Which is better Acura or Honda

In the mid-1980s, Honda established Acura as its premium brand

While the German automakers have positioned themselves more broadly in recent years with model offensives and covered the entire spectrum from small cars to luxury sedans under one brand, some of the large Japanese manufacturers took a different route. Alongside their core brand, they established their own luxury label, whose products were to be characterized by high-quality equipment and particularly powerful engines and which, since the 1990s, have increasingly strengthened their premium profile as part of independent series. An example of this strategy was provided by the Japanese vehicle and engine manufacturer Honda, which had been present in various countries on the world market with its luxury brand Acura since the mid-1980s.

For a long time, Acura models were only available as imported cars in Europe

The creation of Acura was initially aimed primarily at opening up new customer groups for the conventional Honda models in the USA and Canada by upgrading their equipment and engines. Later, Acura launched its own models based on Honda technology and expanded its activities into several countries. In Germany, Austria and other European markets, however, new or used cars from the Japanese luxury brand were rare. The reason: They were only sold there as privately imported vehicles or through special importers. An exception was Russia, where Acura was represented with its own dealer network.

Sedans, coupés and SUVs roll off the assembly line under the Acura label

Until the 1990s, Acura concentrated on the different segments of the middle class, in which sedans were offered in the classic notchback or hatchback design. Acura also presented coupés based on its mid-range sedans and, from 1991 to 2005, two-door sports cars in coupé form, which rolled off the assembly line as the Acura NSX alongside the Honda versions of the same name. At the turn of the millennium, the Japanese expanded their range to include crossovers and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which have been manufactured in different series in several generations since then. In the more recent years of construction, Acura was only represented on the market with compact and mid-range sedans and SUVs. There was an important change in the model names from the mid-1990s: Acura now switched to marketing the models in its various series with letter sequences.

The first Acura sedans and coupes are sister models to Honda

With the establishment of its luxury brand in North America, Honda first had to slowly build up a model range with which Acura was able to distinguish itself over the years. In the initial phase, Acura therefore used models such as the Integra or the Legend taken over from its parent company Honda in order to market them under its own label with only slight optical retouching. On the other hand, Honda later used models developed for Acura in North America in order to sell them on its home market under its own brand name. There was a special feature of the Acura models in the off-road vehicle class: the off-roaders with the name SLX, which were only offered for a short time from 1995 to 1999, came from the Honda cooperation partner Isuzu.

The compact Acura of the Integra and RSX series

Until shortly after the turn of the millennium, the Acura entry-level models focused on the Integra series, which was included in the Honda range of the same name. The compact models from the Japanese came on the market as a four-door sedan and a coupé from 1986. As a premium brand, it was reserved for Acura to offer the top model Integra Type R under its label in North America. In 2001, the manufacturer rearranged the nomenclature and brought the compact sports coupés to the salesrooms under the name RSX.

The Acura compact series EL, CSX and ILX

While the Integra and its successor in the USA remained in the program, Acura introduced a sedan series in Canada in 1997, which was given the name EL and was reserved for the Canadian market alone. The background to this decision: Honda had opened its own factory at its US neighbor and wanted to give its premium brand a more independent image there with the exclusive model. The Asians stuck to this strategy with the successor generation of the sedan derived from the Honda Civic, which was produced from 2005 to 2011 under the name CSX. It was only with the four-door model, which was marketed throughout North America under the name ILX from 2012, that the manufacturer standardized the names for its entry-level sedans.

The Acura limousines of the TL, TSX and TLX model series

In order to be able to meet the American market needs, Honda developed different versions within its mid-range series, marketed internationally as Accord, whereby the larger variants were reserved for the markets in North America. From the US offshoot, the Acura TL was created in 1995 as the successor to the Vigor, which until 2014 was predominantly manufactured by Honda in the USA in four generations. The smaller European model of the Accord provided the template for Acura to expand its mid-range vehicle range with the TSX in 2003. In 2014, the Japanese ended their dual strategy of sedans based on different Accord models. They brought the series of their middle class together under the name TLX.

The sedans of the RL and RLX series are the flagships in the Acura range

After Acura had brought its top models onto the market under the name Legend, which was taken over from Honda models, the Japanese positioned themselves more independently with the series of RL sedans presented in 1995. The RL was built in two generations until 2012 and took on the role of the flagship in the program. The successor in 2013 was the RLX, which in turn rolled off the production line as a four-door notchback sedan and was also available for the first time in a version with a hybrid drive.

Acura MDX, ZDX and RDX series SUV models

In order to be present in the booming segment of sport utility vehicles, which is particularly important and booming for the North American markets, Acura expanded its range in 2000 to include the MDX series, which replaced the SLX, which was largely taken over by Isuzu, and became a more independent model of the Acura brand should be recognizable. In order to sharpen its profile, the Honda subsidiary also launched an SUV coupé derived from the second MDX generation in 2009, which was only produced as the ZDX until 2013 and was later one of the exotic Acura cars as a used car. The program was rounded off by the RDX presented in 2006, with which Acura was now also represented in the compact SUV segment.