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Acura in Review

Acura cars have not been around for very long, but in their short time of existence they have created a name and customer base that can best be described as loyal. Following the successful ventures of Honda, Acura was developed as a line of luxury Japanese vehicles; which was a first for a Japanese car manufacturer. Acura had to overcome the common American and Canadian beliefs that Japanese vehicles are designed more for economy than luxury.

The Acura Legend kicked off this movement in the mid eighties, and changed the Japanese car market forever with its refined classic styling, and impressive performance and handling. With the introduction of the 1989 Acura NSX (all-aluminum body) super car, Japan took on the markets of Ferrari and Porsche head on with this 276 horsepower sport coupe and emerged in the dust to tell about it. Today, even the mention of the NSX brings tingles down the spines of tuners far and wide. But for many of us average Jane's and Joe's; settling for the less expensive Acura Integra will have to do as a close second best. Complete with a sporty exterior and lively interior the Acura Integra finds balance between economy and performance, with a nice heaping scoop of reliability to top it off. Today however the Integra has been replaced with the all new Acura RSX (with the great looking spoiler); upscale sophistication, tuned suspension, and swooped engine makes this daily driver a pure pleasure to be behind the wheel of.

An even more practical version is the Acura TSX, which incorporates European style, performance, and engineering with the roominess of a sedan. Climbing a few notches above the TSX, one can step into an Acura RL which is Acura's largest sedan available today. Luxury is the best way to describe driving this elite class vehicle, but don't be fooled; this upscale driver also features an impressive sport package for handling and performance. "Comfort, convenience, and sportiness" as reported through Consumer Reports describes the Acura TL about as simply and accurately as you can get. Featuring an air pressure monitoring system, engine control module, and 6 speed manual transmission (all standard equipment), the TL is "fully loaded" even at its base price; and having been around awhile, this classic cruiser needs to prove itself to nobody. Acura is especially popular with the tuner/performance enthusiast crowds in America; but with its huge aftermarket following, who could really blame them.

Acura parts in general are not only easy to come by, but the performance upgraded Acura auto parts are even easier to come by. So building up a great tuner machine out of an Acura will be an easy feat, as well as rather enjoyable. But Acura has more than just super cars, sport coupes, and sedans; they also have an impressive line of SUVs; so let's step off the beaten path and look over two of them. The Acura MDX forefronts the luxury end of things, while the Acura RDX is considered as more of a tuned crossover compact. The MDX is a mid-duty family hauler designed for those occasional excursions into the wild.

With enough power and torque to get you where you need to go, your Acura MDX will not leave you stranded unless you wander into the "extreme" off-road. The Acura RDX, with its turbo-tuned engineering is considered Acura's answer to the popular BMW X5. Built to cruise the open highways, yet topple a mountain side or two if pushed to the task, the RDX is quite at home in both the city and country. Both make a great choice, as size and functionality will probably be your main deciding factor.

Kevin Dark is a dedicated car fan. Learn more about Acura on the themed website: About Acura.

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