Can Honda's New 2015 Acura TLX Really Compete With BMW?

Honda will unveil its new luxury contender this week. Does it have a chance?

Apr 10, 2014 at 7:40PM

Images

Honda showed a prototype version of the 2015 Acura TLX in Detroit in January. It will unveil the production version this week in New York. Source: Honda

Honda's (NYSE:HMC) Acura brand has always had decent sales, but it has never quite managed to build the cred of the German luxury marquees that Honda so often wants us to see as its rivals.

Honda's latest entry in the luxury sedan wars is the all-new 2015 Acura TLX, set to be unveiled this week in New York. Does it break new ground?

Well, not really. As with most every Acura since the brand's beginning, it draws heavily on Honda's corporate parts bin. The results have usually been nice cars, but more like deluxe Hondas than genuine luxury contenders.

But as Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, that hasn't stopped Honda from talking up the TLX's "exhilarating performance" and "luxury refinement." John will be at Honda's event in New York this week, and in this video, he explains what he expects to see when Honda's premium brand pulls the wraps off its latest contender.

A transcript of the video is below.

OPEC hates fuel-efficient Hondas, and it's going to hate this even more
Imagine a company that rents a very specific and valuable piece of machinery for $41,000... per hour (that's almost as much as the average American makes in a year!). And Warren Buffett is so confident in this company's can't-live-without-it business model, he just loaded up on 8.8 million shares. An exclusive, brand-new Motley Fool report reveals the company we're calling "OPEC's Worst Nightmare." Just click HERE to uncover the name of this industry-leading stock... and join Buffett in his quest for a veritable LANDSLIDE of profits!

John Rosevear: Hey, Fools, it's John Rosevear, senior auto analyst for Fool.com. The New York International Auto Show starts next week, media days are next Wednesday and Thursday, and we're expecting the automakers to unveil several interesting new models. I'll be there with my Foolish colleague Rex Moore. We'll bring you a video report of the show's highlights at the end of each day, and we'll have a bunch of more in-depth reports for you over the next week or so after that.

One thing we'll be sure to check out is the all-new 2015 Acura TLX. Now, we saw this, or a prototype of it anyway, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, where Acura unveiled it as a concept. Rex and I brought you a video report on it, and the photos you see here are photos of that car from Detroit. Or maybe I should say mockup, or prototype version, because they wouldn't let us look at that car's interior and I'm not sure it actually had one.

But Honda has assured us that we'll be seeing the actual final production version of the TLX in New York. So here's what we know. This is a sedan that Acura, which is Honda's premium brand, that Acura is aiming it at the midsize luxury sports sedan neighborhood.

Now, when we think of that neighborhood, we think of some heavyweight contenders, the BMW (NASDAQOTH:BAMXF) 5 Series, Audi A6, the new Cadillac CTS sedan which just won the Motor Trend "Car of the Year" award, the new Mercedes E Class, all of which are expensive, impressive cars.

I expect the TLX to be somewhat less expensive and maybe somewhat less impressive, though Honda is certainly talking up what they describe as the TLX's "exhilarating performance" and "sports-sedan athleticism" as well as its "higher levels of luxury refinement".

I'll tell you it doesn't break any new grounds with the engines, though the transmission choices are interesting. They'll offer it with choice of a 2.4 liter four cylinder, that's the VTEC engine they already use in the Civic Si, or the 3.5-liter V6 that is optional in the current Honda Accord. The four cylinder will come with an 8 speed dual clutch automatic and the V6 will have a nine-speed conventional automatic transmission, and both engines are available in front wheel drive or all wheel drive versions.

Honda says that the TLX was designed to be very quiet inside and it comes with a host of high-tech safety features, all of the latest stuff we've seen from other automakers as everybody starts to work on driverless cars, the fruits of those research programs are things like collision warning and lane departure warning systems and adaptive cruise controls, the TLX will have all of that.

So what do you think? Is this thing going to be a contender? If you're watching this on Fool.com, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for watching.

John Rosevear has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BMW. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers