Acuras have long been known for their refined performance, luxury features, and reliability compared to many other brands. As the premium division of Honda, Acura competes with the likes of Lexus, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. With new 2023 models hitting dealerships, many car shoppers wonder: are Acuras still high-quality cars in 2023?
The short answer is yes – Acuras remain very well-built, dependable vehicles that offer great performance and tech for the money. While they may lack the prestige of German rivals, 2023 Acuras score highly in expert reviews for their driving dynamics, safety, value, and predicted reliability.
This in-depth buying guide will examine Acura’s reputation, recent ratings, and the 2023 ILX, TLX, MDX, and RDX to detail how Acuras stack up in quality, tech, performance, and overall value compared to luxury competitors.
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Acura’s Reputation for Quality and Performance
Acura first launched in the late 1980s as Honda’s new luxury marque. Early successes like the Legend and Integra set the tone for Acura’s values – refined performance, innovative tech, and reliability.
Over the past decade, Acuras have consistently ranked among the top luxury brands for dependability and owner satisfaction. In 2022 JD Power studies, Acura had the fewest problems reported per 100 vehicles, beating Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.
Reviewers praise the polished handling and ride quality across the Acura lineup. Brand hallmarks like SH-AWD torque vectoring and rev-matching systems deliver confident performance. Interiors offer premium comfort and features while avoiding complex controls.
Acura Quality Issues in the Past
Acura did experience some drops in quality and reliability back in the late 2000s models, where issues like paint flaws, engine stalling, and transmission problems cropped up. This was out of character for the brand and forced Acura to renew its focus on precision and quality control.
The troubles seemed to stem from trying to rapidly expand the Acura range during the recession. This led to some corners being cut. But consumer backlash quickly had Acura correcting course.
Recent Acura Reviews and Ratings
Fast forward to 2023 models, and Acura has restored its reputation for reliable, well-built vehicles. Recent JD Power studies ranked Acura second only to Lexus in dependability.
Acura’s new turbocharged engines and 10-speed autos deliver power while maintaining durability and efficiency. Cabins offer a near-perfect mix of quality materials and user-friendly tech. Road noise is kept well isolated from the interior.
Reviewers praise the value Acuras offer compared to European rivals. Despite the strong Japanese yen, Acura focus on performance, luxury, and technology gives them an edge over many competitors.
Acura Lineup for 2023 Model Year
Acura’s 2023 lineup showcases four models covering the compact sedan, midsize sedan, compact SUV, and midsize SUV segments. From the entry-level ILX to the flagship MDX, Acura aims for an ideal blend of power, comfort, and technology.
The ILX sedan sees minor changes for 2023 after last year’s refresh. With 201 horsepower from its 2.0L turbo, the ILX delivers a spirited drive and 34 mpg highway. The ILX interior matches European competitors for comfort and tech. Standard safety systems like collision mitigation braking and road departure assist boost driver confidence. Reviewers say the ILX isn’t overly sporty, but it offers luxury and value on par with rivals. The ILX competes with the Audi A3, Mercedes CLA, and BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe in the $30k compact luxury range.
- Refined turbo engine provides ample power
- Ride quality balances comfort and agility
- Spacious interior with quality materials
- User-friendly tech interface and features
- Standard advanced safety systems
- Less prestigious brand cachet than German rivals
- Tight rear seat and trunk space
- Base model lacks features expected in segment
- Dated dual-screen interface
The midsize TLX sees more significant updates for 2023 like revised styling, expanded safety tech, and chassis upgrades. Two turbocharged engines offer V6-like power while achieving 24/33 mpg city/highway. TLX models now come standard with Acura’s excellent SH-AWD system for all-weather grip. Handling feels nimble and refined thanks to double wishbone front suspension and Adaptive Dampers. The TLX cabin provides a true luxury experience with soft-touch surfaces, leather seats, and an ELS Studio sound system. Reviewers say the new TLX matches or beats segment leaders in technology, comfort, and driving dynamics. It competes with the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Genesis G70, and Volvo S60.
- Strong acceleration from two turbo engine options
- Athletic handling with SH-AWD® standard
- Luxurious and tech-focused interior
- Upgraded safety systems like traffic jam assist
- Excellent predicted reliability ratings
- Rival sedans offer more rear seat room
- Exterior styling plays it a bit safe
- Some controls like shifter take acclimation
The MDX midsize SUV gains more performance, luxury, and technology for 2023. A potent 290-hp V6 teams up with a 10-speed auto for a 6.2-second 0-60 time. Handling feels responsive thanks to double wishbone front suspension and torque vectoring. The 3rd row fits adults while maintaining cargo space. New off-road and towing packages expand the MDX’s capability. Tech extras like a 25-speaker ELS Studio 3D sound system and 10-inch head-up display match or best luxury brand rivals. Reviewers praise the MDX’s family-friendly design, refined road manners, and thoughtful technology. It competes with the BMW X5, Audi Q7, Mercedes GLE, and Lexus RX L.
- Potent yet efficient V6 engine
- Family-friendly 3rd row and cargo space
- Plush ride quality even with performance upgrades
- Top-notch interior materials and detailing
- Excellent 10-speaker ELS Studio audio standard
- Exterior design is handsome but conservative
- Competitors offer more torquey engine upgrades
- No Android Auto/Apple CarPlay wireless connectivity
For 2023 the RDX carries over with just minor feature tweaks following its 2022 redesign. The RDX’s 272-hp turbo engine delivers sports car acceleration while returning 22/28 mpg city/highway. On winding roads, the RDX feels planted and responsive thanks in part to SH-AWD torque vectoring. The interior provides luxury comfort and features like 16-way seats, leather, and open-pore wood. The True Touchpad Interface takes some learning but gives easy control of entertainment, navigation, and vehicle systems. Reviewers praise the RDX’s blend of performance, utility, and quality. Shoppers can compare it to options like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC, and Lexus NX.
- Turbo V6 provides rapid acceleration
- Balanced handling with available SH-AWD®
- Luxury cabin with high-end materials and features
- Useful tech including driver assist systems
- Good cargo space and 2nd row legroom
- Touchpad interface has steep learning curve
- No wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Base model lacks navigation and other expected features
- Rivals offer more cargo room
The Verdict: 2023 Acura Quality and Value
Acura still lives up to its decades-old reputation for delivering refined performance and quality at a strong value. Recent expert reviews and owner surveys affirm today’s Acuras are exceptionally well-built, comfortable, and technologically advanced. Reliability and owner satisfaction ratings meet or beat rivals from Germany and Japan.
For shoppers who prioritize a sporty driving experience, elegant cabin space, and useful technology over status, Acuras make compelling choices in the luxury market. Acura focuses more on delivering an incredible driving experience over brand prestige. The amazing performance abilities coupled with Acura’s signature SH-AWD system provides more value for the money than many pricier European options.
While resale value and perception may not match Mercedes and BMW, Acura technology like collision avoidance systems and driver-focused cockpits often surpass those brands. Shoppers seeking quality engineering, refinement, and performance get excellent value from the new Acura lineup.
5 Key Pros of 2023 Acuras
- Pro 1: Refined performance and nimble handling abilities
- Pro 2: High-end interiors with quality materials and design
- Pro 3: Cutting-edge safety and driver assist technology
- Pro 4: Good predicted reliability and resale value
- Pro 5: More value for the money than most luxury brands
4 Potential Cons to Consider
- Con 1: Conservative exterior styling lacks flair of some rivals
- Con 2: Acura lacks prestige factor and brand cachet
- Con 3: Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto still absent
- Con 4: Base models lack some expected luxury features
Specifications Comparison Table
|2.0L Turbo I4
|$30k – $36k
|2.0L Turbo I4 or 3.0L V6
|272 hp or 286 hp
|5.7s – 6.3s
|22/31 – 24/33 mpg
|$39k – $55k
|$49k – $67k
|2.0L Turbo I4
|$41k – $56k
Acura continues to deliver highly capable luxury vehicles that emphasize performance, comfort, and technology over status. Shoppers can expect the refinement, quality, and value that have defined Acura’s reputation over the past three decades. While the brand plays it safer on styling, the driving experience and capabilities match or beat pricier European rivals. If you seek luxury coupled with impressive engineering and dynamics, Acura models make compelling choices across sedan, SUV, and performance segments.
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