The Detroit News reports that Honda is looking to step up its game in the small luxury car market among successful 30-somethings. The automaker’s latest offerings under the Acura brand are geared toward Generation Y drivers who have tasted success and want an affordable can that still reflects their prosperity.
Acura driving back into prominence
Before the automotive media Thursday at its plant in Novi, Mich., Honda showed off two of its exciting new Acura models, including the 2013 Acura ILX five-passenger sedan and the redesigned 2013 Acura RDX small SUV. Acura executives believe that these models will help the brand recover from a downward sales spiral.
The Acura RDX went on sale earlier this month, according to The Detroit News. By the end of April, the 2013 ILX four-cylinder sedan and a new Acura hybrid will hit showrooms. The hybrid is expected to have a sticker price ranging from $28,900 to $34,400, depending upon options selected.
The style’s the difference with the Acura ILX
Much like the Acura TSX circa 2006, the 2013 Acura ILX borrows the looks of Honda’s stalwart Civic. The image, style and technology of a vehicle are reportedly of greater importance to Generation Y buyers than engine performance, which is the track Acura has taken with the new ILX.
“They grew up in affluent times and know what they want, but they are going to need help to get there,” said Mike Accavitti, marketing vice president of Honda in America.
The base model of the 2013 Acura ILX will check in $25,900. The 2.0-liter engine with five-speed automatic transmission will put out 150 horsepower and enjoy fuel economy of 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. The $29,200 premium version of the ILX will feature a 2.4-liter engine and six-speed manual transmission good for 201 hp and 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway. The “Tech” sport edition of the ILX will sell for $31,400 and also carry a six-speed manual transmission.
Hybrid with eco drive
Acura’s upcoming hybrid will provide environmentally conscious Generation Y drivers with the kind of fuel efficiency that they expect. The primary 1.5-liter gasoline engine will put out 91 horsepower, while the 20 hp electric motor in combination with a lithium-ion battery will help the Acura hybrid get an estimated 39 mpg on city streets and 38 mpg on the highway.
Reports indicate that the premium edition of the hybrid will start at $41,400. It will offer an “eco” driving mode that will give the driver the option of either maximizing fuel efficiency or power for greater acceleration.
2013 Acura RDX SUV aimed as double-income couples
On the SUV front, the 2013 Acura RDX redesign is aimed squarely at double-income childless couples and empty nesters. Acura’s market research found that these demographic groups were more likely to purchase the RDX than single males, which had been the traditional target in past years.
Apparently, what the intended audience for the RDX wants are handling and horsepower, notes the Toronto Star. The 2013 rendition features a 3.5-liter V6 with 273 horsepower, replacing the previous 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 240 hp. The new larger engine will afford 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway in the all-wheel-drive model, and 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive version.
The front-wheel drive will sell for between $34,320 and $38,020. The four-wheel drive will list between $35,720 and $39,420.
Tops in resale value
According to Edmunds.com, Honda and Acura brands rank at the very top of the list when it comes to projected resale value. The average vehicle from either brand is projected to keep almost half of its original market value after a five-year period, according to Edmunds’ survey.