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Facelifted Honda Accord outed

Spruce up: A facelift for Honda's ninth-generation Accord has been revealed, but it is unclear if this version will make it to Australia.

Mid-life facelift for Honda Accord surfaces, but local future unclear


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27 Jul 2015

HONDA has lifted the covers off its heavily facelifted Accord mid-sizer, revealing aggressive new styling that takes cues from the forthcoming hyper NSX hybrid supercar, and its American-focused luxury Acura line-up.

As well as a fresh look, the updated Accord picks up a series of new tech features, including Honda's first application of the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto communications interface, and new driver-assistance systems.

However, given that Honda Australia has just introduced a hybrid-powered version along with other model year 2015 upgrades, it is unclear if this facelift will make it to Australia, and if it does, what changes the local-spec version could include.

The Accord detailed here is produced at Honda's Marysville, Ohio plant for North American markets, while the Australian version is imported from the company's Thai plant.

The Japanese car-maker is calling the exterior styling “sportier” and “more sophisticated”, with the front end carrying the most dramatic redesign, thanks to the new LED headlight cluster that is divided into a number of tiny sections, much like the NSX and the American-market Acura TLX.

Its headlights are more slimline than before and there is now a large chrome panel dominating the grille that carries across to the top of the headlight bezel. The fog-light housing and front bumper is new, as is the new aluminium bonnet, all making for a more aggressive front end.

A more sculpted bumper features at the rear, while the tail-light cluster has been restyled and is now comprised of LEDs.

In the United States at least, the Accord gains 19-inch alloy wheels and some variants feature a rear spoiler. In Australia the Accord features wheel sizes ranging from 16- to 18-inches, depending on the variant.

Honda's Display Audio system will feature the ability to connect the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto interface, allowing users to swipe, tap and pinch as though they would on their own smartphones.

The US Accord gains a number of active safety systems under the Honda Sensing banner, such as a Collision Mitigation Braking System with a forward collision warning, lane-keeping aid and adaptive cruise, all of which are already available on some variants of the Australian model.

The petrol-electric Accord Sport Hybrid arrived in local showrooms in mid-June priced from $58,990, plus on-road costs, making it the flagship of Honda's mid-size range. The rest of the Accord range kicks off at $31,490 for the base VTi.

In the declining sub-$60,000 mid-size segment – overall sales are down by almost four per cent year on year – the Accord has recorded 576 sales to the end of June, a drop of 41.5 per cent compared with the same period last year when it had sold close to 1000.

While the Accord has managed to outsell the likes of the Holden Malibu (433) and soon-to-be-replaced Kia Optima (452), it trails the second best-selling Mazda6 (2857), Subaru Liberty (2105), Skoda Octavia (986) and Nissan Altima (987).

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