Comparing Acura to other luxury car brands

Little Mac

Apr 17, 2013
The Acura brand was launched outside Japan specifically for the purpose of establishing a luxury name for Honda cars. I am too young to remember the first U.S. Acuras, so I don't know how successful the initial rollout of Acura in America was. I do know that today the prestige of Acura as a luxury car in North America (and likely more so in Europe) is somewhat disputed. Many people consider it below Mercedes and BMW, and some consider it below Lexus.

Having owned several Hondas and Acuras, I know that this has to be a perception issue. The technology in Acuras is as reliable as modern cars get. Of course, Europeans are probably biased toward German cars, but why would the misconception about Acuras reliability exist in the U.S.? Not to mention that getting a Japanese car serviced or fixed in the U.S. is a lot more feasible than doing the same for a Mercedes. And none of my Acuras ever had any issues within the first 4 years, period.

So with the technology out as the cause, the next element is the actual luxury factor. Are Acuras as pleasant to own and to drive as Lexus or BMW? How do they compare feature-for-feature? Is there a lot missing on the list? And vice versa, anything that we have that others don't? I realize that Acura is a whole lineup and not just a single model, but must be some decisions made on the high level about what goes in and what doesn't?

And the final and most important factor has to be marketing. This includes positioning the brand initially with the right audience and continuously working on its perception of the brand. None of the technology or actual features matter here--it's all about pure salesmanship and psychological tricks. If the technology is not a factor, and features are close to a tie, could that be 800-pound gorilla in the room for Acura? Feel free to discuss.

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