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Maintenance costs are crucial to consider when shopping for a new or used car, perhaps even more so among luxury models. So, how does Acura fair for its repair bills? According to RepairPal, one Acura model stands out with the lowest average annual maintenance cost among the brand, and it’s not one of its small coupes or sedans.

Acura models carry low annual maintenance costs

Though it’s a luxury brand, Acura is one of the most reliable brands on the market, and annual maintenance costs among its models are well below average, according to RepairPal.

Acura is ranked No. 2 out of 32 automakers for the site’s highest reliability rating. Rankings are determined by the average annual maintenance costs of models, the number of trips to a repair shop they require each year, and the occurrence of “severe” repairs. Acura is second only to its corporate cousin, Honda, for overall reliability.

Acura models have average maintenance costs of $501 per year, which is $151 lower per year than the average among all models. Acura offerings require 0.4 trips to a repair shop per year, which is average, but their likelihood of needing a major repair is 8%, far lower than the average of 12%.

The Acura with the lowest maintenance costs is a mostly forgotten SUV

It is a bit surprising the Acura that carries the lowest average annual maintenance cost isn’t one of its smaller offerings but rather a long-defunct midsize SUV — the SLX.

The SLX served as the automaker’s first SUV. It debuted for the 1996 model year and was discontinued following 1999. As such, there aren’t many SLX models on the road, but for those seeking the Acura with the lowest annual costs, the brand’s original SUV fits the bill.

RepairPal noted the annual average maintenance cost for the SLX is $278 per year, which is less than half the yearly total for all models listed by the website. The most commonly reported issues for the SLX, which are limited, are incorrect oil levels in the rear differential causing a “clattering noise” during turns, leaking from the intake manifold gasket, and the four-wheel-drive indicator remaining on when the SLX is in two-wheel drive due to a faulty switch.

The SLX compared to other Acura models

The Acura SLX’s low maintenance costs are made even more impressive by comparing them to both older and newer coupes, sedans, and SUVs from the brand, though almost all still carry below-average costs for owners.

The Acura Legend was one of the first models from the brand, making its debut as a two-door coupe in 1986 and later as a four-door sedan before the nameplate was discontinued after 1995. The Legend has average annual repair costs of $355, slightly more than the five-cylinder Vigor sedan, which debuted in 1992. The Integra, another of Acura’s earliest models but one that lives on today, requires an average of $341 per year in maintenance costs.  

Acura’s modern SUVs deliver lower-than-average maintenance costs, but none can compare to the SLX’s paltry repair bills. The popular RDX compact SUV has average maintenance costs of $497 per year, notably lower than the midsize MDX’s average of $571 annually.

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