Acura: Luxury Vehicle Marque of Japanese Automaker Honda

Discover Acura's line of superior cars and SUVs built for exhilarating performance


During its first few years of existence, Acura was among the best-selling luxury cars in the United States. Even though sales decreased in the mid-to-late 1990’s, the brand revived in the early 2000’s. This was due to major redesigning and the introduction of new models to the range.

Acura Models

The First Generation of the Acura Legend

Acura was the first Japanese luxury brand, introduced under the slogan, "Acura. Precision Crafted Automobiles.” Initially, it offered two models, the Executive Legend and the Compact Integra. Their first year of sales, the Acura Legend sedan accounted for 55,000 cars, and by 1990, Acura sold as many as 138,000 vehicles. During 1995, the NSX was introduced, a V6 powered rear-wheel-drive sports car. The name NSX was an acronym for “New Sports Experimental”. The idea was for a Japanese image car to be able to compete with Ferrari and Porsche cars. It also was the beginning of Honda’s VTEC technology, and a world-first production of an all-aluminum car.

With the release of the NSX, Acura introduced the A-Badge, a stylized pair of calipers for exacting measurements with the implication that Acura built their cars to precise and demanding standards.

Introducing the Acura MDX Crossover SUV

The late 2000’s saw the arrival of the MDX, a car-like crossover SUV that came with a limited off-road capability and catering for the demands of the luxury SUV market. The MDX was awarded top honours by Car and Driver in its first comparison test against seven other SUVs. Acura brought out new models at the turn of the century and the TL and TSX were particularly well-received by the motoring press resulting in being Acura’s top-selling vehicles at the time. The TSX was on Car and Drivers Ten Best List from 2004 to 2006.

For the 2010 model year, the MDX models received some slight exterior changes and increased equipment levels. Mechanically the engine remained unchanged but the transmission was updated from the previous five-speed to six-speed including steering column mounted shift override paddles. This new transmission was shared with the ZDX. An updated version of the MDX came out in 2014 as a four-wheel drive car. However, the SH-AWD remained the standard model for Canada, due to Canadian weather conditions.

Acura and Marvel Entertainment

In 2010 Acura and Marvel combined for a promotional campaign featuring a ZDX in the film Iron Man 2. Acura then became the official brand of the Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. Shots of MDX, ZDX, RL, and TL appeared in several films. In the 2012 film of The Avengers, Acura made an exotic sports car, especially for the film. It was rumored that the car seen in the film was a concept for the second generation NSX. When unveiled at the North American International Auto Show of 2012, a different-looking 2012 Acura NSX was on view.