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Parks McCants's picture

5 Improvements Acura Owners Want in the Near Future

By all measures, Acura builds an exceptional car and light truck for the money. However, with the accelerated evolution of the automobile comes heightened consumer anticipation as to what a premium car brand should be. Acura’s on it!
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As good as the Acura lineup is, there remains a handful of features in need of improvement.

I must default to Edmunds Auto and Consumer Reports as a qualified source of consumer feedback for this article. Here at Torque News, we do have an ongoing Acura TLX Owners Forum, specific to the early-on electric parking brake, and 9-speed transmission glitches.

Back in late 2015, those were the 2 major early production glitches noted by a handful of TLX owners. Time and two minor recalls took car of the early faults. Acura TLX remains one of the least recalled automobiles in Acura history. What features need improvement today?

1: Infotainment, Voice Command, Navigation

In reading through Edmunds 2017 Acura MDX consumer ratings, we discover an overall dislike, bordering on acceptance for some, of the split screen center stack command center. In speaking with Acura Engineering, there’s plenty of well-supported reasoning behind this design.

While I’ve grown accustomed to the dial-controlled top navigation screen, the navigation software program remains clumsy and somewhat unresponsive to manual manipulation and voice command. While this has been improved a bit for 2018, I’ve yet to discover the ease of voice recognition in any Acura, including the stunningly good-looking 2018 Acura RLX.

Yes, Acura will transition to a next generation Precision Concept Car inspired single-screen interface, with expanded i-MID beginning with the 2019 Acura RDX. I anticipate all Acura electronics to updated in the near term -- with the eventual integration of Garmin based navigation as found in this car.

2: Seat Comfort

In reading 2017 MDX owner feedback, despite a measurable upgrade in MDX cabin fit and finish, there remains a general consensus that Acura seats remain a tad stiff, uncomfortable is you will. From my own experience with the brand, I find that Acura has made measurable improvements in ride, and subsequent seat comfort. However, when consumers look to Acura these days, the historically correct Acura sport-like-ride, and chiropractic-calling stiff seat, must give way to the ergonomic comfort of the likes of Volvo XC90. Damn the dollar difference, Acura owners expect premium quality.

3 9-speed transmission

Here’s the thing: After 3 model years, all of the bugs should be sorted out of the originally problematic ZF 9 speed transmission. And, for the greater part, they have been. Yet, in reading comments from MDX owners, a handful (still) report “jerkiness” and stutter-stops from their otherwise exceptional SUV. In the worse case scenario, a handful of MDX transmissions are reportedly out of commission with under 4,000 miles driven.

In speaking with my local Acura Dealership service department, this is an extremely rare occurrence. With Honda now producing a proprietary 10 speed automatic, 8-speed DCT, and 7-speed DCT as found in the 2018 Acura Sport Hybrid, I anticipate a transmission change out for MDX and TLX in 2019. We’ll see where it goes.

4 Suspension tuning

Granted, Acura’s active dampened suspension offers one of the best overall handlings and ride characteristics found in the premium midsize car and SUV segment. However, although returning Acura owners expect a certain amount of 'ridgid' from their car or light truck, those new to the brand, and perhaps a little longer in the tooth, find MDX to be a bit stiff in ride dynamic.

Perhaps Acura engineering could take a lead from Honda Pilot, or the all-new 2018 Accord, as to a reasonably handling, bordering on soft ride dynamic. I suspect that Acura buyers would pay a reasonable premium for electronically adjustable suspension ride dynamics.

5 Consistent fit and finish factory standards

As with all things man made: In my own experience, I find the Acura lineup to be rather good in fit and finish. However, with things man-made, and rolling off of a production line, from time to time a new owner may discover a flaw or two. The most common flaw mentioned among the most anal of our readers is trim alignment, followed by the fuel door not closing properly(flush to the body) and reveal alignment.(the gap between the door, hood, hatch and body panels.) Could be!

Tell us about your Acura ownership. Your thought-provoking comment is always welcome at Torque News. We appreciate your like and share.


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Comments

What I gather from this is the owners they spoke to expect a Rolls Royce Wraith for the price of an Integra.
Welcome, Austin. you've made a good point. However, as an Acura fan, I would expect the electronics to be on par with Honda Accord, they're not. Other than that, one heck of a car lineup. look for the new RDX reveal at the Detroit Auto Show on January, 15. You will see the new tech-direction of the Acura brand. Thanks for reading.
I’d like Acura to make a manual sport car/sedan like the good ‘ol TSX or RSX
They are already leading away from making manual cars because no ones knows how to drive stick now a days, or bother to learn. It’s sad cause the new 18 TLX would be so nice in a manual.
Wellcome Oscar. I recommend that you drive Acura TLX 2.4L all-wheel-steer, with steering wheel mounted paddle shifting. You won't miss the stick for long.
Make me feel like I am actually driving a luxury vehicle...I used to own these cars and what I find annoying is their packaging. For example, I had a 2012 ZDX tech. For me to get the cooled seats and blind spot sensor I need to jump to advance package which will bump the price to another 6K. This ridiculous pachaging still drags in current models like the new MDX. C'mon acura, even my brother's first gen kia optima hybrid have cooled seats on their tech package. Second, flaws in craftsmanship here and there. The milano leather on my armrest starts to shrink and get wrinkled. The trims in my ZDX starts to popped out here and there, the spring on the center consoles 12v cover broke. Brought it to the dealership and all they get and order is the napa leather from base model >_> 3rd, is navi interface and dual screen's UI. It sucks to begin with, it doesn't make sense and requires an xm nav traffic subscription to get updates. Man! >_< even my outlander sport's fuse system have an live radio base traffic update. Love my old 08 TL-S, got it for almost 30K and for that car to feel like a sports sedan, you have to get the 5K A-Spec suspension and tires. And now they have these 2.0L turbo o.0? Acura, are you seriouslly telling me to buy a 40K RDX? with that small engine? After nine years of owning a honda & acura's, their packaging is starting to get old and unreasonable. Its almost as money pit as a BMW and MB's value, exept you guys just want to slap this one on us consumers upfront.
Welcome, Exelssior. You've made a good point or two. However, take a look at competing car brand "build your car" websites -- you'll discover the same. That's how the car sales game works. With that said: I've driven the high output 2.0 VTEC turbo in Type-R and Accord. It's one heck of an engine. I do agree with you on one point: There is no excuse for shotty workmanship in any premium car brand. Cheers.