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Are Acuras Good Used Cars?

Are Acuras Good Used Cars?

With used car prices reaching all-time highs in 2022, many buyers are wondering if it’s still possible to find a high-quality pre-owned vehicle for an affordable price. Luxury models like Acura become especially attractive options in the used market, where you can often get a well-equipped premium car for tens of thousands less than its original sticker price. But are Acuras still a smart buy once they have some miles on them?


The short answer is yes – Acuras continue to deliver excellent long-term durability and retained value, making them among the best used car choices you can make. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore why Acuras make such great pre-owned purchases. We’ll analyze expert reliability ratings, total ownership costs, safety scores, common issues to watch for, and the best used Acura models across vehicle classes. Whether you’re looking for an affordable luxury sedan, a family-friendly SUV, or a sporty coupe, you can find the right used Acura to fit your needs and budget.



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Acura’s Brand Reputation

When it comes to used luxury vehicles, Acura has built a stellar reputation for reliability and durability. The brand consistently earns high praise from leading consumer research sites for requiring fewer repairs and having lower maintenance costs compared to other upscale marques. According to RepairPal, Acura ranks 2nd out of 32 brands for reliability. J.D. Power also places Acura near the top for dependability scores based on real owner surveys. What’s behind this sterling reputation?

For starters, Acura vehicles share much of their engineering with parent company Honda, long renowned for making some of the most dependable cars on the road. This means many Acura models benefit from the excellent powertrains and components used across Honda’s lineup. While adding more luxury features and upscale styling, Acura has retained the fundamental quality of underlying Honda mechanicals.

This reliability provides a key advantage for Acura in the used car market. Owners can enjoy a luxury vehicle ownership experience without the costly maintenance requirements of brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Brake jobs, oil changes, new tires and other routine repairs are significantly more affordable with Acura. Extended warranty companies also routinely rank Acura as having lower repair costs over the long run.

In consumer research and surveys, the story remains the same – Acura impresses buyers with its longevity. For a used luxury vehicle that combines refinement, performance and comfort without expensive upkeep, Acuras are hard to beat.

 

Ownership Cost Analysis

One of the biggest advantages of buying a used Acura is the lower cost of ownership compared to other luxury brands. Acuras are known for having more affordable maintenance and repair costs over the life of the vehicle.

Brake jobs, oil changes, new tires and other routine services on an Acura will be notably cheaper than on rivals like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi. Acura uses many common parts shared across models that help keep service prices down. Things like oil filters, belts, hoses and brake pads can be replaced at most repair shops without paying dealer premiums.

Insurance is another area where Acuras shine for value. Due to their excellent safety ratings, lower repair costs and good theft-prevention features, insurers charge less to cover Acuras. This translates into hundreds of dollars per year savings compared to other luxury makes.

Finally, Acuras hold their value very well on the used market thanks to a reputation for reliability and durability. The depreciation curve is less steep than most competitors, so you get more money back when it comes time to sell or trade-in your used Acura.

Taken together, the lower maintenance bills, insurance premiums and resale value mean an Acura delivers better whole-life ownership value than rivals. You get upscale amenities for less over the total time you own the vehicle.

 

Top Used Acura Models

When shopping for a used Acura, it’s important to know which models have proven reliability and durability over the long haul. Certain generations and trim levels consistently earn praise from owners for low maintenance costs and freedom from major repairs, even with high mileage.

For a midsize luxury SUV, the Acura MDX is hard to beat. This three-row crossover has ranked at or near the top for reliability among all SUVs in its class. The 2014-2019 models offer an exceptional blend of safety, comfort, performance and long-term dependability. Families find a lot to love in the spacious, feature-packed MDX.

Compact crossovers like the Acura RDX also make practical used purchases. Agile handling and abundant cargo space come together in a package that easily maneuvers through urban areas while delivering versatility for everyday adventures. The 2019 and 2020 RDX models strike an optimal balance of value and predicted reliability.

Shoppers focused on performance will appreciate the Acura TLX sports sedan. Sharp steering and suspension tuning that leans towards the sporty side make this four-door engaging to drive. At the same time, the TLX offers reasonable maintenance costs compared to other luxury marques. Opt for the V6-powered TLX between 2015 and 2018 for the best blend of performance and durability.

On a budget? The Acura ILX packs a lot of value starting under $15,000 for recent model years. Drivers praise this compact sedan’s nimble handling and refined powertrain. Roomy seating and ample trunk space add everyday utility. For the best used ILX, stick to 2016 and newer.

No matter your priorities, choosing a top-rated used Acura model known for longevity and owner satisfaction is a smart way to get premium features and performance along with peace of mind from proven reliability.

 

What To Look For When Buying Used

When shopping for a used Acura, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the vehicle history and maintenance records. Make sure to get a vehicle history report to check for any accidents, damage, or issues. Review the service records to see if regular maintenance has been performed – oil changes, tune-ups, brake pads, etc. Gaps in the maintenance history could indicate issues down the road.

Take the used Acura on an extensive test drive, testing all the major components. Accelerate to highway speeds, brake hard, turn sharply, check the transmission shifting. Listen for any odd noises or feelings. Make sure the engine runs smoothly and all electronics work properly.

Consider purchasing a certified pre-owned Acura, which comes with a warranty and has undergone a rigorous inspection. The CPO warranty provides valuable protection on engine, transmission, electrical, and other components. This can give peace of mind when buying used.

 

Average Prices and Deals

When shopping for used Acuras, it’s helpful to know the average price ranges for popular models so you can determine if a listing is fairly priced. Here are the typical used asking prices according to auto research sites:

 

  • Acura TL – $10,000 to $18,000
  • Acura MDX – $15,000 to $28,000
  • Acura RDX – $13,000 to $24,000
  • Acura TLX – $15,000 to $30,000
  • Acura ILX – $12,000 to $18,000

 

Of course, pricing depends on factors like mileage, condition, features and location. Checking sites like Autotrader, Cars.com and Craigslist will give you an idea of prices in your area.

To find the best possible deal, expand your search radius a bit further and compare multiple vehicles. Dealerships sometimes offer better pricing and certified pre-owned options. Don’t be afraid to make dealers compete on price via email quotes. When test driving, point out any flaws to negotiate the price down.

If purchasing from a private seller, make sure to get a vehicle history report and have a mechanic inspect it first. Overall, taking the time to research, inspect thoroughly and negotiate patiently can help you score an excellent used Acura at a fair price.

 

Expert Reliability Ratings

Acura earns high marks for reliability from leading research organizations like RepairPal, J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. According to RepairPal, Acura ranks 2nd out of 32 brands for reliability. RepairPal’s analysis looks at repair frequencies and costs to come up with reliability scores. Acura finishes well ahead of rivals like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. J.D. Power also shows above average dependability for the Acura brand, with most models ranking well above competitors. And Consumer Reports scores Acura well for reliability, although not as high as parent company Honda.

When looking at specific models, the Acura MDX, RDX and TLX tend to earn the highest reliability scores. For example, RepairPal gives the MDX a perfect 5/5 reliability rating. Meanwhile, the RDX earns 4.5/5 and the TLX gets 4/5. These scores are based on analyzing repair data to predict future reliability. According to RepairPal’s metrics, all three models should have lower repair frequencies and costs than luxury brand rivals. So Acura clearly delivers better than average reliability, especially for popular crossover SUV models like the MDX and RDX.

 

Common Issues

When shopping for used Acuras, it’s important to be aware of any potential problem areas or common defects for the models you’re considering. This allows you to inspect these areas more closely and potentially negotiate a better price if any issues are found.

For first generation MDX models, transmission problems are not uncommon, with issues arising related to the torque converter as the vehicle accumulates higher mileage. Electronics can also cause headaches, with glitches being reported with the power tailgate, adaptive cruise control, and infotainment system.

The RDX from 2007-2012 had a few trouble spots, including oil consumption problems in some versions of the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The infotainment system in these models is also prone to freezing and touchscreen issues.

With the TL sedan, typical wear-and-tear items like the timing belt, ball joints, and power steering pump may need servicing around 100k miles. Front suspension components like control arm bushings are another area to inspect on pre-owned models.

Avoiding Acura lemons comes down to careful inspection of individual vehicles’ service history. Look for incomplete or questionable maintenance records, issues that were left unaddressed, and any evidence of collisions or abuse. Test drive extensively and have a mechanic inspect before purchasing.

When it comes to maintenance, Acuras have fairly standard needs if you follow the factory recommendations. Fluids, tires, brakes and other wear items should be replaced at the specified intervals. Make sure these regular services were performed, and address any that were skipped on a used model.

 

Safety Ratings

Acura has consistently earned top marks for safety from organizations like the NHTSA and IIHS. Its extensive use of advanced driver aids and structural engineering results in very high crashworthiness.

The latest RDX luxury SUV earned a 5-star overall rating from NHTSA for its performance in frontal, side, and rollover crash testing. It also received the Top Safety Pick+ designation from IIHS for its ability to avoid collisions and protect occupants in crashes. Standard safety features include collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot information.

Compared to older models, newer Acuras have more airbags, stronger steel frames, and more sophisticated safety systems. For example, the latest TLX sedan gained a driver knee airbag and rear passenger thorax airbags. The RDX SUV now has 10 standard airbags compared to just six in the previous generation. Upgrading to a newer used Acura enhances protection.

 

Cost of Ownership

When evaluating the total cost of ownership for an Acura, you need to factor in fuel, insurance, maintenance, repairs and depreciation. Here’s a look at what you can expect to budget for an Acura versus other luxury brands:

 

Fuel Costs

Acuras are more fuel efficient than most luxury vehicles. For example, the Acura TLX is rated for 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The BMW 3 Series gets 23 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Over 15,000 miles annually, you’d spend around $1,875 on gas for the TLX and $2,025 for the 3 Series. The Acura provides $150 in yearly fuel savings.

 

Insurance Costs

Insurance is another area where Acuras have an advantage. Average annual premiums for an Acura TLX are around $1,445. The BMW 3 Series averages $1,775. That’s a $330 savings per year by going with the Acura.

 

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance and repairs are more affordable with Acura models compared to German luxury brands. The TLX costs around $412 in yearly scheduled maintenance expenses. For a BMW 3 Series, plan on budgeting $528 per year in maintenance. The Acura saves you $116 annually.

When you add up fuel, insurance and maintenance over a 5-year ownership period, the Acura TLX saves you approximately $2,900 compared to the BMW 3 Series. The total 5-year cost of ownership for the Acura is around $30,500, while the BMW comes out to $33,400. That makes a compelling case for choosing an Acura if you want luxury without the costly upkeep.

 

Warranty Coverage

When buying a used Acura, it’s important to understand the warranty coverage. Acura offers a 4-year/50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty and a 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty. However, these warranties are not transferable to subsequent owners.

Once the original warranty expires, you are only covered under Acura’s limited warranty for seat belts and airbag systems. This runs for 15 years/150,000 miles from the vehicle’s original in-service date.

To get more coverage, you’ll want to look into certified pre-owned (CPO) Acuras. These come with a 1-year/12,000 mile limited warranty on top of any remaining original warranty. Plus you get extras like roadside assistance and trip interruption benefits.

You can also purchase extended service contracts and vehicle service agreements from Acura or third parties. These act like an extended warranty, covering repairs after the factory warranty expires. They vary in length from 1-8 years typically and cost extra, but can provide peace of mind.

The coverage differences between new and used Acura models can be significant. With a new Acura, you get the full suite of warranties. But with a used model, you are limited to the remaining original warranty or will need to buy extended coverage.

 

Alternatives to Consider

When shopping for a used luxury vehicle, there are several alternatives worth considering alongside Acura models in a similar class and price range.

 

Lexus

Lexus is Toyota’s luxury division and a top rival of Acura. The Lexus RX and ES are direct competitors to Acura’s best-selling SUV and sedan models. Lexus vehicles boast exceptional build quality and reliability ratings on par with Acura. However, Lexus models tend to have higher upfront and long-term ownership costs. Resale values are also not quite as strong.

 

Infiniti

Infiniti delivers sporty driving dynamics and modern tech features at a lower cost than European rivals. Reliability is inconsistent though, with some models prone to problems. Infiniti resale value trails Acura slightly. The Infiniti QX60 and Q50 provide similar utility to Acura at this price point.

 

Buick

Buick has grown into a near-luxury brand with competitive comfort, quality and technology. Reliability is improving but still trails Acura. Ownership costs are very affordable, especially for high-end features. The Buick Envision stacks up against the Acura RDX as a compact luxury SUV choice.

While the alternatives have merits in certain areas, Acura remains a top choice for used luxury vehicles based on long-term dependability, lower maintenance bills, and strong resale value. Test driving models from multiple brands can help find the right fit based on your preferences and budget.

 

The Best Deals Right Now

With used car prices at record highs, finding the best possible deal is crucial. Here are some tips to maximize savings on a used Acura purchase right now:

 

Current Incentives

Acura is currently offering 0.9% APR financing for up to 60 months on select certified pre-owned vehicles. This allows buyers to finance a used Acura at a very low interest rate. Additionally, some dealers are advertising discounts of $1,000-$2,500 off select CPO models to help clear out inventory. These published offers provide a great starting point for negotiations.

 

Used Specials Nearby

Search dealer websites and third-party listing sites like Autotrader.com for advertised specials in your area. Sort by distance to find the best discounts near you. Look for certified used vehicles with the longest remaining factory warranty coverage. Acura CPO models come with extensive inspection, reconditioning and a minimum 12 month/12,000 mile limited warranty, adding peace of mind.

 

Strategies For Maximizing Savings

The best discounts will come from negotiating with the internet sales manager at a high-volume dealership. Have pre-approval through your bank or credit union to show you are a serious buyer. Be willing to travel farther and expand your search to access lower prices and more selection. Consider older model years with higher mileage that tend to have bigger discounts. Leverage competing offers and be prepared to walk away to get the best possible deal.

 

Conclusion

In summary, Acuras make excellent used vehicle purchases thanks to their reputation for reliability, lower ownership costs compared to other luxury brands, and strong resale values. Models like the MDX, RDX and TLX have proven long-term durability, with many lasting well past 200,000 miles with proper maintenance.

Based on Acura’s high reliability ratings across research sites like Consumer Reports and RepairPal, affordable maintenance requirements, and multiple recommended models to choose from, buyers looking for a dependable used luxury vehicle can feel confident going with an Acura. While no car is perfect, paying attention to service history, accident reports, inspections and test drives will help identify the finest used Acura available.

 

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Questions About If Acuras Are Good Used Cars

Acuras are very reliable used cars in Canada. As the luxury brand of Honda, Acuras combine impressive amenities and features with Honda’s reputation for dependability and longevity. Used Acuras typically hold their value very well and make great pre-owned purchases. When shopping for a used Acura in Canada, be sure to inspect service records, accident history, mileage, overall condition, and any outstanding recalls or warranty coverage.

According to Canadian Black Book and consumer reports data, some of the most reliable used Acura models in Canada include:

 

– Acura RDX: This popular compact luxury SUV combines sporty performance with family-friendly utility. RDX models with the V6 engine tend to be very dependable.

 

– Acura MDX: The midsize Acura MDX consistently earns high marks for reliability and ownership satisfaction. Focused on comfort and safety, it makes an excellent used family vehicle.

 

– Acura TLX: With responsive handling and ample features, the TLX sport sedan sees very few major issues reported even at high mileages.

 

– Acura ILX: As an impressive entry-level luxury car, used ILX models offer great value and peace of mind. Look for 2015+ models with the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine.

Some common problems reported by Canadian used Acura owners include:

 

– Transmission issues in older MDX and TL models with the 5-speed automatic gearbox

 

– Oil consumption problems in early versions of the J35 V6 engine

 

– Faulty power window regulators in ILX sedans

 

– Failing drive belts and pulleys in higher-mileage vehicles

 

– Intermittent electrical gremlins due to deteriorating wiring harnesses

 

– Climate control system glitches in RDX and MDX models

 

When test driving and inspecting a used Acura, pay close attention to the transmission smoothness and gear changes, engine oil level between changes, power window operation, and HVAC system performance.

Some used Acura model years and vehicles to be cautious of include:

 

– Early RL sedans (2005-2008) had transmission and electrical issues

 

– First-generation ZDX crossover (2010-2013) had many problems reported

 

– ILX models before 2016 had more mechanical and technical problems

 

– 2013-2014 ILX and RDX had faulty torque converters

 

– 2007-2014 MDX & TL saw more transmission repairs needed

 

In general, the best used Acura model years start from 2016+ for reliability and ownership satisfaction. Performing a thorough pre-purchase inspection (PPI) is highly recommended before buying any used vehicle.



Properly maintained Acuras are very durable vehicles that can easily last 15-20 years and 250,000+ kilometres in Canada. Their high-quality components and robust engineering make them capable of racking up high mileages when given routine service and repairs as needed. With a well-kept used Acura, hitting 300,000 km is not uncommon. Hybrid models like the RLX Sport Hybrid can exceed 500,000 km with diligent maintenance.

While used Acura maintenance and repair costs are higher than non-luxury brands, they tend to be quite reasonable compared to rivals like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Lexus. Labour rates at Acura dealerships are very competitive, and parts pricing is on par for the segment. Things like brake pads, tires, batteries, and fluid changes will be more expensive than a Honda Civic for example, but not drastically so.

Buying from an official Acura dealership is highly recommended when purchasing a used model in Canada. Acura dealers thoroughly inspect and recondition their pre-owned vehicles before sale, addressing any issues, and provide a detailed vehicle history report. You get more peace of mind with a certified pre-owned Acura, along with attractive financing rates and extended warranty options. That said, significant savings can come from buying through a private seller if you have the vehicle inspected first.

Even base model used Acuras come very well equipped. Most feature leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, premium audio system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning with auto brake, and AcuraWatch advanced safety tech. Higher trim lines add upgrades like ventilated seats, navigation, premium sound systems, and soft-close doors.

Insurance rates for used Acuras in Canada vary quite a bit depending on your age, driving record, location, chosen coverage, and model year. Generally, you can expect to pay $150-300 per month. The ILX and older TL sedans fall on the lower end while the RDX and MDX SUVs have higher premiums. Getting quotes from multiple providers and maximizing discounts are key to savings.



Most used Acura models recommend or require premium 91+ octane gasoline for optimal performance and fuel mileage. This includes sedans like the TLX, RLX, ILX, and TL along with SUVs such as the RDX and MDX. Only the entry 4-cylinder ILX can safely run on regular 87 octane fuel, though premium is still preferred. Be sure to use the recommended high-grade petrol when refueling your used Acura.

Acuras are near the top of their luxury segments for retained value in Canada after several years of ownership. Models like the MDX midsize crossover SUV and TLX sport sedan in particular earn high ALG residual value awards year after year. This makes Acuras appealing when leasing, trading in, or reselling later on. Their combination of reliability, desirability, and lower cost of ownership contributes to higher resale values.

Some past recalls to check for on used Acura models in Canada include:

 

– Fuel pump failure risk in various 2014-2019 vehicles

– Front airbag inflator ruptures in 2001-2016 models

– Power tailgate relays overheating in 2019 RDX/MDX vehicles

– Transmission torque converter defects in 2013-2014 ILX/RDX

– Oil leakage due to faulty piston rings in some 2009-2014 models

 

Always input the VIN at Transport Canada’s recall database to discover any outstanding safety campaigns needing completion.

The 3rd-generation 2014-2021 MDX stands out as the best used option in Canada. This popular midsize luxury SUV saw constant improvements in reliability, amenities, safety tech, performance, and overall refinement over its production run. Ideal model years are 2017 through 2020. Key upgrades arrived for 2017 like the new turbo V6 engine, 9-speed transmission, torque vectoring AWD, and AcuraWatch safety suite.

Used Acuras available in Canada come well prepared for winter conditions. All models have antilock brakes, stability/traction control, and all-season tires for enhanced cold weather grip. Acura’s acclaimed SH-AWD system offers additional traction through torque vectoring technology on vehicles like the RDX and MDX. Heated side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icers, and remote start also help deal with Canadian winters.



Acura sedans and crossovers provide ample passenger and cargo room for most buyers’ needs. Models like the TLX sport sedan and RDX crossover offer decent rear legroom and headroom in outboard positions, though a mid-vehicle hump impacts the middle spot. Cargo volume is on par with rivals, with generous space in the MDX and RDX SUVs in particular. Families find the MDX very accommodating overall for passengers and their gear.

From model year 2018 onward, most new Acuras have come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. This allows you to easily access your smartphone’s apps and functions through the vehicle’s infotainment display. When shopping used Acuras in Canada, look for 2018+ model years to ensure this tech is included. Some 2016-2017 vehicles received CarPlay/Auto upgrades later on through software updates as well.



Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is very robust and reliable. This advanced torque vectoring AWD technology improves handling agility and traction by sending power to the wheels with the most grip. Long-term durability is excellent, with few issues reported from SH-AWD components like the rear differential, driveshaft, transfer case, and PTU power take-off unit even at very high mileages.

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