By on December 13, 2017

Acura CDX, image: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Officially, there is no word. Unofficially, Acura seems plenty content with the idea of bringing the Chinese-market CDX subcompact crossover to North America, so long as there’s a business case for it.

“It’s a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president of American Honda’s Acura division, last April.

Is an American design patent granted to Honda proof that the company’s braintrust have made up their minds?

2017 Acura CDX - Image: Acura China

It’s not a confirmation that U.S. buyers can soon choose from three Acura utility models, but it’s a significant piece of groundwork on behalf of the company. The patent, granted yesterday, shows what’s undoubtedly a CDX, a locally-produced model launched solely for Chinese buyers in 2016.

The diminutive vehicle, which borrows the Honda HR-V’s platform, doubled Acura’s China sales volume last year. As we posited earlier this year, success of the Acura brand in China would allow the company to invest in its American operations — and its products.

Acura CDX, Image: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

How it would fare in the U.S., however, is anyone’s guess. There’s no shortage of larger, more prestigious utility vehicles on the market, and the subcompact crossover segment isn’t exactly on fire. Still, some premium brands — BMW, for example — have recently eked out sales gains in a market that’s starting to slump. A CDX would also add some measure of extra sales to Acura’s U.S. ledger, plus serve as a new entry point for buyers.

Nor can Acura be seen with only two utility vehicles in its lineup. This isn’t 2002. Thanks to some help from Mercedes-Benz, rival Infiniti already has its own subcompact utility offering, and Lexus is reportedly weighing its own entry into the pint-sized segment. Acura wants to be competitive and, while a subcompact crossover isn’t a vehicle that makes a company, it isn’t good optics for a mainstream brand to ignore a segment inhabited by every last one of its competitors.

In China, CDX buyers have a choice of one engine and one transmission. So, no choice. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder provides the grunt, channelling its 182 horses through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

H/T to Bozi Tatarevic!

[Images: Acura, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]

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33 Comments on “Acura Drops Another Hint of a U.S.-bound CDX...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Something tells me the ILX is going away in favor of this…

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      For the life of me, I can’t see that as a bad thing.

      The ILX is old hat, the CDX hits the market where there is growth potential. As stated in the article, Acura is a bit lacking in the utility segment.

      Keep in mind, I’m looking at this from the perspective of what is good for Acura and its flagging sales, not for what I would personally want to buy/drive. I would like to see a new competitive, smaller sporty sedan/coupe from Acura, but lets be honest, that isn’t what the market is demanding. Is it demanding a lux’ed up HR-V? Well, safe to say more than it is the ILX.

      If the CDX is indeed different from the Honda, despite being based on it, then I think they could pull it off. I haven’t seen much written on the CDX, so I don’t know if that’s the case or if its just a Century to Honda’s Cutlass Ciera.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        ILX isn’t bad, actually…but I’m more concerned that another sedan has to die so we can get yet another CUV we need like a brain tumor.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          A sedan is what a struggling luxury brand needs like a brain tumor. Another utility to plug a gap is a whole other story. Again, from a sales perspective.

          I feel your pain and I see your point, but that doesn’t change the fact that buyers are hungry for utilities, and are rejecting sedans that are more than just good enough.

          No, the ILX isn’t bad (based on the significantly worse previous gen Civic as it is), and at some point, that might have been enough. But, that point in time has passed, my friend.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      ILX is going all battery. It was the Buick Verano that out sold it 3-to-1 during their day, only to a Buick off-it before the sedans sales crunch hit.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    That looks like a CR-V that’s been shrunken slightly with an Acura badge penciled in. Except for the lack of vertical tail-lights, you’d have a tough time telling the two apart unless they were side-by-side.

  • avatar
    EX35

    Another junk FWD econobox chassis masquerading as a “luxury” vehicle. I may be in the minority, but I will not spend luxury bucks for a car/CUV/truck that’s not on a RWD or RWD-biased platform.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    This thing looks like it was designed for the Chinese market. Completely tasteless and blingy. If you told me it was rebadged Chinese brand, I’d believe you.

    That said, Acura wants a piece of that sweet, sweet Encore market.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I really wonder if Honda should just throw in the towel with Acura, and instead just add another layer of “premium” onto Honda models (i.e. nicer interior, more gadgets and power) much like Ford has done since the termination of Mercury. After a promising start with the early Legend and Integra, Honda just doesn’t seem to have the capacity or creativity to successfully host a separate premium brand.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Acura Death watch starts in 3…2…1…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      They’re doing quite well with their CUV line, so I don’t see them dumping the brand. Now, if CUVs go out of fashion, or we have a recession, or gas prices go up again…that’s another story.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The market has changed since the days of the Acura Legend. Customers either buy a mass market brand like Honda or stretch their finances to lease a BMW, Mercedes, or Audi. There’s no room left in the middle.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        That’s in part because of cars like the CLA. Giving you the high-end badge without the expense of actually being worthy of it.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Nothing all that new there, John…”luxury” brands have been selling disguised family cars as “entry-luxury” since the ’70s.

          Examples: Cadillac Seville, Lincoln Versailles.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Yes, but Mercedes, at least in our market, has strayed from that until now, was my point. They didn’t bother with competing with the Lexus ES. They didn’t have to, until they started diluting their brand by chasing market share. The same happened with the cars you mentioned, more so with the Lincoln. But, never to be outdone, Cadillac has the Cimmiron to fall back on as its example of dipping too low thereby killing its brand value.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    Gross. Regardless of the fact that it’s FWD, Acura as a brand doesn’t have enough cachet to go this far downmarket without looking silly.

    And the styling reminds me of the first-gen RDX, which as aged horribly and just looks less premium than a contemporary CR-V with its huge plastic shield grill and yellow headlights.

    I wonder if Acura has a last-resort plan tucked away that involves selling its physical stores to Hyundai for Genesis and shutting down as a brand. I think they’re the weakest near-luxury brand. Even weaker than Buick, who at least has China.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “And the styling reminds me of the first-gen RDX, which as aged horribly and just looks less premium than a contemporary CR-V with its huge plastic shield grill and yellow headlights.”

      Does not compute. This doesn’t have the shield, nor the yellow headlights. The grille may not be beautiful, but its distinctive without being terrible. That alone is worthy of praise, as its pretty hard to pull that off in a sea of look-alikes resulting from restraints placed by impact standards.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    So the HRV is based on the Fit, right?

    If they Acura-fy it, will it still have the Fits short final gear? Or has that been remedied and I havent noticed?

    Frankly the styling makes me think of the Dodge Caliber, as with many modern CUVs.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Generic Acura is generic. Vague differences in height and length are what separates their models since even the model names are opaque.

    The buying process at an Acura dealer goes something like this,

    “I want a medium Acura suv, grey.”

    “Here you go ma’am.”

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      “I’m sorry, but we’re out of grey today. Plenty of black, white, and silver available though.”

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “Vague differences in height and length are what separates their models since even the model names are opaque.”

      Which is the case with a lot of brands. Sharing a common identity is normal. Seems to work okay for Jeep, with the Compass, Grand Cherokee and the soon-to-be facelifted Cherokee. Worked okay for Dodge too with the crosshairs. Seems to do BMW no disservice, either, moving on from Chrysler products, lest I be accused of bias.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    So far this year Buick has sold just shy of 35,000 Envison models.

    It seems the market is there for small CUVs.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    it only appeared and it already needs a grill-job

  • avatar
    33873

    I hear it will come with a complimentary pusy hat

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