Acura has long been a performance-oriented luxury brand, and in an announcement made at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month it appears to be upping the go-fast ante.…

Type-S trim and new V6 turbo promised for future core Acura models

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The new 2019 RDX will feature sporty A-Spec styling and will likely get Type-S performance tuning too. (Photo: Acura)

Acura has long been a performance-oriented luxury brand, and in an announcement made at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month it appears to be upping the go-fast ante.

Along with a decision to expand sporty A-Spec styling from the current ILX and TLX sedans to more models in the Acura lineup, starting with the upcoming 2019 RDX compact luxury SUV that was simultaneously soft-launched in “Prototype” guise, Acura will also bring back its once popular Type-S performance sub-brand, to be included as an upgrade to core models as well.

2018 Acura TLX A-Spec
The recently refreshed 2018 TLX is available in sharp looking A-Spec trim, and would even be more alluring with a turbo-V6 under the hood. (Photo: Acura)

What’s more, with the concurrent announcement of a new high-performance turbocharged V6 powerplant, Acura will also be rejoining the ranks of automakers using turbos to boost performance while reducing fuel economy. The Japanese luxury brand previously offered a turbocharged four-cylinder in its first-generation 2007–2012 RDX, but that engine made way for the current model’s V6, which put an end the turbo in Acura’s lineup until the twin-turbocharged V6 arrived as part of the new NSX Sport Hybrid’s electrified power unit, but that 573 horsepower mid-engine exotic sports car can hardly be called a “core” model.

New Type S Logo
Along with the announcement, Acura introduced a new Type S logo. (Photo: Acura)

No doubt some commonalities will exist between the two engines, one certainly being their exclusivity to the Acura brand. That’s right, unlike the 2.4-litre four-cylinder and 3.5-litre V6 engines currently found in most Acura models, you won’t see this new turbo V6 in any future Honda products. Additionally, it will be exclusive to cars and SUVs fitted with Acura’s newest generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), which was introduced with the aforementioned 2019 RDX.

2002 Acura TL Type-S
The original 2002 TL Type-S was the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. (Photo: Acura)

“We have made a major commitment to Acura to bring each element of Precision Crafted Performance to life through a new generation of products,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand’s rightful place as the performance division of Honda.”

2003 Acura CL Type-S
The 2003 CL Type-S included the most potent FWD engine up to that point at 260-hp. (Photo: Acura)

We’ll likely see that new turbocharged powerplant in future Type-S models, which will feature unique styling along with their uprated performance. The last time we saw an Acura Type-S was in 2010 on the Canadian-exclusive CSX, which was the predecessor to today’s ILX sedan. The CSX Type-S was a performance enthusiast favourite as it combined Acura’s premium finishings and features with Honda Civic Si performance, making these cars popular amongst collectors and the sport compact tuning crowd.

2002 Acura RSX Type-S
Remember the RSX? Acura offered the hottest versions of this sport compact favourite in Type-S trim. (Photo: Acura)

Sport compact tuning in mind, Acura also used the Type-S nomenclature for the 2002–2006 RSX compact sports coupe, still prized by performance fans, while Type-S versions of the 2002–2003 and 2004–2008 TL mid-size sedan (an A-Spec version of the TL was also available in 2004) and 2001–2003 CL mid-size sports-luxury coupe were offered as well, this past multi-model Type-S strategy executed similarly to how Acura will upgrade multiple core models in high-performance Type-S trim once it rolls out this sub-brand again.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Could we really see turbo V6-powered Type-S variants of the RDX and MDX in the near future? According to Acura’s announcement, yes! (Photo: Acura)

So what exactly is a core model? A dictionary term is “the central or most important part of something,” which if taken literally would mean that along with a Type-S variant of the popular TLX sport-luxury sedan we can also expect Type-S versions of the brand’s even better selling SUVs, the RDX and MDX. This would be a first for Acura, and potentially position these models against Audi’s SQ series, BMW’s M-branded X series SUVs, and Mercedes’ mighty AMG-badged GLC and GLE entries. Alas, if only Acura still had its sensational RDX they might finally have a true X6 M and AMG GLE 43/63 S Coupe fighter.

An RLX Sport Hybrid flagship won’t likely make the Type S grade, as this slow selling luxury sedan doesn’t fall within Acura’s core model specification and is a strong performer already, but an ILX Type S makes sense if Honda once again is willing to lend Acura its Si powertrain and suspension upgrades or, even better, Type R improvements when the next-generation ILX arrives.

Acura unveiled its 2019 RDX Prototype earlier this week in Detroit as part of the North American International Auto Show, and fittingly the brand’s best-selling model became the first to see a total…

Game-changing 2019 Acura RDX Prototype hits the stage in Detroit

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Acura’s game-changing RDX Prototype is a thinly veiled preview of the upcoming 2019 production RDX. (Photo: Acura)

Acura unveiled its 2019 RDX Prototype earlier this week in Detroit as part of the North American International Auto Show, and fittingly the brand’s best-selling model became the first to see a total ground-up redesign in quite some time. In fact, Acura’s own press release calls the upcoming 2019 RDX the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade,” signalling “the beginning of a new era for the luxury automaker.”

Last year’s TLX redo and the 2017 MDX update that arrived the year prior were merely mid-cycle refreshes, the latter introducing the brand’s now trademark “Diamond Pentagon” grille design as part of its remake, but this 2019 RDX Prototype ushers in the first complete redesign of an Acura model since the third-generation 2014 MDX arrived in 2013—the TLX arrived more recently, in 2014 as a 2015 model, but rather than a redesign it was an entirely new vehicle that replaced both the smaller TSX and larger TL.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The new RDX makes a dramatic statement both coming and going. (Photo: Acura)

Speaking of the TLX, last year’s refresh was more comprehensive than the MDX’, but both received thorough updates to their front fascias, as did the RLX late last year as part of its 2018 makeover. After this all-new RDX hits the market in production trim later this year, the entry-level ILX will be next, at which point the entire Acura line will wear the new sharply angled Diamond Pentagon face.

For a bit of history, Acura was launched in Canada and the U.S. in 1986, and has since struggled to find a distinctive identity amongst premium brands that rely heavily on prestige. Even as parent company Honda rolled the brand out in Hong Kong in 1991, Mexico in 2004, China in 2006, Russia (and Ukraine) in 2014, plus Kuwait in 2015, Acura’s original somewhat generic looking pentagon-shaped grille design (often compared to the grille used by Mazdas of the era) merely morphed into a pentagon shaped “shield”, which wasn’t universally appreciated. The bold shield grille was toned down over the years until it once again appeared generic, causing the new Diamond Pentagon design first adapted by a production vehicle in 2016 by the current MDX.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The RDX’ new “Diamond Pentagon” grille looks like a carbon copy of that used on Acura’s new TLX and RLX. (Photo: Acura)

On an aside note, the Acura brand is still not available in its home market of Japan. Honda hoped to introduce it to Japanese buyers in 2008, but the plan was delayed for economic reasons, a decision that’s been upheld since the 2008 financial crisis.

The current second-generation RDX dates back to 2012 when it arrived on the scene as a 2013 model. A 2016 model year facelift modified its grille and added the standard “Jewel Eye” LED headlamps that have become a fixture across the entire Acura lineup, but take note the new 2019 RDX Prototype modifies those LEDs with a septet of smaller rectangular units instead of its current five.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The outgoing RDX’ five-element LED headlamps will make way for this new seven-unit design. (Photo: Acura)

The RDX Prototype’s Diamond Pentagon grille appears identical in shape if not size to that already in use by the TLX and new RLX, all of which are slightly bolder and more pronounced than the first MDX variant, but the lower front fascia of the prototype pulls cues from that used by the Japanese brand’s larger SUV, particularly the pointed body-colour strike-throughs within the corner vents. They’re much larger and point in the opposite direction with the RDX Prototype, these, along with their horizontal row of LED fog lamps instead of the MDX’ vertical stack, flowing more naturally into the centre portion of the fascia. We think the RDX Prototype’s lower fascia design works well, especially how it wraps around to the sides of the bumper, and hope it makes production and even influences the MDX’ future mid-cycle update.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The lower fascia is attractive, with unique design elements and horizontal LED fog lamps. (Photo: Acura)

Likewise the more expressive headlamps wrap more fully around the sides of the new prototype’s front fenders before following the curvature of the front wheel cutouts upward to where they finalize at the hood line. Those fenders are rounder and more organically shaped, flowing naturally into more fluidly sculpted door panels, with the arcing greenhouse culminating at the centre point of the rear quarter window instead of the base. Look no further than the recently redesigned Honda CR-V for the side windows’ inspiration, although we should take note that the upswept similarity to the CR-V has little to do with matching hard points that were previously difficult to masque in the old RDX’ transition from mainstream volume-branded model to premium luxury variant—more on that in a moment.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Hopefully these 21-inch alloys make it to production on top-tier A-Spec trim. (Photo: Acura)

The top corner of the RDX Prototype’s rear design forms a visual “X” where extended chrome window trim butts up against body-colour rooftop and side panels plus glossy black rear window trim extensions, resulting in a unique take on current floating roof trends used by Lexus’ RX and Nissan’s Murano, while the multi-angled LED taillights probably have more in common with the aforementioned CR-V than anything in Acura’s past, albeit strike an even closer resemblance to Honda’s fabulous new Accord Sedan. Either way it’s all in the family, with a look that’s fresh, modern and harmonious to the rest of the RDX’ design. Lastly, the gloss-black diffuser style rear bumper cap hints at this prototype previewing Acura’s sportiest A-Spec trim level, a performance upgrade not yet offered with the RDX but nevertheless promised for the 2019 production model, while the gorgeous machine-finished 21-inch alloys further this argument.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Will these narrow side mirrors find their way to production? Probably not, but something similar albeit slightly larger will. (Photo: Acura)

All in all, each and every curve and fold that forms the new RDX Prototype, from the front grille rearward, shows greater influence by Acura’s Precision Concept than anything the brand has created since the sensational four-door coupe debuted at 2016’s Detroit auto show, which we consider a very good thing. The RDX adapts the two-year-old concept’s “low, wide and sleek presence to a five-passenger SUV,” says Acura, which results in a “more athletic stance and proportions” thanks to a 30-mm (1.2-inch) wider track, 63-mm (2.5-inch) longer wheelbase, and a shortened front overhang, the performance-oriented look further enhanced by each wheel getting pushed farther toward the SUV’s corners.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Acura executes a unique take on the floating roof trend. (Photo: Acura)

“The all-new RDX delivers a powerful statement about who we are and where we are headed as a brand,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. “For our customers, the new RDX is a quantum leap forward in design, style and performance, with luxury features and technology that will elevate their ownership experience.”

So, about the new RDX not needing to conform to the CR-V’s hard points: according to the Japanese automaker it will soon ride upon its own Acura-exclusive platform architecture. Acura hasn’t named the platform per se, instead only expanding on the subject by saying it gets a “lighter and dramatically stiffened body” and a “sophisticated new chassis,” so it’s more likely the new RDX gets a modified version of the same Honda-sourced modular architecture used by the latest Civic, and yes, the CR-V. No one should have issue with this considering just how good these two Honda-branded vehicles are, and more importantly Acura promises the “quickest, best-handling RDX ever.” Anyone who’s spent time in a Civic Si or, better yet, Civic R will attest that Honda’s new modular platform is one impressive bit of kit, so if indeed a version of this setup underpins the new RDX, upgraded with premium-level improvements, we’d hardly complain.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Check out the new Honda Accord’s taillights to appreciate their familial familiarity to these RDX lenses. (Photo: Acura)

As most expected, the RDX’ much-lauded V6 gets the axe for 2019, marking a return to turbocharged four-cylinder power, a formula that launched the original RDX way back in 2006 and quickly gave it a reputation for performance. The replacement engine is a much more efficient 16-valve, DOHC turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder with direction injection and, of course, VTEC. To be more accurate, the turbocharger is a low-inertia mono-scroll design, promoting a wider, fatter torque curve, resulting in 40 percent more low-end torque than the outgoing RDX, no doubt helped along by its dual variable timing cam.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The new RDX’ cabin appears to be a major move upmarket. (Photo: Acura)

Acura isn’t talking numbers at this point, but it will likely produce something north of the current SUV’s 279 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque in order to live up to faster portion of the aforementioned claim of “quickest, best-handling RDX ever,” although part of its accelerative advantage may come from its segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission, which “responds quickly” and “to the will of the driver,” says Acura, “with crisp and refined shifts that capitalize on the 2.0-litre engine’s flat torque curve.” Acura hasn’t announced an electrified version of this new RDX yet, but the new engine’s 2.0-litre displacement is identical to the new Accord Hybrid’s four-cylinder, which might make inclusion of that power unit more feasible.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Few rivals offer a head-up display unit in this compact luxury SUV class. (Photo: Acura)

Making sure all wheels find traction will be the next-generation of Acura’s impressive Super-Handling All Wheel Drive “in its most advanced form yet.” It gets a new rear differential capable of 150 percent more maximum torque capacity than the outgoing RDX. Whether or not this justifies the Japanese company boasting of its new SH-AWD as “the most sophisticated and capable torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system in its class” remains to be seen, but no doubt the claim will ruffle a few feathers at Audi, let alone BMW and Mercedes. Still, we shouldn’t question Acura’s engineering prowess when it comes to fast-moving all-wheel drive, as SH-AWD was one of the first torque vectoring AWD systems offered in the premium sector.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Configurable gauges provide a lot of functionality from the multi-info display at centre. (Photo: Acura)

Acura ties the RDX’ new Adaptive Damper System to the NSX-inspired Integrated Dynamics System, which features four drive modes including “Sport, Sport+, Comfort and Snow.” The system’s rotating dial selector has been positioned high on the centre console, similarly to its placement within the NSX’ cabin, which allows quick on-the-go adjustment from eco-friendly passive modes to performance settings.

The driver’s environment in mind, in the same way exterior styling was inspired by Acura’s Precision Concept, the new interior design and technology took cues from the Acura Precision Cockpit. This means it gets a more steeply raked floating centre console that’s really a combination of centre-stack and lower console in one, not unlike Porsche’s new centre console layout, albeit with Acura’s new single-display tablet-style widescreen up top, unique dual-zone HVAC interface in the middle, downright unorthodox gear selector setup below that, and totally new infotainment touchpad at the bottom.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
This impressive 10.2-inch widescreen infotainment display is now at the head of its class. (Photo: Acura)

Acura calls the latter its True Touchpad Interface, which it says is a completely new design that combines “the best elements of a touchscreen and remote interface in one powerful system.” The touchpad controls an Android operating system-based infotainment interface that appears to be at least as good as anything available in the compact luxury SUV segment thus far, the full-HD display measuring 10.2 inches in diameter, with ultra-crisp resolution, attractive graphics and deep, rich colours and contrast. Alternatively the system will project onto the windshield ahead of the driver via an available interactive head-up display, although despite photos provided (see the gallery) we’ll need to wait until we’ve tested it to comment.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The infotainment system is controlled by this advanced “one-to-one” touchpad. (Photo: Acura)

Perfecting the infotainment experience has been a top priority amongst automakers since BMW was lambasted for its original iDrive system way back in 2001, the then-new E65 7 Series dumbfounding customers and industry professionals alike with its complex Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive-based user interface. BMW and every other manufacturer have come a long way since, with the majority of premium makes attempting to one-up their rivals with innovative ways to digitally interact.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Acura’s unique button-actuated gear selector is joined by a rotating driving mode selector above. (Photo: Acura)

With voice recognition still a long way from perfection despite this upcoming RDX featuring a “new natural language voice recognition system” that Acura claims “dramatically improves the ease and intuitiveness of voice commands” (again we’ll defer judgment until tested), hand/finger actuation remains the sole process, with BMW’s rotating/side-tap dial having been joined by variations on the theme, some with switchgear on top and others with tiny touchpads, while Lexus has introduced both a joystick and touchpad of its own, neither of which has been widely lauded. Along the way Apple’s iPad and Android tablets that followed arrived on the consumer electronics market and similar touchscreen’s took on automotive roles, with Tesla and Volvo earning kudos for theirs, but no system satisfies everyone.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The new RDX uses authentic woods, metals and Nappa leathers. (Photo: Acura)

Acura’s outgoing dual-display setup attempted to satiate the masses with a best of both worlds’ scenario, the top monitor operated via a rotating dial plus surrounding buttons and the lower one a touchscreen, but the new RDX will introduce the aforementioned single widescreen display along with a new touchpad design said to deliver “the advantages of both conventional touchscreen and remote-based approaches.” Basically, Acura has devised a touchscreen featuring “one-to-one” realism, with the tap of a specific spot on the touchpad duplicated on the exact same spot of the display above. The system responds similarly with other tablet-like gestures, such as swiping and pinching. So, why not skip the touchpad altogether and simply install a touchscreen like so many others? As those who’ve lived with touchscreens already know, they can sometimes be a stretch, especially if mounted up high on the dash where they’re closest to the clear line of sight to the road ahead. A remote touchpad can be mounted closer to a driver’s hand for easier and safer operation, but again we’ll have to wait to experience it firsthand in order to judge it.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
The RDX’ front seats are 16-way powered and heated, with optional ventilation. (Photo: Acura)

“Absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines,” said Ross Miller, senior engineer of user interface research. “It’s also designed to be adopted quickly and easily, as drivers become acclimated and comfortable in minutes.”

Comfort in mind, this larger RDX, in particular its longer wheelbase, promises a “more spacious” interior “with first-class comfort for five passengers,” which Acura claims as having “class-leading cabin space, rear legroom and rear cargo space.” The Japanese brand highlights the RDX’ new sport steering wheel as being key to its upmarket experience, this matching new “more intricately sculpted and styled” sport seats with 16-way powered adjustment for both the driver and front passenger, full-grain perforated Nappa leather for its soft, supple texture and durability, as well as seat heaters and cooled ventilation. Overall Acura says the RDX’ cabin will include “contemporary detailing using authentic, high-grade materials throughout,” including brushed aluminum and open-pore Olive Ash wood.” Lastly but hardly least, its “new ultra-wide panoramic sliding moonroof” is “the largest in its class.”

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
This is the largest panoramic sunroof in the compact luxury SUV class. (Photo: Acura)

The RDX Prototype also features a 16-channel, 710-watt Acura ELS Studio 3D audio system developed by Panasonic and tuned by Grammy Award-winning music producer and longtime Acura partner, Elliot Scheiner. Unique to this system are four “ultra-thin, ceiling-mounted speakers” that “add a new dimension of sound and fidelity to the audio experience,” so we’re hoping to hear it in person if included in the production RDX.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Rear seat roominess appears expansive, while rear seat heaters are available. (Photo: Acura)

That 2019 model will definitely include the brand’s AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, however, which (depending on model) currently features forward collision warning, autonomous collision mitigation braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, and more, while additional connected-car and driver-assistive features like next-generation AcuraLink with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, hill start assist, a 360-surround camera system, front and rear parking sensors, blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and more.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Acura promises the most rear cargo space in the compact SUV segment. (Photo: Acura)

Important to Acura’s largest customer base, this is the first time the luxury brand chose to use a U.S. research and development team to create a new vehicle, the RDX’ styling penned by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, and engineering done at its Raymond, Ohio facility. North American-market models will continue production at the company’s East Liberty, Ohio plant, although the new 2.0-litre turbo will be built in Anna, Ohio, in the same building as the NSX’ twin-turbo powerplant. The RDX’ 10-speed auto will hail from Tallapoosa, Georgia, making the RDX more American than many produced by U.S. domestic brands—Buick’s directly competitive Chinese-built Envision immediately comes to mind.

Whether buy-American sentiments are behind the current RDX’ strong sales or not can’t be confirmed, but either way the SUV has long been a hit. After 12 months of 2017 it sits amongst America’s top-three best-selling compact luxury SUVs and holds second-place in Canada, despite being well into its lifecycle, so expect this all-new version to shoot up the sales chart after arriving here midway through the year.

Until then, enjoy our complete 2019 RDX Prototype photo gallery as well as the videos Acura provided below:

Full Detroit auto show press launch (20:31):

True Touchpad Interface explained (2:01):

Quick technology overview (0:47):

Acura, Honda’s luxury division, topped 20,000 sales in Canada for the third consecutive calendar year in 2017, a solid effort that was given an image boost by the all-new NSX Sport Hybrid supercar and…

Acura tops 20,000 sales in Canada for third year in a row

2018 Acura RDX
Acura’s RDX was once again the star of the show, growing sales despite the current generation being in its last full year of availability. (Photo: Acura)

Acura, Honda’s luxury division, topped 20,000 sales in Canada for the third consecutive calendar year in 2017, a solid effort that was given an image boost by the all-new NSX Sport Hybrid supercar and a real shot in the arm by the refreshed 2017 MDX mid-size SUV, both having arrived partway through the previous year, while an upgraded 2018 TLX sedan that went on sale halfway through 2017 pushed the premium brand over the top.

Acura’s 20,299 2017 deliveries beat last year’s 20,227-unit total, although in a refreshingly honest Honda Canada Inc. (HCI) press release the brand’s parent company called this modest gain “relatively flat sales versus the previous year.” HCI was clearly proud of its combined Acura and Honda brand sales, however, with its 197,251 unit total showing an annual increase of six percent over the same 12 months in 2016, which resulted in an all-time annual sales record for the fourth consecutive year.

2018 Acura MDX
The MDX continues to be a powerhouse in the three-row luxury SUV sector, topping overall sales. (Photo: Acura)

In a comparatively small way next to the 50,443 Honda CR-V deliveries in 2017, HCI’s total was nevertheless helped along by Acura’s top-selling RDX compact SUV that achieved its best-ever sales of 8,101 units despite being near the end of its current lifecycle. This marks six years of consecutive sales growth for the RDX, a vehicle that also managed an impressive second in sales volume out of 17 competitive nameplates, only beaten by Audi’s redesigned Q5 that broke five figures at 10,271 units.

“Acura’s RDX luxury SUV served as the brand’s success story last year, driving sales to surpass the coveted 20,000-unit mark for the third consecutive year, despite being in its final product cycle year,” said Jean Marc Leclerc, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Honda Canada Inc. “Representing the most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade, the all-new RDX will launch later this year, signaling the beginning of a new era for Acura products inspired by Precision Crafted Performance.”

2018 Acura TLX
Sales of the new 2018 Acura TLX are up too, despite the D-segment slowing for most rivals. (Photo: Acura)

The RDX follows a value packed strategy that benefits all Acura models, with other strong sellers including the just noted MDX that’s up from 5,425 sales in 2016 to 5,838 deliveries in 2017. The MDX is the most popular dedicated three-row SUV in Canada, while at 4,205 unit sales in 2017, also improving on the previous year’s total, the renewed TLX sport-luxury sedan is the most popular non-German car in the highly competitive D-segment, by a long shot.

2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid
Acura’s flagship RLX Sport Hybrid gets refreshed for 2018, but that won’t be enough to cause even a ripple in the force. (Photo: Acura)

As for Acura’s entry-level entrant, at just 2,047 deliveries for 2017, down from 2,459 in 2016, 2,551 in 2015, 2,752 in 2014, and a high of 3,192 in 2013, it’s hardly the slowest selling C-segment luxury car. That would be Lexus’ long-in-tooth CT at 367 units, while BMW’s 2 Series also suffered losses with sales coming in at just 1,929 units. Mercedes saw CLA deliveries sag too, albeit at 3,764 units it’s still number two in the segment, while B-Class sales grew to 2,369 units and Audi finished on top with 3,997 A3 sales. Still, Acura dealers (and fans) can hardly wait to get their mitts on the completely redesigned 2020 ILX to be based on Honda’s evermore-popular Civic, which was once again the best-selling car in Canada thanks to 66,935 buyers in 2017.

So what can we expect from Acura in 2018? A fully redesigned 2019 RDX won’t be the only boost to sales this year, albeit despite receiving an attractive refresh for 2018 the brand’s impressive yet slow-as-molasses-selling RLX Sport Hybrid flagship sedan will need a miracle to see it break three figures after finding just 59 buyers in 2017, although a full year with the new TLX should help the Japanese luxury brand grow its sales further.

Guess what? You can buy a new Acura ILX for just over $26k! You’ve got to act fast mind you, as this includes a $3,500 discount only applicable to 2017 models. You can save more on higher end trims…

2017 Acura ILX Tech Road Test

Newest doesn't necessarily mean best. In fact, sometimes cars that have been around the block a few more times than their immediate rivals can offer better reliability while still delivering strong performance, good functionality, plenty of creature comforts, and good all around value. Acura's ILX slots right into this category.

The ILX is a derivative of Honda's previous ninth-generation Civic that dates back to 2011, which means it doesn't ride on the automaker's new compact global platform that's formed from higher grade steel in order to save weight while increasing rigidity, yet it nevertheless delivers a rigid body structure featuring plenty of sharp angles and complex curves, which arguably combine into a more conservatively acceptable design for those put off by the Civic's somewhat polarizing styling.

Design in mind, the ILX remains one of two Acura models to carry forward without the new "Diamond Pentagon" signature grille, the Japanese brand's bestselling RDX Read Full Story
Acura’s RDX doesn’t continually gravitate to the top echelons of compact luxury SUV sales leadership by accident. It’s finding upwards of 8,000 Canadian buyers per year, placing it a close second…

Acura RDX receives 2018 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award

2018 Acura RDX
According to Consumer Guide, the Acura RDX is one of the best vehicles to buy in its compact luxury SUV class. (Photo: Acura)
Acura’s RDX doesn’t continually gravitate to the top echelons of compact luxury SUV sales leadership by accident. It’s finding upwards of 8,000 Canadian buyers per year, placing it a close second behind Audi’s Q5 year after year. How does Acura do it? After appealing to aesthetics with styling that pleases the majority of consumers, making sure fit, finish and materials quality are up to par, and delivering big on performance while not forgetting the importance of fuel efficiency in the compact SUV class, it comes down to bang for the buck.
2018 Acura RDX
The RDX had to rate highly in a number of criteria to win the Automotive Best Buy Award. (Photo: Acura)
Proving this point, the RDX was one of three Acuras to receive a 2018 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award, the RDX earning its award in the Premium Compact Crossover/SUV category. Even more significant, this is the sixth consecutive year it achieved the honour. The other Acuras earning top marks include the larger MDX mid-size luxury SUV, which earned its Best Buy Award in the Premium Midsize Crossover category, and the D-segment TLX sport sedan given its Best Buy Award in the Premium Midsize Car category.
2018 Acura RDX
Standard full LED headlights helped the RDX achieve its top rated status. (Photo: Acura)
The 2018 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Award selection process once again came down to performance, features, accommodations, fuel efficiency, resale value and price, with the RDX said to be one of the most balanced SUVs on the market.
2018 Acura RDX
The RDX also includes standard AcuraWatch safety features, such as autonomous emergency braking. (Photo: Acura)
With a base price of $42,390 plus freight and fees the RDX isn’t the least expensive compact luxury SUV in its segment, but it’s far from the priciest either. More importantly, along with the best rear legroom in its class as well as the most total cargo volume available, the rear seatbacks even folding down via handy levers on the cargo sidewalls, the RDX packs in loads of standard features that cost thousands more when added to its European competitors, such as standard V6 power, AWD, full LED headlights, proximity keyless access, pushbutton ignition, steering wheel paddle shifters, adaptive cruise control, a colour multi-information display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a multi-angle backup camera, SMS text and email reading capability, Siri Eyes Free, satellite radio, a universal garage door opener, heatable powered front seats with driver’s side memory, a powered moonroof, a powered rear liftgate, and much more.
2018 Acura RDX
A high-quality interior filled with standard features help the RDX attract value-conscious luxury buyers. (Photo: Acura)
On top of all these convenience features, its long list of standard safety gear is highlighted by a host of AcuraWatch driver assistance technologies including autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and the list goes on, resulting in a best-possible 5 Star safety rating from the NHTSA and a top-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating, making the RDX one of the safest compact luxury SUVs available today.
2018 Acura RDX
The RDX has the most rear legroom in its class. (Photo: Acura)
In addition to all the standard features, Acura offers a bevy of RDX upgrades available on two higher-grade trims, the mid-range $45,390 RDX Tech including remote engine start, power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, AcuraLink connectivity, navigation with detailed mapping, voice activation, a 410-watt 10-speaker ELS Studio audio system, heatable second-row outboard seats, blindspot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and more, while the $47,390 RDX Elite adds all of the above plus larger 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming side mirrors, ventilated front seats, and more.
2018 Acura RDX
The RDX delivers more total cargo volume than any compact luxury SUV rival. (Photo: Acura)
Of note, the RDX shared its Best Buy Award status with the Lincoln MKC, whereas Volvo’s XC90 was chosen alongside the MDX in its category, and Lexus ES was also given the spotlight next to the TLX. Plenty of other cars, SUVs and trucks earned 2018 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy Awards, so make sure to check out the long list at Consumerguide.com/best-buys.