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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haven't been on this forum forever, must of been 2-3 years. Anyways, just kind of curious what everyone opinion about Acura as a brand today and where it is heading. I have a lot in my mind but I figure a lot of them are probably little things that not everyone want to read about. So I will try to be brief with a few of my thoughts. Ignore me by all means if you guys don't want to read about it. Don't know why I suddenly feel the urge to write it out on this forum.

1) Acura in general bring good values still for the price of the car and features. But to me that is not what luxury is, people buying luxury want high-end expensive stuff on the car, not values. They got Honda for that. Don't know what Honda is thinking, but it seems like these days they are getting mix up Acura (luxury) vs. Honda (values).

2) In my opinion, the lowest end Acura model as an luxury brand should be at the minimum with features and tech that Honda brand highest end model do not have. I am not seeing that happening between Honda & Acura, in fact it feels like the fully equip Honda Accord is better equip than say Acura ILX...WTF?

3) Acura as a brand used to be edgy on everything, design and high tech. Now it feels like Acura is not even edgy in tech anymore (just like the rest) and worse the design department is coming up with car design that is as if they are trying too hard to be alien looking cars. And the end result to be blunt - either so so looking or fugly. Only exception, the supposedly new 2015 NSX.

4) When I look at Acura ILX, RDX (they just got redesigned or introduced recently if I may add) and the current TL and TSX, why do they still choose to have those decades old yellow light halogen light bulb DRL on them and still think they look cool? Come on man, even Kia & Hyundai got those cool looking LED DRL like Audi, I hate to bring this up but you call that a luxury car?

Don't get me wrong, I still like my current old 07 Acura TL and would really like to see Acura get better. But the way they are going with Acura, I think they are slowly pulling Acura into the grave. My patience and hope for Acura is running thin.

Sorry for posting this negative post. Anyways, maybe some of you have more positive opinions or outlook than I that you can share. I am also curious of what everyone thinks.
 

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Acura's got a serious identity crisis, for sure. Having been with Acura for 18 years, I've seen their products run the full gamut.

One interesting thing that you point out that caught my eye:

Acura as a brand used to be edgy on everything, design and high tech. Now it feels like Acura is not even edgy in tech anymore (just like the rest) and worse the design department is coming up with car design that is as if they are trying too hard to be alien looking cars. And the end result to be blunt - either so so looking or fugly. Only exception, the supposedly new 2015 NSX.

When you look at the actual products, Acura was never really that much more sophisticated in technology, but by design it was perceived to be that way. Sure, you had the Legend coupes with the automatic door closers, and the debut of the navigation systems in the 1996 RL, but most of it was inferred or implied by design.

The problem that auto manufacturers in the period between 2005 and 2011 faced was the same problem that radio manufacturers faced in the early 1920s....there was no generally standardized form of media that was applicable across all makes, and things changed so fast that car manufacturers were hesitant about equipping their flagship vehicles with a technological albatross (which was the first gen Acura Music Link).

Now that everyone's pretty much settled into formats with universally accepted media types, everyone came out with it at the exact same time. Couple that with the fact that the base level car of today has more features than a luxury car of 15 years ago, and really, there's nowhere else to go that's not a "me too" of everyone else.

Design is another issue. Since everything is designed in a wind tunnel, and there are MUCH tighter CAFE regulations coming up, you're going to continue to see adaptations of the "worn soap bar" look that debuted in the 1986 Ford Taurus. Acura tried to give a bold brand identity with the "beak grille" that ended up being not received too well (I liked it, myself. Subaru could get away with the B9 Tribeca, Nissan could get away with the Juke, and Acura is called on the carpet? Really?!?!?).

The next dynamic on the automotive frontier will be Google's prototype auto-drive system. Maybe we'll get lucky, and Acura will grab a piece of that. Everything else has been done, when you think about it.

And that's my .02 :)
 

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I agree completely with Hondacuraplanet that Acura's got a serious identity crisis and has ever since Honda pulled the plug on their original naming schema and opted for alphanumerics instead. That said, this was solely a symptom of the confusion at the helm not the cause of the problem. Acura was the FIRST Japanese luxury/performance marque but it has witnessed a series of missteps since it canned the wildly successful Integras and Legends and, later, opted to phase out the RSX for appealing to too young of a market. The ILX is a travesty and is no better than a Civic so I'm not too sure what the future holds but in an era of massive recalls by other Japanese companies like Nissan and Toyota at least you can depend on the build quality...just my two cents.
 

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Acura was the FIRST Japanese luxury/performance marque but it has witnessed a series of missteps since it canned the wildly successful Integras and Legends and, later, opted to phase out the RSX for appealing to too young of a market.
I don't know if I'd agree with this statement. Acura's done quite a bit right when it comes to market demographic in the period since the Legend/Integra:

1. The Integra was too small of a car in a 4 door version to sell much beyond 2001, which is why Acura ended up bringing in the euro Accord as the TSX. The people that wanted a 2 door performance Acura got the RSX. Honestly, I don't think Acura would have drawn as much fire as they did if they'd have just kept the Integra moniker on it as they did abroad.

Were the Integras good cars? No doubt. But not as good as the RSX. I can't tell you how many Integras I saw that needed the entire exhaust system replaced by the time they were 3 years old. Mufflers falling right off the cars. And rear quarter panel rust, and of course expensive timing belt replacements, which went away with the RSX and TSX. Everything on wheels gets plagued with something as it ages, but as someone who saw both cars roll off the showroom floor brand new and saw them serviced all the way to the 200K mark and beyond, as a reliable form of transportation for the sport oriented driver the RSX wins hands down.

The same can be said for the Legend, when it was replaced by the RL. MUCH better car, all around. Legends, it was bad rust, exhaust, front springs breaking, radiator side tanks cracking, A/C issues, seat leather being worn to shreds after a couple years, etc. The 1996-2004 RL is as solidly built of a car as you can ever find. The newer models are just as good, but the parts (if you need them) are ludicrously expensive.

2. The MDX was right on target for the SUV craze that is still going on. They were late to the game, but they made up for lost time in a hurry (let's not even talk about the horrendous SLX, which was a stop-gap joke).

This is not to say that Acura hasn't targeted markets that I don't understand. The RDX I never personally "got", and the ZDX, well, that speaks for itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hondacuraplanet, you sure brought up a lot of interesting points and they are pretty much all true too. Also you guys bring up a very good point "Identity Crisis". Don't know what they are known for anymore. Keep them coming, would like to hear more.
 

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I keep trying to figure them out. Among the big three Japanese luxury marques (Lexus, Infiniti and Acura) I just don't know where to place them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well for Lexus is more clear - they seem to be known for quiet and comfortable ride in their cars (they might have nailed it on that part), but lately it seems like they are starting to get the temptation of steering away what they are good at and being sucked into performance to compete with BMW and Audi. For Infiniti - dunno seems like they are just chasing after BMW. Acura - no clue at all what they are shooting for.

Overall though, it does feel like the big 3 Germans seem to be the 3 setting the benchmark for different niche of luxury and the 3 Japanese Luxury are just copying or try to refine or outdo what the German Big 3 came out. From what I observe, MB seems to be going in extra miles for tech, luxury & convenience. BMW - performance and Audi - they seems to be obsess with headlights tech lately (plus they are already known for their Quattro). Yes or No?

Then there is the American Big 3, Cardillac - well they seems to be going for performance more than anything else. Lincoln - they seems to be obsesses with value and gas mileage (in a way kind of like Acura, getting mixed up with luxury vs value). Chrysler, haha, I don't even think they belong to luxury at all.

Then there is also others like Jaguar and Volvo - safety.
 

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BMW - performance and Audi - they seems to be obsess with headlights tech lately (plus they are already known for their Quattro). Yes or No?
Headlight designs sell cars. That's why the third gen Integra sold faster than we could get them in back in 1994. It's a classic design.....it looked great then, it looks great now, and it'll look great in 30 years, when pristine original examples will be selling for six figures.
 

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Yeah, when we were at the NYC Auto Show earlier this year we noticed Audi and others like Hyundai putting a lot of detail into their headlights. Its great for us because headlight tint s one of our best sellers but even better for the consumer and enthusiasts because the front fascia is truly the best side of any car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In a lot of cases headlight design does sell, but it doesn't always seem to be always true. As much as I don't like where Acura is going right now, I do like the new headlight on RLX and MDX, those Jewel LED, but so far that doesn't seem to roll those cars out the dealer lot, they hardly sell it seems. Well take that back, MDX does sells, but not RLX. Another example, the new Mazda6 Kodo design headlights, those are great looking design but again, doesn't seem to roll those car out of the dealer lot (this car is available since early 2013 and I still hardly see them on the road). Which lead me to think that it g2 be more than just the car design. Example, because of the car not big enough for its class? Or engine not enough power compare to others in its class? Or interior design not appealing enough? Or is it simply because people refused to buy specific brand cuz of the image or impression they got on that car brand?

A lot had changed these pass decade. Some gotten better and some gotten worse and some stay the same.

Personally, I go for whichever car brand that fits my taste. Given of course I will do my research from a few sources 1st about each particular car model review from both owners and experts. Throughout the years I know for a fact that not all models from one car brand are build equal.
 
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