The Acura brand represents an image of performance, luxury and quality, despite lacking the prestige factor of the German premium brands. Acura nonetheless offers a complete range of sedans, SUVs and crossovers that benefit from a high resale value.
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In 1986, the Acura Automobile Division, a new brand that would cater to the growing sports/luxury vehicle segment in North America was introduced by Honda. Their first vehicles included the compact Integra hatchback and the mid-size Legend sedan, the latter boasting Honda’s first V6 engine. Acura’s first slogan was very indicative of the brand’s direction: “Precision crafted performance”.
The second generations of the Integra and the Legend appeared in the early ‘90s, while a new flagship model was added to the line-up. In 1991, the NSX was launched in North America to critical acclaim, using technology Honda gained through their F1 racing program. The mighty NSX was sold up until 2005, and is still considered as the greatest car Honda has ever produced.
In 1994, the 3rd-generation of the Integra appeared and carried on largely unchanged up until 2001, outlasting the usual production cycle of four or five years.
The year 1995 marked the brand’s strategy to identify the cars as Acuras instead of Legends and Integras, renaming each model with an alphanumerical designation.
In the second half of the ‘90s, new models appeared such as the full-size 3.5RL, the mid-size 2.5TL and 3.5TL, the 2.2CL and 3.0CL coupes, the 195-Integra Type R as well as the US-only SLX sport-utility, essentially a rebadged Isuzu Trooper. Acura Canada also welcomed the exclusive 1.6EL sedan, a more luxurious version of the Honda Civic.
In the early ‘00s, the unloved SLX was replaced by the homegrown MDX, the CL coupe was also redesigned and the much-loved Integra was replaced with the RSX, more refined and a tad less sporty. Acura Canada’s entry-level model also received a redesign, becoming the 1.7EL, and eventually was renamed simply as the EL.
New models were launched from 2004 to 2006. The new TL, boasting high levels of power, luxury and handling, quickly became a benchmark in its segment. The RL sedan appeared, now offering all-wheel drive. The 4-cylinder TSX arrived with great handling and a luxurious cockpit, while Acura Canada offered the CSX compact sedan in replacement of the EL.
Acura launched the current MDX sport-utility in 2007, alongside the RDX, a compact-sized crossover powered by a 240-horsepower 4-cylinder, the first turbocharged engine in Honda’s North-American history. The latest TSX and TL sedans appeared in 2009, while the ZDX crossover was introduced in 2010.
The Acura MDX is a three-row, seven-seater crossover SUV, and was the first of its kind when it arrived in 2000. With plenty of space and a decent engine available from the beginning (a 3.5L when it arrived, and now a 3.7L), the MDX answered a need for space, a bit of power and efficiency. Wrapped in a stylish Acura-designed package, it was well received.
The 2013 Acura ILX is the third iteration of Acura's take on the Honda Civic, and is by far the most comprehensive and distinctive of the three versions, which also include the EL and CSX variants.
The last time Acura had an entry-level car that incorporated the brand's core values, model nameplates were actually names, not numbers, decimals and letters. The Integra was obviously based on Honda components and mechanicals, however, it was considered more sophisticated and racier than a Civic.
The 2014 Acura MDX made its Canadian debut this week at the Edmonton Motor Show, where the automaker confirmed a mid-summer on-sale date.
Honda and Acura will unveil two new concept cars at Auto Shanghai 2013, which kicks off in two weeks.
The all-new, third-generation 2014 Acura MDX finally made its debut at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, March 27th. Built on a completely new platform, this seven-passenger luxury crossover offers improved ride comfort, a more versatile and upscale cabin, increased fuel economy, and enhanced dynamic performance.