Acura RLX Launches Back At Home As The Updated Honda Legend

Acura recently rolled out a revised version of its flagship RLX sedan. But the Acura brand really only competes in certain markets around the world. In other countries, like back home in Japan, Acura’s models are sold as Hondas.

So for those markets, the automaker has applied those same enhancements to the Honda Legend. That includes revised front-end styling, centered around the “beakless” new grille (wearing the big H badge, not the angular A), and encompassing new bumpers front and rear, along with new head- and tail-light graphics.

Inside you’ll find more ergonomic seats and silver trim. And with a more compact hybrid powertrain, the revised Legend has more trunk room, too. Honda also retuned the suspension for better handling, and added a wide array of active safety systems as part of its Honda Sensing suite.

The updated Honda Legend hits the Japanese market in Hybrid EX trim, complete with the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, starting at ¥7,074,000 – equivalent to about $65k at current exchange rates. That’s roughly the same as what Americans would pay for a similarly equipped Acura RLX Sport Hybrid. And with projected sales at about a thousand domestic units each year, its anticipated volume isn’t much lower than the US-spec RLX, either.

That price, incidentally, includes an eight-percent fuel-consumption tax that’s still levied on the big sedan despite its hybrid propulsion. But because it’s built locally by a domestic automaker, the Legend isn’t taxed as highly as a comparable import. Japanese buyers will find a comparable BMW 530e iPerformance or Mercedes-Benz E350e will set them back far more at ¥8.1 million (nearly $75k). At the same time, the domestically produced Lexus GS450h starts only slightly higher than the Legend, from 7.4 million yen (~$68k).

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  • Dr Strangefinger

    When will Honda wake up and revert Acura back to the Honda premium trim level it really is? Acura = the Japanese Lincoln. Yeah, that’s right.

    • Bash

      Applause! I can’t agree more.

    • Honda NSX-R

      Japanese Lincoln? More like Japanese Buick

    • PK

      i gotta admit. even the genesis is going to be ahead of acura in couple more years. the japs have no clue what they’re doing with acura at this point.

  • What’s with the front… looks very ummm… weird.

  • Leconte Dave

    Thats the problem with acura…

  • AxlRock

    Acura and Infinity both need to act fast and introduce products which belong in 2018’s luxury segment. Their current lineup is old and doesn’t have anything special.

    • U8INIT

      Remember now upon inception those two companies were launched to cater to “American tastes” so here we have it…


    Legend has gone…

  • StrangerGP

    A single vertical screen like the ones in the Volvos and Renaults would look much better than two smaller ones so close to each oter.

  • Honda NSX-R

    They didn’t even try to differentiate the RLX from the Legend, what a shame. All that hype for a new Acura grill/identity only to have it rebadged a Honda again.

    • Bananarama

      Err what? The Legend has always been a rebadged RL/RLX (and visa versa). Acura is an America only thing to separate Honda’s luxury and economy cars. They just blend them under Honda internationally, like Kia.

      • Honda NSX-R

        I know, but don’t you think Honda should probably reconsider things like this when rebadging the Acura RLX? Rebadging cars like this will just keep convincing consumers that Acuras are just fancier Hondas.

  • DM

    This is the badge this design is intended to wear. It looks as if it was designed as a Honda and got rebadged as an Acura. It just works as a Honda, and that ugly interior looks straight out of the previous Accord.

  • TB

    Yawn…looks like a Camry…Acura needs to get back on track w styling & performance. Neither currently justify their line-ups prices.

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    Well this is a far cry from the Acura Legend of yesteryear!

  • Joe E

    I just watched a documentary about the life of Biggie Smalls. In lots of scenes from the ’90s in LA you’d see ’90s Acura Legends in the background, usually gray, with dark tint, looking FLY. Those Legends were so slick and modern, and were all over the place here in LA. I have not seen one RLX of this generation anywhere in LA. It’s really a tragedy what has become of this model.


  • JT Mega

    Acura messed this car up the day they took the Legend name away from it and refuse to put in a V8 like other car companies did. Everybody was doing a V8 for there flagship cars and what Acura do…they tried to pass on a FWD V6 for luxury. They sold 50,000 legends in its prime. This car will never do that again they are done its too much competition out there now and Acura is not really considered luxury. They was the first to come to the US before Lexus. They should be in Lexus position right now but when you fail to innovate and half ass your products that what you get, rebadging hondas and selling them off as luxury( civic is the worst offender). I was always a Acura customer but i would never buy one again. I will give Hyundai credit they are doing great things with there Genesis brand and i think they will pass buy Acura after enough time has paased by.

  • PK

    is genesis ahead of infiniti too? so lexus is the only jap luxury auto that’s keeping it alive?

  • DJ

    I can’t believe they are holding on to that dropping character line on the front fender. It just looks wierd and when compared to the other Acuras. It looks like the car is going in reverse

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