Acura "Aghast" At Last Place CR Brand Ranking

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

“In a nutshell we would disagree with the assessment that Acura would fall that low in any survey,” an unnamed Acura company spokesman told Ward’s Automotive re: Consumer Reports recent brand perception survey. “Our research shows Acura is ranking high in technology aspects and brand awareness and those types of things.” Those type of things? Ed Farrell, associate director for Consumer Reports' survey team, defended the mag's methodology. He told Ward's that they interrupted 1,720 U.S. adults' family dinner to ask brand-related questions, like “When you think of performance, what car best typifies to you performance?” Typifies to you? On an aggregate basis, top place finishers Toyota and Honda earned scores of 189 and 146. Acura garnered just eight points, finishing below Audi (14 points), Mitsubishi (21 points) and Mercury (22 points). According to the unnamed Acura spokesman, "That may be one of those snapshots that’s blurry when it comes to Acura’s real image.” May? Looks like Acura joins another well-known automotive brand at the top of the charts for obfuscation, petulance, arrogance and denial.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Cicero Cicero on Jan 16, 2008

    I was kind of a Honda partisan in college, and in my twenties and thirties I owned two Civics, two Accords and a Prelude. When Acura was formed (and I could afford one) I was a natural candidate for one. I bought an Acura Vigor and was pretty happy with it. The Vigor was the last Honda product I owned. The posts here made me think about the reasons that I haven't thought seriously about Acura since selling the Vigor, even though I've purchased several Infinitis and Lexuses since then. In the mid-level luxury market, Acura just has nothing to offer. The RL is blandly styled - completely invisible on the street unless its mistaken for an Accord. Worse, there is no V-8 option and all of the cars are FWD (except the AWD RL). These tell me Acura isn't a serious player in this category. I've looked at Acura's product line each time I'm ready to buy a car because I still perceive Acura as building a quality product. But every time I look, I can't find a way that Acura equals its segment competition, let alone beats it. I also agree that the switch to alphanumeric model names was really confusing.

  • Coupdetat Coupdetat on Jan 16, 2008

    Personally, I admire Honda for sticking to its values and not building a V8. And in this day and age, it makes little sense to build one anyways, except in pickup trucks.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jan 17, 2008

    First: You folks need to get the message. The V8 era is over. "Interest Fades in the Once-Mighty V-8" by Bill Vlasic in the NYTimes on Jan. 16, 2008:

    The V-8 engine, long a symbol of power for American car companies, is sputtering. At the Detroit auto show this week, Detroit’s Big Three are promoting smaller engines and alternative-fuel vehicles, eliminating the V-8 from many models and relegating it to niche status. Ford Motor, which first popularized the V-8 in the 1930s, will start using a turbocharged 6-cylinder in many vehicles, including the next generation of its Explorer sport utility vehicle. ... General Motors recently canceled a $300 million program to develop a new V-8, citing new fuel-economy standards that require a 40 percent improvement in overall gas mileage by 2020. ... Car companies, in a sense, are catching up with shifting consumer tastes: sales of V-8 engines in the United States have dropped 24 percent since 2004, according to the auto research firm R. L. Polk & Company. I am fairly certain that Honda will not turn around now and do something they have never done before at a time when everyone else is coming around to their position. Second, you must appreciate that Honda always looks to minimize the number of platforms and engines that it is building and to maximize its opportunities to sell them. The Legend of which so many speak so fondly above is and was a JDM car that Honda brought over to sell here. It still is although they call it the RL now. The TL is sold in Japan as the Honda Inspire. The TSX, which was the old JDM Accord sedan is the smallest Acura in the US, but in Canada, the JDM Civic is sold as the Acura CSX. I do not know what the future holds, but I assume it will be much like the past and Honda will continue to badge engineer Acuras from JDM products and experiment with what works. I am hoping for a compact sedan with a turbo diesel as the next TSX.
  • Casper00 Casper00 on Jan 17, 2008

    I've always been an admirier of Acura's line-ups because I've own a few of them, legend, integra, and the TL. But when acura recently release the new RDX, I was disappointed, to top it off they have discontinue the NSX, CL and the RSX (due to loss in competition with the Honda Civic). But I've heard the new generation NSX is in the works and I've heard rumors that Acura is puting the same engine found in the RDX into the TSX. Hopefully in a few years the line-up will be back on track. Now back to the article, Acura doesn't really spend alot of money advertising their models compare with other manufacturers, so this might answer the question that alot of people are unaware of the brand and it's performance a technology. For example the Acura RL, comes with some of the some advance car systems ever, but due to it's v6 power, cars like the lexus GS models, Infinity G and M class tend to win over. So don't take people advice or rely on CR, go out and experience it for yourself.