Honda's luxury division may have sparked the Japanese invasion of the luxury and high end sports car markets - and led the way for several years after that - but you might wonder what the company has done lately.
Well, besides the new NSX supercar, the company has continued to release well built, luxurious vehicles that are stuffed with technology. The problem is, everyone else is doing the same thing, only some have now passed Acura's lead enough that the folks at Honda's top niche may find themselves a tad lost in the customer shuffle. And that's a shame.
It's easy to see why, though. Honda/Acura still make great cars, but they seem to have forgotten about the people who actually use them, via unfathomable ergonomics and electronics controls and safety nannies that are so obtrusive at times that I wanted to smash my fist into the poor, innocent steering wheel.
The TLX is a prime example of what Acura and Honda are doing now, both good and bad: it goes like heck, has everything you could want (and then some), and is a compelling vehicle to drive. Yet in its niche, competing against such worthies as the Audi A4, BMW 3 series, Jaguar XE, and Lexus IS, it seems to practically disappear. more...
The Acura MDX has traditionally been a very nice luxury SUV and this might explain why the 2017 version hasn't changed a lot from the previous year.
Probably the biggest change is to its front end, which now sports a new grille the company calls "diamond pentagon." I had no issues with the last schnozzola on the MDX - my issues with the vehicle stem more from an interior treatment that hasn't been changed significantly, and that's a shame.
Besides the new grille, the MDX gets a more sharply sculpted hood, front fascia and front fenders, new LED fog lights and the cool Jewel Eye headlights that are appearing on the company's inventory. There's also a new chrome rocker panel design, the rear bumper has been redesigned, and you now get twin tailpipes. It's a handsome exterior, indeed. more...
It used to be the EL, then the CSX and now it's the ILX. Whatever you want to call it, it's Acura's lowest priced sedan and it's a darn nice one all things considered.
Sure, it's basically a gussied up Honda Civic, but if you have to start with something as the basis for a car, you could do a lot worse! After all, it isn't as if the Civic is a slug itself! And this year, Acura has upped the oomph ante, kind of, by dropping the base engine from previous years, now offering only the one engine that was previously the ILX's top line choice, a 2.4 litre inline four cylinder unit rated at 201 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque.
The horsepower is adequate, though a higher torque figure would be nice. That said, the car reminds me of the original generation Acura TSX, which also didn't offer excessive power but which was about as much fun as you could get from a normally-aspirated four banger back then. The ILX doesn't feel as sporty and spry as the TSX, sadly, but it's pretty good nonetheless, especially if you press it. more...
Take two long in the tooth Japanese luxury sports sedans and toss them into a blender and what do you get? A single replacement that takes bits of both parents and puts them into an attractive new package. So is the whole of the Acura TLX more than the sum of its parts?
I think so, at least as far as Acura Canada's review sample is concerned. The TLX is the replacement for both the TL and the TSX, the former of which was originally a very nice mid-sized luxury sedan while the latter was originally a very nice but more "entry level" luxury sedan. And the resulting "hybrid" version of the two cars into one turns out to be a pretty nice car. It isn't a traditional hybrid, in that it isn't a gas/electric vehicle, but it's a hybrid in that it blends two quite different cars into a single entity. more...
Gobsmacked, I tell you. That was my reaction after a week driving Acura's RLX Sport Hybrid, the top version of the company's luxury sedan line. That's because I came away from the experience actually preferring the hybrid to the gas-only version of the car.
Better not stand too close lest you become collateral damage from the pending lightning strike!
Honda's flagship division's biggest sedan is a really nice car in whichever livery you dress it, with good performance, lots of technology and the type of creature comforts you'd expect from a nearly $70,000 vehicle. And it doesn't seem overpriced considering its competition. more...
Acura is definitely not pussyfooting around! Honda's flagship division has released a pair of new top line models, both of which are very nice vehicles that offer consumers plenty of performance, high technology and abundant features for a not unreasonable dollar.
Don't confuse them with Acura's real flagship NSX, however. That new supercar is oozing its way toward the marketplace at glacial speed, whereas the new generations of the MDX SUV/crossover and RLX sedan are starting to appear on North American roads already. And so they should. They're far more mainstream than the someday-to-be-available hybrid supercar and so should appeal to a wide range of luxury vehicle shoppers. more...
Acura ILX – a TSX in cheaper clothing
Acura's new entry level sedan is a nice blend of luxury and performance – and if you get the upmarket engine it's also more darn fun than you might think it should be.
The new car, dubbed the ILX (maybe it's the only one of its, er, ilks?), is based on the Honda Civic, which isn't a bad place to start, but you'd never know that to look at the car. It's luxurious enough to deserve the Acura badge, but not so high end that it's priced in the stratosphere. In fact, with a starting price of just under 30 grand, it offers excellent value considering what you get.
On the other hand, for that price you'll be getting the smaller, two liter engine with its 150 horsepower and 140 torquey thingies, which is more Civic-like than the up-and-comers Acura is aiming at may want. And it comes with a five speed automatic transmission – in an era of six speed competitors.
For a couple of extra grand, however, you can opt for the 2.4 liter power plant of the "ILX Dynamic" test car I drove for a week. more...
Acura, Toyota Showcase the Evolution of Quality Auto Audio
Car audio has come a long way since the 8-Track tape cartridge moved it beyond merely being a platform for AM and, if you were lucky, FM radio.
I've been a fan of Acura's optional ELS premium system. It does nearly everything that it should, with the exception of playing SACD discs (which are rare anyway), and the systems are matched well with the vehicles in which you can get them – which pretty well runs the gamut of the Acura line. more...
Acura RL Offers Comfort, Technology
Acura's freshened flagship may not be all new, but it's still a great tool for the right audience.
The RL has been around for years, and I expect this current generation to be replaced before much longer. It's a car I've driven a couple of times and I like it very much. I've also spoken to people who own the car and they've told me they love its combination of sophistication and comfort. These folk don't seem to notice that the RL may not measure as high on the "pulse-quickening meter" as some other sedans in this class – and even if they did I doubt they'd care: the RL delivers for them in different ways. more...
Acura ZDX – a Stealth Bomber for the Road
Acura's new "crossover utility vehicle with the design of a personal sports coupe" turns out to be a heckuva vehicle. Once you get used to it, anyway.
Going into my review, I just knew I was going to hate the ZDX. I'd seen it around and thought it was the ugliest thing to come out of the Honda/Acura company yet. And given the look of the current Accord, Accord Crosstour and, especially, the Acura TL, that was saying quite a bit. But given my overall respect for Honda, I buried my feelings and tried to give the ZDX a fair assessment.
Good thing, too. After my week with this "SUV-compatible", it had not only grown on me, but I came away liking the ZDX – a lot. This is a vehicle I would own, especially if I did a lot of highway driving. more...
Acura and Honda "Cute Utes" Provide Good Rides
Whether you go up market or mainstream, the Honda Motor Company has an "entry level" sport utility vehicle they think you'll like. And they may be right. I certainly like both of them.
Not that Honda is alone in this, of course, but its CR-V and Acura RDX are both fine and compelling vehicles with a lot to offer. Choosing between them amounts basically to how much you want to be coddled, how much you want to spend and how sporty you want your vehicle to be. more...
Acura MDX Tweaked Nicely for '10
Acura's big SUV didn't need a lot of fixing for 2010, and the company has wisely kept its hands off it for the most part. That doesn't mean a little freshening might be unwelcome, though, and that's basically what the folk at Acura have done: take a very nice vehicle and make it even more compelling.
On the outside, the 2010 MDX has been given a new grille that matches other models' – such as the TSX and TL – better, and it works better here than it does there. There's also a new front fascia, side sills, a tweaked hood and the rear fascia is now matched with "rolled edge polished stainless-steel exhaust finishers". The taillights now have brighter LED's as well. more...
New and Improved TL, TSX Highlight Acura for 2010
It's a darn shame that Acura/Honda seems to have fired its exterior designers because they make some really nice cars.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I realize, and even though the TL was never the most attractive vehicle in the stable it was never worse than bland before this new version came along. It's darn ugly now, in my never humble opinion, and that's too bad, because it remains a wonderful car.
Maybe it'll grow on me like the TSX has. I was disappointed in the smaller sedan's styling when the second generation came out, but now think that it's just fine. more...
Acura RDX Vs. Mazda CX-7 – a Head to head Matchup
Which is better, luxury performance, or classic "Zoom-Zoom"? Or perhaps more accurately, which of these popular SUV's turned my crank the most after spending back-to-back weeks with them: the Acura RDX or Mazda CX-7?
I drove the Acura RDX first, a vehicle I like very much and which would be on my short list if I were looking for a machine in this class. It's a little higher end than the Mazda CX-7, with more technology and stuff. Naturally, it's also a few grand dearer. Not that the CX-7 is some kind of dinosaur. more...
TSX – Acura's Bad Boy Goes Good
It sports a new set of clothes and a grown up demeanor, but is the TSX still Acura's bad boy, the little sedan with attitude?
I'm not sure. After driving it for a week, my impression of Acura's 2009 TSX is that the TSX I loved so much may have lost some of its soul in the process of maturing. more....
Acura RL – Top Drawer Amenities, Quiet Grace
Who'd have thought a state-of-the-art luxury sedan could be schizophrenic?
Acura's 2008 RL is a lovely car, comfortable and powerful and with just about any gadget you could imagine in a motor vehicle short of an automatic pilot. But the only time it really comes to life is when you shift it into manual mode and grab hold of the paddle shifters – at which time it becomes much more compelling. more....
Acura TL Type S – Luxury Sport That Can Deafen
You could call the 2008 Acura TL Type-S "a TL with more a-PL".
Or you could just say this "near luxury" sports sedan ups the ante over the garden variety TL by adding more power and some chassis upgrades to an already compelling package. more....
2008 ACURA CSX Type S
What's even better than a garden variety Honda Civic? How about a souped up, luxurious version?
It's the Canadian-spec Acura CSX Type S, a little rocket that's mostly analogous to the Civic Si sedan, but with different logos, grille, tail light treatment and other goodies thrown in to send the up market Civic a little bit more up market. more....
MDX GOES UP MARKET
Acura's new MDX is bigger, more plush and more technologically advanced than
its predecessor. It's also a comfortable and rewarding vehicle to drive.
The company says the 2007 MDX competes in the "Mid Premium" Sport
Utility Vehicle segment, a niche they expect will grow by some 16 per cent
over the next half decade. There are reasons for SUVs' popularity, including
hauling space, a higher view of the traffic around you and, perhaps, a more
robust package in case you get slammed into by someone in a Yugo. Such vehicles
are getting increasingly efficient, too, which will hopefully help lead those
busybodies who think they know what you should be driving to find something
else to protest.
I understand Wal-Mart's a pretty popular target these days…. more....
Totally Seductive Xperience
Acura's TSX is a classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of
Like a football team that doesn't have the best quarterback or the strongest
defense but which manages to fight its way to the championship anyway, the
TSX won't win any "Automotive Superbowls" for its horsepower, torque,
and the like, yet it's a delight to drive and would undoubtedly be an easy
car to live with.
The TSX comes across as a lively little thoroughbred that's athletic and quick,
and as happy to please as a puppy. more...
"Entry Premium" SUV
San Francisco, CA – Acura's new "entry premium" SUV,
the RDX, not only introduces the company's first turbocharger
and intercooler to the western hemisphere, it also ups the
occupant enjoyment ante via a comfortable cabin featuring
a newly designed surround sound audio system that's a joy
for the ears.
Acura introduced the RDX to North American media-types
in a manner befitting a luxury vehicle, with a deluxe tour
of the San Francisco area that let the writers put the vehicle
through its paces on a selection of bloody marvelous California
roads that gave us the perfect opportunity to check out the
RDX's driving feel and comfort quotient.
And check them out we did. This is a very nice vehicle,
indeed, and Acura will undoubedly sell truckloads of them.
It isn't as racy as the TSX or RSX,
but Acura's new CSX is a fitting successor to the now-defunct
EL as its Canadian market entry level sedan.
The EL began life as basically an up market Honda Civic,
and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. Through two
generations, the EL carried Acura's compact luxury sedan
banner very well, but now the company has decided to break
with that tradition and give the new version a new name.
And that's okay. The CSX is a fine little car and I suspect
Acura Canada will sell truckloads of them. more...
ACURA RSX Type S
Really Xhilarating Stuff
Talk about Shock and Awe.
When the Acura RSX debuted as a replacement for the popular Integra,
there was a certain amount of shock generated as people wondered why
the company had chosen to introduce an all new model rather than just
upgrade the Integra to a new generation.
That shock has now passed as the RSX has proved itself over the past
few years, replaced by a sense of awe. As in awe over Acura's skill in
taking what had been a nice "entry level" sporty car and turning it into
a really nice entry level sporting car.
And of course for 2005, Acura has upped the ante even more. more...
Four Door Flagship
Acura’s top-of-the-line sedan is all new, offering a handsome
new suit of clothes inside and out, more power, and enough technological
goodies to please the gadget geek in all of us.
It also comes with a nifty new all wheel drive system that strikes a
balance between Acura’s penchant for front wheel drive with the
market segment’s penchant for rear wheel drive vehicles. more...
TL has real Appeal
Once again Acura has left me in awe and I wasnt even able
to drive the car properly!
The Acura TL Type S may be gone, but performance aficionados need not
mourn. Its replacement gives you everything that was great
about that car, and a lot more. more...
Honda Hits a Homer
A home run?
Acura's new TSX sports sedan is more like a grand slam.
And oh, she's a seductive beast. Spend more than a couple of minutes
behind the wheel and you're lost obsessed with this wonderful
car and willing to do whatever it takes to keep it. more...
Honda's Beaut Ute
If there are cute utes, and brute utes, Acura
may have created a new category called beaut utes.
The Acura MDX may not be the most off-road-ready of sport utility vehicles,
but it could be the most perfect compromise between the various facets
sport, utility, and luxury.
MDX is mid-sized, though it seems BIG when you first get in. It still
fits nicely into a parking spot, however, and the more
you drive it the more it seems to fit like the proverbial
glove. In the end, it feels just right. more...
ACURA 1.7 EL
Only in Canada?
Acuras 2001 1.7 EL is a marvelous bargain that makes luxury and
performance almost as affordable as a garden variety Honda Civic or Toyota
Thats the good news.
The bad news is that, unless youre a Canadian, you cant
get this snazzy set of wheels. more...
ACURA 3.2 TL TYPE S
If you're looking for a comfortable four door sedan with guts, check out
Acura's 3.2 TL Type S.
This is the "souped up" TL, featuring more horsepower (260 @ 6100 rpm
for the Type S as opposed to the basic TL's 225 @ 5600 rpm) and torque
(232 lb.-ft. @ 3500 rpm versus 216 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm) as well as a few
other goodies that separate it from its more "sedate" sibling.
Things like a thicker and more robust dual muffler exhaust system, 17
inch wheels with V-rated performance tires, and a few other
touches here and there. more...
ACURA 3.2 CL Type S
Acura's 2001 3.2 CL Type S is such a missile you may want to purchase
a radar detector to go with it.
Its 260 horsepower and 232 pound feet of torque launch it almost as if
it had solid rocket boosters, which makes it an easy target for officers
looking to shoot a few motoring fish in a barrel. The bright, fire engine
red color of the 2002 model I drove for about a week didn't help: I might
as well have had a "ticket me!" sign.
Needless to say, driving the CL Type S is an "accelerating" experience. more...