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First look: Honda strikes a new Accord

On the way: America's (and Australia's) next-generation Accord EX-L sedan.

Honda's larger, sleeker new US Accord V6 will arrive in the first half of next year

24 Aug 2007

A SHARPER new American Accord will arrive in Australia in the first six months of next year.

Honda Australia currently sells two Accord models locally, the Accord designed for the US market and the Accord Euro.

Both cars are made in Thailand, which gives Honda in Australia an edge thanks to a free trade agreement between the countries.

The new US Accord has a larger body, fresh interior and a new V6 engine.

It has been given the task of taking on the mighty Camry in the US market as well as fending off renewed attacks from revitalized mid-sized models from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

Honda sold 354,000 Accords in the US last year and wants to break through the 400,000 barrier in 2008.

The Japanese car-maker has replaced the softer rounded shape of the existing model with a sharper, more chiseled look.

The body is 81mm longer, 28mm wider and 23mm taller, which in the US means the car is now classified as a large car - unlike the current model which is deemed a medium-sized model.

Honda says the changes mean the new dimensions free up much more interior space and allow front and rear passengers to enjoy an equal level of seating comfort.

Honda will carry over the existing 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, but has lifted its output to 132kW.

The current 177kW 3.0-litre V6 has been dropped, replaced with a 3.5-litre V6.

15 center imageLeft: The new Honda Accord V6.

The new single overhead camshaft V6 produces 200kW.

Fuel economy figures relevant for Australia are yet to be released, but Honda says the new V6 is more efficient than before and is fitted with cylinder deactivation technology.

The system employed for the Accord's V6 allows the engine to run on three, four or all six-cylinder.

It is not yet clear whether this function will be offered on Australian models.

Both engines are teamed with five-speed automatic transmissions, while the four-cylinder is available with a five-speed manual.

The Accord's suspension set-up of double wishbones for the front and rear are maintained for the new model, while the wheelbase is now 58mm longer.

Base Accord models sit on 16-inch steel wheels, although 16-inch and 17-inch alloys are available.

Electronic stability control is standard on all US Accords, as are front and side airbags. Honda says it paid a lot of attention to improving the presence of the Accord's interior with a dual layer dashboard punctuated by a large centre information display screen.

A sleek Accord coupe is offered in the US, but that model is not expected to come to Australia.

According to VFACTS, local sales of the US Accord in Australia stand at 4656 to the end of July stand, while the company has sold 5151 Accord Euros in the same period.

Honda Australia says the US Accord attracts customers with its extra space and suspension tuned more for comfort than the smaller, sportier Euro model.

"The different cars have different characteristics and they attract different buyers," says Honda Australia spokesman, Mark Higgins.

"The dual Accord strategy works very well for us," he said.

Read more:

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