JDM Inspire/Global Accord Minor Facelift

Honda just recently tweak the styling of its domestic market luxury Inspire, or the more popular global Accord. The tweak is almost discernible especially in dark colors as Honda just change the bumper and grill design and add a little touch of chrome garnish at the rear.

Subtle design change gives more sculpted looks to the Inspire/Accord

The new bumper now features the same pronounced “V” lines from the recent Fit refresh, and apparently hinting that Honda is uniting its design creed. The grill portion of the car received a little bit of a sculpt and nudging the front part of the car just a wee bit. The grill lost one winglet but the two is a little bit bigger while retaining the same hexagonal shape of the original with a little more flair. The bumper design change is actually minimal, but the refreshed bumper is more pronounced and looks like an aggressive evolution of the original if you care to take a comparison note.

The original grill and bumper looked a bit soft compared to the refresh

Same design but more sculpted

The rear doesn’t have that aggressive sculpt change like the front bumper, Honda just added a chrome accent to the extra taillight… Extra? Yep, it’s an extra taillight and not just a garnish like USDM Accord. I don’t know much about JDM Inspire, but here in South East Asia, the faux taillight is actually a placeholder for a light bulb as you can actually make it usable. I’m thinking about rear fog lights, but somehow Honda take it out for some odd reason.

Faux taillights that actually can be made usable with ease

Way back when current generation Accord was launched, I loathed at the design with its blandness and utilitarianism. Although the design grew on me, I still think Honda could design a more upscale looking car for its Inspire/Accord name. Competitors like Nissan Teana and Toyota Camry have daring designs that screams upscale… But the Inspire is just too bland, too safe. I assume Honda management doesn’t want to take risks considering its target market, and Inspire/Accord target market might be bothered with radical design changes. However, I would like to see Honda management giving its product designer a little bit more freedom in the design department. Not Nissan and Mazda quirky, but a slightly edgier Toyota should fit Honda image.

Perhaps the new Civic which is due next year would have some more surprises, but the spy pictures tell the same tale , that Honda is playing safe again. We’ll see… I love Honda for its engineering, but a little bit of Tabasco or chili sauce with that Wagyu steak should be okay.


Honda of Japan Inspire website

Refreshed CR-V Roars… With More Horsepower Off Course

It’s official, refreshed Honda CR-V sports new looks and meaner engine while… Get this… Improving mileage! Now that’s the Honda I love!

The most significant change off course, is straight visual, as Honda revised the front and rear bumper of the car. The changes are subtle, but you can really see a refreshed smile and more of an upscale look from the car than before. The bumper mesh has adopt hexagonal mesh, and gone are the two “bulge” that sandwich the license plate on the front. The rear end also made fresh with less pronounced bumper bulges. All in all, externally, the car receives a very good subtle change. Why mess with success some say, and CR-V is a hit all over the world. Inside, there’s not much to talk about, still looks like the ongoing non refreshed CR-V.

Image courtesy of Temple of VTEC, check the link below for bigger image.

European refreshed CR-V

The engine… Ah… The engine… The engine receives not only a bump in horsepower but also a bump in mileage. Previously, CR-V official EPA mileage bows down at 20 MPG City and 27 MPG Highway, now the number goes up 1 MPG across the board to 21/28 MPG, while… Get this… Producing more power. The outgoing engine produces 166 Bhp, now the engine produces 180 Bhp… WOWZA! In ASEAN the CR-V already uses 180PS engine, but remember, PS is 10% higher than HP. Therefore, accounting to PS power rating, the refreshed US bound CR-V produces somewhere between 182 PS.

The rest of the world including Japan will receive the styling upgrade in a not so distant future… In fact, Honda official Japan website has stated 17 of September as the official unveiling date of the car. Give or take a couple of months, we will have the refreshed CR-V in ASEAN.

I cometh late, but everyone still waits


Honda of Japan CR-V site

Honda of UK CR-V site

Temple of VTEC: Refreshed CR-V article

Refreshed Honda Stream is Coming

Soon, Honda of Japan will unveil its latest model refresh for the venerable Stream. The main Honda Stream website has a clickable picture of the refreshed car. Small, and only shows ¾ side view of the car, but it’s already enough to discern the changes Honda engineers made to the car, at least externally.

As you can see, below is the existing Honda Stream RSZ trim, and further below is the refreshed version.

The old Stream RSZ

Hot wheels! Literally

What can I say really, the “corporate face of Honda” steadily creeps in to every new cars. The “double bumper” style which originates on the FCX hydrogen powered car was first applied on the JDM Odyssey. Then it was applied to Honda rising star, the Insight. Finally, it found its way to the refreshed Stream. Kind of hate the look, as it doesn’t look symmetrical and personally, it distracts the aggressive line set by the previous model.

On a side note… Side note, the side, got it? <tried to hard> Side skirts are new, more aggressive styling and do justice to the aggressive looking Stream. The side panel blinkers also moved from the usual front side panels to side view mirrors.

The rear lights of RSZ received a black-white treatment, replacing the usual red-yellow setup. Very seldom car makers do this, the only car I know having this black-white light setup is Mitsubishi Grandis. Personally I found this setup, making the car very aggressive looking, because most ricers tint their rear lights to make it look cool (albeit stupid). Although it cannot be seen from the angle above, most likely the reverse and side blinkers are transparent with the bulb emitting the necessary colors, and just the housing which is tinted black.

Rims wise, the refreshed RSZ sports a luscious set of part-polished 5 star rims. If the photographer is not putting too much emphasis on the rim lighting, it seems that the car is using part-polished rims; meaning that the outward facing sides are polished from the factory, making the car bling from the get go.

Witty comments:

One thing is clear, Honda Stream is a design success, why? Because Honda didn’t do much in term of design changes. A revised bumper and rims are given for any refreshed car from Japan, but aside from that, the Stream receives little change from the original second generation model. Compared to the completely remodeled head light, rear lights and bumper on the first generation Stream refresh, this generation of Stream is a design go.

So there you have it, the refreshed Stream and all of its glory. Stay tune for a complete write up once the car is officially released by Honda… Soon.


Honda Stream official site (click on the big “new stream” sign)