The 2006 Honda Accord. Note the new grille.
In a bold move at a time when industry analysts are speculating about the possibility of price increases, the 2.4-litre i-VTEC Accord Type-S and Accord Executive have had their prices reduced by R20 000 and R25 000 respectively.
They now retail for R225 000 for the Type-S and R255 000 for the Executive.
"This has been made possible by a number of factors.
"The strengthening of the rand, enabling us to pass the benefits directly onto the customer, the increased importance which our parent company in Japan is attaching to the local market, and by a fresh look at what kind of benefits we can offer buyers in terms of a holistic ownership experience," explains Hiroaki Shibata, managing director of Honda South Africa.
To this end, the existing three-year/60 000 km maintenance plan has been replaced by an extended five-year/100 000 km service plan which covers all regular service items and fixed labour costs over the period of the plan.
"Our research indicates that this type of service plan offering delivers better value for money to the customer by reducing the initial purchase cost of the vehicle while at the same time minimising the cost of ownership over the warranty and service plan period.
"Due to the highly favourable ratings received in independent quality and customer satisfaction studies - where Honda walked off with top honours - customers can rest assured that their Accord will deliver superior reliability and low total ownership costs," states Shibata.
The Accord nameplate has already built up a solid reputation since its local introduction in January 2003 and is highly sought after in the D-segment thanks to its driver-focussed character, quality, and exclusivity.
The Accord?s exterior is now even more sporty and dynamic thanks to new front and rear bumpers.
The Executive gets an elegant chrome cross-strut in the revised front grille, a re-sculpted bonnet with sharper, more aggressive lines, restyled headlamp cluster with smoked glass wraparound detail, changes to the rear lights and a new side sill design.
It also gets new 17-inch wheels.
Changes on the inside enhance the premium luxury feel of the Accord.
There?s a redesigned instrument panel, which now includes a three-meter cluster being illuminated in a different colour, there?s a thicker steering wheel with the subtle addition of a metal coloured ornamental ring around the horn pad, and the shift knob has a new design on both automatic and manual transmissions.
The driving computer has also undergone changes to improve functionality.
The advanced 2.4-litre i-VTEC engine powers both the six-speed manual Type-S and five-speed automatic Executive, with torque increasing slightly from 220 to 223 Nm in this latest guise. Power output remains unchanged at 140 kW at 6 800 r/min.