Burying its loathed “shield”-style grille in the deepest depths of history’s dustbin is a big part of Acura’s plan to reverse falling sales, but product seems to be at least as big a problem as design.
The automaker, which has seen its U.S. sales fall 10.5 percent so far this year, is in the midst of a design pivot, though many feel that the brand needs a bigger shake-up then just a “diamond pentagon” grille. (Read More…)
So far, you’ve nominated 156 separate vehicles for TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Award — including a cornucopia of models that shouldn’t be nominated. (Reading comprehension, people!)
Here are some insights into the Best & Brightest hive mind.
Acura has two big changes in store for the refreshed 2017 MDX; one up front and in your face, the other hidden beneath its mainly familiar flanks.
The automaker’s flagship luxury SUV, revealed at the New York Auto Show, drops the “silver shield” grille that has adorned the face of Acuras big and small for years, favoring a diamond pentagon mouth reminiscent of the Acura Precision concept.
Acura said the Precision signaled a new design direction for the brand, so consider this the first shield to drop. (Read More…)
Everyone is eager to read Acura its Last Rites, but in the United States, it managed to outsell Audi last year. Despite having little to offer enthusiasts and traditional fans of the brand, the RDX and MDX are unqualified successes: the RDX outsells all of the small crossovers from Germany’s luxury bands (Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK etc.) with the larger MDX outsold only by the Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX respectively. As much as Acura touts the NSX as the future of the brand, what they could really stand to use is another crossover, one that slots below the RDX.
In a rather promotional feeling interview with Bloomberg, comedian and noted car collector Jerry Seinfeld discusses his growing relationship with Honda Motor’s Acura brand. Last year’s Super Bowl featured an ad for the upcoming revival of the NSX sports car scripted by Seinfeld himself, with a cameo from Jay Leno, riffing off of the two comics’ reputation as serious collectors. More recently Acura has become the sole sponsor of Seinfelds popular “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” webcasts. Jerry told the news agency that in general he’s not a fan of car advertising.
The RDX may have supplanted the MDX as Acura’s best-selling model, but Acura hopes to put the their mid-sized crossover back on top with the all-new 2014 MDX. To show us how they plan to do that, Acura invited us to Oregon to sample the new MDX for a day around Newberg. Even without the snazzy trip it’s easy to see that regaining the Acura sales crown shouldn’t be difficult. After all, the current MDX is Acura’s second best-selling vehicle and despite being seven years old (ancient in the auto biz) the MDX is still the best-selling 7-seat luxury SUV in America and the second best-selling mid-sized SUV/crossover period. How does one redesign success? Carefully.
Acura will replace their long-in-the-tooth MDX with a new model that looks a lot like the current MDX and even uses a similar 3.5L V6. The new model should look very similar to this concept. As it underwhelming as it seems, Honda did this with the CR-V and it’s arguably the best small crossover out there. The new RDX, despite criticisms relating to its lack of turbochargers, is a vastly improved car. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.
If you believe Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, the CAW is well on its way to organizing Honda’s Alliston, Ontario assembly plant. Lewenza told Ward’s Auto that “We’re getting some enthusiastic and strong support, but we’re not there yet.” The biggest problem for Lewenza is that the CAW has been in that position for almost two decades with respect to Alliston and hasn’t made any progress.
Infiniti has characteristically taken the path less travelled. The original Q45 was styled to express Japanese culture (rather than imitate the Germans), tuned for drivers, and infamously advertised with video of rocks and trees. The brand finally hit its stride thirteen years later with the compact rear-wheel-drive G35. It jumped on the crossover bandwagon with a pair of cozy cabined, firmly suspended, VQ-propelled eggs. Those seeking space for their family and their family’s stuff had a choice between the massive truck-based QX56 and something that wasn’t an Infiniti (often an Acura MDX). Market and dealer pressure to offer something much closer to the norm was no doubt intense. So, for 2013, we have the Infiniti JX35 (originally reviewed by Derek Kreindler). Has the brand’s character been overly compromised, or is this the crossover Infiniti should have offered from the start?