Acura Won’t Launch New Crossovers, Will Focus On Fixing Its Sedans

The all-new 2019 Acura RDX crossover has seen an enthusiastic market reception in the United States.

Following its June launch, the RDX posted the sixth straight monthly sales record in November, with 2018 deliveries so far exceeding 2017 by 22 percent. The sales success is a sign Acura has got the redesign of its premium compact crossover right. The Honda-owned brand says the 2019 RDX is attracting younger buyers with its A-Spec trim as well as stealing sales from European luxury brands.

Acura wants to emulate the success of the RDX across the lineup, and that means all of its models will get fully redesigned according to similar principles — including the brand’s three sedans. Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda says customers can expect the brand’s passenger car lineup to get the same treatment as the RDX in the future.

Despite the fact that sedan sales are on the downward slope, the executive says Acura won’t give up on the ILX, TLX, and RLX — quite the contrary. While parent company Honda unveiled a new midsize SUV at the LA Auto Show (the Passport), Acura isn’t looking to add more crossovers to its lineup.

Once again, Acura denies plans to bring the CDX subcompact crossover to the U.S.

Not even the CDX subcompact crossover, which launched in China two years ago, won’t make it Stateside. A company spokesman said the RDX’s pricing (from $38,295) allows it to reach down into that smaller segment. Instead, the premium brand wants to get its core models right.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. What’s critical is that we stay disciplined and balanced. We’ll do our best to hit home runs with our sedans also,” Ikeda was quoted as saying by Automotive News.

This seems to be a healthy approach considering the fact that U.S. automakers are giving up on their sedans altogether. Acura is aware that there are things to improve on its passenger car lineup and wants to fix them before making any decisions on their future.

That’s all the more remarkable given the fact that crossovers and SUVs currently make up 70 percent of Acura’s sales. Not that long ago, sedans accounted for a similar share of the brand’s overall sales.

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  • TheAmerican

    Thank you Acura.

  • NoMan2015

    Another stumble by Acura. The RLX has NEVER been a sales success, neither was the last-gen RL. Given the changing market, why they would try again is beyond me. Similarly, they’re leaving a huge set of buyers on the table by not bringing a crossover to market that slots below the now-larger RDX. Reminder: they only have two crossovers, Honda now has four.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      Couldn’t agree more with you.
      So many model gaps. The RLX can be reborn, if they stop half stepping every time they bring something out. It must be LARGE, muscular, sensuous, etc. If the Koreans can do it, why not Honda??? Remember the LEGEND.

  • Dude

    You can’t do both at once? Having another crossover could allow for more investment in the sedans

    • Merc1

      That was my first thought but they just refreshed the RDX and MDX which are their franchise players so yeah it’s time to fix their cars. I don’t know what other crossovers they could launch. I personally would love to get excited about an Acura car again. It’s been many, many years since.

      M

      • NoMan2015

        As the article mentions, they could bring over the CDX to slot below the RDX or bring something to market to compete with the other near-luxury/luxury subcompacts. They could also let the next-gen MDX grow a little and slot something in between the RDX and MDX, like Honda just did with the Passport.

        • Merc1

          That thing is a joke so no they shouldn’t. Next generation MDX that’s great, but their cars need help NOW.

          M

          • NoMan2015

            I don’t disagree, but seeing how they’ve treated the RLX and now the ILX over the last few years, I have zero hope that anything they come up with will suddenly result in massive sales numbers.

          • Merc1

            I agree, but lets give them a chance. Lets see what they come up with this TLX Type S spied in testing.

            M

          • Andrewthecarguy

            Honestly, the TLX is a good sport sedan.
            What ACURA needs really badly is a large SUV to complete with the likes of the QX80. Make a Honda version if you must, but it will sell like hot cakes.

      • USOZ

        They could possibly launch a smaller SUV based on the HR-V or new Pilot to slot below the RDX.

    • Six Thousand Times

      I think that Acura makes a good point that if the RDX starts at $38K, they don’t need to go lower. They really could use a new ILX, though.

      • NoMan2015

        The GLA starts at just under $34K, the X1 starts at under $35K, and the Q3 starts at under $33K…

        • Six Thousand Times

          So for a few grand more you get a lot more car. And we all know what “starts at” means in German cars versus Japanese cars.

          • Andrewthecarguy

            Hahaha. Yep, you are right.
            I looked at a new X3 the other day and it looked great, right under $50k … no NAV. SMH facepalm.
            Why BMW would offer ANYTHING in the US markets without NAV as standard is beyond baffling to me. Worst case offer carplay/android auto standard.

          • TechLegend

            Most don’t offer Nav as standard… it’s usually a tech add on. That’s what makes the RDX such a bargain. To get a similar equipped x3 you’ll be spending 10grand more.

          • NoMan2015

            Just making the point re: the RDX starting at 38K that there is indeed room that many other brands have found to have another model at a lower starting price…

          • Six Thousand Times

            Fair enough but I’d bet that spec-for-spec, those cars aren’t really cheaper. Now, maybe there’s room higher up the ladder for a fancier Acura SUV above the MDX. I, for one am glad they are working on the cars as the current ILX is based on last-ten Civic architecture and the RLX is just hopeless.

  • Six Thousand Times

    It’s really time to give us a pure RWD non “hybrid” NSX. I’ll keep dreaming.

  • Archknight77

    If they were going to fix it, they should have started by offering an all-new ILX for 2019 instead of this rehash, followed quickly with a new TLX. Instead they would rather waste money by face-lifting models that are barely selling.

  • BrawlFreak786

    I think that the sedans definitely need to be reworked and they need to have much more power to them. Type S needs to be available for every single model including the RLX. With the same design language on the interior and a spec I think that the ilx and rlx can sell. TLX is already a seller but they need to fox the powertrains on all the sedans. I think the ilx needs to have a turbo 4 maybe the 1.5 from the Civic and the TLX gets the 2.0 from the rdx as well as the NA v6 and then turbo v6 for type S. The RLX should have the NA v6 and maybe a twin turbo v6 for a type S. The model they need to focus on the most is the RLX so that it doesn’t end up getting killed off like the ct6. Overall they need to put more sport in their sedans which it seems that they are doing that

  • TB

    They need to either kill off the RLX or give it a more comparable drive-train as it’s competitors.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      They need to consult the history books and figure out why the Legend was so legendary. Then and only then can they relaunch the RLX. Otherwise, yes, kill it off.

      • TB

        THAT…Sir…hit the nail on the head!! The Legend was named that for a reason. That is probably one of the best cars ever in their stable. They need to get back to that.

        • Andrewthecarguy

          Best cars indeed. I remember the Legend coupe with a manual attaining cult status … while it was still in production!!

      • Krisnadi Imam

        big, roomy, statelike with high level of polish, performance and comfort… A8, 7 Series never sold in large volumes as well… i really wonder what does ppl want these days.

        • Andrewthecarguy

          Kris, I used to think the same, but then the S class sells a ton, Lexus’ LS sells quite well, and the XJ, 7 and A8 sell in enough quantities. If there was no room in this market, Hyundai as Genesis would not bother about the Equus.
          I think ACURA can make a big roomy stately sedan and sell it well. It needs to be the NSX of large luxury sedans.

          • Krisnadi Imam

            u got a point there. but ppl associates with the brand more than the product. the 7 series sells almost none in relative term to S class. even compared to A8. lexus and merc brands and image association are what sells those cars. they are good products i must admit, but their competitors too are good, but why then they enjoy relatively even sales across those brands. just saying.

          • Andrewthecarguy

            SO I looked up the sales figures for the S, LS, 7 and A8…quite revealing, you should do the same.
            The 7 is closer to the S than one might think, and the LS has gone down drastically in the last 7 years.
            The A8 sells a lot less than I thought.
            There is room for the new LEGEND.

          • Krisnadi Imam

            i see, well i really do hope they make a proper legend. the old ones was really something special.
            my doubts arise perhaps from my geographical location, here in asia, ppl care more for brand and image than performance. acura / genesis / infinity are really a hard sell here, they dont ooze glam or prestige.

            unlike toyota, when ppl loves the brand so much, take the celsior and lc200 they arent sold here, yet ppl went as far as impoting them whole. when they finally brought them over, even when toyota slap the Lexus tax on them… ppl still sees it as godsend and pays whatever price they commanded.

            lexus represent what consumer sees as unnatainable luxury.

            i really cant comment much on this phenomenon… prolly we asians are just weird. lol.

          • Andrewthecarguy

            Wow, did not know that.
            It is definitely market specific for sure.
            I find it odd that in Germany you can end up in a S class taxi yet people still rank it above the 7.
            In the Arab world, the 7 is king.
            Market specific …

          • Krisnadi Imam

            indeed, market specific. here mpv based suv are all the rage. 7 seater or bust. lol. here is just one of the hot contender https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e35f16af7f9356cb8963e453cba1facafafa57eabcd17a70d47465791f10136.jpg

          • Andrewthecarguy

            what in the world???
            that looks like a CR V. Odd.

  • john1168

    It’s about freakin’ time… The current ILX is a joke and the current RLX needs an all new replacement asap! The TLX needs more improvement with a better looking front end, more power (more power is coming with a Type S in the near future) and a better 9 speed transmission.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Pointless and irrelevant brand. Assign this, infiniti and genesis to the history books. They haven’t worked.

  • jaykit

    The article is twisting the context that Ikeda used a bit. He acknowledges that 70% of Acura sales are going to be SUV’s. Also consider the new MDX is already done and developed. It will be out as a 2020 model late next year. So it makes sense now that they would fix the TLX and others. We will also see the end of the run with the J series V6’s to be replaced by K20 turbos and next gen turbo 6’s. I’m bullish on Acura. I think the next MDX is going to kill it and I think their new turbo 6 will be exciting as well. RLX though, it may be time to let an old friend rest.

    • EL CHAPO

      How do you know the next MDX is already done and developed? The new MDX won’t be out until the late 2020 or 2021 Where is your source on that oh wise one

  • Bo Hanan

    Scrape everything you currently have on the market and start over with new engineers.

    • jaykit

      I respectfully disagree. We got the new RDX and it is fantastic.

      • Enoch Gabriel Gonzales

        i think he’s talking about sedans

        • Bo Hanan

          Well now that you mention it……..

  • SteersUright

    Foolish move and only because they can re-use the Civic/Accord platforms. They are so clueless on how to make desirable luxury cars they decide that ignoring one of the largest automotive trends is wise in the days of high riding “coupe” SUV’s and endless crossovers from the Germans. If they truly wanted to make great sedans, they’d shift to rear-drive or AWD so good it rival the best from Audi’s S and RS divisions. Never going to happen when your foundation is an Accord or Civic.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      The TLX, as well as all models except for the ILX have available SH-AWD which is one of the best and most advanced AWD systems on the market.

      What are you talking about?

    • Mynameis Taylor

      I don’t think Acura’s driving dynamics are the problem. I think it’s their looks. Acura simply doesn’t make a good looking car anymore. Especially starting with the interiors……

  • MultiKdizzle

    How about a TLX Coupe?

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      They’d sell about 5.

      Look at how well the Lexus RC is selling and you’ll understand. Wasted effort and R&D spend.

      • Andrewthecarguy

        The RC is selling somewhat, but it sucks to drive. There is room in that market for a TLX coupe … a true 4 series competitor

  • Craig

    The RLX – Acura’s FLAGSHIP sedan – wasn’t even invited to the photo-shoot. I wish Acura would FINALLY get off its ass and create a flagship sedan worthy of respect. And bring back the name ‘LEGEND’. They should know by now that ‘RLX’ is not respected.

    • Enoch Gabriel Gonzales

      RWD platform is always the key. I wonder when will honda ever gonna get this. They can even use it for a new S2000.

      • Craig

        It would certainly be a promising place to start from.

  • Harry_Wild

    I would look at a new Legend aka RLX if it looks sharp!

  • Astonman

    I live in California. The top of the line one had the nicer leather interior.

    • TechLegend

      It’s probably the Advanced Pkg. But 48k is a bit much… most of those top out at 45 unless they added a bunch of nonsense features to inflate the cost.

      • Astonman

        Didn’t get to see what was offered after I saw the price – I stepped away… Happy Holidays

  • Andrewthecarguy

    Compared to the Japanese offerings. On par with the Infiniti, but that is not enough.
    Infiniti was were ACURA is now. Remember the J30? And how the Q45 died a slow shameful death?
    Then they rebadged a Nissan large SUV and Infiniti was reborn.

    A large SUV is exactly what ACURA dealers need. Price it at the lower end of the spectrum, much like the MDX competes size-wise with the X5 for example but it is priced liked an X3.
    Make a HONDA version, only makes sense. Toyota and Nissan have oversized SUVs that they made a killing with and barely updated.

    • Merc1

      Ha man, you know you’ve got no case when you have to compare it to the Japanese offerings. Means absolutely nothing. The Sport sedan class is dominated by the Europeans and until you can match that Acura has nothing. The new Genesis G70 also, now that’s a good sports sedan. The TLX is a really nice previous generation Accord. The Infiniti Q50 has been a joke since day one. The TLX is a nice car, nothing more. It doesn’t do squat to the competition as a sports sedans, especially the serious ones that are RWD from Europe and Genesis.

      M

  • TechLegend

    Ditto. Surprised nobody caught that. However… the CDX is probably due for a refresh by the time it makes it to our shores. It’ll likely be a NA product in 2 years. I bet it’s still in the cards. Probably the best looking of all Acuras ATM.

  • Bash

    Well, they have a lot of fixing to do, they’d better get started.

  • J M

    How about fixing the new RDX for the US market first?

    How is it that Acura includes features like adaptive headlights, folding mirrors, headlamp washer, windshield wiper de-icer, and other premium features on its most advance Canada market RDX trim level, for around the same price (adjusted for currency) as the top trim sold in the US? It is like Americans are too loyal and will buy the neutered models sold here anyway. Yes, it is keeping the sales nice for Acura, but doesn’t help the brand cachet, which continues to cause issues for the brand’s other sedan models.

    Poor decision by Acura of USA: short-term profitability over long-term brand viability.

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