First Model Year Acura

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Ged
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First Model Year Acura

Post by Ged »

I am considering buying a new Acura TLX in the next year or so when the new model premium disappears.

What is the current thinking on buying a first model year vehicle? Is it still a risky thing, or has testing plus the general good record of Honda something that makes this issue just a boogey-man?
TrollToll
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by TrollToll »

I hear it all the time - "Acura is just a Honda with an Acura badge". I don't think this is true.

Check our CR's most reliable brands ranking for 2019. Honda comes in at 12 - not bad. Acura is 28 out of 30.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-rel ... able-cars/

I watch Consumer Report's Talking Cars every week. They always say that the first model year is generally the worst reliability. This is especially true if there are major changes from one year to the next. They tend to say the last model year is the most reliable as well as the most discounted.

They also say to not judge a car by its brand. I recall CR saying that Honda's reliability is generally good, but they recently made one model with very poor reliability (I think Tacoma). It may be true that they're generally good - but if you happened to get that one model with bad reliability, it doesn't matter what their reputation is. You should always look up the specific make/model/year you're interested in. This is also true with brands that generally have poor reliability. Chryslers generally have poor reliability, but their Pacifica is actually quite good.

Looking up the Acura TLX - CR says predicted reliability is 3/5 (and has been since 2017). Not bad, but not the gold standard. It is CR recommended, but they also say the car doesn't live up to its competition. Also consider the Audi A4 or Genesis G70 - the two highest ranked in the class with excellent expected reliability and general scores.

Also I recommend becoming a CR member. I'm a fan, if you can't tell.
sjt
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by sjt »

TrollToll wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:54 am Also consider the Audi A4 or Genesis G70 - the two highest ranked in the class with excellent expected reliability and general scores.

Audi has excellent reliability? Did I somehow get transported to an alternate dimension?

Jokes aside, I have a 2010 Mazda3 which is the first year for that generation and it's been a good little car. It boasts the 2.5L engine which is a modification of the 2.3L engine mentioned earlier in the thread, but I have the 6 speed MT which has been very good except for the notorious 2nd gear crunch. Just one data point, but not every first model year car has problems.
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale
redmaw
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by redmaw »

TrollToll wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:54 am I hear it all the time - "Acura is just a Honda with an Acura badge". I don't think this is true.

Check our CR's most reliable brands ranking for 2019. Honda comes in at 12 - not bad. Acura is 28 out of 30.
Have you considered that this is more of an indication of CRs data and ranking quality than a difference in quality of 2 brands made by the same people in the same factory with largely the same parts? This discrepancy exists for most/all manufacturers between there base and luxury brands, even if the interior and bumpers are the only ohysical differences. Personally I attribute the difference to luxury car customers complaining about more minor issues which are accepted as normal by the plebes, combined with small sample size of self reporting customers. All in all I don't considered CRs brand ratings to be worth much.

That said based on discussions with long time owners and a couple of mechanics, Honda quality has been deteriorating since about 2010 when the last civic came out. I think they've been coasting on their reputation since.
azanon
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by azanon »

TrollToll wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:54 amThey also say to not judge a car by its brand. I recall CR saying that Honda's reliability is generally good, but they recently made one model with very poor reliability (I think Tacoma). It may be true that they're generally good - but if you happened to get that one model with bad reliability, it doesn't matter what their reputation is. You should always look up the specific make/model/year you're interested in. This is also true with brands that generally have poor reliability. Chryslers generally have poor reliability, but their Pacifica is actually quite good.
Don't forget the oil dilution problem plaguing CR-V's (and civics?) associated with every model with the 1.5T engine. The way that problem sounds/is described, it strikes me as a lemon for every car with that issue. And I haven't yet seen anything definitive that says the problem is completely resolved yet.
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msi
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by msi »

It's smarter to wait and see, but the new TLX sure is a nice-looking car.
jfssail
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by jfssail »

You haven,t mentioned which Model TLX you are considering. If its the the Type-S with3.0 L Turbo and 10 speed transmission, wait a year. Honda has had many problems with their direct injection turbo engines both here and in China.
If its the basic car with naturally aspirated I-4 engine, go for it. ALSO Remember, TLX Acuras now come with Goodyear Eagle-2 tires, not the Michelin tires my 2009 TSX came with. These tires are rated at the bottom by Tire Rack. Plan on a $1000 tire upgrade if you buy a new TLX. Also, your car will need a compact spare, tire jack, etc for another $400.
I find my 2009 TSX with I-4 engine the most trouble free and enjoyable car I have ever driven.
azanon
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by azanon »

jfssail wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:36 am You haven,t mentioned which Model TLX you are considering. If its the the Type-S with3.0 L Turbo and 10 speed transmission, wait a year. Honda has had many problems with their direct injection turbo engines both here and in China.
If its the basic car with naturally aspirated I-4 engine, go for it. ALSO Remember, TLX Acuras now come with Goodyear Eagle-2 tires, not the Michelin tires my 2009 TSX came with. These tires are rated at the bottom by Tire Rack. Plan on a $1000 tire upgrade if you buy a new TLX. Also, your car will need a compact spare, tire jack, etc for another $400.
I find my 2009 TSX with I-4 engine the most trouble free and enjoyable car I have ever driven.
The new TLX 4 cylinder will also be turbocharged, not naturally aspired.
alfaspider
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by alfaspider »

You have to consider the mechanicals when evaluating a "first model year." Is it just a body redesign, a slight power train revision, or a ground up redesign?

A body redesign shouldn't present many first model year problems. A ground up redesign will probably have a few kinks. Just relying on brands isn't always a good idea. Models can vary widely within brands based on complexity or design decisions specific to the car.

Finally, make sure you understand what you are looking at with "reliability ratings." There's a difference between your touchscreen freezing occasionally and your motor self destructing. But some reliability ratings treat them as equivalent.
discman017
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by discman017 »

TrollToll wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:54 am I hear it all the time - "Acura is just a Honda with an Acura badge". I don't think this is true.

Check our CR's most reliable brands ranking for 2019. Honda comes in at 12 - not bad. Acura is 28 out of 30.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-rel ... able-cars/
I was surprised at this.

If I Google "Acura reliability," the first hit is this, which ranks Acura #2 of 32 brands: https://repairpal.com/reliability/acura

I don't know who's right. Just want to point out that there are very disparate ratings out there.

I'm a happy owner of a 2006 Acura RL, bought used eight months ago for under $3K. It's a fantastic vehicle, and going strong with 162K miles.
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msi
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by msi »

discman017 wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:31 am
TrollToll wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:54 am I hear it all the time - "Acura is just a Honda with an Acura badge". I don't think this is true.

Check our CR's most reliable brands ranking for 2019. Honda comes in at 12 - not bad. Acura is 28 out of 30.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-rel ... able-cars/
I was surprised at this.

If I Google "Acura reliability," the first hit is this, which ranks Acura #2 of 32 brands: https://repairpal.com/reliability/acura

I don't know who's right. Just want to point out that there are very disparate ratings out there.

I'm a happy owner of a 2006 Acura RL, bought used eight months ago for under $3K. It's a fantastic vehicle, and going strong with 162K miles.
CR's 2019 reliability rankinsg refers to predicted reliability for the 2019 model year.

Repairpal's rankings cover "345 unique models," meaning not just 2019.
dewey
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by dewey »

alfaspider wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:22 am You have to consider the mechanicals when evaluating a "first model year." Is it just a body redesign, a slight power train revision, or a ground up redesign?

A body redesign shouldn't present many first model year problems. A ground up redesign will probably have a few kinks. Just relying on brands isn't always a good idea. Models can vary widely within brands based on complexity or design decisions specific to the car.

Finally, make sure you understand what you are looking at with "reliability ratings." There's a difference between your touchscreen freezing occasionally and your motor self destructing. But some reliability ratings treat them as equivalent.
+1 Acura's newest RDX had some issues with infotainment, apple car play, etc. Some bugs to work out which they mostly have. The car itself--new from the ground up--is a very good car. But CR hammered it for its tech issues. In one owner's survey over 80% would purchase again. Likely not if they relied on CR.
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mtwhmemn
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by mtwhmemn »

I consider myself very well informed and extremely experienced with Honda automotive products. I've owned Honda products most of the last 35 years. Currently own 4. I understand your question and concerns with the purchase of a new model. I went against traditional thinking and purchased a new 4 cylinder TLX for my wife when they first came out. I put down a deposit before the car was even shipping and took delivery of one of the first made.

Was it a mistake? Well, it wasn't a perfect experience, but I wouldn't say it was a mistake. There were a couple of minor problems and one seemingly major problem. There was, and still is, a minor annoyance to do with the proximity of the remote to the car and the door automatically unlocking. May have to do with the remote deep in my wife's purse surrounded by who knows what but it doesn't unlock unless the purse is by the door or trunk. Hasn't bothered me as the remote is usually hanging on my belt.

The major issue was with the new dual clutch gearbox. It wasn't sealed properly and had a very slow fluid seep at the main seam that was detected by a tech when changing the oil. (It didn't lose enough fluid to even make it to the driveway.) Bottom line they took care of it. It was major surgery as the engine had to be removed. That part was scary. Years later no problems. They actually knew what they were doing. The dual clutch gearbox makes the car extremely fun to drive with rev matched downshifts or you can just drive it as a regular auto. Car people will understand. The shifts are extremely quick in Sport + mode and make a low horsepower car a lot of fun without breaking the law (too bad).

Now, the new TLX will have all new double wishbone suspension, unlike the struts on most Hondas / cars. That should make handling very, very good. The engine should be solid - Honda makes more internal combustion engines than any company in the the world. The transmission will be good, no more dual clutch because the unit wasn't designed to handle the torque of the new engine. I know about the dilution problem - no company is perfect. I think I read they are going to make their own airbags, because so many companies had problems with those. Too bad the dual clutch boxes won't be beefed up for the new engines as they are really fun and aren't available in most any car under a very high price. Think Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini. Some VWs have them.

Long story short if you really want the new TLX (even the "old" one we have is not a rebadged Accord as some say) get it and enjoy. The new one I believe will be built on a bespoke chassis, not the Accord's chassis.

All that said, if you aren't a car person and just want a nice, mid size sedan I suggest you buy an Accord. The new TLXs will cost quite a bit more than Accords with their powerful engines and fancy suspension!
azanon
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by azanon »

mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:07 pmNow, the new TLX will have all new double wishbone suspension, unlike the struts on most Hondas / cars. That should make handling very, very good. The engine should be solid - Honda makes more internal combustion engines than any company in the the world. The transmission will be good, no more dual clutch because the unit wasn't designed to handle the torque of the new engine. I know about the dilution problem - no company is perfect. I think I read they are going to make their own airbags, because so many companies had problems with those. Too bad the dual clutch boxes won't be beefed up for the new engines as they are really fun and aren't available in most any car under a very high price. Think Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini. Some VWs have them.
While I'm not a mechanic at all, I'm not sure where you've gotten the impression that dual clutch transmission are not feasible for high powered engines, from a cost-efficient standpoint. You mentioned "some VWs have them" - the more precise way to say that is most of the high powered VWs (and Audis) have them. I have a GTI dual clutch (read, not an expensive car) making 330lb-ft torque (Stage 2+ Unitronic), but many others are modifying theirs to 400-500 and beyond and not having any issues with the transmission. Same goes for most audis that have them. On the forums, when transmissions come up, the only concern ever mentioned is if you have a standard (cause the stock clutches often can't take modified power). But the DCT? I've never heard that mentioned as a limiting factor, at least not with VW/Audis. Bottom line - if Acura's (Honda) saying they don't have a DCT that can handle that new engine, maybe VW can help them out? :)

If they want to compete with the likes of an A4 or A7, they maybe should figure out how to get a DCT back in there.
mtwhmemn
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by mtwhmemn »

azanon wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:22 pm
mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:07 pmNow, the new TLX will have all new double wishbone suspension, unlike the struts on most Hondas / cars. That should make handling very, very good. The engine should be solid - Honda makes more internal combustion engines than any company in the the world. The transmission will be good, no more dual clutch because the unit wasn't designed to handle the torque of the new engine. I know about the dilution problem - no company is perfect. I think I read they are going to make their own airbags, because so many companies had problems with those. Too bad the dual clutch boxes won't be beefed up for the new engines as they are really fun and aren't available in most any car under a very high price. Think Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini. Some VWs have them.
While I'm not a mechanic at all, I'm not sure where you've gotten the impression that dual clutch transmission are not feasible for high powered engines, from a cost-efficient standpoint. You mentioned "some VWs have them" - the more precise way to say that is most of the high powered VWs (and Audis) have them. I have a GTI dual clutch (read, not an expensive car) making 330lb-ft torque (Stage 2+ Unitronic), but many others are modifying theirs to 400-500 and beyond and not having any issues with the transmission. Same goes for most audis that have them. On the forums, when transmissions come up, the only concern ever mentioned is if you have a standard (cause the stock clutches often can't take modified power). But the DCT? I've never heard that mentioned as a limiting factor, at least not with VW/Audis. Bottom line - if Acura's (Honda) saying they don't have a DCT that can handle that new engine, maybe VW can help them out? :)

If they want to compete with the likes of an A4 or A7, they maybe should figure out how to get a DCT back in there.
I didn't say DCTs can handle high power. Obviously they can and do in Ferraris, etc.... I said the DCT in the current 4 cylinder TLX wasn't designed to handle even the power of the current V6 Acura TLX or I'd imagine they'd have used it in that car instead of the slush pump that's in there! Just as an excercise for you, name another car, other than a TLX and your GTI that is at or around that price point with a DCT. I can't think of any. One other tidbit is the Acura DCT is a bit of an oddball as it is the only DCT that uses a torque convertor to smooth out low speed driving. A quick google search turned up this explaination if you are interested: https://gearsmagazine.com/magazine/acur ... transaxle/
bmr12
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by bmr12 »

It’s been a while and is completely anecdotal, but my household bought a 2004 Acura TL, the first year after a remodel. This has been by far the most reliable vehicle we’ve ever owned, including other Honda products. Still going strong for us after 16+ years.

That being said, it seems the more recent model years have had more issues.
azanon
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by azanon »

mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:42 pm
azanon wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:22 pm
mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:07 pmNow, the new TLX will have all new double wishbone suspension, unlike the struts on most Hondas / cars. That should make handling very, very good. The engine should be solid - Honda makes more internal combustion engines than any company in the the world. The transmission will be good, no more dual clutch because the unit wasn't designed to handle the torque of the new engine. I know about the dilution problem - no company is perfect. I think I read they are going to make their own airbags, because so many companies had problems with those. Too bad the dual clutch boxes won't be beefed up for the new engines as they are really fun and aren't available in most any car under a very high price. Think Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini. Some VWs have them.
While I'm not a mechanic at all, I'm not sure where you've gotten the impression that dual clutch transmission are not feasible for high powered engines, from a cost-efficient standpoint. You mentioned "some VWs have them" - the more precise way to say that is most of the high powered VWs (and Audis) have them. I have a GTI dual clutch (read, not an expensive car) making 330lb-ft torque (Stage 2+ Unitronic), but many others are modifying theirs to 400-500 and beyond and not having any issues with the transmission. Same goes for most audis that have them. On the forums, when transmissions come up, the only concern ever mentioned is if you have a standard (cause the stock clutches often can't take modified power). But the DCT? I've never heard that mentioned as a limiting factor, at least not with VW/Audis. Bottom line - if Acura's (Honda) saying they don't have a DCT that can handle that new engine, maybe VW can help them out? :)

If they want to compete with the likes of an A4 or A7, they maybe should figure out how to get a DCT back in there.
I didn't say DCTs can handle high power. Obviously they can and do in Ferraris, etc.... I said the DCT in the current 4 cylinder TLX wasn't designed to handle even the power of the current V6 Acura TLX or I'd imagine they'd have used it in that car instead of the slush pump that's in there! Just as an excercise for you, name another car, other than a TLX and your GTI that is at or around that price point with a DCT. I can't think of any. One other tidbit is the Acura DCT is a bit of an oddball as it is the only DCT that uses a torque convertor to smooth out low speed driving. A quick google search turned up this explaination if you are interested: https://gearsmagazine.com/magazine/acur ... transaxle/
You said, or implied, that Acura's DCT cannot handle high power, and I said/implied that they need to work on that because VW has one that can handle 500+ HP.

There are plenty of cheap cars with DCTs. I want to say a good many if not most of the Hyundais can be fitted with them. Offhand I know the Veloster, Kona, and Sonata can be had with DCTs, but I think more than those can be fitted with them as well. So it's not much of an exercise, rather just realizing DCTs are not as uncommon as you think.

How about I name a cheaper Acura that has a DCT? The ILX.
mtwhmemn
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by mtwhmemn »

azanon wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:28 am
mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:42 pm
azanon wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:22 pm
mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:07 pmNow, the new TLX will have all new double wishbone suspension, unlike the struts on most Hondas / cars. That should make handling very, very good. The engine should be solid - Honda makes more internal combustion engines than any company in the the world. The transmission will be good, no more dual clutch because the unit wasn't designed to handle the torque of the new engine. I know about the dilution problem - no company is perfect. I think I read they are going to make their own airbags, because so many companies had problems with those. Too bad the dual clutch boxes won't be beefed up for the new engines as they are really fun and aren't available in most any car under a very high price. Think Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini. Some VWs have them.
I'm not sure where you've gotten the impression that dual clutch transmission are not feasible for high powered engines
mtwhmemn
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Re: First Model Year Acura

Post by mtwhmemn »

azanon wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:28 am
mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:42 pm
azanon wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:22 pm
mtwhmemn wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:07 pmNow, the new TLX will have all new double wishbone suspension, unlike the struts on most Hondas / cars. That should make handling very, very good. The engine should be solid - Honda makes more internal combustion engines than any company in the the world. The transmission will be good, no more dual clutch because the unit wasn't designed to handle the torque of the new engine. I know about the dilution problem - no company is perfect. I think I read they are going to make their own airbags, because so many companies had problems with those. Too bad the dual clutch boxes won't be beefed up for the new engines as they are really fun and aren't available in most any car under a very high price. Think Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini. Some VWs have them.
While I'm not a mechanic at all, I'm not sure where you've gotten the impression that dual clutch transmission are not feasible for high powered engines, from a cost-efficient standpoint. You mentioned "some VWs have them" - the more precise way to say that is most of the high powered VWs (and Audis) have them. I have a GTI dual clutch (read, not an expensive car) making 330lb-ft torque (Stage 2+ Unitronic), but many others are modifying theirs to 400-500 and beyond and not having any issues with the transmission. Same goes for most audis that have them. On the forums, when transmissions come up, the only concern ever mentioned is if you have a standard (cause the stock clutches often can't take modified power). But the DCT? I've never heard that mentioned as a limiting factor, at least not with VW/Audis. Bottom line - if Acura's (Honda) saying they don't have a DCT that can handle that new engine, maybe VW can help them out? :)

If they want to compete with the likes of an A4 or A7, they maybe should figure out how to get a DCT back in there.
I didn't say DCTs can handle high power. Obviously they can and do in Ferraris, etc.... I said the DCT in the current 4 cylinder TLX wasn't designed to handle even the power of the current V6 Acura TLX or I'd imagine they'd have used it in that car instead of the slush pump that's in there! Just as an excercise for you, name another car, other than a TLX and your GTI that is at or around that price point with a DCT. I can't think of any. One other tidbit is the Acura DCT is a bit of an oddball as it is the only DCT that uses a torque convertor to smooth out low speed driving. A quick google search turned up this explaination if you are interested: https://gearsmagazine.com/magazine/acur ... transaxle/
You said, or implied, that Acura's DCT cannot handle high power, and I said/implied that they need to work on that because VW has one that can handle 500+ HP.

There are plenty of cheap cars with DCTs. I want to say a good many if not most of the Hyundais can be fitted with them. Offhand I know the Veloster, Kona, and Sonata can be had with DCTs, but I think more than those can be fitted with them as well. So it's not much of an exercise, rather just realizing DCTs are not as uncommon as you think.

How about I name a cheaper Acura that has a DCT? The ILX.
Didn't know about the Hyundais. Interesting.
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