Posted by William Rubano
Acura is alive and doing alright thanks to the RDX and MDX. Their sedans? Waiting on death’s door. In all likelihood there will be another TLX. But a full size Acura sedan seems untenable in today’s crossover hungry market. Honda bears some of the blame too, because the ILX, TLX, and RLX just aren’t that compelling. Acura could use a Legend. Remember when they had one?
Millenials have spent about twenty years coveting 90s Acura. The Integra obviously gets the lion’s share of attention and will probably skyrocket in value as more thirtysomethings get the funds to purchase the survivors. But the TL and Legend are also desirable to those who grew up around them.
Heck, Acura basically maintained their momentum well into the 2000s. The 2004-2008 TL was really something. And the TSX was cool too. Then the Beak Era arrived. But enough about that. This Legend did not hibernate for the winter and is apparently traveling around New York undeterred by road salt. Hopefully its owner gets it washed frequently. This is a car that should be preserved. And Acura needs to bring back actual names.
With some Vigor I hope.
As long as they keep their Integra-ty.
An ex’s mom had one of these with a 5-speed. It was one classy ride.
Acura has a collection of untarnished names with recognition, heritage, and goodwill that luxury upstarts like Genesis would *literally* kill for. Heck, even Lexus doesn’t have one good actual vehicle name.
Names like Legend, Integra, and even Vigor hit right at heart of the Millenial and GenX demo that supposedly everyone is after, and deserve to be brought back (just not as a BEV CUV).
Why is this obvious to literally everyone except Acura?
Because those products, highly regarded then, would in today’s world be DOA in reincarnated form. See the Eclipse Sport Cross as a prime example how that can backfire when the name doesn’t align with expectation. Rename the ILX Integra and all becomes well? No, his girlfriend knows and likes that MDX, her aunt has one…
As to Lexus not having “one” good name? Considering that just mentioning the brand, let alone the LS Series brings about conversations how it fell German supremacy in the luxury sector, I disagree. The ES and RX both also have insane brand loyalty. The image varies depending on who you ask, but they know what you are referencing. Ask that about a Vigor and get back to me.
Acura pi$$ing away its names is on the same scale as Cadillac and Lincoln.
Lexus never had names but if Acura had stayed the course I think they would have had at least better recognition among the general public if say the Legend name had carried on for a few decades.
On different segment cars or no? Because their on point first ten years would be woefully inadequate for buyers today in those areas. As someone who respects Acura throughly, an RDX renamed into Integra would turn me so off (and I lived that car’s original modest success, and subsequent tuner craze demand that now is null except for all original survivors.). They just simply put aren’t class leading anymore, and that’s all it is.
My larger point was that names were better than alphanumeric gobbledygook. Or switching names constantly.
In 2015 there was a poll taken of automotive names and roughly 85% of the respondents thought that Buick still built a Park Avenue. Unfortunately for Buick that name had been killed in 2005.
All of Lincoln’s 2020 model year vehicles have names except one. The Continental name is used of their flagship sedan (as God intended). The Navigator name has consistently been used for 20 years. Even the Aviator name is back and appropriately applied to the utility positioned just below the Navigator.
Acura should have kept the Legend and Integra names. But it is very hard to legally clear a new global name… the secondary reason global luxury brands use alpha-numerical names. The primary reason is to put the emphasis on the parent brand, more so than a particular model (“I own a Lexus”…. not “I own an ES350”).
As other luxury brands sought global expansion (Cadillac, Lincoln), they found the aforementioned reason to adopt alpha-numerical names. But, those brands only found one other market besides NA… China… and those brands learned the Chinese prefer the traditional American names.
Many moons ago a friend of mine had one of these briefly with a manual transmission. He hit a moose which peeled back the roof but luckily left him unharmed.
I love these cars. Back when Acura had mojo. Too bad Honda/Acura are dork-mobiles now.
These were expensive back in their day. I worked with a guy who traded an 81 Sedan DeVille on an 86 Accord. In 1990 he was ready to trade, but came in one day with another Accord. He had gone to look at an Acura and could not get past what they were charging for it. But that is more of a factor when you are writing a check and not financing.
But their owners loved them.
I was stunned to notice the other day that the Acura MDX made Consumer Reports bottom 10 list for reliability. How is that even possible for a Honda Motor Company product?
A lot of recent Honda products have struggled with quality. The Passport and Odyssey also have issues.
I have always loved this generation of Legend Coupe. One with the manual transmission would be the holy grail. I also have a weird affinity for quirky longitude/FWD-based coupes, which would span everything from most GM E-Bodies up to 1985 to this Legend to a 2004-2017/18 Continental GT/GTC.
I remember the british version of this, which I found very nice. Rover 800 Coupé.
But at that time in Europe, used Mercedes’, let alone Beemer and Audi, were galore at more favorable prices. (I haven’t seen an Acura for a long time, at least not in Italy and didn’t even know they still exist).
Though it was sold at the same time, my understanding is the 800 continued to use the first generation Legend platform until its demise.
While the Legend was completely redesigned from the ground up in 1990 as a 1991 model, growing in length, width, and significantly in wheebase, the Rover 800 Series continued through the end of its production on the original platform shared with the first generation Legend, receiving two facelifts in 1991 and 1996 instead.
One of my favourite Acuras of all time. Utterly gorgeous.
The first Legend coupe was a looker but this is next level. So long and slinky.
I’m reminded of a guy called Tyson Hugie who has seemingly dozens of old Acuras in great condition:
This is my all-time favorite car. I had several Legends but my favorite was my 1994 LS Coupe with the 6 speed manual trans in Sherwood Green Metallic. What a car, what a name! I love how L E G E N D is spelled across the rear, a reflection of Honda’s pride in their flagship car bar the NSX.
The featured car is a top of the line LS identifiable by the 16” wheels and painted lower skirting. It also appears to have the now-unobtainium original accessory fog lamps (mounted in the lower bumper) which can sell for hundreds of dollars online.
I still love these. It’s pretty much perfect.
Another 90s Japanese luxury/sport home run.
For people like me who love this car era, it’s easy to see why we often don’t like the direction new vehicles have taken.
And by new direction I mean they look like icky ka-ka poop.
Ditching the Honda badge names was meant to differentiate Acura from the cars they rebage at a guess they really are only HondasK
A lot of years ago I encountered a thoroughly bizarre booklet: a Christian tract, one of those comic-book types, prominently featuring the Acura Legend and weaving its model name into the weirdo text. No idea who put it out, or why.
We don’t have to wonder; just read the Bible. Jesus drove a Honda; he and his disciples were all in one Accord. His dad had a Plymouth (He drove them out in his Fury). Moses liked English cars (he descended the mountain in his Triumph). Paul had a way of getting stuck in traffic jams in his latter-day K-car derivative (“I was in the Spirit on the lord’s day when I heard a loud sound as a trumpet behind me”)…
I love the shape of this car, peak Acura IMO.
This Legend coupe, Prelude’s bigger brother ? Discuss . . .
If I remember it correctly, in the mid-90s Acura decided to ditch real names in favor alphabet soup when their reseach found that customers were identifying with the names Integra and Legend far more than with that of Acura. The brilliant and highly educated brand managers then decided to do away with model names – which had accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars in brand equity – and focus on ACURA. It didn’t work, of course. Acura has been trying ever since to recapture the magic.