- acura has announced it is discontinuing its top-end sedan after the 2020 model year.
- why? you ask. one reason could be that the rlx, which starts at $55,925, found only 179 buyers in the first quarter of this year.
- the sporty honda subbrand is going to focus on crossovers, the ilx and the performance-oriented tlx.
we regret to inform you that acura is discontinuing its rlx sedan. "no!" you say. "not the rlx!" yes, we're afraid so. no more high-revving vtec four-cylinder and slick manual transmission for you ingrates, because—wait, hold on a moment. we've been informed that we're thinking of the old rsx. the rlx is the sorta-big sedan that's kind of like a $60,000 accord but not really as good or fun as an accord. in the first quarter of this year, acura sold 179 rlxs. it's not great when your mainstream sedan is outsold by the mclaren super series (the 720s and 765lt; 220 sales in q1).
in a statement, acura said: "today, we informed acura dealers of our plan to discontinue sales of the rlx sedan in north america at the conclusion of the 2020 model year, as we make significant investments in the core models that represent acura's future." the company said it will focus on its "volume leaders," the rdx and mdx crossovers, as well as the upcoming performance-oriented 2021 acura tlx.
so, to paraphrase, acura is going to concentrate on crossovers, the smaller ilx sedan and the new tlx. acura will also be introducing more type s variants and a new turbo v6. the rlx—available as a front-wheel-drive v-6 that's pushing $60,000, or an awd hybrid that's $7000 more—doesn't fit into that plan. we see this as a positive development. because the rlx isn't one of those niche performance cars that just can't manage to drum up mainstream success. it's a dull drive. so if acura concludes that dull drives don't sell (as it appears to be proclaiming in that statement), then natural selection should lead us to more entertaining acuras.
the market has spoken, and it said it didn't want acura to build a competitor to the buick lacrosse. hell, even buick didn't want to build a buick lacrosse—it's out of production, but they still sold 138 of them in q1. we guess it's tough times for cars that appeal to your moderately affluent, recently retired uncle. either that, or the toyota avalon is just mercilessly good at delivering anesthetic front-drive near-luxury to prosperous real-estate agents and indifferent suburban golf enthusiasts. one of those things.
so, farewell, rlx. and here's hoping that the 2021 tlx is more of a legend.