Posts Tagged ‘tlx’

Why Honda Projects Record Sales in 2015

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

At this month’s Detroit motor show, Honda’s Executive VP, John Mendel, predicted that the automaker would break their US sales record by the end of 2015. But it’s not just the US – Honda is taking extreme measures everywhere to revitalize their brand and push their momentum from 2014.

It Starts With New US Models Like the Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX

One of the biggest ways Honda plans to beat their US sales record is simply by meeting demand for their new Acura TLX. Turns out they’re struggling to keep up with orders. Mendel is even quoted as saying demand for the car is “going gangbusters” in an interview with Columbus Business First in Detroit.

They also kick-started the year with the Acura NSX concept in Detroit, with even more new cars coming to Chicago like a redesigned RDX and the new Honda Pilot. While they’re adding new models to increase sales growth in the US, the Japanese automaker is doing exactly the opposite in Europe…

Honda Accord Withdrawing from Europe

2014 Honda Accord

Leon Brannan of Honda UK recently told Automotive News Europe, “we are running out the accord and we will not return to the segment.”

The jaws of several of our US readers are probably dropping right now, as the idea of Honda removing the Accord from their lineup in any market is near unthinkable. However, keep in mind that the European version of Honda’s midsize Accord is actually our discontinued Acura TSX. That’s the same car that Honda recently replaced with the TLX in the US, but they plan to totally withdraw from the segment in Europe.

Why?

It’s a smart move when you hear the full story.

First, they’ve been losing sales to natively manufactured European models like the Mercedes C class for some time. In fact, Honda UK’s Accord sales fell by nearly 20% in 2014. When you consider that Honda’s total European sales fell 5% last year, it’s easy to see that the Accord is one of the cars dragging down their numbers. Meanwhile, their always-excellence crossovers continue to outsell their European competition.

When you see like that, the change seems obvious – they’re cutting their losses and refocusing on the models that are selling well. The refreshed Honda CR-V is already doing well, and the new subcompact HR-V is also expected to play a part in Honda’s European sales rebounding to record highs by the end of this year.


Acura TLX is Second Best-Seller after Only 60 Days

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 6th, 2014

2015 Acura TLX

Last month, Acura showcased the new Acura ILX premium entry-level sedan at the 2014 LA Auto Show. However, the new ILX actually followed in the footsteps of Acura’s new mid-size sedan, the Acura TLX, which combined the Acura TL and TSX earlier this year. The new Acura TLX has been on sale for a full two months now, and in that time it’s become Acura’s second best-selling vehicle in their lineup.

While two months isn’t very much to go on, and there’s no doubt that some of those sales are due to new car hype, this is still an encouraging accomplishment for Honda’s premium brand. The new TLX was Acura’s first step in reviving their brand name to become competitive with the premium European giants like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, and high sales is a universally good sign.

This becomes a much bigger surprise when you hear that the TLX is apparently beating out European competitors based on raw driving dynamics, in addition to the superior price : performance ratio. According to automotive news, dealers have reported that customers continue to come back to the new TLX even after testing other European models, chiefly because of the new TLX’s on-road performance.

2015 Acura TLX mid-size sedan

To get a picture of just how desperate Acura has been for a decent premium sedan, we can learn a lot from an interview between Automotive News and an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, Karl Brauer.

“Acura hasn’t had a compelling sedan for a decade,” Brauer explained. “The TL [sedan] that debuted in 2004 was great, but every sedan from Acura since then failed to resonate with luxury sedan buyers, until now.”

Acura’s general manager, Mike Accavitti, shared a similar sentiment about Acura’s position and how to improve it. “Regaining leadership in the midsize sedan segment in particular is critical for improving Acura’s image. To really drive prestige for a luxury brand, you do it through the midsize market.”

2015 Acura TLX Interior

Of course, the progressive marketing for the new Acura TLX must also be commended. The “It’s That Kind of Thrill” online campaign received a full 1/3 of Acura’s marketing budget for the new mid-size sedan. With results like these, a higher priority on digital marketing can be expected for all future Acura models, which is certainly a good direction to move in.

Ultimately, though, the biggest distinction between the Acura TLX and all of the other sedans that Honda’s premium sub-brand have launched in the past decade is that the TLX actually does what it claims it will do.

In other words, the TLX isn’t the absolute fastest premium car, and Acura is fine with that because it’s extremely fun and reliable to drive, and it has a spacious, high-quality interior with an overall pleasing design that’s easy on the eyes. Only time will tell just how much mileage Acura can get out of their new sedan, but we’re betting things will only get better from here, especially with the new ILX coming in the TLX’s successful footsteps.


2016 Acura ILX Teased (Again) Ahead of LA Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

2016 Acura ILX Sedan

Today we have another new teaser for the LA Auto Show later this month. Today’s teaser comes from Acura, and it previews their “substantially new” 2016 Acura ILX sedan that we’d initially discussed a couple weeks ago.

You may recall that Acura launched an updated version of their TLX sedan earlier this year. Turns out that their entry-level ILX sedan needed some help too, as it’s been under-performing in its current state. Together with the original teaser, this is our first look at what Acura wants to do with the refreshed sedan. As usual, we only have a small tidbit of official information to give you, but this new image actually tells us a lot.

With that, let’s go ahead and take a look at the new teaser. The first one (above) from a couple weeks ago showed us the back of the sedan; this one shows us the front fascia:

2016 Acura ILX Sedan Teaser

This teaser is Acura’s way of elaborating that the 2016 ILX sedan will be an across-the-board upgrade. We can expect sharper performance with a brand-new powertrain, a more comfortable, higher-quality interior, the latest convenience and safety technologies, plus an exterior facelift to make the car stand out from the entry-level crowd.

It’s no secret that the Acura ILX is essentially an upmarket version of the Honda Civic. One of the biggest complaints with the current Acura ILX is that it’s too obvious where the sedan gets its roots. So, Acura’s second ILX teaser makes it clear that this will be no fancy Civic, but an Acura through and through.

We can spot a few changes that Acura has made to the exterior in just the front fascia. It looks like they’ve refined the grill to make it a little less overbearing, and it no longer looks like the car is grinning. They’ve replaced the headlights with LEDs, and updated the design around the fog lights.

You can also make out a slight front spoiler, and it looks like the bodylines along the hood and side have been restyled for a more modern appeal.

In the end, if all Acura does with the 2016 Acura ILX is bring it up to par with other entry-level premium sedans, that alone would be a huge improvement. The changes we’ve already seen in the two teasers are a great start, and we can’t wait to see what Acura has in store for us in LA. Stay tuned in a couple weeks for the official reveal!

 


2016 Honda HR-V & Acura ILX Teased Ahead of LA

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

With the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show just a hair less than a month away, we’re starting to get the first trickle of automotive previews dribbling across the web. Leading the way is Honda with two new vehicles they’ll be showcasing at NA’s next big automotive event. One of them we’ve seen before, and the other is an update for a car in their luxury lineup that really need some love.

NA-Spec 2016 Honda HR-V Crossover

NA-Spec 2016 Honda HR-V

You’ll remember that Honda already showed us a European version of their new HR-V crossover earlier this month at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. We’d also seen images of an HR-V prototype earlier this year in Geneva.

Today, Honda officially introduced us to the North American variant of their 2016 HR-V crossover. It now has its own page on Honda.com and everything. Our American readers can see the car in the metal for the first time at next month’s LA Motor Show. We won’t spend too much time on this one since it’s the less newsworthy of the two. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know at the time of this writing:

  • The HR-V will slot below the Honda CR-V as “the entry point to Honda’s light truck lineup.”
  • Likely to launch this winter
  • Features Honda Magic Seats
  • Built on the same platform as the Honda Fit

Refreshed 2016 Acura ILX Compact Sedan

2016 Acura ILX Sedan

The big news of the day is a teaser for a refreshed version of the Acura ILX sedan. No one from either Honda or Acura has said anything about the new luxury compact sedan other than what’s in the press release. All we know is that it will debut next year as a “comprehensive update that includes a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling, and substantially upgraded interior design.”

Clearly, the upgrade is going to be quite substantial. What exactly that means, however, remains to be seen. The press release hints that Acura is looking to bring the ILX closer in-line with the car’s more successful big brother, the Acura TLX.

Our guess is that Honda will bring in their new 2.4L i-VTEC engine and upscale exterior features like LEDs, a sports exhaust, and a more distinguished front grille. Inside, you can probably expect a much quieter cabin (the current ILX is known to be quite loud), higher quality materials, and perhaps more performance tech. like we saw in the recent Civic Type-R Concept in Paris.

Either way, we’re sure we’ll see more of both cars before doors open at the Los Angeles Auto Show late next month, so stay tuned for more information. Until then, thanks for reading!


New 2015 Acura TLX Sedan Finally Launching in August

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

2015 Acura TLX driving

Yesterday Acura finally unveiled their newest contribution to the midsize premium sedan segment. It’s called the Acura TLX, and when it goes on sale in the US next month (August 2014) it will replace the Acura TL and Acura TSX in the 2015MY lineup.

2015 Acura TLX exterior

As you can see, this new TLX sedan boasts a pretty slick design. It’s both refined and minimalistic which, combined with the tri-spoke alloy wheels and hexagonal grille, brings new meaning into the word “luxury”. At least, luxury at this price point… The Acura TLX adds just $360 onto the price tag of the old TSX for a starting price of $30,995 before the $895 destination fee.

The baseline TLX is a rear-wheel drive sedan that features Acura’s i-VTEC direct-injected 2.4L four-cylinder engine which produces 206hp. The engine will be paired up with an eight-speed dual clutch transmission and a torque converter, along with Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). The other engine option is a 3.5L V6 engine that outputs 290hp, mated with a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5L also has the option of Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive.

All told, Acura claims that all of these technologies “make the TLX the most dynamically advanced Acura ever produced; quick and responsive during sporty driving, stable and surefooted in emergency maneuvers, and calm and quiet during long-distance cruising.” However, the TLX was also “designed to deliver a unique and compelling blend of sports-sedan athleticism and premium luxury refinement,” which means we need to take a look at the interior too.

2015 Acura TLX interior

Inside the new Acura TLX you’ll find an abundance of new luxury features, from heated and ventilated seating to pushbutton ignition and keyless access. There’s also a new 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display touch screen, which greatly helps minimize instrument panel clutter. This new display, along with the inclusion of Siri Eyes Free, makes the Acura TLX more convenient and easier to use than ever before.

From an aesthetic standpoint, you can expect a darkly classy interior with LED accent lighting, beautiful leather appointments and a spacious cabin. To top things off, there’s a new 455-watt, 10-speaker premium audio system engineered by Elliot Scheiner specifically for the TLX.

If it looks like the Acura TLX is the luxury sedan for you, Acura will start taking preorders on July 7 through their Acura Advantage program. Any early adopters who get in the door between July 7 and September 2 will receive a $500 allowance for Acura Genuine Accessories, along with special prices, lease options and APR financing.


Production-Ready Acura TLX Sedan Debuts in New York

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 19th, 2014

The 2014 New York Motor Show is finally here, and with it comes the all-new, production-ready Acura TLX premium sedan. Obviously, we’re all itching to see with car looks like, so go ahead and have a look below:

2015 Acura TLX Sedan

To be fair, we already knew that this car was on its way. Not only did we see the Acura TLX in prototype form back at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, but Honda had already told us that the Honda Spirior / Acura TSX successor would be coming to New York. When the Acura TLX sedan goes on sale at the end of this year as a 2015MY, it will replace the Acura TL and TSX.

Moving on to discuss the actual car, the Acura TLX is almost a direct replica of the TLX prototype from Detroit. You can see the prototype pictured below:

Acura TLX Prototype

As you can see, the exterior changes are very minor. The front clip has been slightly toned down from the prototype, the wheels are smaller and not quite as sporty, the side mirrors are a little larger, and the rear bumper and taillights have been rounded out. Oh, and the fancy side sills have been removed. But, on the whole, the production-ready Acura TLX remains the same as the TLX prototype.

Moving beneath the hood, the 2015 Acura TLX will come with two powertrain options:

The first powertrain option features a naturally aspirated 2.4L four-cylinder engine that outputs 206hp. The engine is connected to the front wheels via a new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with a torque converter. This one gets an estimated EPA fuel-economy of 28mpg combined (24mpg city, 35mpg highway).

The second powertrain gets a 3.5L petrol V6 engine that outputs 290hp. This one gets the same 8-speed DCT and torque converter, but also has the option of including Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive if you don’t want front-wheel drive. Surprisingly, this higher displacement engine doesn’t lose very much fuel economy; it’s anticipated to get 21mpg in the city, 34mpg on the highway and 25mpg combined.

The Acura TLX’s improved fuel economy over the previous Acura TSX and TL is due in large part to its lightweight design. Acura specifically compares the TLX Technology Package to the outgoing Acura TL Technology Package, claiming that the new model is an astounding 145 pounds lighter than the old one.

Speaking of technology, Acura has made it clear that there will be lots of it in the new TLX luxury sedan. For example, the TLX gets cool LEDs infused around the headlights, side mirrors, taillights and license plate. Inside, it gets Smart Entry/Push Button Start for a keyless entry and ignition, along with a 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display.

Perhaps most importantly of all, though, is the attention that Acura has paid to the TLX’s drivability and ride quality. They’ve integrated a new feature called Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), first seen on the Acura RLX last year. This basically allows the TLX to optimally maneuver each rear wheel independently. In addition, the sedan uses extra strong steel and noise-canceling foam for chassis rigidity and a quiet cabin.

The Acura TLX sedan may not be the flashiest premium sedan on the market, but it certainly doesn’t want for features. It’s exactly the type of luxury car you’d expect from a brand like Honda – not the most exciting, but reliable, quiet and soothing.

We’ll know more about pricing and availability when the Acura TLX goes on sale at the end of 2014. Until then, thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for more New York Motor Show news