Just inside guard gate, 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 2005 Honda Accord.
With its V6, six-speed manual transmission offering, exceedingly popular model crosses categories. The Accord is listed as a midsize vehicle and it's often compared to Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.
But 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 Accord – in its more than 25 varieties – is among most popular and most often best-buy categorized vehicles on road.
During my weeklong test drive, I drove Accord Coupe round-trip from Sacramento to Monterey Peninsula. The interstate portion of journey included about 400 miles. I drove aforementioned section of 17-Mile Drive six times round-trip on clear, blue sky days and in heavy rain. It made little difference.
In all driving conditions, 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, Accord Coupe accelerates well and finds its ways through gears more than adequately. Its 17-inch wheels further add to tight road feel. The Accord's ride is also adequately quiet.
Like all Hondas, 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.