Honda’s been doing some pretty damn awesome things, lately. They’ve made back-up cameras standard on every base model, they’ve come out with trim levels that have luxury features for a generic price. Hell, they’ve even made the new Civic fun to drive! (Si not included) Who knew? Which begs the question—what’s Acura still doing here?
You can buy a 2016 Honda Accord Touring with full LED headlights, heated leather, navigation, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and active lane as well as brake mitigation for around $30k. For a few thousand dollars more, you can spend your money on a smaller Acura TLX with less features. As in no navigation, no active safety technology or anything else. I know what you’re about to say, “Well BMW and Mercedes also under-equip their cars at base price too. But the logo’s worth the price.” Well, the thing is, Acura’s become less and less of a desirable name, so what’s the point of keeping it alive?
Step inside a base Mercedes C-Class. Then step inside a base Acura TLX. Spot a difference? Unlike Mercedes, giving you quality materials and solidity standard, Acura slaps on too many components from Honda’s parts bin. And not like Infiniti, either, where they do the same thing, but actually then give their cars features that make them worth the money. The feel of the materials in any Acura makes it feel like you’re sitting in discount luxury (and in a way, it is, it’s significantly cheaper than the Merc), but you can get discount luxury at a better value with an upper-trim Accord. Hell, even the Civic Touring comes with more features than a top-of-the-line ILX! Why buy an MDX when you can buy a Pilot for less with the same features, dual screen and all?
The most history Acura has at all is with Ludacris, but that’s about it. Back the, when Luda got his Legend, Acura had considerable differences between it and its parent company, as did Lexus and Toyota, Infiniti and Nissan, and so forth. But as Infiniti and Lexus got more premium over the years, Acura just started to give up on putting any effort into making their cars any more upscale than their mainstream counterparts. They just overprice ‘em, call it luxury, and roll ‘em out for mindless suburban consumers to leech on.
Just do the math! RDX? Overpriced CRV Touring. MDX? Overpriced Pilot EX-L. TLX? Hell, I don’t even know. It’s too small to be midsize yet too big to be compact. It’s just overpriced for what it is. Do a presto-comparo with Lexus. NX? Luxury RAV4. GX? Luxury 4Runner. IS? Sportier, far more upscale Corolla. Acura is in a deep necessity of learning from its competitors.
So what do you think, Oppo? Do you think Acura needs to step up its game, or do you think its blip should just wipe off the radar? Comment! In the meantime, I’ll be driving my 185,000 mile ‘06 Volvo V70 to the nearest Shell station for a can of Arnold Palmer so I can write more material. Ciao!