Acura and Lexus are the two of the most well-known luxury brands in the U.S. Both automakers started around the same time; Acura in 1986, followed by Lexus in 1989, and they have both been going strong ever since. But it could be a tough choice if you’re in the market for a Japanese luxury vehicle, and while Lexus does have a lot of offer in terms of plush elegance, you could be wondering if Acura is actually a better decision.
The differences between Lexus and Acura
For those who may not know, Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand and has a great reputation for reliability and quality. Lexus models tend to have a much softer and more elegant appeal while taking a more comfortable approach to driving dynamics and overall steering feel. That doesn’t mean that its products aren’t sporty, though, as coupes like the RC-F and the LC provide a healthy dose of performance in the Lexus lineup.
On the other hand, Acura is Honda’s luxury brand and while its products are elegant, they tend to focus more on performance, price, and user-friendly experience. Honda is well-known for providing value and this carries over into the Acura brand as its vehicles tend to be priced lower than other luxury brands. While some may think that Acura products aren’t as luxurious as those found with the Lexus badge, their lower pricing does well to bring up the overall value by providing a lot of standard equipment and character for the money, as seen on cars like the ILX and TLX.
Acura’s performance is key
While it is safe to say that the Lexus lineup is filled with great contenders that can even outclass some rivals from Germany, Acura’s strengths lie in its “Precision Crafted Performance” tagline, which couldn’t be any truer. Starting with the first-generation NSX, and cars like the Integra and RSX, it’s clear that Acura wanted to make a name for itself by bringing sportiness to the table. And that carries on to their products today with the second-generation NSX and the forthcoming TLX.
This formula of driving precision and focus on overall sportiness doesn’t mean that they skimped on the “luxury” part of the brand as many Acura products like the MDX and the soon-to-be-extinct RLX utilize many luxurious amenities including Milano premium leather, upgraded audio systems from Krell, and even finer details like elegant wood grain trim and contrast stitching and piping.
Pricing is one of Acura’s strengths, too
While comparing interior quality and driving dynamics between Lexus and Acura products is one thing, comparing pricing between the two brands sheds some new light. For example, the Acura ILX has a starting price of around $25,000, while the comparable Lexus IS sedan starts at around $38,000. And while many might contend that an ILX is just a gussied up Civic (it pretty much is), we can respond with the fact that you could then opt for a TLX for $33,000 instead, and it would still be cheaper than the most-affordable sedan from Lexus. Plus, you’ll get more room and the same features along with sportier driving dynamics. We can definitely see how Acura’s value lies in its pricing structure as well.
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Is Acura better than Lexus?
Ultimately, it’s a tough call as to which brand is technically better, since it’s akin to asking if Coke is better than Pepsi. In the long run, it really comes down to personal needs and preferences. If you feel that the finer things in life need to cost more, then go with Lexus. And if you’re on a tighter budget and like performance and handling, but want something nicer than a Honda, then go with Acura. It’s up to the buyer, but when it comes to overall value, in terms of pricing and available equipment on each car, we would say Acura has Lexus beat.