Last post on May 14, 2013 at 7:27 AM
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#479 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [fintail]
Jan 03, 2013 (3:29 pm)
It'll be interesting to see how the RLX compares with the competition. I'd guess the 2014 TLX will be a slightly smaller and less expensive RLX. Both models, but especially the TLX, will be critical for Acura.
#480 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [hpmctorque]
Jan 03, 2013 (3:49 pm)
TL seems to be the non-CUV bread and butter for the brand, it has to succeed.
RL/RLX...current one has virtually disappeared the past few years. New one looks quite boring styling-wise, maybe they aren't depending on it.
#481 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [fintail]
Jan 03, 2013 (7:00 pm)
The previous three generations of the TL were very competitive. While they weren't outstanding in any particular area, they were good overall, and were excellent values. The current generation, by contrast, is a styling disaster in my eyes, and just an okay value. I'm hoping that Acura can restore the TL to its former standing in the near-luxury segment.
I used to think that RWD and a V8 option would be required to compete well in the luxury market, but Acura was wise not to invest in the latter. As for RWD, Audi seems to be doing just fine with FWD architecture.
#482 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [hpmctorque]
Jan 03, 2013 (7:59 pm)
No V8 is fine, but some styling differentiation is needed. That's the RL/RLX's problem - invisbile. TL can get away with being a fancy Accord, but can the RLX get away with being a really fancy Accord, now that the mid lux segment is so competitive? Might be a reason the brand doesn't really exist outside of NA and maybe China.
TL really needs a styling redo. Even de-beaked, it is not a pretty car. Such a dramatic change from the prior model, which had very clean styling.
I wonder what percentage of Audi sales are Quattro. I bet in the US, it is huge.
#483 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [fintail]
Jan 04, 2013 (9:23 am)
Good points! Indeed, while the TL can get away with being a premium Accord, as the Lexus ES has proven, the RLX needs to be more.
Acura seems to have recognized that it needs to differentiate its most premium sedan more from the Accord, because the RLX has moved more upscale, size and engineering wise, than the RL. "All-Wheel Steer" independently controls the toe angle of the rear wheels, and the all-wheel drive option will feature hybrid electric assist power to the rear wheels. It remains to be seen how significant these enhancements are in competitive comparisons.
One of our cars is a '99 TL with 139,000 miles that's been satisfying and low maintenance. The latter characteristic has been a positive differentiator for a premium sedan, although our '07 A4, with 64,000, has been trouble free since the warranty expired. The engine was completely rebuilt under warranty, due to excessive oil consumption, but that problem was completely fixed. In addition, a leak in the back seat area (strange) was repaired, and the ignition switch was replaced under warranty. We've been very happy with our A4 since these things were taken care of, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.
Audi has been making steady progress on quality, but from what I read it still doesn't equal Acura and Lexus. I'm willing to accept that in exchange for other attributes.
The main reason we drive older cars is that we like the lower cost of ownership versus trading more frequently, and we don't worry as much about parking nicks and scratches. If they're more than minor, we get them repaired. Also, most of the new electronic features are of little value to us.
#484 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [hpmctorque]
Jan 04, 2013 (12:07 pm)
RL/RLX is in a tough spot in a way. Bigger and more expensive than C/3er/A4/IS etc, cheaper yet not nearly as prestigious as E/5er/A6/GS etc. IMO, TL competes with the lower line lux, so the RL needs to aim higher if it is to exist at all. New one is bigger and surely full of tech, but time will tell if the market buys it. It's really bland looking, and that will be a handicap.
My neighbor has a TL, maybe 2007 model, the loaded Type S version with bodykit etc. Seems like a really nice car. The 2005+ RL seems like a used car bargain, too.
Even as someone who likes German cars, aging Audis scare me, as historically they are much more troublesome than aging MB/BMW, and parts availability can be marginal for older models. I suspect the newest of the breed will fare better.
I drive slightly older cars because I can't afford the cars I like when new (I have expensive tastes), and I don't like huge depreciation. I am also not completely addicted to the latest tech - although I would like a new car to have nav and modern lighting, I still enjoy simply having power windows and AC, and the xenons/nav on my E55 seem downright modern to me. I daily drove the fintail for several years, it conditioned me to lack of gadgets.
#485 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [fintail]
Jan 04, 2013 (4:08 pm)
I periodically evaluate at what age/mileage to trade the A4 Quattro. Maybe at 85,000 miles, about the time it'll need a new timing belt, is reasonable. That's just a guess, though. In the meantime I'm maintaining it as though it's a long termer. For example, I had the coolant flushed and replaced with Audi coolant, even though according to the Owners Manual it's supposed to be life-time. I'll soon do the same with the transmission fluid. I don't think any coolant or fluid is life-time. Have you done these things with your E55?
#486 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [hpmctorque]
Jan 04, 2013 (8:16 pm)
Yes, I have done coolant by the book, and transmission at about 45K. The E55 also claimed "lifetime" transmission fluid, but it is a high torque application, and there are instances of failure around 100-150K without fluid changes. Any automatic car should probably have that fluid changed every 50K or so no matter what the maker claims - cheap insurance.
Funny, this is on topic in a way, with the rash of Honda transmission failures starting about a decade ago. Friend of mine lost the unit in his 03 Accord V6, at 70K - luckily he had an extended factory warranty.
#487 of 510 honda sales in Dec.
Jan 05, 2013 (7:16 am)
Honda has 3 of the top 7 selling vehicles in the US. Take out the pickups, and Honda has 3 of the top 4 selling non-truck vehicles for December.
Ford F - Series PU 68,787
Chevrolet Silverado PU 50,699
Honda Civic 33,118
Toyota Camry 31,407
Dodge Ram PU 30,211
Honda Accord 29,428
Honda CR-V 25,733
#488 of 510 Re: Honda sales for 2012 [fintail]
Jan 05, 2013 (4:06 pm)
Honda's 5-speed automatic, introduced for the 2000 model year in certain Acuras, and later in Hondas, was indeed problematic. The company was quite good about replacing bad transmissions, but they weren't good about coming clean with an explanation of what caused the problem, and exactly what the fix was. The company was also inconsistent regarding replacements. Some owners had more than one transmission replaced while others had to fight to get even one replaced.
We dodged the bullet because our TL, which we bought new, has the older 4-speed. That transmission has generally been reliable. Mine has been trouble free. The 5-speed was introduced in the second year of the '99-'03 TL platform run.
The '00s-'03s were the problematic ones. There was a high incidence of failure, but the majority didn't fail prematurely. Honda never disclosed the percentage of transmission failures. By the '04 model year the problem was pretty much solved.