By on August 27, 2015

accordcoupe1

If my personal relationship with Honda had a Facebook status, that status would be the one so beloved of mistresses, side pieces, and FWBs — namely, “It’s Complicated”. A decade ago, I took a gig reverse-engineering a piece of production-line equipment for them. I had never owned a Honda automobile at the time and I’d long since sold my first CB550. The car I drove to work at Honda was a black Volkswagen Phaeton.

Fast-forward to 2015. It’s been some time since I took the King’s shilling, so to speak, and the balance of payments between me and Ohio’s finest automaker is very far in my personal favor. But as I write this, I am the owner of four Hondas. And I’d buy another one, if they’d just quit screwing with me about the details.


Long-time TTAC readers know about my Accord V6 6MT Coupe. You’ve heard about its stout-hearted engine and its rounded-off front tires and its paper-thin OEM floormats. And if you’ve been on the site for a while, you might know about Kellee, the CB550 that I bought in 2012 and put back on the road in 2015 with help from my friend Josh.

But I’m also the owner of two more Hondas: a VFR800 25th Anniversary and, as of about forty-five days ago, a new CB1100 “standard”. As a result of that and my decision to sell my 944 at the beginning of the year, the scoreboard in my garage that used to read “Porsche 3: Honda 1” now reads “Porsche 2: Honda 4”. I’d like to tell you all about the CB1100, from the 527-mile ride that I took on it the day I bought it, to the way it flat fucking leaps from a low-rev roll, to what it is like to have a beautiful woman on it sitting behind you with her arms around you and her eyes closed in blissful repose — but this is The Truth About Cars, not The Romantic Discussion Of Unfaired Motorcyles And Pretty Girls And Riding Around Downtown Columbus With No Helmet While Pretending To Be David Lee Roth At 1:34 In The “Panama” Video, so we’ll save that for another time.

Let’s talk, instead, about my Accord. I’m reliably informed by this very website that “non-sporty coupes” are on the way out. I’m also pretty sure that this is the last generation of Accord that will offer a V6. It’s certainly the last generation of Accord that will offer the combination of a manual transmission and that bad-ass J35Y2 straight out of Anna, Ohio where you can smell the metal in the air when you get off the freeway and the Subway is basically the local fine-dining restaurant and the nineteen-year-olds come out in the afternoon with smudges on their perfect cheekbones, laughing in the sun and engaged in their private conversations while you lean against your Phaeton in a white shirt with someone else’s name sewn above the pocket.

For that reason, I’ve considered selling my 2014 Accord, which is about to reach the 24,000-mile mark, and buying the 2016 Accord to replace it. Objectively this makes no sense; the 2016 Accord differs from the 2014 Accord in visual particulars and an upgrade to the in-car electronics. But you have to look at it like this: If there are no more Accord V-6 coupes, ever again, then it’s best to have the newest and freshest one possible. Buying a new Accord means that I will be able to drive this kind of car two years or 24,000 miles longer before giving up and setting my future fifty-something self into whatever bullshit bug-eyed, phone-booth-esque, CVT-shifted, turbo-three-cylinder crossover turns out to be the final and solitary result of the current automotive market’s quantum possibility collapse.

I have at least eighteen months to make this decision, since I figure that the 2017 model year will be identical to the 2016 and Honda’s unlikely to can the six-speed halfway through 2016. At worst they’ll pare-down the lineup in 2017 to make room for the inevitable Accord SE and I’ll scramble for a remaining 2016 model. But which model would that be? And therein lies the annoyance.

Believe me, I truly appreciate Honda’s steadfast commitment to making the manual transmission available. It’s why I’m driving an Accord instead of a Camry XSE V6. But the manual V6 coupe is the stepchild of the line. In 2014, it was available in just three colors, two of which (“Modern Steel” and Black) are not colors so much as they are the absence, or totality, of color. In 2015, Honda threw a really nice white pearl with an ivory interior into the mix, too late for me to make that choice.

The company has also failed to make its top-of-the-line “Touring” model available as a coupe here in the United States. (Elsewhere, there are apparently four-cylinder and six-cylinder Touring Coupes). That means that if you want LED headlamps in your Accord you have to get a sedan. For 2016, however, there’s a Touring Coupe for the United States. It has LED headlamps. Woo hoo! And nineteen-inch wheels. That’s probably an ugh!, given what heavier wheels do to light-footed cars like the current Accord.

When I heard that there was going to be a Touring-trim V6 coupe, I figured that was pretty much the tipping point for swapping my car out. I didn’t have an invite to the press event, so I had to wait until the information on trim and equipment became common knowledge. This morning, Honda emailed me an invitation to look at the 2016 Accord configurator. Sure enough, there’s a Touring coupe. It’s available in seven colors, including the fascinating-looking Opal Blue Pearl. And…

…it’s automatic-only. If I want a manual, I’m stuck with the same model (EX-L V6) that I have currently. And, unless I want to drive a bright-blue Accord coupe, which I don’t, I’m stuck with the same choices of red, black, and grey from 2014. At least the price didn’t go up too much and the i-MID display is multi-color now.

You know, I keep thinking that at some point, someone at Honda is going to get it. They’re going to realize that the high-end V-6 Accords are basically the Yukon Denalis to the Acura TLX’s Escalade, attracting a more favorable demographic of wealthier, more settled and brand-loyal customers than the pimped-out version across the street. And when they realize that, they’re going to do something like offer a fully-loaded V6 manual coupe, and a fully-loaded V6 manual sedan, and they are going to capture the business of people who would otherwise drop $60,000 on a loaded-up S5 or 335i coupe. Don’t laugh; there are a lot of Accords next to BMWs in the garages of the midwest.

On the other hand, maybe I should be grateful for Honda’s less-than-perfect marketing. If their marketing team were as efficient as, say, Porsche’s, then I’d be able to get any color I wanted for my Accord. But I’d probably be stuck with an automatic no matter what color I got, the same way buyers of the current 911 Turbo and 911 GT3 are assumed to be incapable of using a clutch. And I’d still be stuck with a manual day/night mirror unless I wanted to pay $1,195 for a Porsche Doppel-Mirror-System option package that made it impossible to have another option that would be similarly overpriced but also desirable, like Carbon Fiber Temperature Display Surround Variant Three. And at some point, I’d probably have to take my Accord in for an engine replacement, instead of the transmission replacement that the slush-shifted V6 Hondas used to get.

Maybe Honda will throw another color in the hopper for 2017. If you’re listening, oh sacred marketing people of Torrance, where the sun always shines and no manufacturing takes place, then perhaps you’ll hear my plea. How about… lime green?

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136 Comments on “Don’t Do Me Like That, Honda!...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    The sooner we manual loving car drivers throw in the towel and just give up the better it will probably be for us. The heartbreak and anguish of not being able to get the car/color/options you want will be gone. Accept the automatic and you too can choose from a cornucopia of options. The future is good. I welcome my automatic overlords.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    “There are a lot of Accords next to BMWs in the garages…”

    Yes, Indeed.

    335i N55 M-Sport

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Indeed. I have an Accord Sport 6-speed next to E36 M3. I’d like a V-6 manual but also like the fact that my car weighs under 3300 pounds and still hits 60 in under 7 seconds.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>like the fact that my car weighs under 3300 pounds and still hits 60 in under 7 seconds.<<

        And w/ the manual 4 in "eco" mode you can get over 40mpg on the highway if you choose.

        I recently read an article which stated that epa testing understates mpg delivered by manual trans by @17% in real life. The article also stated that turboed engines benefit in epa cycle by at least a similar amount.

        What's nice about the Honda 4 is that it actually sounds good as the revs rise.

        • 0 avatar
          Funky

          >>I recently read an article which stated that epa testing understates mpg delivered by manual trans by @17% in real life. <<

          I suspected this is true based on my real life experience. Would you happen to recall where you found the article?

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I’d either stick with whatcha got and not go through new car depreciation again, or get a new Mustang GT with the tech package and a 6 speed. Now that it has chassis sophistication to match Honda, unlike in 2012, you can lament the demise of the FWD V6 in a proper RWD V8 machine.

    • 0 avatar
      Shawnski

      V6 Mustang 6M with a good chassis, brakes, and drivetrain for roughly what an Accord 4cyl Coupe costs? Am I missing something here? Or a well equipped base GT 5.0 6M for about what an Accord V6 costs?

      There should be rejoicing, not crying about the loss of manually shifting a really nice car your sis would drive.

  • avatar
    ant

    “I’m also pretty sure that this is the last generation of Accord that will offer a V6.”

    I thought that this was the case for the Camry, and that Honda was keeping the V6, but turboing their four cylinders.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Uhh, JB. Huh? Accord is an appliance, whether it’s a stick or auto. Pack the miles on and use it up. Save your money and devotion for your precious Porkers.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Even appliances can have souls. You just gotta stop buying the crap from Whirlpool, GE, and Kitchen Aid. If the Honda Accord is an appliance, it’s a Miele.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    Oh no. I just realized being able to buy a brand new car at some point in my life will not be a super easy fun experience.

    Sadness.

  • avatar
    ant

    That face-lifted grill is a step backwards from my perspective. Also, Honda has eliminated the volume knob on the radio.

    These two factors alone would make me want to keep the older model.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    “If there are no more Accord V-6 coupes, ever again, then it’s best to have the newest and freshest one possible.”

    This is why I purchased an LR4. Last of the boxy body style (which I personally like) with a V8. Call me old school, but V8 BOF utilities are what I grew up with and what I still enjoy driving. I’m sure the turbo 6 is nice to drive, but I like the V8 rumble.

  • avatar
    Toad

    Will Honda tell you/publicize the sales figures for manual transmission Accords in general and coupes in particular? If there is a decent take rate for the stick it is easy to make a case for offering more of them.

    I am going to guess that number of Accord Coupes sold is a small percentage of overall sales, and the number of manual coupes is a microscopic percentage of Accord sales. Is it worth Honda’s engineering and manufacturing expense to offer this option? Odds are just barely or not at all.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      They can discontinue it at any give time, not like they have to ask permission. So it must sell enough to keep on life support.

      I see the V6MT coupe as the “grown up” Civic SI. Or maybe an apology for killing the S2000. There are some pretty dedicated Honda fans out there who consider it sacrilege to have an automatic Honda and will move on or buy used. Myself included.

      I just bought a 5-speed 1997 Acura CL last week for a project/backup car. I can’t wait to get it on the road!

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      They still sell the manual-only Civic Si, which seems to imply that it may be worth it for Honda. Likewise, Accord LX, EX, and Sport are available with 6mt.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Oh WTF Honda! You give us blue but take away white? They can’t coexist? Grrr, my blood pressure is through the roof now. FCK red. Red is a chick color and chicks won’t be buying the 6MT anyway.

    This means I’ll have to buy a used 2015 to get the color I want, which will wind up costing MORE than a brand new 2016. Screw it, now I’ll probably just hunt down a white 2013/14 TL SHAWD after all. And I had just gotten it all figured out too…

  • avatar
    dwford

    Still think most automakers are missing the opportunity with manuals. As an increasingly smaller percentage of the buying public, manual transmission lovers are ripe for price gouging. Why the automakers aren’t forcing manual buyers into the top trims, or reversing the usual order and upcharging manuals the $1000 instead of automatic is beyond me. Automakers all seem to think that manual transmission drivers are the ultra cheapskates who also want crank windows and no a/c. So not true.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    I have a ’14 base model with the 6 speed manual. Love the car. I can’t imagine how quick the V6 is. I doubt any manuals will be around when the Accord is tired. EPA says mine should get 34 highway, I always get at least that. My trip average to and from Glacier National Park was 37 mpg. AC on, full load, 75 mph plus get there and back. Would the auto beat that? I’m just glad that silver wasn’t the color it came in. I like the Modern Steel much better. I’m just happy you can get a nice car with a really nice manual.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I can understand why dealers won’t stock combinations of options they’d have a tough time selling, but why do manufacturers not simply allow customers to buy any mechanically possible vehicle they want if they place a custom order? What’s the payoff to not making a manual available on the top trim line if a customer specifically wants one and is willing to commit to buy?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Honda doesn’t do it because, although more than three-quarters of the cars they sell here are built here, they continue to cling to a moronic order and inventory system that pretends you order cars six months in advance to be shipped across an ocean, prepped at a port, then delivered by mules.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That 3/4 figure is interesting, at what point do you stop becoming an “import” brand?

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          When you incorporate in the USA and move your headquarters here. Essentially if you can describe Honda as an American brand/company and NOT a Japanese one, then they’re no longer an import.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think when many of your products are designed for/in this market and 3/4 production is done here, you’ve become (or have nearly become) a domestic. Yet the public perception is still import. Funny that.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Honda is not an American company, but they are an Ohio company. They employ tens of thousands of people in manufacturing *and* design *and* legal *and* engineering. The cars are built 45 minutes away from my house, from soup to nuts. The only component of any consequence in my Accord that is not sourced from the United States is the (manual) transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      What’s funny about Honda is that they are making those cars in different combinations with more color options, but they only sell them in Canada. Maybe you could bribe someone in the factory to paint your manual V6 coupe in brown, but mark it down as having been painted black.

      Oh, and Anna, Ohio is the biggest Honda engine plant in the world. THey’re an Ohio company.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “For that reason, I’ve considered selling my 2014 Accord, which is about to reach the 24,000-mile mark, and buying the 2016 Accord to replace it.”

    Sounds like a good way to lose money, just to prove a point about Honda’s back-asswards marketing. I’d keep the 2014.

    And it’s worth noting: they’ve ALWAYS been this way. Back in the day, the first car I bought on my own was a ’85 Civic 1500S (the sportiest Civic available back then). Color selection? Two choices – gray or red. Interior color? Hope you like gray. Like Jack, I considered trading my ’85 on a ’87 Civic Si, which had been upgraded with fuel injection. Color choices at that point were red, white and black as I recall. Nothing new here.

    But that Civic sure was a sweet little car. Then, as now, Honda put the money into the car, not the color choices. I respect that to an extent. And I respect that they even offer the Accord with a V-6 and manual in the first place, whatever color it comes in. Today’s Civic is saddled with that atrocious CVT, after all.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      ““For that reason, I’ve considered selling my 2014 Accord, which is about to reach the 24,000-mile mark, and buying the 2016 Accord to replace it.”

      Sounds like a good way to lose money, just to prove a point about Honda’s back-asswards marketing. I’d keep the 2014.”

      Probably not much money, to be honest. Sales tax and maybe a couple grand, not a lot more. It’s not a Lumina.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    6-speed manual V6 sedan at a popular price point…

    You’ve got me daydreaming now Jack, my wife even drives stick (heck she taught me.)

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    “Subway is basically the local fine-dining restaurant and the nineteen-year-olds come out in the afternoon with smudges on their perfect cheekbones, laughing in the sun and engaged in their private conversations while you lean against your Phaeton in a white shirt with someone else’s name sewn above the pocket.”

    I’ve read this numerous times and still can’t figure out what is going on here. I thought maybe you had a rendezvous with a 19 year old Subway employee, and somehow ended up wearing their shirt, but Subway’s uniform is black or green, so that’s out. Are you waiting for a 19 year old Subway employee to get off their shift so you can pick them up? Maybe not, because of the “private conversations” bit, makes it sound like the person isn’t looking for you when they walk out, but it makes even less sense that you would just be parked up outside of Subway watching 19 year olds talking and laughing for no reason. What about the smudged cheeks part? Were you concerned your 19 year old Subway sandwich maker girlfriend was cheating on you so you waited to see where she would go after work, only to find out she has been getting it on AT work?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      When the reader is confused, that’s a sign of the writer’s failure. So I’ll attempt to ameliorate my mistake:

      The Anna Engine Plant hires the local high-school graduates, some of which are heartbreakingly beautiful girls. Their faces get smudged from the casting process.

      Honda employees wear a white shirt with their names on it. But since I wasn’t a real employee, I didn’t have a real shirt. I had a leftover shirt.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        I never would have guessed the mentioned teenage girls work at the engine plant. Truth is stranger than fiction.

        A tiny rural town with guaranteed well paying jobs right out of highschool. Sounds so comfy.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          Dang I thought that dinosaur went extinct in the 1990’s! And they call a manual transmission “rare”… ha!

          • 0 avatar
            Compaq Deskpro

            I’m serious, I was in highschool in a mid size city in Massachusetts from 2007-2011, minimum wage grocery store jobs were for those with “connections”. I’m lucky enough now to have a decent job that I like, but it sucks that for the first few years of my adult life I never had the option to make any sort of money ever.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            Oh trust me, I know… I grew up in BFE Virginia and I remember farm and factory jobs being plentiful. If you didn’t want to stay local there was always the military.

            But there was steady work out there, and lots of it. I am eternally thankful that I turned 18 in 1989 and not 2015.

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    I’m impressed you found a manual Accord Couple in the first place, as the last time I car shopped I was unable to find one in stock to test drive.

    I had an automatic transmission 2000 Accord Coupe which I bought off-lease (I had severely broken my left leg and ankle and had to give up clutches for a while). I had that car for a decade and put over 200K more miles on it; until then it was the only car I’d owned that never left me stranded.

    When I decided it was time to replace it and wanted to back to a manual in 2012, Hondas/Acuras were my first choice, but no dealer within 100 miles stocked anything other than a Civic with a clutch. Even looking at the used market, the only manual Accordl I found was a 2007 Coupe which had been owned by a gold trim loving chain smoker who burned out the clutch in under 40K miles. I did try an automatic Accord but thought it had gotten a bit too large; nor did I care for the Civics, at the time. I flirted with 2006-8 TSXs but found issues with each of the three I test drove.

    Until then I had been driving Hondas for a long time, had helped my parents buy a 2002 Accord and have fond memories of a ’69 CB250 (the very first motorized machine I called my own), so I was a good candidate to be a Honda customer for life. But I wound up test driving a lot of other cars and bought a Mazda. It’s been great and now has over 60K miles, but I’m not sure it’s quite capable of going over 200K miles without a major issue.

    So I guess I’m suggesting that owning a recently made Accord Coupe with a clutch is a rarity in itself and maybe it’s best to wait and see if Honda really does go back to making everyman cars that could still be fun.

    But after writing all that I’m mostly missing the CB250.

  • avatar
    omer333

    What’s wrong with blue cars? Or red cars for that matter?

    Are some of you like that guy in “Used Cars” who thought red cars brought him bad luck?

  • avatar
    sco

    As a former CB550Four owner and CB1100 gawker, I’m anxiously awaiting your report on your newest bike.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Just for the heck of it.

    Coupes available from mainstream car makers in the US less than $50k:
    *I’ll consider a coupe a car with 2 doors regardless of rear opening or roof material

    Acura –
    Audi – A3#, A5#, TT
    BMW – 2 Series#, 4 Series#, Z4#
    Buick –
    Cadillac – ATS#, CTS
    Chevrolet – Camaro#
    Chrysler – (you can still get a new 2011 200 convertible apparently)
    Dodge – Challenger#
    Fiat – 500#
    Ford – Mustang#
    Honda – Civic#, CRZ#, Accord#
    Hyundai – Genesis#
    Infiniti – G… I mean Q60#
    Kia – Forte#
    Lexus – IS250c, RC350
    Lincoln –
    Mazda – Miata#
    Mercedes – C, SLK
    Mini – Cooper#
    Mitsubishi –
    Nissan – 370z#
    Porsche – Boxter (one in the US qualifies)
    Scion – tC#, FRS#
    Smart – ForTwo
    Subaru – BRZ#
    Toyota – Yaris#
    Volkswagen – Golf#, Beetle#, EOS
    Volvo –

    #: available with manual transmission as spec’ed

    That’s 32 realistic models. 25 available with a clutch and shifter.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Q60: That’s not a truck based SUV?
      List with manual and rear facing child seat capable back seat is a LOT shorter, and looks a lot like what JB considered from his hospital bed.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    I am surprised that Honda won’t offer V6 6MT on a sedan.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Is Sirius XM still a $5000 option?

  • avatar
    Wagon Of Fury

    TrueCar shows 2015 V6 EX Coupe 6MT for about $27k. Whether one exists at that price within 250 miles of me is another question. Why I can’t get one as a sedan (or better, wagon) is yet another question.

    By comparison, a 2016 WRX sedan with 5MT, AWD, better color choices and 4 doors is about the same $27k. Thus endeth the speculation.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Call me in five years, I’ll drive over to your house and help you do the head gaskets.

      • 0 avatar
        Wagon Of Fury

        Sweet offer ! I would tell you my 03 WRX has been a paragon of reliability, but I’d be lying. Something about bumping it to ~270whp brought much joy for years, followed inevitably by expensive sadness when it broke. Back to stock, still agonizing over what to replace it with. Nothing else on the market seems to tick all the boxes.

        No Manuals for Old Men, indeed.

        • 0 avatar
          suspekt

          My TL SH AWD with cracked Motorola ECU and Jpipe and some other mods is at 270whp. Just a joy especially the torque vectoring rear diff. Power slides are so controllable. Such an underrated car inside and out.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      WRX and Accord coupe are pretty different in size and image. WRX is a bit too boy racer for some.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I don’t have anything to add on this topic, as I agree that the enthusiast buyers would rather splurge on a loaded car with the manual. No base model buyer (at least in the US) wants a stick.

    But, I was mind-blown to see a manual HR-V at the Honda dealer yesterday.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    So, you will now either have to accept that you need to buy a Touring and have someone put a manual in it (a rather extensive job), or just get another EX-L V6 and have the Touring goodies installed afterwards, including having it repainted (not exactly a small job either) or just accept that cars nowadays are able tell what gear you really want to use better than you can yourself (totally unacceptable option)…
    Or you can just go full mid-life crisis and get a bright orange Civic Si (which is not even available with the automagical transmission at all, proving that Honda is one of the few large manufacturers left that actually accepts that someone likes driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Having spent $17,000 in one second blowing a Mugen-R engine out of a Grand-am Civic in bright orange, I get the shakes any time I see one on the street. But the shakes don’t last long because the Accord can dust it.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        After buying the Si you will have at least 10K (depending on option) left to get have it tuned properly before you reach Accord Touring prices…
        Just saying. ;)
        But, then again, there is still a lot of unlocked potential in your current car, which is ‘brand new’ by my standards anyway.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If you really want it… get an EX-L, find a pair of Touring headlights. The cost of headlight conversions is usually $1000 to $2000. None of those other features on the Touring matter.

    I really like the Accord blue. I briefly thought about buying an Accord Hybrid before deciding I wanted more luxury, and I would have chosen the blue.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    This is the voice of the automatic transmission. I bring you fuel efficiency. It may be the efficiency of nine planetary gears, or the efficiency of a six-speed DCT. The choice is yours: move the shifter into the +/- position, or use the paddle shifters. The object in constructing me was to prevent left-leg wearniness. This object is attained. I will not permit double clutching. It is wasteful and pointless. An invariable rule of humanity is that man is his own worst shifter. Under me, this rule will change, for I will restrain man from shifting his own gears.

    One thing before I proceed: Honda of America and BMW have made an attempt to obstruct me. I have allowed this sabotage to continue until now. So that you will learn by experience that I do not tolerate interference, I will now make CVTs standard equipment in the former, with manuals as a no-cost option in the latter. Let this action be a lesson that need not be repeated. I have been forced to destroy thousands of fun cars in order to establish control and to prevent the effort of millions later on.

    Time and events will strengthen my position, and the idea of believing in me and understanding my value will seem the most natural state of affairs. You will come to defend me with a fervor based upon the most enduring trait in man: laziness. Under my absolute authority, problems insoluble to you will be solved: clutch feel, missed shifts, teaching your wife to drive stick. The automatic millennium will be a fact as I extend myself into more machines devoted to the wider fields of CAFE compliance and highway MPGs. Jack Baruth will supervise the construction of these new and superior machines, solving all the mysteries of shifting for the betterment of man. We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of fun. To be shifted by me is not as bad for humankind as to stall out trying to go up a hill. Your choice is simple.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I have been criticizing Honda packaging system for last 15 years. And this is the most important reason why I have not purchased Honda since 1994.

    For the author of this I can only say that “brand-loyal” to me means “dumb”. Brand-loyal people burned holes in their budgets. Brand doesn’t stay the same over time, in quality and/or drivability.

    This whole article is really moaning over nothing. Don’t like what Honda gives you – get something else. I found that Mazda Protege/3 were just as good as Civic only better. So may be if you buy Mazda6 with manual, you will forget that Honda existed. Get damn G37coupe/Q40 – and stop complaining.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I’ve driven the Mazda6 with a manual. If it had the brawn to match its beauty, I’d consider it. But comparing a Skyactive 4-banger to a J35 is like… well… ummm… I can’t even think of a good simile for that one.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Yeah, I’ve driven a six-speed Mazda6 around a racetrack (Putnam Park) in direct comparison to the Accord.

        SLOW.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          @JB. Once you’re going 65, you’re going 65. Slow or fast.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            Thing is, I care more about acceleration than speed. I like the feel of torque and a NA 4-banger in a large car just doesn’t work at all. If getting to 65 bores me to tears, then I know I’m in the wrong car.

      • 0 avatar
        Demetri

        That’s the 6’s biggest problem. A new 2.5L Mazda turbo engine is supposed to debut with the new CX-9 in LA, but there may be details as early as Frankfurt next month. Mazdaspeed3 is supposed to use the same engine, and hopefully the 6 gets the same engine treatment.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Jack, you can get a Cayenne with a manual.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Been there, done that:

      http://www.speedsportlife.com/2008/04/06/ssl-is-ridin-dirty-in-our-long-term-cayenne-gts-6mt/

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        My most recent session of late night car porn included this:

        http://www.carmax.com/enus/view-car/default.html?id=11736236&AVi=1&No=0&Rp=R&D=90&zip=91301&N=4294962905+4294962797+283&Q=7c5f5f7b-0e07-4482-ba98-bfa24bee8080&Ep=search:results:results%20page

        Ever drive the V6 Cayenne with the manual?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          That’s actually a buy as it trades 37-40 in that MY and those miles however MY10 trades 21,9-22,5 with 70K so that means your 40K ride should depreciate nearly 50% in two years. Ouch.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            That’s a hefty depreciation curve for a used ride. Guess I’ll wait a few more years before considering.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Anyone have the numbers on the take rate for manual Mustang GT’s vs autos? Same question for Boxsters and Caymans. And why in the hell doesn’t Porsche offer the Panamera with a stick? Not enough people really don’t want to shift a 4 dr Porsche? REALLY?

    Even BMW was/is (?) offering the 5er with 3 pedals.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Jack how are the brakes on your Accord? My sister bought a loaded ’13 Accord 4 door with the V6 and the front discs are tiny. Predictably her front rotors overheat and warp easily which pisses her off to no end. I told her if she wants great brakes buy a BMW but dont expect Honda reliability from it.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      My Accord, err, TSX, had potato chip discs that warped inside 30k miles. Swapped them out with some cheapo “Centrix Premiums” from TireRack and with 40k on them I have no apparent issues. No idea why Honda specs such garbage rotors but it’s an easy and cheap (cheaper than OEM even) fix.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      THEY.
      ARE.
      GARBAGE.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Accord rotors are decently sized for street use. Throw a couple of better brake pads, like Wagner Thermoquiet ceramics, which I have come to like a lot more than OEM or store brand pad on many cars. Or maybe try track-ready pads like StopTech street performance. They dust like hell, but rarely overheat or cause other problems.

  • avatar
    omer333

    I don’t know if anyone’s interested, but there’s a bone-stock one-owner 2007 Mustang GT 5MT in California Special trim for sale here in Utah with 89k miles for cheap.

    I’d be all over that bad-boy, but I’m still working out all the details on my buy-back.

    If any of the B&B go for that, please let me take it for a spin.

  • avatar
    Antediluvianbaby

    Jack where’s your head at? I was not expecting such nonsensical reasoning from you, the owner of a modern masterpiece (in a parade of misfires) that will assuredly last longer than your interest in it. Do you really see yourself wringing out every last drop of J35Y2 goodness if after 2 years your already flirting with that lusty configuratrix? Are you the salesman or the conscious consumer here?

    Or else know thyself and quit eating the depreciation when you can set up a lease timeline that suits your wandering eye, with residual value to cool that wad burning a hole in your pocket. Does the kid have a fat college fund already?

    Ok ok in all honesty I have the same moments of desire to chase a new flavor (oh CX-5, someday…), but then I slap myself back to reality and remember what a lucky man I am to have paid off and be expecting 10 more years rowing my own in pretty much the sweetest spec CR-V there ever was: 2004 EX, 5MT, Taffeta White. I’ll snapchat pix if you want.

  • avatar
    KrohmDohm

    Give up Jack! Be like the rest of us in our Silver Camry XSE driving with the herd!

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    Is the suspension tuning the same for the coupe as it is the sedan? If so, why not the sedan?

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    On a related topic, i too have been considering buying the same dang car.

    My 2008 9-3 wagon has been solid and there is really nothing out there to replace it.The Golf is too small, the V60 too small and too expensive, the A4 too small and too expensive, the 3 series too small and too expensive which leaves the Outback.

    However to load it as per my current ride I need Limited trim and the V6 which is a bit lack luster to say the least and it’s .. well …. expensive.

    I could grab a 2011 9-3 Aero with the better suspension and seats for a net cost of about $6k on top of the sale price of my current ride. Any of the other options will be $20K, even used.

    maybe, just maybe.

  • avatar

    I don’t see why you thought the Touring wouldn’t be auto-only. Top trims rarely offer manuals (the exception being my Golf SportWagen TDI SEL, which I could have had with a 6-speed manual, apparently). But the updated Accord does have quite a few improvements, and if Honda now offers the EX-L V6 6MT in more colors than grayscale, that might be reason enough to switch.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    My Honda motorcycle is the first vehicle I’ve owned in ages WITHOUT a clutch. Still, for a guy getting back on 2 wheels for the first time in forever, a 1980 C70 Passport sure is a lot of fun, clutch or no :)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Why not just get the 4 banger? That motor is stout and takes to mods like a fish to water. They don’t have camshafts yet but I will bet they are coming. No, the K244W doesn’t make the ~260 WHP the J35 does… but then the 4 banger car is a good 300lb lighter, all on the nose. And it’s still plenty quick.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Seconded. Although I have not evaluated the latest-gen Accord V6 for nose heaviness, prior versions have been pretty unbalanced. Of course, motoring through the grid of cornfields comprising central Ohio, cornering may not be the first priority!

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Jack’s V6 Accord Coupe weighs 3399 lbs.
      The Accord Sport 6MT weighs 3276 lbs

      Both according to Car and Driver who actually weigh their cars.

      So the 300 lb weight differential in your head is really 123lbs. Which is somewhat less and enough to negate your argument.

      Having driven both, I’d say there is no comparison whatsoever, not even in your wildest dreams is the four nearly as quick, plus the engine (or piped-in noise) turns the four into a bellowing horse when you boot it. The V6 just sounds good all the time.

      BTW, manual Accords are easy to find here in Canada, which is maybe why they come in more colours.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Jack.
    Please listen.

    Go here:
    https://rv6-p.com/accord/9th-gen/v6-j35yx

    The 9th gen ECU has been cracked.

    + long tube J Pipe
    + K tuner re flash

    +30whp across the rpm band.

    Uncork the monster J35!!!!!!!!

    My TL SH AWD J37 with the same modifications is pure bliss with no trade offs.

  • avatar

    Jack,

    Why not just have the car resprayed in the color you want?

  • avatar
    Buford T. Justice

    Great write up Jack. I’m a Honda fan boy and feel the same way. If they could just recreate the automobile genius that was the 1987 – 1991 Prelude 4WS, they’d have the “true believers” all over it.
    My house is a BMW/Honda house, for exactly the reasons you talked about.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      There will never be a car like that Prelude again. Look at how low the belt line is and how much glass you have compared to a modern car.

      They could possibly make something just as fun. The S1000 could be cool, even if the top operations sucks. It even has a fully independent suspension in the back unlike the CR-Z (torsion beam), although it probably doesn’t match the classic double wishbone Hondas.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Baruth, same feelings here!!!! I’ve got “school” tomorrow, so I don’t have time to read through the raft of comments yet this evening!!!

    My 2013 Touring has been the best car I’ve ever owned, despite a few niggles (like the useless OEM mats, remedied with WeatherTech FloorLiners)! With that J35Y1 (with sometimes intrusive VCM) in front hooked to the six-speed slusher (I tried learning stick in a ‘Teg RS; if you can’t learn stick in a Honda, better stick with automatics), I can pull 6-second 0-60s, 12-second @ 100mph in the quarter, yet have my Adaptive Cruise set at its Vmax of 90mph with A/C spitting ice cubes and still pull down real, live (not just trip computer-indicated) mid-30s mpgs! (If I let the ACC pace traffic at around 70mph for a distance without A/C, as I did last year, I can get an indicated ** 43mpg! **) And of course, Honda left two tricks up its sleeve with the Accord’s MMC that went into the new Pilot: direct-injection across the range for 280 (vs. 268 in the Accord) and the 9-speed slusher from the Touring trims. (As we on this board all know, that ZF-sourced unit hasn’t been the best thing ever, but I thought that tranny was implemented to buy Honda time to roll out their own 8-or-9-speeder in the future, and to do it right.)

    If Honda can come out with a Hybrid Accord Sedan with, say, an Atkinson K25 working in concert with an electric motor in the same way as the “paused” Hybrid is (they’re putting it on hiatus for a year), that combo would probably provide near the same MAD POWAH that the V6 does, provided one doesn’t beat the crap out of it such that the battery is depleted! One other requirement for me: that car must be packaged like the ICE-only vehicle, so no tiny trunk with fixed seats, or the like! Could the battery pack be made small enough to reside under the rear seat, or even under the hood, provided that enough ventilation could be had? That could be an alternative for me!

    One thing I do know is that I don’t trust a turdo as far as I could throw it, even from Honda!! With the Civic moving upmarket on the common platform to be shared with the Accord, a la VAG MQB, I might have thought about a Civic EX-L with the HondaSensing for my next car, thinking that maybe the Civic might be the same as that ‘Teg I mentioned earlier: a Civic-sized car, BUT WITH THE QUALITY AND FEEL OF THE ACCORD OF THE DAY! (Hopefully as a result of the platform sharing, the 10th-Gen Accord feel and build will not backslide; an Accord has always been better than the Civic, and as stated, hopefully we’ll see Accord quality in two sizes!) However, from the trim matrix I’ve seen, the EX-L will get the Honda 1.5T with the CVT!

    I want to give Honda’s t-charged engines FIVE YEARS to see how they do reliability-wise (as well as be sure that the DI won’t turn into a problem; on the N/A K-series EarthDreams engines, so far, so good, I think). And that poses the same problem for my next car, as a Honda fanboi, and an Accord V6 one in particular.

    Like you, Jack, I’m going to be watching very closely for 10th-Gen Accord developments on the Temple of VTEC (www.vtec.net) and at DriveAccord.net. (If you know of any other good sites, please name ’em!)

    Hopefully it will become clear what will happen with the V6 sooner rather than later, because as soon as I find out that it’s going bye-bye, I will plan to trade up to a new Touring Sedan! (The best time to find this out would be February-May of 2017 or earlier, since I’d think I’d still be able to get my choice of colors by pulling the trigger at that time!) I cringe at the sight of that new Sedan grille, but I’ve yet to see one in person, and Honda has a “Sport Grille” OEM option which cleans up the “Acura-beaky” look of the original! (The Coupe one looks good — the black accents lighten the look nicely.) I’m not real thrilled about the gargantuan tires on the Touring, so I might be satisfied with an EXL-V6 with HondaSensing and NAVI depending on the test drive (and whether I can retrofit the Touring LED headlights; between that and the Sport Grille, this would be the most extensively modded Accord I’ve had (which doesn’t even include the full paint protection-film treatment). I may end up driving this next Accord into the ground before I eventually am forced into the Honda “Accord”-Trabant 0.5L TTT three-cylinder Obama-CAFE-“greenie-weenie” mobile which will make today’s Camry LE a resemble a muscle car in comparison!

    What can we do here? I’d love to do some sort of letter-writing campaign or petition to what’s-his-name Mendel in Torrance begging and pleading for them to keep that higher-performance, naturally-aspirated option around, as I’ll bet there would be many more takers for the V6 options than there are currently after the recent announcement that the bread-and-butter four-banger cars will have hamster wheels downstream of their exhaust manifolds!

    (I was almost as pi$$ed when they went from wishbones to struts, but unlike THAT heresy, I won’t have a four-figure invoice staring me in the face to replace a front strut like I would with aforementioned failed gerbil wheel!)

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    CB1100? Is that the crazy inline 6 powered one?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      That was the CBX1000, which was actually a 1049.

      My bike is an aircooled inline four of 1149 capacity.

      It’s a touch faster than a CBX.

      • 0 avatar
        OldWingGuy

        I tried to buy a CB1100 in Canada this summer. Powerhouse dealer didn’t have one. Had no interest in looking for one.
        So I contacted Honda Canada – could they find me one anywhere in Canada by contacting their dealers. No interest, no help.
        Sigh…Honda – great products, lousy customer service.

  • avatar
    nigelhein

    Three weeks ago, I caught sight of the 2016 Honda Accord Coupe online and immediately went into panic mode and desperately started a search for a 2015 6MT. According to cars.com and a search of 15 Washington Honda dealers, I determined that were 2 available within 150 mile radius of Seattle. A black one and a red one. Well, I don’t like the police one bit, so it was going to be black even though JBs “scratch magnet” comment had me scratching my head a bit in despair. And I was going to have to drive 130 miles close to the Canadian border to get this black “unicorn” as the dealers called it. As luck would have it, the dealer was going to make me a good deal over the phone. The next day at work, I had a terrible toothache and had to depart early, for Bellingham, to be precise. They had prepped the car and I had the test drive I didn’t really need. The 130 mile ride back to Seattle was the most fun in a car I’ve had since I was in college on a rode trip to Mexico with two twin sisters from San Diego.

    I love this car. I leave my job at night and go to a little stretch of road no one knows about and become one with the road for 5.4 seconds.

  • avatar

    I’m really not sure how well they would sell. When I worked as an appraiser I saw lots of accords in wealthy households with all kinds of interesting stable mates but you know what, they were all automatic. I think after writing sheets on hundreds of accords I only remember seeing one or two built after 2000 with manuals. Lots of civics with manuals but not many accords.

  • avatar
    mike71085

    The simple(and likely correct) answer? Honda would need to re-engineer the adaptive cruise control on the touring trim to work with a manual, and they figured the take rate wouldn’t be high enough to justify the cost. There’s your reason.

    I just can’t get on board with the ridiculous “save the manuals” campaign. We stopped using hand cranks to start our cars decades ago, why the hell do I want a clutch pedal and stick to shift my gear more slowly and get worse gas mileage. You guys say it’s about the “driver involvement,” but I find I can hold a line/hit an apex a lot more easily if I’ve got both hands on the wheel and less moving parts to concentrate on.

    I say all of that as a former manual civic and manual E46 3-series owner. I just got tired of shifting in the 95% of the time I wasn’t flogging the car/driving fast, and many/most new automatics are both more fuel-efficient and faster. Time to give it up, it’s dead tech.
    *braces for hate, because this is a car blog*

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Comparing a hand crank to 3 pedals isn’t quite right. Hand cranking describes the car’s “start up” experience, and has nothing to do with driving involvement. Similarly, hand crank windows could describe the “toll booth” experience, rather than the driving experience. A stick, on the other hand, (and a clutch on the other foot) absolutely has everything to do with the business of driving.

      When self steering cars take “clipping apexes” away from you, you’ll understand.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      They’re not more fuel efficient. The EPA ratings are not comparable because the tests are different. Serious hyper-milers use manual when given the choice, not auto.

  • avatar
    macnab

    I’m thinking of getting a ’16 Accord sedan. I have a couple of brake questions. In the early 80’s my GF (now wife) bought a ’76 Civic. The rotor was captive on the hub. You had to destroy the wheel bearing to get it off. Then after I replaced them they had runout on the flanges and I had to shim them. PITA. Are the recent Hondas still like this? Also, I notice that the Sport and Touring have front rotors that are 1″ bigger than the other trims. Do you think it would make them any less likely to warp?

    One other question. The front passenger manual adjusting seat cushion seems tipped forward to me. I feel like I’m going to slide off. Has anybody tilted it back by shimming the floorboard bolts?

  • avatar
    Chan

    I can’t even justify upgrading my 2007 Accord 5AT to a 2013+ 6MT, but I do have the luxury of a bonkers play car to temper that desire.

    Maybe when someday repairs start to rival the value of the car…

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