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2021 Honda Accord detailed: Why the Toyota Camry and Mazda 6 rival's facelift may not make it to Australia

The blink-and-you'll-miss-it Honda Accord facelift is North America-only for now, as our cars are sourced from Thailand.

Honda has revealed the first details of its facelifted Accord sedan for the North American market, though whether the traditional foe to the bestselling Toyota Camry will even make it to Australia remains to be seen.

Why the uncertainty?

Regular readers may recall that while the existing 10th-generation Accord was released in Australia only late last year, it arrived here more than two years after its 2017 US debut.

Among other reasons, this was due to production delays at the Thai factory that has supplied Australian-bound Accords since 1998, meaning that the latter facility might not even receive the US-made NA-specific changes for some time – if at all, as it’s clearly on a different timing schedule.

Honda isn’t saying, and with Australian Accord sales forecasts limited to about 150 units annually (so far in 2020, 123 have been registered to the end of September nationally, so it's on track), the mid-size sedan’s days may be numbered anyway in the longer term. Consumers just aren't interested in sedans like this anymore.

So, what are the mid-cycle changes to the Marysville, Ohio-built Accord then?

The grille is wider, which better accommodates an updated autonomous emergency braking (AEB) housing. The LED headlights have been improved, the bumper features smaller fog light cut-outs, there are fresh alloy wheel designs and new colours for MY21.

Inside, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is now available, USB ports have been added to the rear seat area and the Accord Hybrid’s acceleration responses have been sharpened up as a result of software changes. 

Otherwise, there have been no other mechanical changes. We're talking a very minor makeover here.

The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is now wireless. The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is now wireless.

As mentioned earlier, the Accord is swimming in a smaller and smaller pond.

Mid-size-sedan sales have plummeted over recent years and now account for just 2.3 per cent of the total new-vehicle market – less than one-tenth of what they represented in their ‘80s heyday. SUV uptake is squarely responsible for this.

Furthermore, volume in this COVID-19-affected year has slipped by nearly one-quarter over last year’s tally year-to-date. 

The Toyota Camry commands over two-thirds of the market at 9901 sales, followed (somewhat surprisingly) by the Skoda Octavia with 1381 registrations, 1272 Mazda6s, 692 of the now-discontinued Subaru Liberty, 463 Volkswagen Passats, 246 Subaru Levorg wagons, 154 Kia Optimas and 147 Peugeot 508s. Ford’s no-longer available Mondeo, meanwhile, managed just one more sale than the Accord, at 124 units.

We’ll keep you posted as more Australian-specific Accord news comes to hand.