Honda has just released new images as well as some tech details about the changes in store for its 2011 Accord Coupe and Sedan. Each version of the automaker's best-selling model line gains a number of visual and functional tweaks that bring a more contemporary appearance along with improved user friendliness and enhanced fuel efficiency.

New grilles and more crisply contoured fascias embolden the look while tidying up the aero count of both the two- and four-door 2011 Accords. Restyled wheels add a bit of extra flash to the mix, while the Coupe also boasts a revised decklid and taillamp treatment. Inside, various minor changes can be found throughout the entire multi-tiered lineup, including new fabrics, a USB port on all Coupes and EX/EX-L Sedans, a rear-view camera on Sedans equipped with navigation and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the EX-L V-6 Coupe.

One common functional touch: all Accords benefit from a welcome repositioning of their climate-control buttons that moves them from the right to the left of the center stack to ease driver accessibility. Finally, a new SE variant joins the Accord Sedan family. The SE trappings take things one luxo step beyond the existing high-value/high-feature Accord LX-P by adding a full leather interior, heated front seats, a power lumbar support for the driver's seat and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Gearing up for the future

Although the Accord drivetrain lineups carry over intact from 2010, Honda has made a few subtle modifications in the interest of bumping fuel economy ratings, notably moving to lighter-weight engine oil that helps reduce internal friction and revising ratios in the five-speed automatic transmission. While all mileage figures are still just preliminary, autoshifted LX/LX-P/SE Sedans (2.4-liter/177-horsepower i-VTEC inline-four) and EX/EX-L Sedans (2.4-liter/190-horse) are expected to see their EPA ratings rise to 23 mpg/34 mpg city/highway, up from 21 mpg/31 mpg in 2010. Numbers for the autoshifted 190-horse LX-S/EX/EX-L Coupes move from 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway to 22/33 mpg for 2011.

Backing either four with the standard five-speed manual transmission brings similar, albeit slightly more modest gains. While both the Sedan and Coupe shared 22 mpg/31 mpg EPA ratings in 2010, the four-door's figures rise to 23/33 mpg for 2011 and the two-door's stats move up to 23/32 mpg. So far, the only Accord V6 number Honda has released is for the autoshifted Sedan, which indicates that its EPA highway mark is set to go from 29 to 30 mpg.

Expect pricing information for the entire 2011 Honda Accord line -- as well as details on the Accord Crosstour -- to be released closer to the August on-sale date.

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