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There’s no doubt that Honda sells more units year-over-year compared to Acura. However, as a luxury option, Acura has a much higher starting point compared to Honda. So, is Honda really that much more popular than Acura? Here’s a look at their popularity among consumers and the relationship between the two Japanese brands

The relationship between Honda and Acura 

The Honda Motor Co. was founded in Japan by Soichiro Honda after World War II. Prior to founding his own motor company, Mr. Honda owned a company that produced piston rings for Toyota. However, this business endeavor failed as the piston rings were deemed to be of poor quality. Luckily, Mr. Honda did not let this initial setback discourage him from continuing to pursue other opportunities in the automotive industry. 

According to Britannica, Mr. Honda’s first venture with his new company was producing motorized bicycles. The first Honda A-Type model was released in 1946. By 1964, Honda became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. During the 1960s, Honda also began production of its first automobile. The first Honda automobile was the T360 mini pickup truck which was quickly followed up by the S500 sports car. 

After about 20 years of finding success in automobile production, Honda decided to launch its own luxury brand. Thus, the Acura brand was born in 1986. Acura was the first Japanese automaker that was exclusively a luxury brand.

Two of the first Acura models were the Legend sedan and the Integra hatchback. After Honda experienced financial difficulties by focusing only on car production, both Honda and Acura introduced SUV options to their lineups in the early 2000s.  

Despite the Honda and Acura brands both being owned by Honda Motor Company, comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. There’s no doubt that Honda sells more units than Acura does. According to Honda News, Honda has sold around half a million cars already in 2023. The data shows that between January and May 2023, Honda sold 459,563 units. In comparison, Acura only sold 60,471 units during the same timeframe. 

Based on this data, it would be easy to say that Honda is clearly more popular and profitable compared to Acura. However, since Acura is a luxury brand, its lineup all starts at a much higher price point compared to Honda’s lineup.

Therefore, it’s really not surprising that Honda is moving more units as the luxury market is considerably smaller in comparison.

A look at Honda vs. Acura price points 

The most sold Honda model in May 2023 was the CR-V, with 33,521 units. In contrast, the best-selling Acura model was the MDX, with 5,935 units sold in May 2023. The 2024 Honda CR-V is available in six various trim levels, with four of the six trims being exclusively hybrid options. Honda starts the baseline LX trim at a starting price of $29,500. In addition, the baseline hybrid trim known as the Sport Hybrid starts at $33,350. 

In comparison to the Honda’s best-selling SUV, Acura’s premium MDX SUV starts at a much higher price point. The 2024 Acura MDX is available in six various trim levels. Acura starts the Base MDX trim at a cool $49,850. Compared to the CR-V, the 2024 MDX has no hybrid options and is exclusively sold as a gasoline-powered vehicle. 

The starting trims on the Honda CR-V and the MDX vary by about $20K. In addition, many Acura consumers opt for more upgrades and top trim levels as it exists in the luxury space. When comparing the higher trim options, the differences between the brands become even more apparent. The top Sport Touring Hybrid CR-V trim starts at just $39,500. In contrast, the top Type S Advance MDX trim starts at a whopping $73,500.

With Acura’s having a higher starting price, it also means that Acura is making more profit per sale compared to Honda. So, once again, comparing their popularity and units sold is kinda like trying to compare apples to oranges.  


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