By on November 14, 2016

2017 Acura MDX Front

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.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Acura is all too aware of its slipping standing.

“Of course, we’re never content with things,” said Acura public relations manager Matt Sloustcher. “This is a long-term game. Over the past year, we’ve put into place long-term, fundamental building blocks.”

What Sloustcher is referring to is the design elements borrowed from Acura’s Precision Concept, unveiled in Detroit in January. That sharp-edged sedan sported a wholly new face, which Acura claimed would be the new look for the brand. Already, the grille has found its way to the front of the 2017 MDX, with other model refreshes on the way.

October sales of the MDX SUV topped last year’s same-month total by 14.7 percent, so it’s possible that consumers like the new look. Still, like every automaker these days, Acura faces a rapidly changing marketplace where traditional passenger cars aren’t the draw they used to be. Buyers want moar crossovers and SUVs, and Acura’s lineup isn’t big on utility — especially when compared to some of its premium rivals.

What to do? First, it needs to back its sales hits with production that actually meets demand. As part of its SUV-focused production shake-up, parent Honda will soon start production of the MDX in its East Liberty, Ohio assembly plant. That means more volume for one of Acura’s few points of light. The smaller RDX has seen its sales remain steady, but it would need to do better to offset the loss of passenger cars sales.

As for the brand’s struggling sedans, at least one analyst feels the automaker would be better served by swapping one slow-seller for a new crossover or SUV. The TLX has seen its sales fall 23 percent this year, with the entry-level ILX down 16.2 percent. Don’t bet on sporty appearance packages changing that trajectory.

Ed Kim, director of industry analysis for consulting firm AutoPacific, told the Dispatch that Acura might already have a sales savior in the CDX, a subcompact utility vehicle sold only in China.

“Personally, if I was the one running Acura, I would consider dropping (the ILX sedan) and picking up the CDX,” Kim said.

The CDX, based on Honda’s HR-V, comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Subcompact crossovers are a growing segment, and Acura could fairly easily plug the gap in its lineup. However, there’s still the unanswered question of how buyers would feel about a badge-engineered HR-V with a steeper price tag.

According to an Acura representative, the brand has no immediate plans to bring the CDX to North America.

[Image: Honda North America]

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67 Comments on “Acura’s SUVs Can’t Compensate for Sinking Sedans; Will a New Beak Help?...”

  • avatar

    “According to an Acura representative, the brand has no immediate plans to bring the CDX to North America.”

    I don’t believe that for a second. The HR-V is already here, you’ll make it’s fancy cousin like everybody else does through all time.

    The new grille is a big improvement to my eyes. I like the yuuge logo.

  • avatar

    That picture used in the opening, from that high angle it looks like the Acura Allroad.

  • avatar

    it is a shame more folks do not even look at Acura, I test drove a used TL w AWD and the beak this weekend, the price was pretty good and the car drove great. Everyone I know who has a acura loves it and would not go back to german cars but it seems not enough folks even give them a look.

    • 0 avatar

      Right, I love my 16 year-old Acura and the 11 year-old one I had before it, but it’s hard to give the new ones a look when they look like they do.(And that goes for all of today’s OVERSTYLED inside-and-out FASHION HANDBAGS.)

    • 0 avatar

      I still feel that the best Acura is a slightly used Acura. I cannot justify the price of a new one when an off lease model is reasonable. I purchased a used ’13 MDX with less than 22K mileage this year (off lease vehicle). While mechanically similar to the Pilot, there are some model exclusive niceties that my wife liked. To me, the 2013 model year is the best compromise of a restrained beak while still having the dual exhaust exposed in the rear.

      With that said, the vehicle still feels instantly familiar to any Honda owner and that is the crux of the problem for Acura. There is still not that much that differentiates an Acura to it’s Honda stablemates to justify the price disparity. The TLX is nice but the new Accord is a much better value. The ILX is a dressed up old Civic, while the new Civic is massively improved. The same can be said for the rest of the model lineup. Acura are simply good vehicles when the buying public demands better vehicles for the price difference.

      As an aside, I do look out for a 2014 TL AWD/3.7L with the 6 speed as perfect all weather sleeper sports sedan.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    The MDX is a fancy Pilot, no? Wow, MDX’s front clip so prettier! No fat-cheeks.

  • avatar

    Acura needs a major overhaul of its design team. Their designs look dated inside and out from the moment their cars/SUVs are launched.. Acura’s line up is a time travel back to a luxury showrooms from 8 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Old Man Pants

      What’s your idea of getting the design right? I’m seriously curious. Any examples of properly done SUVs?

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think Acura needs to get the design perfectly right. They simply need to create a design that is memorable in that a certain subset of luxury shoppers find it desirable.

        For example Lexus design is very forward looking as it is an adventurous and you can say a risky design language. Some people like this and will feel a strong connection with the brand. Others will find Lexus cars ugly. But obviously Lexus has found a lot of luxury car shoppers that like their designs.

        On the other end of the spectrum is Audi and it is a very restrained and conservative design. But Audi has great design detailing that keeps their cars looking sharp and contemporary. BMW design language falls somewhere in between Audi and Lexus. I’m generalizing a bit here of course.

        Acura needs to either go all out as Lexus design or something a bit more conservative and closer to BMW. They probably think they have restrained luxury design like Audi. But they can’t pull it off and probably never will. Instead this restrained design language makes their cars/SUVs look dated instead, with no character and thus generating zero desirability from luxury buyers.

        • 0 avatar

          “But obviously Lexus has found a lot of luxury car shoppers that like their designs.”

          “But obviously Lexus has found a lot of luxury car shoppers that like their reliability and badge prestige.”

          Fixed that for you.

          “Acura needs to either go all out as Lexus design or something a bit more conservative and closer to BMW.”

          They went all out with the beak. It didn’t work because they don’t have a Lexus badge to go on the front.

          • 0 avatar

            I guess you subscribe to the “Lexus cars are so ugly that the only reason people buy them is because they are reliable and prestigious”. But if that were true wouldn’t at some point the utter ugliness of the cars catch up and damage the brand?

            Also cars today are much more reliable than in the past so that issues of reliability are less a factor, especially in the luxury car market. I think you would be surprised how many shoppers, especially on the younger side of the spectrum love the Lexus designs.

            Visit a car show and see just how empty the Acura booth is. Their cars are bland and don’t generate any excitement. That is the core of their problem. They need inject some design energy into their cars as Honda did with the new Civic which is selling very well.

          • 0 avatar

            “the utter ugliness of the cars catch up and damage the brand?”

            No, not when everything has at least 30% ugly and Lexus just has 55%.

            “Also cars today are much more reliable than in the past so that issues of reliability are less a factor, especially in the luxury car market.”

            This comment is so generalized that it doesn’t actually mean anything.

            “They need inject some design energy into their cars as Honda did with the new Civic which is selling very well.”

            Show me a Civic since 1980 which has -not- sold well. You keep correlating sales success with design acceptance. This is not the case.

          • 0 avatar

            “They went all out with the beak. It didn’t work because they don’t have a Lexus badge to go on the front.”

            No. As a pre-beak Acura owner, I’ll confidently say it didn’t work because the beak looked like ass. And there’s a site full of disgusted Acurazine posters who have nothing to do with Lexus to prove it.

            It really isn’t complicated. Sometimes an ugly cigar is just an ugly cigar.

            P.S. I’m thrilled about the new grille because of what it’s not. It’s the right move, eight years too late.

          • 0 avatar

            I like Lexus designs. Well enough I bought a GS. Hell I liked the Pokemon Mazdaspeed 3.

            The MDX has thrived only because of the lack of a 3 row CUV from Lexus.

            Acuras interiors just aren’t that great. The exteriors should all be shifted down to the Honda line, they are nice but boring and mostly inoffensive.

            Acura should have their looks be a statement. You know what would be a great statement? The pre-Bangle era BMW. Upright, serious looking machines.

        • 0 avatar
          Old Man Pants

          ” create a design that is memorable in that a certain subset of luxury shoppers find it desirable.”

          There have long been Edsel fan clubs.

          • 0 avatar

            “In that a certain subset of luxury shoppers…”

            Didn’t work for Saab.

          • 0 avatar

            Acura would be the first to admit they have a problem with the design of their cars. Look at all the revisions they made to their grille over the years. That means they haven’t been able to establish a design identity. They will have a new grille design in 2-3 years trust me.

          • 0 avatar

            The new grill really isn’t much of an improvement over the original, oversized beak (the beak-grill, when Acura, toned it down, while still not particularly aesthetically pleasing, is better than the new grill shape).

            The problem with Acura sedan lineup was that they don’t have anything notable about them – and then there’s the increased competition – from Cadillac, Genesis, Lincoln and even Buick.

            And Acura’s crossovers are not immune either – as there is and will continue to be increased competition when it comes to lower-priced FWD crossovers (Lincoln, Volvo, etc. with Cadillac adding at least 2 more crossovers to join the XT5) or even RWD crossovers around the same price-range (Genesis).

            As for Lexus, many buyers will overlook design as long as something is reliable (the CR-V from a generation ago wasn’t a looker, but was a big seller for Honda).

            But still, the current GS has never sold as well as the previous generations – despite being praised as the best handling GS.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I want to like the TLX, I was very excited about it when it was coming out, but for whatever reason I can’t convince myself it’s competitive for the price.
    I’d want a V6 AWD and the more I look at it, the more I move toward Lexus despite not liking the front of the IS350 as much as the TLX.

    • 0 avatar

      The IS is quite a lot more cramped than the TLX isn’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        I just drove an IS over the weekend. It’s a LOT better than the previous generation. Getting in and out of the back is still a bit of a pain in a parking lot though.

        I haven’t been inside a TLX yet.

    • 0 avatar

      TLX for many equals a fancy Accord that recommends premium fuel. The market is obviously changing from boring sedan’d to suv’s. Yes, on this site do not except that concept. Sales numbers prove my point. The TLX is not a awful vehicle. It just looks weak up against many other sedans and suv’s. Same thing with the ILX. Looks like a cheap little sedan.

  • avatar

    I needed a bigger vehicle to replace my A4. I went to the Acura dealer. I was dressed casually. They couldnt ignore me fast enough. Several sales people who saw me staring at the MDX just walked on by. It was mid day, they were open, So I walked in to the reception and asked to speak to a sales person. they paged one over the loudspeaker. I wanted 5 minutes while nobody showed up. By now I was bored, so I left, and went next door to the Porsche dealer. Greeted instantly, got to drive a macan within 2 minutes, it was too small and they didnt have the options I wanted without ordering. The next day went to a different acura dealer, got the SAME cold shoulder. Finally said fuck you guys and swore off a car that I probably wouldnt have bought anyway…

    • 0 avatar

      The way you use words is just beautiful.

    • 0 avatar

      Man that sucks that you had two bad experiences.

      When I was shopping for my next car (that wound up being an indirect replacement of the family vehicle), Acura was my first stop. I pulled up in my ’03 RAV, and got the red carpet treatment. I had looked at the ILX, and thought about leasing one, but (if I had bought myself a car) decided on leasing an ’16 Accord Sport because the monthly payment was lower, and I felt more connected to the car.

    • 0 avatar

      What did you buy?

    • 0 avatar

      I have experienced similar situations at Acura dealers. Then walked across the street to the MB and was at least greeted. Sure the MB salesman was snooty that is to be expected. But, Acura? Hilarious. Acura is a brand that could disappear and not to many would even notice.

    • 0 avatar

      I have an old Acura, but when I go into the Acura dealer for a poke around I actually enjoy being left alone. And on those occasions when I was interested in driving something (manual 2009 TSX, used TSX wagon) I called ahead and made an appointment. Like you alude to, you weren’t all that motivated…?

  • avatar

    I appear to be in the minority, but to me the new beak just looks like a Kia Sorento from a couple of years ago.

    Whoever let the design team behind the 3rd gen. TL (2004-2008) walk out the door should commit ritual seppuku in the lobby of their HQ.

  • avatar

    Beaks, grilles, the NSX, etc. won’t help anything until Honda can answer the following question:

    What is Acura?

    ‘cos right now, it just *looks* like “Hondas with more gizmos.”

    • 0 avatar

      I mean, what even is an Acura?

    • 0 avatar

      “What is Acura?”

      Honda’s North American marketing experiment that never really took off.

      Unless Acura becomes a real global brand with the necessary resources to build competitive products they will continue to be Honda’s Mercury.

      • 0 avatar

        Acura’s first 10 years were it’s best. The Legend, Integra and NSX. It wasn’t a marketing arm of Honda – they made interesting, exciting cars that were much better than others in their class at the time. They stumbled badly since and have been wandering for a long time.

        They should find a way to bring more of the sport hybrid tech to other models like they are with the MDX and work on a major restyling effort similar to what Hyundai and Lincoln have done. Their interiors need a major revamping too, as the dual screen setup is clunky.

        • 0 avatar
          DC Bruce

          This. While the very first Acura Legend was hard to distinguish from a Honda Accord, the next generation went radical: they oriented the engines north-south and did all kinds of things that simply weren’t available from Honda.

          Then they went back to being fancy, rebadged Hondas: same engines (transversely mounted), a little fancier interiors with higher and generally non-negotiable prices.

          I’m sure I’m in the minority, but when I cross-shopped an MDX with a Pilot in 2008, I actually preferred the Pilot. When it’s a box you want, then they should give you a box. The MDX didn’t give me a box. Yes, the interior was marginally nicer; the trick AWD system, I suppose is cool; and the engine was a bit more powerful.

          If you want people to buy luxury, then you have to give it to them . . . especially when your “base” product is so good.

          • 0 avatar
            Gardiner Westbound


            Acura has more issues than styling and marketing. Consumer Reports’ (12/2016) influential manufacturer reliability score puts it at No. 12, not even in the top ten!

    • 0 avatar

      It’s supposed to be a Honda with more Gizmos.

      It’s not in Honda’s corporate DNA to, on purpose, make their eponymously branded cars fundamentally lesser than those of their upscale brand. Test beds for new (to Honda) technology, and exercises in how far what is fundamentally a mass market Honda can be taken in directions of upscaleness, yes. A completely separate line of cars, not so much.

      Eventually, the bubble in the West will burst. Just like it did in Japan. Then, Honda’s strategy will have fewer downsides than the much more expensive one pursued by Toyota/Lexus, as the Honda/Acura mix is much more fungible and can be adopted to changing realities much quicker and cheaper.

  • avatar

    All jokes aside, they should bring back the ZDX. There will be more interest in that than any Acura sedan at this point in time.

    Sedans are largely a style decision at these price points. People would much rather have an SUV coupe than a boring sedan.

  • avatar

    They need more variety in their product lineup, especially an “attainable halo” vehicle that could slot below the NSX (apparently this is coming).

    Also, bring back the iconic names like Integra and Legend. I personally want a modern-day Integra hatchback that’s more than a gussied-up Si.

    • 0 avatar

      Integra hatchback? Make it a Civic Type R in adult clothes and a 4 year, 50K mile warranty.

      Let me tell you, the old ILX 6-speed works. Restrained design inside and out, but the guts of the Si. And there’s no shame in that.

  • avatar

    “However, there’s still the unanswered question of how buyers would feel about a badge-engineered HR-V with a steeper price tag.”

    So is this one more or less badge engineered than the ILX?

  • avatar

    I think Acura’s biggest competitor is Honda. The vehicles and the “ownership experience” just aren’t enough better to justify the price increment. I’m sure at the time it looked like a slam dunk strategy for more profits but it may be time to Scion-ize the brand.

  • avatar

    If only they stuck with the shield from the early 2nd gen MDX, instead of going full beak. I like the beak on the TL and the ZDX still looks sharp, but everything else is forgettable. This new diamond grille is horrendous.

  • avatar

    “Personally, if I was the one running Acura, I would consider dropping (the ILX sedan) and picking up the CDX,” In other words, do what Buick has already done.

    How is it that Acura (and Honda) are so slow to respond to the market that they are actually behind GM in bringing out small SUV’s? Yes, GM has Opel in Europe to engineer little things like the Encore / Mocha, but small cars in Japan aren’t exactly new. Maybe that’s the problem, Europe has embraced the little SUV while the Japanese are still about little sedans.

  • avatar

    We had an Acura. A 2012 TSX with a stick.

    I ended up giving it to my sister, and we replaced it with a crv. They both cost the same amount.

    My sister was in town a few weeks ago, and let me drive the Acura (It’s got 50k on it now) and everything felt just as tight as it did new. They did end up replacing the battery under warranty, and that was the only problem with the car so far.

    I lost interest in anything from Acura when they stopped making manual transmissions.

    About the only thing over there that interests me now is super handling all wheel drive. But it’s hooked up to a crappy transmission in the TLX, and the MDX is out of our price range. Plus, I didn’t like the exhaust tip delete, nor the beak.

    Acura has made a lot of bone headed decisions over the past decade, and making Hondas less desirable with tacky looking instrument panals, no memory seats, assy headlights, and god awful exterior design wont make up for it.

    If Acura wants to get people to buy them, they need to make them out of more durable parts. Durable parts that look and feel like they are better than Honda. Even comparing my 1988 Accord to the 2012 TSX, the decontenting is apparent. From the door seals, to the seat fabric, to the trunk pull, to the headliner, to the buttons and switch-gear….. The older car was built better.

    Acura needs to take pride in what they sell. It looks like they take pride in how cheep they can sell “luxury” from where I sit. That doesn’t impress me.

  • avatar

    Acura’s problem is simple: nobody cares enough about the “A” badge to spend $10-$20K more for a spruced-up Honda. Particularly when that spruced-up Honda is uglier than the car it’s based on. Add in that a Honda is typically a very good car and the insignificant “upgrade” that Acura represents doesn’t justify the added cost.

  • avatar
    George B

    Acura and other not quite luxury brands can’t convince consumers to pay the price premium over the mainstream brand. Acura did fairly well before ubiquitous broadband internet access, but today average consumers have more exposure than ever before to the consumption choices of big spenders. If you want signal your income to other people, you need a house that’s too big and a car that consumes too much time and money for most people to afford. Acura doesn’t get the job done. Even Asians buy/lease German luxury brand cars to signal their status today. The Acura Cake on South Park illustrated this perfectly 10 years ago.

    • 0 avatar

      “Even Asians buy/lease German luxury brand cars to signal their status today.”

      I totally believe that. Had a work counterpart who was an American engineer of German parents, good German name and spoke some German. He was a sales liason with several Japanese and Korean OEMs and said they always treated him with much more respect than his American peers.

    • 0 avatar

      Asians have always bought German to signal their status (or back in the day, Cadillac or Lincoln).

      For mainstream buyers – they mostly bought Japanese (Toyota or Honda) due to the reliability.

  • avatar

    No other car brand has worked so hard to fail as the Acura division of AHM. They deserve failure , they earned it. As to the statement that “it will take time to turn around” that type of thinking is in large part why Acura has become a failure. Acuras
    SUV sales are all they have , and with the Honda branded SUV’s no longer sporting a box look , that will not help sell Acuras as it may have done in the past. RIP Acura , you HAD mojo , but you threw it away.

  • avatar

    As a current and happy TSX Sportwagon owner, I’m a bit disappointed in all the hate for Acura. They really aren’t that bad of cars. The price difference between a high end Honda and low end Acura is not so much. They are cheaper out the door than their competition. Sales are down for all sedans and they only have 2 SUVs. To me their real sin is not developing their products as rapid as they do with Honda. People like to see “new and improved.”

  • avatar

    Acura builds very nice ugrades from Hondas. And people who want a ‘better’ Honda buy them. It’s just that the only people who buy them are those who want a ‘better ‘Honda. I doubt that they steal customer from any other brand, except for those who were followers of now dead premium brands. They also seem to spend an awful lot of money creating unique cars that look too much like their Honda counterparts. The ILX fr example still looks like a more subtle upscale Civic, despite most of the body being redesigned. For the most part they look great (apart from the shield/beak I guess, even if I personally like it), but as said they look old, in the same way all German premium cars used to look old, until they suddenly looked like sci-fi creatures, just like Infiniti/Lexus. (Excluding Audi, which still look kinda old, but gets modernized headlights every year, and offcourse Audi can usually compensate for their looks with cool mechanics.)

  • avatar

    According to “Consumer Reports,” in recent years Acura’s cars (the RLX, TLX and ILX) have all had worse-than-average frequency of repair records, notably automatic transmission problems. Meanwhile, their CUVs (the MDX and RDX) have maintained better-than-average frequency of repair records.

    Might have something to do with the lousy car sales.

    • 0 avatar

      Bingo! I have a ’15 TLX V6 for a company car and it’s a huge disappointment. The car has lots of problems (engine, trans, electrical) and if that wasn’t bad enough the dealer service is the worst I’ve ever experienced. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve talked out of buying an Acura. Thankfully mine is a company car and will be gone in less than two years. In the meantime I’ll continue to share my Acura experience with anyone who’ll listen.

      PS I’m not anti-Acura as I’ve owned four previous ones but the TLX is an abomination. You’d be better off buying a used Lexus vs a new Acura.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Acura: what an amazing experiment gone bad.

    First we get the Vigor, NSX, Legend, Integra. All awesome cars in their own right. But 20 years later, they still have yet to come up with anything (to me) worth considering. As many have said here, their is just not a market for a tarted up Honda Pilot/Accord/Civic/CrV.

    Saturn, great idea gone bad. Acura right behind them. How much cash does AHMC waste dealing with Acura, that is a question that I would love to have some insight on.

  • avatar

    I have only owned Acura’s the past 15 years and won’t switch except for the right Lexus (GS-F and LC 500).

    I really just want Acura to give me something very close to my beloved 4G TL AWD with:
    1. Twin Turbo 2,500cc – 3,000cc V6
    2. SH AWD
    3. 7-10 speed dual clutch or auto
    4. Aggressive wide body

    They almost have all the peices to do this and the MDX and other cars could share the peices.

    I really want Honda to bring scaled down NSX tech to a premium 4 door sedan.

  • avatar

    The ILX with the 2.4L and 8 speed DCT is pretty fun to drive. Not sure why anyone would buy a base TLX with the same powertrain.

  • avatar

    The new beak is a huge improvement. I will begin to look at Acuras again. Lexus should follow this lead and change their terrible corporate nose also.

  • avatar

    Waited a while to comment. Wanted to see the range of comments because…I have just bought a 2017 Acura RDX Elite, after extensive shopping!

    Let me comment on the easy things first.

    Dealership experience: commenting on one’s dealership experience doesn’t say all that much about a car, or even a brand. I visited at least 12 dealerships in my quest for a new car. My conclusions? Mazda was the worst (2 dealerships). Didn’t have the model I wanted to see in stock (CX-9 Signature). Couldn’t explain why I should buy that car if their life depended on it. Never called back even when they received some. One of the Mazda dealerships didn’t want to let me test drive the car in town and restricted me to a pre-determined (nice) highway circuit (I laughed at him and walked out). Honda and Toyota were close seconds (not even the receptionist spoke to me in 3 dealerships. Salespeople kept surfing the web until I walked out in two cases. I had to ask for help in one case). Volvo and Subaru felt like nobody had invested in the dealership since the 1990s and the salespeople were not really interested in their product. The BMW guy couldn’t work the iDrive and the Volkswagen guy was trying to convince me that test-driving a base 2014 Touareg TDI was as good as test-driving a 2017 petrol Execline. Audi, Lexus and Acura were all very good. What does that say? Nothing. Your buying experience may vary depending on were you are, on the day and on who you happen to stumble onto. Mine made me eliminate a number of potentially good brands and vehicles. But, there are plenty of other ones out there. You’re selling me a car? You should make an effort.

    Reviews do not mean much either. Most of them are copying from each other or from the corporate blurb, sometimes verbatim. In many cases, you wonder if they actually drove the car. In other cases, it’s clear they didn’t. I narrowed down my selection to an Audi, an Acura, a Volvo, a Mercedes or a BMW based on some of the more detailed, hands-on reviews, including TTAC. One example of dubious reviewing: One of the big downsides of the RDX, based on almost all the reviews, is the two-screen infotainment system. Yet, reviewers who posted actual road tests and demonstrated the system on video thought it was pretty decent. So did I. I mastered it in about 10 minutes with no help from a rep or a manual. Can’t say the same of the iDrive or Sensus…

    Your priorities, your life-experience (no Ford or GM for me), your driving style and your budget are also factors. For me, level and quality of amenities vs price is a factor. Reliability, dealership location and friendliness, actual ride quality and useability are factors. The quality of the sound system is a factor. Overall aesthetics is something of a factor but, you are inside the car when you drive it. In the end, after careful study, visits to the dealership and test drives (I test drove the RDX extensively twice, both times without a sales rep on board), I picked the RDX over a Q5 or an X3 because the RDX (similarly equipped) was 14000Can$ less than a Q5 and 20000Can$ less than a X3 and, while I could afford the more expensive cars, I just couldn’t justify it in my mind. Yes, the Q5 and the X3 are nicer vehicles with great rides, but are they 25% or 40% better than the RDX? Not to me but, I won’t judge you if you buy one.

    Finally, just to address another point of contention here, I also studied and test-drove the CR-V Touring (12000Can$ less than the RDX). To me, it rides like a cart on a dirt road and has a lousy sound system (vs the ELS). Your experience may vary.

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