Acura is Honda’s luxury division that has churned out some of the best vehicles on the market for those wanting an upscale feel on a budget. In the 90s, the automaker built cars like the Legend and the Integra, which were major hits with the public at large as well as car enthusiasts. However, the RSX was another sport compact that garnered a lot of sales for the brand, but why did Acura stop making it?
The Acura RSX was a sales success
Acura released the RSX way back in 2002 as the successor to the widely successful Integra. And while it took some time for enthusiasts to mourn the loss of the Integra and warm up to newer, stubbier RSX, they soon fell in love with it all the same, and the sales numbers proved it.
According to Good Car Bad Car, Acura sold over 30,000 RSX’s for the 2002 model year and kept sales about the 20,000 mark for the subsequent years up until 2006, which was the last model year for the car. That’s a lot of cars sold in a short amount of time, but why was it ultimately discontinued?
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What happened to the Acura RSX?
The Acura RSX was the epitome of an entry-level sports coupe in that it retailed for around $20,000 for the base trim and up to around $23,000 for the livelier RSX Type-S model and provided a quick and fun means of getting around town. That model curried favor with the same “Fast and Furious” enthusiasts that were modifying Honda Civics and Acura Integras, but overall, the RSX didn’t fit well with the brand’s business model going forward as it wanted to focus more on larger sedans like the TL and CL.
After 2006, the RSX was finally dropped in favor of the larger TSX and later on the ILX, which became the brand’s entry-level model in 2012. Also, the Honda Civic Si was released in 2006, which had the same engine and transmission setup as the RSX, so there was technically no need for it.
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What was so great about the Acura RSX?
The reason that the enthusiast crowd, as well as the general public, liked the RSX so much was that it was a fun, zippy compact that provided a high-rpm experience for not a lot of money. If you just wanted an economical car to get around town, then you could pick the base RSX which came with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produced 160 hp and could be had with either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.
But if you wanted more of a pocket rocket, then the RSX Type-S provided high-revving fun via an upgraded 2.0-liter VTEC engine that produced 200 hp and was connected to a six-speed manual transmission. It also had a sportier suspension and larger wheels and tires for more of a road-gripping experience.
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Will the RSX ever come back?
Although Acura has been fully invested in providing the market with “Precision Crafted Performance,” we doubt that they would ever bring back a small sports coupe, especially since consumers are more tied to sedans and SUVs nowadays. However, you can still find good used RSX examples on the used market at an affordable price. So if you want your VTEC, that’s one way to get it.