CarPhreakD wrote: Right, I see a lot of people defending the ILX, making the point that other Acuras are also platform prostitutes. That's true, however, the ILX makes no effort to even hide this.
The RDX (and I have problems with that CUV too), TL, TSX and even the current RL do a much better job offering better equipment levels and don't look anything like their platform-mates. The ILX just looks like a Civic, it even reminds me of the 6th gen sedan in terms of boring.
I'm sorry but I don't agree with that at all. I had the black 2.4 parked right next to a new black Si Sedan for several minutes, climbing back in forth between the two, multiples times. Visual (surface) similarities are essentially non-existent.
No effort? The ILX is ALL about masking its Civic origins. Still, that doesn't make me a "defender."
By doing what exactly? I would think that you, Neal, of all people would be able to see the trickery with the sheet metal. I know when I say "it looks like a Civic," I'm saying that it would mean nothing to call this thing a Civic. I certainly wouldn't say that it's the "most amazing Civic I've ever seen," because Civic's generally don't evoke that type of emotion.
I wish you could photoshop a Honda grille onto the ILX and show it to some folks while telling them it's the new Civic. I'd bet no one would care much. They probably wouldn't "hate" it or "love" it.
One thing I think it's time to ask ToV:
IN TERMS OF BAD INVESTMENTS BY ACURA, WHERE DOES THE CALIFORNIA DESIGN STUDIO RANK?
They kept the wheelbase identical, the dimensions (too) similar, engines and transmissions (too) similar. The desperate effort "shines through" in the (awkward) proportions. I don't think anyone is saying Honda didn't TRY to cover this one up, but I think people are just calling out the kid who sucks at hide-and-go-seek. I also don't think people don't realize that this vehicle is a successful improvement over the basic Civic's fit and finish, but I'd argue that if that's all it takes to make an "Acura," then this vehicle serves as a concession to aspirations of ever truly belonging in the realm of luxury. Is it so hard to see that Honda is blatantly trying to create artificial appeal for the ILX by dumbing down the Civic?
Instead of a "mainstream" compliment to the NSX, they build this. Reviewers (that care about road performance) are already saying that the ILX has noticeable body roll, noting that the 2.4 has the exact same suspension setup as the 2.0 models. Anyone looking for that 1g TSX feeling is in for a letdown, according to them.
I just think it's sad that Honda tries so hard to change what luxury is by staying in their vacuum and parts bin.
Of course the dimensions are similar. Honda has set out to build a premium product sized similarly to the Civic. And as for using some Honda parts, the point is to deliver a particular level of quality for a price that produces sales. When Honda created Acura, the idea was to take advantage of decent engineering already carried out to make good mainstream products. Before Acura, the German premium brands way overcharged for their products but Honda had the balls to offer great bang for buck, dramatically altering the North American market. It's easy now to forget just how much of a game changer Acura was at the time.
It isn't Honda's approach to developing products for the Acura brand that has changed. The way I see it, when developing a car engineers and designers have to compromise a lot to satisfy the bean counters. With Acura, the bean counters loosen the reins, allowing for a product that is a lot closer to what the engineers and designers wish they could create. Think of the ILX as the Civic these folks can produce when they don't have to meet such stringent requirements regarding MSRP.
Even so, with the TSX already established, there is a price point that has been set and so there are still compromises required. Even if the TSX wasn't there, there is a limit to how much Honda can charge for a compact sedan. Go beyond that limit and there are more respected brands that would appeal more.
The ILX doesn't have to be a class-leading product because it's not at the top of the food chain in terms of pricing. What it needs to be is good enough to entice consumers into, for lack of a better word, settling. If the ILX is good enough to satisfy budget-sensitive consumers, it will do well. In other words, if you're really not giving up that much in terms of build quality and performance yet saving some cash at the time of purchase and on maintaining the vehicle, then the ILX becomes a compelling option.
I own a CSX and happen to think it's a decent car. The one major drawback to it is that to deliver an affordable product for a small market like Canada, Honda couldn't afford to alter the car enough to give it a distinct look inside or out compared to the Civic.
Do I regret paying more for the Acura? No. The engine is more refined. The manual stick far more refined. I tested out Civic manuals when shopping and the stick in the Civic feels like it came out of a Russian tractor, compared to the one in the CSX. It's quieter. Climate control vs. plain old air conditioning is a significant upgrade.
Still, I am reminded every day that what I drive is a Civic, inside and out. The ILX changes that. Sure the ILX, like the Civic, looks like a Honda product, uses a sedan body style, and is sized similarly. If the ILX seeming like it was designed by Honda is a problem, this is something Honda can never do anything about. Honda makes Hondas.
It is ridiculous, though, to argue that Honda has not rendered a product with it's own distinct look, inside and out. Everything of a specific size and body style looks like everything else if you step back far enough. And of course all Hondas have a certain look about them that is to be expected. I don't expect Honda to produce a car that looks like an Audi any more than I expect Audi to produce a car that looks like a Honda.
This is a rigged argument. It was known from the start that Honda was developing a sedan based on the Civic platform to be sold as an Acura. It was also a given that the end result would be coming in at an MSRP below the TSX. So clearly some were against this exercise from the start and just waited for the car to be unveiled to make it seem as if they were reacting to the end result, not just the process Honda embarked on. This is especially obvious considering the car isn't yet available for public consumption.
The average consumer isn't going to care about this. That person will consider the options and then gravitate to the ILX if it makes sense within the context of the marketplace as a whole. I doubt anyone would be shocked to learn there are Honda parts in the ILX and it wouldn't stop anyone from buying the car.