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Spring Cleaning: What's in store for model year 2014? Part I - Acura
 Date: May 10, 2013 16:08
 Submitted by:  JeffX
 Source: unknown
 Credibility Rating: Not Specified

For the 2013 model year, Acura saw two big introductions with the launch of the all-new ILX model and a full model change of the RDX. For model year 2014, the focus shifts to their top level models, the RL and MDX. Both benefit from full model change updates this year, gaining improvements in fuel efficiency, performance, and interior space. The RL even gains an "X" in the process.

  • ILX The ILX is a pretty nice product but from the moment the pricing was announced we had a funny feeling that meeting Acura's stated sales targets would be a pretty big challenge, and that scenario appears to have unfolded. To energize sales, Acura has been utilizing a number of incentives on the 2013 models. For 2014, it looks like they are shuffling the trims a bit and pushing down a lot of the "Premium" content to the base model. We're not quite sure what impact it will have on the base price, but it seems like there's not a whole lot of freedom for Acura to be pushing it up by much. For those who are interested in snagging a 2.4 6MT ILX with the navigation system and ELS stereo, it appears you're still out of luck. Mechanical changes are not expected until the MMC, which may come a bit earlier than normal.
    Summary: The ILX has struggled to sell in the type of numbers that Acura had hoped for. Acura hopes to fix this by shuffling the feature mix between trim levels, but will this be enough?
    Watch For: More discounts as this Civic re-badge reskin doesn't make enough sense to fully realize the goals that were established, particularly with competitive pressures ramping up at explosive rates.
    Available: May 14 - full pricing info (less the Hybrid mode) has now been released

  • TSX 2013 may be the final model year for the TSX, at least for a while (see TLX news below). If there is an actual 2014 model TSX, there are no changes expected.
    Watch For: ??
    Available: Autumn
  • RDX The RDX received a significant update for the 2013 model year, swapping its thirsty turbo 4 for a smoother, more powerful and more efficient 6-cylinder. As expected, it's selling like hotcakes right now. Since it's selling so well, don't expect anything beyond a few tiny trim changes for model year 2014.
    Summary: No meaningful changes expected for 2014.
    Available: Autumn
    Watch For: MMC is due in 2016
  • TL 2014 will be the final model year of the TL nameplate. It will be replaced next year by an all new version, fortified with an extra "X" on the decklid. It's not clear what the "X" will bring (apart from its untold marketing powers), but water cooler talk suggests that the TLX will essentially bridge the gap between the departing TSX and TL models, which will hopefully enable it to recapture some of the lithe responsiveness that escapes the current TL. Expect Earth Dreams powertrains and lots of technology. UPDATE: we received a tip late Friday night from reader and Acura salesman "Colin" that ordersheets are listing a new "SE" model for the 2013 TL. Colin thinks that it's possible that Acura may just skip the 2014 model year TL altogether, much like how they did by skipping the the 2013 model year when transitioning from the RL to RLX. His team also thinks the TLX will launch earlier than fall of 2014.
    Summary: 2013 SE model, possibly no 2014 model.
    Watch For: All new 2015 TLX coming next year.
    Available: 2013 SE: Summer, 2015 TLX - Spring 2014(?)
  • MDX As one of Acura's perennial showroom performers, there's a lot riding on the all-new-for-2014 MDX, which is entering production right about now. The engine has been downsided from 3.7L to a new 290hp Direct-Injected 3.5L SOHC V6 with VTEC and Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), but Acura claims fuel economy AND performance have both improved. Extensive use of high strength steel has cut weight and increased body rigidity, which should mean that the new 2014 MDX will ride AND handle better. Interior packaging has been refined to improve room for 2nd and 3rd row passengers, as well as accessibility to the 3rd row seating. Styling updates are muted, with the key feature being "Jewel Eye" LED headlights. And for the first time in its history, the MDX will be offered in a front-wheel-drive variant.
    Summary: All new for 2014, Acura's flagship SUV should continue to sell in big numbers
    Watch For: Expected strong sales means discounts will likely be scarce for the first few months
    Available: Summer
  • RLX The RLX is essentially the 3rd generation of the Acura RL, and it follows the same general formula that was set by the Acura Legend over 25 years ago. And that's a large luxury sedan underpinned by a front engine, front-wheel drive platform. The RLX looks considerably larger than the previous RL, but the exterior dimensions are in fact very close to the outgoing RL's. Interior space has been improved dramatically, with the most prominent gains being realized by rear seat passengers, particularly in terms of legroom. The RLX is the first Acura to benefit from Honda's Earth Dreams engine technology, getting a 310hp SOHC 3.5L V6 featuring VTEC, Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), and Direct Injection. The standard front-wheel-drive RLX is already on sale (offering five trim levels, with 3 different stereo systems), and features Acura's new P-AWS (Precision All-Wheel-Steer) system. Later on, a Sport Hybrid AWD RLX will go on sale, supplementing the base V6 engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, and 3 electric motors. This combination will deliver a system output of "more than 370hp". This new hybrid powertrain design improves the RLX's fuel efficiency and performance.
    Summary: All new for 2014, with your choice of FWD, or Sport Hybrid AWD flavors.
    Watch For: Sport Hybrid AWD in the fall
    Available:FWD PAWS available now, Sport Hybrid AWD - late Fall
  • NSX NSX development remains in the early phases. Acura has been testing some mules against several benchmark products and the early returns are said to have been pretty promising. There's still a long ways to go, however, as the car isn't expected to go on sale for another two years or so.
    Summary: A LOT rides on this project.
    Available: 2015
  • ZDX The ZDX's run is over at the end of the 2013 model year.
    Summary: If you ever thought about owning a ZDX, you should probably try to buy one now
    Watch For: Falling prices
    Available: For not much longer

  • Last edited by JeffX on May 13, 2013 11:26

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