accord and the best part of owning a 2 door is that you never get asked to drive everyone around. I would never have to be the designated driver when I go play golf with my buddies. One of them with a minivan or suv would always have to drive while the rest of us can pound beer all day and get a comfy ride home.

      Also it makes it clear to women with kinds to move along…. Those won’t really fit my life style or in my car. I did get a highlander limited this winter but that is more because I can drive it for 2-3 years and sell it for what I paid.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    It’s time for Honda to offer a V6 +6mt as an LX sedan, with apropriate suspension upgrades. But that’ll never
    happen because then Honda won’t get the ridiculous markups associated
    with the EXL trims.

  • avatar
    Andy

    This is a little harsh. I’d love to have an Accord coupe as a daily commuter. When you’re over 6′, long coupe doors mean you look over and see window rather than door frame. If you need the back seat of your Accord about as much as that lady needs the third row in her Tahoe, you might as well get the coupe.

  • avatar
    Tonto

    coupe gives you two large full-size doors – win, also the body’s more rigid without the two back doors. Also you have a kid, s/he won’t play with back door handles won’t fall out of moving car either.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    Late ’90s

    Me – VW Golf?
    Ex – Honda Accord
    Me – Mustang?
    Ex – Honda Accord
    Me – Integra?
    Ex – Honda Accord
    Me – 2 door 3 pedal Accord.

    I have to give it to Honda, the late ’90’s Accord coupe still looks sharp to me, and not just by Honda standards. Though it wasn’t going to break any records, the third pedal (only offered with the 4 cylinder) offered the illusion of performance and with quick responses it was often possible to be a surprise.

    The funny part, during the divorce negotiations Ex tried to use the car as an example of me as frivolous and financially irresponsible. “Well, you’re the one who had to go and buy a sports car” – to which my baffled response of, “A Honda Accord?” left her looking deeply foolish. Ha!

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    here’s a monkey tossing in a wrench:

    by the above argument (which I kinda largely agree with), the Audi S5 is a superfluous 2 door version of the S4 and should likewise be discontinued. From a similar logic perspective, the differences between the Accord Coupe and the Accord Sedan are on par with the S4/S5, and you could extend this logic to BMW and VW’s GTI 2 door variant, as well.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    I want to agree with Doug, but taking away product choices seems unfair. Instead, we can just make fun of the people who buy them.

  • avatar
    Pebble

    What we need instead is proper 2-door full-size sedans, like a 2-door Olds 98 or Crown Vic.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Day by day, I see America eroding. The non-sporty coupe was a staple in the ’70s with the Regal, Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Cutlass Supreme, Cordoba, Charger, Magnum, Thunderbird, LTD II Brougham, Elite, and Cougar. Then this segment morphed into the secretary sports car like the ’90s Cougar, Solara, etc. Now, everyone is driving these boxy upright CUV things.

  • avatar

    Doug,

    I agree with you. kill the non-sporty coupe, but just as long as they bring back the personal luxury coupe, starting with RWD, V8-powered Lincolns and Cadillacs, then a 300C-sized Hemi 2-door barge, preferrably with a Lancia badge.

  • avatar
    IllTakeAn8WithThatV

    Two other non-sporty coupe still in existence are the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte Coupes, playing to exactly the same market – in fact, probably directly copying – the Civic Coupe.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I like sedans.

    For someone that isn’t a livery driver, I carry 3-4 adult passengers surprisingly often. On the other hand, it is extremely rare for me to carry something that doesn’t fit in my trunk and I don’t like to hear zippers, plastic, and containers rattling around so I’m not really interested in a hatch or wagon.

    It works for me, but a 2-door or wagon or SUV are better for people in other situations.

  • avatar
    SteveMar

    This whole thread and post is interesting to me for a number of reasons. First, I grew up sitting in the back seat of my parents’ 1972 Chevy Malibu coupe. It was just what Doug described — a non sporty coupe — it had a 4 barrel 350 V8 and snarled sort of — but a Camaro it wasn’t. My folks got it because it was big enough to fit kids in the back. And the kids couldn’t up and decide to bail by walking out one of their own doors.

    I know times have changed and, as my teenage sons climb into our minivan, they can’t believe that a family of four actually used a coupe as a family car. This wasn’t a strange thing in the 70’s, but our collective tastes and space expectations have changed.

    So, I also now drive a 1982 Honda Prelude as my summer classic driver — yes, another “non-sporty coupe”. This generation has all but disappeared and performs no differently from the Civics and Accords that sat next to it in the showroom, but, to my then teenage eyes, it had “style”. It is also the car that the Accord Coupe killed off in the late 90’s/early 00’s. There were loads of these types of cars back then – Japanese, European and American. 200SXs, Celicas, Sciroccos, Regals (and bretheren), Thunderbirds (and bretheren) — all gone.

    Frankly, I like driving my little Prelude because it harkens back to a different era of design and driving — when having a little style with your drive was what people wanted. Sure, a higher performance coupe brings all kinds of fun — and higher insurance premiums too. But it was an almost romantic sense of driving and style that motivated the coupe era that has all but ended. We don’t live in a particularly romantic time about driving — it’s all utility and function and, for some, eco awareness. Me — I’m driving my little Prelude with it’s ridiculously small back seat and huge honkin’ sunroof and thinking about taking as fast or as slow as I’d like.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    The first thing is to recognize that the word ‘sporty,’ as used by US car marketers, means a car that they’ve tried to make look fast, but isn’t.

    Porsches aren’t sporty. My old E36 M3 isn’t sporty. Sporty is to performance what bar girls of Tijuana are to, oh, Scarlett Johansson.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      Yeah, a disconnect on the use of “sporty”.

      My definition is just that, mine. To me “sporty” are those cars that have a sport appearance, but lack the performace, suspension, and capability of a true sports car, so similar to yours. Such as 911s and your e36 M3 are sports cars.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>Porsches aren’t sporty. My old E36 M3 isn’t sporty. Sporty is to performance what bar girls of Tijuana are to, oh, Scarlett Johansson.<<

      Older Porsches (some) can have their doors blown off by a 2013+ Accord V6 on the street and track. And a Civic Si can certainly do the same w/ a 914 or 924.

      The 924 had its slow-ass engine, a 2.0-liter four that put out a miserable 95 horsepower in U.S. form. That got better w/ the 924 Turbo and later, the 924S, which got the 2.5-liter four from its big brother the 944 and put out a more respectable 150 horsepower, later boosted to 160.

      btw, SJ, even w/ the nose job isn't that great a looker, altho I like her.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        Apples to Apples please.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Reading comprehension please. The statement was wrong. The fact is that some Porsches would be flattered to be called sporty. Especially those that do 0-60 in close to 14 seconds.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Straight line speed has never been a requirement for a sports car. There have always been boring family cars with big engines that would blow away many a sports car – in a straight line.

            A V6 Accord actually doesn’t fall all over itself in a corner, but that is an aberration historically.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    Ford offered a Model N Runabout in 1906. A “coupe” version of the sedan.

  • avatar
    probert

    Coupes have traditionally been sedans with 2 doors. What’s the beef.

    Another Honda tradition is sleepers: My guess is that either Honda is more fun to drive than the Mustang, and to classify a 911 as a coupe – rather than a sadly bloated shadow of its former self – is stretching things a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      Some coupes have been 2 door versions of a sedan, but plenty have not.

      A Honda more fun than a Mustang? Are you serious? I haven’t even driven the new Mustang, but I have driven recent Honda’s and that is a stretch at best.

      Of couse the 911 is a coupe. It fits all the classic definitions. Just because it’s grown, does not mean it’s no longer a coupe. You might argue it’s a GT car now, but it’s still a coupe.

  • avatar
    JimothyLite

    I was confused about the difference, so I looked them up:

    coupe: a four-wheeled closed horse-drawn carriage for two persons inside with an outside seat for the driver in front

    sedan: a portable often covered chair that is designed to carry on person and that is borne on poles by two people

    I’m beginning to see Doug’s point now.

  • avatar
    Occam

    I never thought I’d see the day that TTAC would have a blog post complaining that there’s too much variety and choice in the market. Crazy!

    Let’s try this with a few other niche choices:

    “So I guess the simple truth here is that Honda is going to continue to make these things as long as people keep buying them. But as the market shrinks, and as people realize they’d really rather have an AUTOMATIC, and as the tens of buyers disaffected by the cancellation of the MANUAL move on to something else, I hope Honda wises up and gives us DSG’s instead. Because the days of the MANUAL TRANSMISSION are coming to an end.”

    “So I guess the simple truth here is that VOLKSWAGEN is going to continue to make these things as long as people keep buying them. But as the market shrinks, and as people realize they’d really rather have a HYBRID, and as the tens of buyers disaffected by the cancellation of the TDI move on to something else, I hope VOLKSWAGEN wises up and gives us HYBRIDS instead. Because the days of the DIESEL CAR are coming to an end.”

    “So I guess the simple truth here is that FIAT-CHRYSLER is going to continue to make these things as long as people keep buying them. But as the market shrinks, and as people realize they’d really rather have a CUTE UTE, and as the tens of buyers disaffected by the cancellation of the WRANGLER move on to something else, I hope FIAT-CHRYSLER wises up and gives us A NEW COMPASS instead. Because the days of the OFFROAD 4X$ are coming to an end.”

    “So I guess the simple truth here is that VOLKSWAGEN is going to continue to make these things as long as people keep buying them. But as the market shrinks, and as people realize they’d really rather have a CROSSOVER, and as the tens of buyers disaffected by the cancellation of the JETTA SPORTWAGEN move on to something else, I hope VOLKSWAGEN wises up and gives us A NEW GOLF-BASED CROSSOVER instead. Because the days of the WAGON are coming to an end.”

    “So I guess the simple truth here is that TOYOTA is going to continue to make these things as long as people keep buying them. But as the market shrinks, and as people realize they’d really rather have a FULL SIZE, and as the tens of buyers disaffected by the cancellation of the TACOMA move on to something else, I hope VOLKSWAGEN wises up and gives us A NEW TUNDRA instead. Because the days of the COMPACT PICKUP are coming to an end.”

    And from a decade ago…

    “So I guess the simple truth here is that FORD is going to continue to make these things as long as people keep buying them. But as the market shrinks, and as people realize they’d really rather have a ANYTHING ELSE, and as the tens of buyers disaffected by the cancellation of the PANTHER move on to something else, I hope FORD wises up and gives us NEW TAURUS instead. Because the days of the BODY ON FRAME RWD SEDAN are coming to an end.”

  • avatar

    Here’s a gauntlet throwdown for Doug:

    Pick any track east of the Missisisippi. I will show up with a V6 Accord coupe. You show up with a BRZ or V6 Mustang/Camaro. I will challenge you to a time trial.

    Game?

  • avatar
    fincar1

    If you are driving a coupe you can drive around with the window down and because of the longer doors (thus longer window) the wind won’t tear your left ear off. I realize that this doesn’t matter to those who drive with all the windows up all the time, but I thought I’d mention it.

  • avatar
    r129

    Even though I’m not a huge Honda fan, they have earned my respect by not abandoning my favorite segment of the market, the non-sporty coupe. I have owned a number of them over the years, almost owned others, and hope to own many more. First, and most importantly, I like the way coupes look. The styling of a sedan will just never speak to me in the same way. I like that not everyone else is driving around with the same car. I like the statement that they make about their owner, that they were willing to give up the practicality of four doors just for the sake of style. As my grandmother says, “Nobody has any business riding in my back seat anyway!”

    I like the larger door opening, which makes it easier to get in and out (well, except for tight parking spaces), and makes it easy to throw things into the back seat. For taller people who drive with the seat all the way back, they don’t have to deal with a pillar at the side of their head, or trying to exit through a tiny opening in front of their seat.

    If anything, we need more of these beautiful vehicles to choose from, not fewer! The problem is, today’s typical car buyer just isn’t willing to give up practicality like they were in the past. Or maybe, it’s just that the definition of style has changed. Kids these days just don’t lust after sporty (or non-sporty) coupes like they once did, back when a young person wouldn’t want to be caught dead driving a sedan. No, they would rather drive a CUV.

  • avatar
    SCfanboy

    Doug, are you intentionally trolling the B&B or is this just aimed at JB?

  • avatar
    Acd

    I think Doug has officially run out of story ideas.

    Maybe people buy Accord coupes because they like them and really don’t care about practicality. Maybe they don’t use the back seat regularly so that form of practicality isn’t relevant to them. Maybe they just like the way it looks and it fits in their budget. Who knows? Who cares? If Honda can profitably build coupes when other manufacturers choose not to then more power to them–choice is good.

    Let’s hope someone talks Doug out of posting an argument against blue cars before its too late.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    For me, I’d prefer to match the number of doors with the number of seats. i.e.: If there is a back seat there should be 4 doors. If there is no back seat, there should be 2 doors. Additionally, if there is no back seat the front doors should be small front doors. My Cayman is slightly annoying because it has no back seat but still has huge front doors borrowed from the 911.

    Back in the BMW M3 E36 days, I believe that 4-door version was considered to handle better because it was slightly stiffer due to the center post. But those people soon gave up on the M3 entirely when BMW shipped an M5 station wagon (with better weight distribution!).

  • avatar
    210delray

    I want to see Baruth and DeMuro go at it mano a mano.

  • avatar
    Internet Commenter

    Doug,

    I like you as an internet persona. However, this is a garbage, click-bait post, irrespective of the number of comments it generates. Weak premise. Weak conclusion. You know it’s the truth.

    Generally, I find entertainment in your schtick, but if you truly seek to leverage your departure from Porsche NA and eventually attain respect as more than a blogger, you must avoid the temptation of click-bait b.s. It degrades everyone.

    Surely you know that any going concern will offer a product/service that provides a viable business case. Whether the product is tobacco, an Accord coupe, or a BMW X4 xDrive 35i, businesses will cater to market demands. Legalized profit will supercede all others considerations.

    Again, I generally like your perspective and I hope you’re still a presence in the automotive journalistic sphere in another year. However, this millennial perspective, albeit amusing, must mature and become more than a mere window into your stream of consciousness if you seek credibility.

    Please do better.

  • avatar
    Pat D

    I owned the original 1977 Honda Accord hatchback. Great car for its time. Subsequently, I’ve leased dozens of Accords. Sometimes four-doors and sometimes two-doors when the four-door looked too dowdy.Unfortunately, they never made their coupes into hatchbacks.

    After my last Accord suffered clutch failure in game traffic with 900 miles on the clock, I switched brands. Got a VW Beetle turbo. So much more fun to drive. Handles much better and the low-end turbo torque is awesome. Plus it has hatchback practicality. I’d score it as a semi-sporty coupe.

  • avatar
    Baldpeak

    I don’t like this sort of coupe either, but I’m not so sure I agree with the premise here. I mean, “they’re really just less practical versions of the sedans” is something you could say about just about any coupe that has a similar sedan. But stylistically, they look very different. And a coupe has always been primarily about the style. There is a certain performance benefit from simply deleting two doors, of course, but it’s pretty small. If a coupe is so small that there isn’t even room for another set of doors, then OK that’s a purpose-built sporty (tempted to say ‘sports’) car. But otherwise, I would say it’s primarily about the style. If it’s not a sports car, and it’s got 2 doors, it’s a style-focused car.

  • avatar
    vb9594

    I own a ’13 Accord Coupe, and I have two sons ages 11 and 14. I bought the Accord Coupe because:

    1. I wanted a V6 with a stick, and the Accord Coupe V6 6MT is an outrageously good combo. Sedate when you need it to be, but will go like hell when needed. C&D flogged one to 5.5 seconds 0 to 60.

    2. Very roomy cockpit. Even the backseat is pretty roomy for my two dudes.

    3. Looks great.

    4. I wanted a Mustang, but the backseat is just too small.

    5. Reliability.

    6. Very good fuel economy. Have seen 33 mpg on longish highway trips.

    If the Accord Coupe was RWD it would literally be the perfect car. I also own a Miata. I am under no delusion that the Accord coupe is a sports car. It isn’t. It’s not even close. It’s a highly refined “sporty car” that can be bought for a reasonable price, provide a lot of fun and reliable service, and hold onto its value. And…when I picked it up from the dealership and drove it home, my younger son’s best friend exclaimed to him “Your Dad’s new car is SICK!”

  • avatar
    cowboysanchez

    GM did the wise thing with the current Camaro and kill off the in house competition. No doubt the Cavalier Z24, Monte Carlo and Beretta cannibalised sales of the dedicated Camaro. I liked the styling of the Corsica and later Lumina though, too many sedans look like coupe versions of minivans these days.

  • avatar
    rhduff

    Hey Doug, you’re wrong, wrong, wrong on this. Why do I drive a 2013 Accord coupe I-4 6MT? Because several years ago, small, sporty front-drive coupes stopped being a thing, and Honda dumped the Prelude. This is as close as I can get to that, except for the Civic Si which isn’t nearly as nice inside as the Accord. If Honda or some of the other auto makers decided to bring back cars like the Prelude, I’d be there in a heartbeat. I will NOT drive a CUV, SUV or some other type of Frankenstein creation that sucks the life and joy out of driving.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    I half agree except when it comes to the Accord coupe. Even the years I didn’t like it’s style, the coupe looked better. Take the ’08 Accord iteration. Dopey taillights, a grill from a parts box (the Odyssey and Crosstour looked MUCH better), but the coupe minimized both flaws. It’s the only coupe of it’s kind I’d consider.

  • avatar

    In Hell, my driveway has a Camry Solara.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    People are such fat slobs that they can’t get out of a two door from the back seat these days? Pathetic.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    The Accord V-6 Coupe is the spiritual successor to the late 60s Buick Riviera, early 70s BMW CS, and late 80s Lincoln MkVII LSC: the old man’s Mustang (OMM)! A classy body built around two bolstered leather thrones, a powertrain as buttery as the Land O Lakes aisle, 50%+ more power than “necessary”, and a moderately firm yet supple suspension–sheer motoring magnificence. My dad owned all three of the aforementioned OMMs, and I’ve passed enough blissful miles behind the clutch pedal of my friend’s Accord V-6 coupe to dub it an OMM too. If not for the fact that a 2-door coupe is impractical as it is pretty (WHERE DO I PUT MY DOG?), I’d probably own one now.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Why would we end something that offers automotive styling choices? These coupes are often a first car for someone who doesn’t want the stodgy image of a sedan.

  • avatar
    grayj252

    I have driven nothing but Accord coupes since 1979. A 79 5-sp, an 88 5-spd, an 01 6-cyl auto and a recently-acquired 2015 6-cyl auto. I consider it the perfect car. To each his own.

    My wife drives a 2015 CRV and also around is a 2001 Nissan Frontier, 5-spd.

  • avatar
    grayj252

    During the same time-frame, my wife has driven the ‘family’ cars: A 77 Granada, an 82 Volvo, an 88 Acura Legend, a 94 Legend, an 01 RL, a 06 MDX and her current CRV.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Surprise, there is that thing called styling and driving fun. The only reason I have a sedan is because that is all Chevy makes with a back seat and roomy trunk. If a Monte Carlo were still offered that is what I would be driving today. And that would also go for several car enthusiast friends of mine. Hatchbacks don’t sell because they are frumpy and ugly(Crosstour anybody) and CUV’s and SUV’s have basically replaced them. Driving a CUV or SUV basically sucks the life and fun out of driving and I’m single so have no kids to tote around and never go with the latest fads.

    You also forgot about Hyundai which offers an Elantra coupe and Kia which has the Koup which are coupe versions of there sedan counterparts.

  • avatar
    bugo

    I much prefer coupes to sedans. I exclusively owned 2 door cars (and a Ford pickup truck which was also a 2 door plus a Ford Probe that was technically a hatchback but had the look of a coupe) until about a month ago when I got a wagon. There are several advantages that coupes have over boring old sedans. They usually look better. In 98% of cars that are built in both coupe and sedan form the coupe is more attractive. A two door is more graceful and less cluttered looking than a four door. They are better proportioned with the longer doors and shorter back windows. They also don’t have ugly back door handles and all the seams around the back door. There is a clean unbroken line from behind the door to the end of the car that is very pleasing to the eye. This is especially noticeable on old full sized 2 door cars from the ’60s. If you have kids of a certain age, a coupe is more secure because there are no rear doors for children to open. If you never carry more than one passenger, there’s no reason to have back doors. The back seat of a coupe is more secure for carrying cargo than the back seat of a sedan. It might be harder to load, but there is no chance of cargo falling out the rear doors when they are opened. Hijackers cannot enter the car through the rear door and hold a gun to the driver’s head. It is easier for taller drivers to enter and exit the car due to the longer doors. The B pillar is behind the head rather than right next to it improving visibility. If you’re sitting in the back seat and it is crowded, it is a lot less unnerving to rest your back/shoulders against the side of the car rather than a door that can potentially open. Sure, there are advantages to 4 doors, but don’t try to claim that 2 doors don’t have advantages of their own. I wish somebody made a good honest two door sedan these days. A 2 door sedan usually has better rear headroom than a coupe and has all the advantages of a coupe. A 2 door sedan is the ideal car for a single person who rarely carries more than one passenger but can carry two to three more in a pinch. I don’t mind 4 doors on a wagon but I don’t need a 4 door sedan and don’t see myself ever buying one unless circumstances change even if that means I have to drive older cars for the rest of my life. Back in the golden age of American cars two door hardtops and two door posts often outsold the four door versions. 2 door classic cars are far more sought after than the 4 door version. When is the last time you saw a ’70 Chevelle hardtop sedan at a car show? When was the last time you saw a ’68-’72 Chevelle hardtop sedan period? When you think of a classic ’57 Chevy, you automatically think of the two door hardtop, although sedans of that era were almost as attractive as the coupes in many instances. If 2 doors were good enough back then, then why aren’t they good enough now?

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    I’d go further. If a car comes in a four door platform, you take off two doors and then add performance tweaks that could have been added to the four door – that is just wasting time. E.g. the 4 series and, well, most coupes on the road.

    There is nothing that sporty about them. They are sedans with inconvenient doors.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Americans will not buy wagons for this reason: Boomers were schlepped around in wagons as kids, and many of us swore we would NEVER own a wagon for that reason. As a driver with over 43 years of car-buying experience, I have owned EVERY body style of vehicle…EXCEPT a wagon. And I have a large number of friends around my same age and older who refuse to buy wagons.


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