Monday, May 9, 2011

A Quarter Century of Acura

Hard to believe that it's been 25 years since Honda's upscale Acura division debuted. I remember the surprisingly substantial Legend and delightfully sporty Integra (Legend is pictured, left). It was a new idea--one that Toyota followed up with a few years later with the hugely successful Lexus division.

Why was Lexus more successful? Maybe because they tried to copy Mercedes-Benz more closely? Maybe they spent more on marketing. Was it the V8 engines?

Acura decided to drop their interesting and memorable model names for alphanumerics some years ago. Which do you prefer--Legend and Integra or RL and RSX? I write about cars and I sometimes can't remember which is which.

In an attempt to differentiate itself in buyers' minds, Acura has been adding a chrome beak to its various models over the last few years. The TL sedan was the most extreme iteration of this treatment. Good news! For 2012 it's been cut back and integrated more nicely (see below).

These are still fine cars, but sadly, their identity is still short on definition. Happy 25th Anniversary, though, to Acura.

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