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2005 Honda Accord Coupe: The Weekly Driver Review

Just inside the guard gate, the world renowned 17-Mile Drive in Carmel, Calif., begins with a primarily downhill and often winding two-lane road to Pebble Beach Golf Links. The tree-lined route features lavish, oceanfront homes and a predominately forest-like setting along California's central coast.

It's a perfect several-mile locale for drivers who like to shift through gears. And it's not-so-surprisingly pleasant while doing so in the 2005 Honda Accord.

With its V6, six-speed manual transmission offering, the exceedingly popular model crosses categories. The Accord is listed as a midsize vehicle and it's often compared to the Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.

But the 24-valve, 3.0-liter, 240-horsepower coupe is just as much sports car as it is anything else. And it provides one more reason why the Accord in its more than 25 varieties is among the most popular and most often best-buy categorized vehicles on the road.

During my weeklong test drive, I drove the Accord Coupe round-trip from Sacramento to the Monterey Peninsula. The interstate portion of the journey included about 400 miles. I drove the aforementioned section of the 17-Mile Drive six times round-trip on clear, blue sky days and in heavy rain. It made little difference.

In all driving conditions, the Accord Coupe performed with confidence. Steering and handling is responsive and poised. Lane changes are smooth. While not as quick as other vehicles categorized as sports cars, the Accord Coupe accelerates well and finds its ways through gears more than adequately. Its 17-inch wheels further add to the tight road feel. The Accord's ride is also adequately quiet.

Like all Hondas, the Accord Coupe's interior is designed in a straightforward manner. Gauges and all instrumentation are clean and used simply. The navigation system is likewise efficient and easy to learn.

Despite its coupe status, front-seat passengers have comfortable leg, body and head room. Back seat passengers (two fit comfortably) have easy access. Side rear-view vision is slightly impeded by headrests and side pillars. The driver's seat, while comfortable for a six-foot, 185-pound driver, is void of the superior seat cushioning of high-end vehicles.

Standard interior features are plentiful: leather-trimmed seats, AM/FM, six-disc CD with six speakers, XM satellite radio, heated front seats, power window and door locks, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, cruise control, exterior temperature gauge, sunglass holder and well- positioned armrests and storage compartments.

Finding fault with the Accord is difficult, but cargo room could be better, and average city mileage numbers aren't special. Yet, the Honda Accord has built its reputation through the years for good reasons. It does everything well, and offers reliability and great resale value.

Whether a buyer opts for the base LX four-door, four-cylinder sedan, the EX V6 four-door sedan or the EX, V6 coupe, the sportiest model of all, it's hard to improve upon the Accord or find any vehicle with more to offer for the price.

2005 HONDA ACCORD COUPE

Safety features Dual-stage driver and front passenger dual-stage front, side and side curtain airbags. Antilock brakes.

Fuel Mileage (estimates) 20 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway).

Warranty Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Power train, 3 years/36,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage Base price $28,880.

Submitted by:

James Raia

James Raia is a Sacramento, Calif., journalist who writes about sports, travel and lifestyle topics as well as the automotive column, The Weekly Driver Review. To read more car reviews or to subscribe to his free electronic newsletters, visit the web site: www.ByJamesRaia.com




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