The name Acura is well-known among car enthusiasts. Acura cars have been recognized as some of the best imports, and have been frequently used in motorsports, and movies. It is also popular even the world of car modification. However, not many people who drive an Acura car know that it’s a division of Japanese car manufacturer Honda. Its logo, shown as a stylised A, is sometimes interpreted as an H. Acura cars have appeared in movies, most notably those made by Marvel Entertainment.
Here’s a look at this company’s history, as well as their line of luxury cars.
Acura is regarded as the first Japanese luxury car brand that was launched in 1986. With Honda having been in the US for quite a while, they saw it fit to launch a line of luxury cars that could compete with some of America’s best. Acura started off with two models: the aptly-named Acura Legend, a full-size luxury car, and the Acura Integra, a compact sports car. The Legend became so successful that Honda’s competitors Toyota and Nissan started manufacturing luxury cars, leading to the creation of the Toyota Nexus line and the Nissan Infiniti line. Acura cars eventually outsold even their counterparts Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Apart from the Legend and the Integra, Acura had one other car that really set the stage for their success: the Acura NSX. Short for “New Sports eXperimental,” it was to become the first-ever Japanese-built car that can compete with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, essentially the first Japanese supercar. It also featured the now-popular logo for Acura: the A-badge, a stylised pair of callipers that implied precision among any of Acura’s vehicles.
Sales went down for Acura between the mid and late 90s, but thanks to major redesigns and new models, they regained some of their success by the turn of the century. Today, Acura continues to be one of the best brands of luxury import cars in the US.
Though the resurrection of the popular NSX line isn’t scheduled until next year, Acura still has a good base for their luxury car line. One of their best selling cars is the Acura TL, a resurrected model from early 2000. It’s powered by a 3.5-L VTEC V6 engine which puts out 280 hp, yet still manages a 29 mpg Hwy rating. This is high considering the power its engine has.
It comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission that also has Sequential SportShift paddle shifters, which allows the user to get the best of both worlds: a fully automatic shift as well as a shift-for-yourself control. It also features a Bluetooth HandsFreeLink system that lets drivers handle their phone without actually holding it while they drive.
Another interior perk available as an option is the Keyless Access System. Keyless entry may be common as well as push button ignition, but how many cars can sense when another car is close and essentially have the car ready to go before the driver even touches the door handle?
Like most cars, the TL also comes equipped with standard security features, such as ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution System (EBD), and Brake Assist (BA), along with Acura’s security system that disables the ignition, blares the horn, and flashes the lights.
A standard TL goes for only US$ 36,030 while a feature-packed TL SH-AWD with Advance Package (essentially an all-wheel drive TL with the works) goes for US$ 45,510.
Acura really takes the cake as far as import luxury cars. They may have experienced a dip sometime during the 90s, but that has not diminished the quality of the cars they produce. Today, the second-generation NSX is creating a buzz, as it looks to resurrect one of the most iconic supercars to ever come out of Japan. With technological advancements such as keyless starts, blind-spot information systems, and the SH-AWD trim, Acura really lives up to its current slogan: “Advance”.