Upon first sampling a V6 Accord EX-L sedan back in August, we were pleasantly surprised by how potent the updated Earth Dreams V6 (J35Y1) felt in combination with the Accord's new-for-2013 6-speed automatic transmission. So, over the holidays we got our hands on an Accord V6 Touring and took it down to Dynolab to spin the drums a few times.
The results shown are impressive but not really surprising. This car just jumps when prodded and absolutely hustles down the road. The gear spacing in the 6AT is very well suited for the car, providing a near perfect combination of relaxed cruising revs and RIGHT NOW responsiveness from pretty much any speed. Couple that with the J35's very smooth operation and subtle-yet-aggressive intake and exhaust notes, and this is a powertrain that provides plenty of driving enjoyment. Surely this car would be even more fun with an available 6-speed manual transmission but it's good enough with the 6-speed automatic that the simple addition of a semi-automatic paddle shifter setup would make this car even more appealing. Our acceleration tests revealed some pretty impressive figures as well. Without even working out launch technique (in fact, leaving VSA engaged), we recorded 0-60 times in 5.4(!) seconds.
Perhaps the best part of this powertrain is that there doesn't even seem to be any "real world" mileage penalty in our typical driving modes. In fact, in a week of puttering around town (suburban/city) with the car we observed fuel economy returns in the lower mid 20's (which matches or even slightly pips what our TSX Sportwagon gets in the same driving mode), while on the one extended freeway run we made, the average was well over 35mpg. We wouldn't be at all surprised to hear similar reports from owners of the new V6 Accord.
As you'll see on the page_number=2">next page, Honda manages to pair that impressive fuel economy showing with impressive power and torque output figures. Finally, Honda's VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) system seems to live up to the promises that have been made since it debuted in the 2005 Accord Hybrid. Ironically, this was achieved by adding proper performance VTEC (on the intake side) back to the feature set, and we ultimately get MUCH better performance and better fuel economy.