The Accord is still a global name, but it has stopped being a true global car since the sixth-generation model. Since then, Honda created an Accord for each major type of market: Japan, Europe and North America. Japan and Europe started sharing a more compact version of the Accord since the seventh generation, while the US Accord joined the size race. And since bigger is better in our part of the world, ASEAN got the North American body.

In Japan, the Accord as we know it is called the Inspire, and it has just received a mid life facelift. Our Accord was launched back in April 2008, so it will be three years old next year. Could be time for a facelift, so let’s look at the refreshed Inspire to see what we can expect.

It’s a mild rework similar to the facelifted US Accord, and the changes are most obvious up front. The latest Inspire gets a new grille with a rounder bottom half compared to the current car, and the look is consistent with Honda’s recent products like the RB3 Odyssey. The bumper is also new, and there’s more sculpture work on it. The new grille combines with the strong chin to create a narrower and more prominent “U” shape. At the back, the bumper is reprofiled and there are chrome strips flanking the number plate.

The cabin looks pretty much the same, but this 3.5 V6 Inspire has a full colour sat nav system that uses the main central display, so the climate and audio info are shown on a separate strip just above the air con vents. I’ve always thought that the vast screen is rather “wasted” in our Accord, as it shows very basic information. The centre console is still a button fest on the Inspire, but the layout is slightly different. All these should not make it here as it’s unlikely that our Accord will include built in sat nav as standard.

Images taken from Honda’s Japanese website are after the jump.

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