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Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why
January 23, 2015
by Robert Sorokanich

If you were at all car-aware in the 1990s and 2000s, Acura was squarely on your radar. From the brand’s first Legends, to the iconic Integra, to the follow-up RSX and the halo-status NSX, Acura’s lineup always included something for the gearheads among us, complete with honest-to-goodness manual transmissions.

Not anymore. Come the 2016 model year, the only three-pedal vehicle left in Acura’s lineup—the somewhat slow-selling, Civic-based ILX—will lose its six-speed stick in favor of a dual-clutch automatic.

That’s a strange shift for the brand that helped define the affordable end of automotive enthusiasm in North America these past three decades. Who’s to blame?

Broadly speaking, it’s all of us. Which is to say, American car buyers and our vehicular preferences.

“The trend is clear for Acura as it has been for virtually every premium brand as well as mainstream brands,” said Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst at Navigant Research. “There has been a shift in the marketplace away from cars to crossovers and SUVs.”

CONTINUE AT CAR AND DRIVER
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

aaaaaand Acura slides further into who cares territory
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

As they point out, I loved Acura's product in the 90's and 2000's. I could probably assemble a B18C with my eyes closed as my brother raced them and I built them for him. Now I'd more then likely get a Toyota appliance (an Avalon) over an Acura. It's amazing how far they've slid...
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why
January 23, 2015
by Robert Sorokanich

If you were at all car-aware in the 1990s and 2000s, Acura was squarely on your radar. From the brand’s first Legends, to the iconic Integra, to the follow-up RSX and the halo-status NSX, Acura’s lineup always included something for the gearheads among us, complete with honest-to-goodness manual transmissions.

Not anymore. Come the 2016 model year, the only three-pedal vehicle left in Acura’s lineup—the somewhat slow-selling, Civic-based ILX—will lose its six-speed stick in favor of a dual-clutch automatic.

That’s a strange shift for the brand that helped define the affordable end of automotive enthusiasm in North America these past three decades. Who’s to blame?

Broadly speaking, it’s all of us. Which is to say, American car buyers and our vehicular preferences.

“The trend is clear for Acura as it has been for virtually every premium brand as well as mainstream brands,” said Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst at Navigant Research. “There has been a shift in the marketplace away from cars to crossovers and SUVs.”

CONTINUE AT CAR AND DRIVER
Perhaps the ILX was slow-selling because you can get the SAME EXACT CAR at a Honda dealer for much less. Little to do with the transmission.

Eliminating the manual transmission option will not take away from the fact that the ILX is still an overpriced Civic.
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

Perhaps the ILX was slow-selling because you can get the SAME EXACT CAR at a Honda dealer for much less. Little to do with the transmission.

Eliminating the manual transmission option will not take away from the fact that the ILX is still an overpriced Civic.
I agree, in part. I think that part of the shame in this is that the ILX was launched with the wrong engines, wasn't priced right, and didn't look right. The revised car looks much more the part and the engine lineup has improved. If they had offered the revised model with a stick-shift as well, I personally think it would have sold in better numbers.

Just my opinion.
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

I agree, in part. I think that part of the shame in this is that the ILX was launched with the wrong engines, wasn't priced right, and didn't look right. The revised car looks much more the part and the engine lineup has improved. If they had offered the revised model with a stick-shift as well, I personally think it would have sold in better numbers.

Just my opinion.
the 1.6EL was a way for Honda CANADA to offer leather in a TOP selling car (the CIVIC is a top seller up north) and back then Acura's where "affordable" and fun in a CIVIC sort of way
now they LIKE all other LUX intender makers are working on ever quieter and isolated cars ALA old Buicks
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

I would not buy any Acura product other than a used NSX...or maybe an RSX Type-S if I needed a budget friendly FWD car. If I were in HS or College and wanted a fun, lightweight, FWD commuter car with no payments, I would seriously look hard for a stock, late model Integra or Prelude that was well kept. The cost to fun ratio from a driver's perspective has not been matched since...and probably never will.
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

...or maybe an RSX Type-S if I needed a budget friendly FWD car. If I were in HS or College and wanted a fun, lightweight, FWD commuter car with no payments, I would seriously look hard for a stock, late model Integra or Prelude that was well kept. The cost to fun ratio from a driver's perspective has not been matched since...and probably never will.
True. They are also nearly unmatched in being stolen too...
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

I wonder how the new TLX is selling. The sad thing is each Acura product on sale is in a good "volume" segment and could potentially sell well, but some were not launched in a way that bodes well for success.

ILX - If they wanted to get close to A3/CLA/CT pricing it had to be more thoroughly premium. It looks like the update is taking them there and it should help, but they're up against some solid competition and it won't be easy. At last the Acura nameplate has some presence at this price range, however. I'd have liked to have seen a Type-S variant to build a bit more excitement (use the new 2.0T, perhaps?) for the media and build a stronger image. But overall the changes were almost exactly what I'd have done so I'm curious to see how it does.

RLX - Exactly what it should NOT have been. They needed something more dynamic and exciting. Although it's now solidly larger than lesser Acura sedans, it still has way too much in common with them. What it should've had was very dynamic, almost bespoke styling inside and out to really set itself apart from the TL/TLX. It didn't necessarily need to be roomier so long as its styling and personality were so clearly above a "mere" TL/TLX. Use the Accord's nearly 200 horsepower hybrid standard (more than quick enough and allows a good 45K starting price that can be the basis for aggressive lease options and marketed for its tech and efficiency). Instead they just went for an Acura boat.
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

If you merged the look and size of a TL and a RL you'd get a RLX with a 9-speed transmission, and that is exactly what we got. I'm not sure where Acura lost their way, but they are so lost that I'm afraid they can't even see where they are going.
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

NeverEnough said:
Acura still makes cars? I haven't noticed one in years...
you're LUCKY!

nadepalma said:
...was launched with the wrong engines, wasn't priced right, and didn't look right...
that^ sounds familiar


Amphibian said:
I wonder how the new TLX is selling....
at our little dealer-run autoshow thia last weekend,
just from a sit'n'look perspective, the REGAL beats the TLX hands down before even looking at pricetags
(pretty much the same against the Infiniti Q50 too imho)
 

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Re: Acura Is Getting Off the Stick—And Here’s Why

I wonder how the new TLX is selling. The sad thing is each Acura product on sale is in a good "volume" segment and could potentially sell well, but some were not launched in a way that bodes well for success.

ILX - If they wanted to get close to A3/CLA/CT pricing it had to be more thoroughly premium. It looks like the update is taking them there and it should help, but they're up against some solid competition and it won't be easy. At last the Acura nameplate has some presence at this price range, however. I'd have liked to have seen a Type-S variant to build a bit more excitement (use the new 2.0T, perhaps?) for the media and build a stronger image. But overall the changes were almost exactly what I'd have done so I'm curious to see how it does.

RLX - Exactly what it should NOT have been. They needed something more dynamic and exciting. Although it's now solidly larger than lesser Acura sedans, it still has way too much in common with them. What it should've had was very dynamic, almost bespoke styling inside and out to really set itself apart from the TL/TLX. It didn't necessarily need to be roomier so long as its styling and personality were so clearly above a "mere" TL/TLX. Use the Accord's nearly 200 horsepower hybrid standard (more than quick enough and allows a good 45K starting price that can be the basis for aggressive lease options and marketed for its tech and efficiency). Instead they just went for an Acura boat.
Yes, Amp, I agree with your comments. I just have not followed Acura nor Honda enough to elaborate or enter a worthy exchange. Sadly, I lost interest more than a few years ago. As far as their "classic" stuff, I still have a heart for it and remain an active member on a couple NSX forums.
 
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