Tips, Tricks & Trends

Acura Kills RLX That Nobody Remembers It Still Made

You’ve heard the rhetorical question: What if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there, does it make a sound? For Acura’s RLX we can twist the question just a bit: If Acura kills the RLX will anybody know? It’s an honest question because nobody remembers that Acura ever made the RLX sedan. We’ll take that back; only a bit more than 1,000 a year remember it. That’s because for years that’s how many bought one.

Seriously!

Here are the production figures for the RLX:

2019: 1,109 sold; 2018: 1,931 sold; 2017: 1,237 sold, 2016: 1,478 sold. Is there any wonder why Acura is killing the RLX sedan in the US? It will still sell in Japan where it is called the Legend. 

Here’s the official word from Acura; “With SUVs leading the luxury market the highly successful RDX and MDX now serve as volume leaders of the Acura brand. At the same time, we will further strengthen our sports sedans, consistent with the performance-focused direction we have been taking Acura over the past four years.”

Who knew Acura was “Performance-Focused?”?

2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid

Wait, what? Acura has been “performance-focused” for four years? When did this happen? Why didn’t it tell anyone? If it is performance-focused why was it selling the RLX at all? That’s not totally fair, it did offer a V6 with three electric motors and 377 hp. That was in 2018. So, OK, there was that. 

When Acura introduced the RLX in 2013 it was the replacement for the RL. The RL was the replacement for the Acura Legend back in 1996. The Legend sold fairly well but that was back in the days when Acura meant something. Now, we guess you could say it’s the performance-focused car company that nobody remembers.

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The Acura NSX is a great car

2019 Acura NSX
2019 Acura NSX | Acura

We remember the NSX. But barely. It was years in the making but the symbol of everything good about Acura got completely overshadowed by the Ford GT when it debuted the same year. That was at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The Ford GT was such a surprise and so exceptional that it throttled what Acura thought would be its day in the sun. That was a shame because it is a great car. 

That being said we are anxiously awaiting the performance products that Acura obviously has in store for us all. If you go to Acura’s website it starts by advertising that Acura is “Luxury Sedans And SUVs.” So maybe Acura is confused too.

Might we make a suggestion?

Except that from the models they have now other than the aforementioned NSX, there is really nothing “performance” to speak of. It’s all a bit confusing when the company is confused about its messaging. Might we make a suggestion?

An Acura RDX A-Spec car is on display during the 17th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition at China Import and Export Fair Complex
The Acura RDX | Ou Jinwei/VCG via Getty Images

To save money and confusion, migrate whatever Honda doesn’t have in the Acura line like the NSX and drop the Acura brand altogether. No more having to market two lines and the effort it takes to do whatever Acura does anymore. Honda has a great rep whereas Acura has no rep because nobody remembers it. 

There are too many vehicle lines and too much for consumers to digest. Help out potential buyers by eliminating one layer of confusion. Send Acura to car heaven with Desoto, Edsel, and Oldsmobile. It’s time.