By on April 25, 2016

Acura CDX

Honda’s Chinese subsidiary is proud of the upcoming Acura CDX compact SUV, as it’s the first Acura designed for, and built in, that expanding car market.

Based on the Honda HR-V, the CDX tries to erase all signs of its body donor’s identity. Among other things, the new model adds shapelier flanks, conventional rear door handles, Acura’s new corporate diamond grille, and taillights that align with the brand.

The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine in the CDX is smaller than anything Acura offers on this side of the pond; it comes hooked to an eight-speed dual clutch transmission.

Acura CDX

The little Acura is pretty sharp, especially when compared to the HR-V, though SUV buyers in North America won’t like that it’s only available in China. However, there’s a ghost of a chance that fans’ prayers might be answered.

During the model’s development, the project’s chief drivetrain engineer, Naohisa Morishita, said it was his opinion that Acura needs the model.

“There is a market for it worldwide, not just in China,” he told Automotive News (via Motor Authority).

Representatives of Honda Motor (China) Investment Company have said the CDX was built with the Chinese market in mind, but that doesn’t guarantee that Acura won’t see possible benefits to adding the little guy to their North American lineup.

[Images: Honda Motor Company]

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27 Comments on “Acura Unveils Baby SUV in China; Are its North American Odds Slim or Nil?...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I see that it follows the refreshed 2017 MDX in displaying Acura’s new corporate front-fascia…with a logo that’s entirely too large.

    As long as its considerably less buzzy and cheap-feeling than the HR-V with which it shares a platform, Honda would be wise to bring that here.

    Then again, the RDX is not *that* expensive. It might be difficult to market it at a palatable price point without cannibalizing Honda sales.

    I’m gonna go with 50/50 chances of it being brought here vs not, based on what I just said. If it does come, expect it to cost around $30K, MSRP, for the cheapest version. It would compete well with nicer versions of the Encore, Countryman and 500X in the subcompact, semi-premium crossover arena.

    • 0 avatar

      “It might be difficult to market it at a palatable price point without cannibalising Honda sales.”

      So what if it cannibalises Honda sales? Wouldn’t that be preferable? They make more money off of this than the HRV (presumably).

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        The re-badge fancy Acura “civic” ILX did not cannibalize Honda civic sales.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          F*ck Acura directly.

          They have melted down from a once brilliantly run, masterfully crafted manufacturer into a sad, incompetently run, maker of uninspired, hideous, worse quality/durability, stylistically poor vehicles, and they deserve to fall further and faster into disrepute with idiotic moves such as allowing the horrendous HR-V to wear an Acura emblem.

          Cue the Acura sales “professionals” whose livelihoods depend on talking out their a$$es in an attempt to pull the wool over the uninformed & ignorant vehicle shoppers as to how this POS Acura and others that are donor Hondas are worth the extra 25% to 30% over a comparable (but equivalent in all but the most minor details) Honda.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Say something good, how about Mazda?

          • 0 avatar
            jrasero23

            @DeadWeight I have driven Honda’s and Acuras my whole life besides one stint with Lincoln and your statement pretty much sums up the problem with Acura haters/loyalists, in that they all wish for the nostalgic days when Acura built fun, light, cheap cars. The problem there already is a car company called Mazda that does this at the lower end.

            People want powerful, quiet (non racer boy), refined luxury. The problem with Acura is that they are still trying to cater to people like you who are stuck in the past. If they want to evolve and not die they need to start following the Germans like Lexus did and even Cadillac.

            I will say making the NSX and having the halo shadow did spin out some ideas for their sedans, but this article is talking about a segment (CUV) that doesn’t take chances. The CUV is the new family car the new mini van.

            Are Honda’s Acuras a bit overrated? Yes, there are better values, better performing cars but whether it be cellphones or houses, it all comes down to perception. Honda Acuras are safe* reliable* cars with good resale value* that get good fuel economy*. I get your point in all your posts as you spew out how a Chevy is just as good but you got to remember we had a couple of decades of POS Chevy, so it’s going to take many years to reverse this Honda is always better problem

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Americans like big logo! I always have :D.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Well, Buick has been successful with their tiny CUV; I can’t think of any inherent reason why this wouldn’t work.

    With Acura’s sales right now, it’s certainly worth a shot.

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    I wonder… is Honda/Acura aware that “CDX” is the designation given to a cheap grade of plywood?

  • avatar
    TMA1

    If a Mazda and Nissan CUV had a baby…

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    All the HR-V’s inadequacies for more money?

    Of course! Bring it!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Based on the Honda HR-V”

    Based on?

    “Among other things, the new model adds shapelier flanks, conventional rear door handles, Acura’s new corporate diamond grille, and taillights that align with the brand.”

    Wow that’s gotta be like a few hundred dollars in changes, you spoil us Hondura.

    Hey what’s the point of the RDX again? Oh right, same thing just eight inches longer. Gotta add those 29in rims though man, 19s ain’t cuttin’ it no more.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      8″ longer is pretty significant man. This is like saying “whats the point of the Civic? A Fit Sedan is the same thing”

      If anything, this thing needs to be a little bigger. RDX:CDX should be more like RX:NX, not RX:CT. All the gussying up in the world won’t make up for this thing’s tiny interior. That drivetrain sounds tasty though.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    @sporty accordy

    I look at it like this, as a brand Acura should be better than Honda despite some overlap. There shouldn’t be a corresponding Acura for nearly every Honda model and there should be better/more diverse drivetrain selection. If I’m paying significantly more for an RDX out of the gate than the CR-V, there shouldn’t be a crappier sub model in order to upsell me even more because HMC wants to amortize their HR-V investment faster. The lowest level Acura model should be better than the competition both within HMC and in the market. What’s happening is Honda models keep getting bigger and crappier sub models keep being spun up with nearly all Honda and Acura models carrying a near identical drivetrain and transmission with broughamtastic gingerbread options being the real difference between Honda and Acura. As you say, even with a revised “Acura” interior the Honda HR-V has a tiny interior and the Honda faithful have even articulated the models problems. An “Acura” only further diminished the Acura brand by offering what is already a criticized Honda product. This sort of move is straight out of GM’s playbook, Pontiac -> Olds -> Buick, Honda is supposed to be better than Old GM.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I don’t see the crime. The most successful Lexuses are the ES, followed by the RX- warmed over Camrys/Avalons. And there is plenty of space in powertrains. You can’t get the DCTs or SH-AWD on any Hondas, and it looks like even when the engines are the same (i.e. the 2.4) there is a fair amount of tuning to separate them. Again, seems unfair to shame HMA on powertrains when the best selling Lexuses share complete powetrains with lowly Camrys.

      The CDX’s problem isn’t that it’s a warmed over Acura- the LED headlights, trick transmission and torquey turbo 4 would be enough to sell me on it over the HR-V; the problem is the HR-V’s biggest problems, the tiny trunk and interior, still remain. If they could stretch it a little bit so it addresses those issues without stepping on the RDX toes it would be fine.

      But HMA is hardly alone in any of this. Audi has plenty of warmed over Golfs in various forms and they are all pretty good aside from the Q3. BMW just redid the X1 around an economy car platform and it is better for it. Lexus NX is a RAV-4. CLA, GLA, and Infiniti QX30 are all warmed over economy cars. Etc. Personally I don’t see the problem. I don’t need or want to pay for a bespoke platform if a warmed over mainstreamer can get the job done for less $$$. We are not talking about sports cars or anything here… aside from packaging and NVH platforms are irrelevant in this segment.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    Oh Lord. I was driving in front of a first-gen RDX yesterday and it just looked so….janky. The headlights were yellowed, with yellow halogen running lights (just like the corresponding CR-V models of that generation look). The beak looked silly and nothing about the car said “I am a step above a mainstream brand.”

    Styling-wise, the past decade of Acuras lack design sophistication. They don’t “look expensive.” Judging on exterior looks alone, they look like they are a parallel sister brand to Honda, not one that is positioned up-market. Like one of those weird Honda sub-brands they have in the JDM market.

    This new Acura grille is not helping things. The huge Acura logo is too big…again, lacking sophistication. And the idea of an HR-V based Acura is just so off-putting. Somehow the Encore seems more upmarket and I can’t put my finger on exactly HOW, but it just does to me.

    The parallels drawn to Old GM are interesting. Acura really is becoming the new 1990s Oldsmobile.

    These aren’t your father’s Acuras! :-(

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “the CDX tries to erase all signs of its body donor’s identity”

    It doesn’t try hard enough, there is no concealing the awkward silhouette and greenhouse of the HR-V. If the first couple of years of 150hp ILX weren’t enough to yank Acura’s brand image down, I suppose this could give them another shot. Unlike the ILX, though, it would sell.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I am not seeing what this brand separation gripe is about. What brands do a great job at it, and why does it even matter?

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      I don’t care about sharing platforms or drivetrains. My only gripes are with how Acura’s LOOK. When an Accord Sport looks more expensive than anything in the Acura stable, that is a problem. I’d argue that all other automakers do a better job of making their premium brands at least look the part.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    They’ll bring it here, because why not? It’s not like they won’t sell them all rather quickly. And at least it looks less poor house than the HRV.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    So, is this the same sheetmetal design as the HR-V only differing in the nose elements and the size of the backwards baseball cap plonked on top of the rear hatch?

    Will it really come in that shade of pinkish grey or is it just a reflection of the background turning grey to pink?

    I think I’d really rather have the Buick…Encore.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    Besides the grill, which IMO is the worse part of the HRV the CDX looks exactly like the Honda.

    I believe this WILL come to America and two it will be a huge hit. Acura loves giving customers entry level options as seem by the ILX starting at $28k, seeing the CDX AWD at $30k base isn’t out of the question.

    The RDX and MDX continue to sell regardless of the fact that they don’t hold up to Lexus or the Germans, while on the other hand the ILX and TLX have become everyone’s whipping boy cars.

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