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2010 Acura RL – Click above for high-res image gallery

Word coming from Japan's Nikkei business daily (as reported by Reuters) indicates that Honda has finally decided to discontinue the slow selling Acura RL and its Japanese market counterpart, the Honda Legend.

Ostensibly the flagship of Acura's brand here in North America, the RL has been a slow-seller for quite some time, upstaged in part by the company's less-expensive, higher-volume TL sedan. For some years now, the TL has offered more space, similar tech and even more power (in the Type S model), making the RL a particularly tough sell for dealers. Through the first half of this year, only 872 RLs have been sold in the United States.

Another production change reported by the Nikke that would only affect the Japanese market is the discontinuation of conventional gasoline versions of the Civic. If accurate, that would mean that from now until at least until the next-generation Civic arrives in the Fall of 2011, Honda will only sell the Civic hybrid in its home market.

In addition, the JDM Elysion minivan is also apparently set to get the axe.

Autoblog reached out to Honda for comment on the Nikkei story, and spokesman Chuck Schifsky would only say that the automaker does not comment on future product plans, noting that no official announcement has been made about the fate of the RL/Legend, the JDM Civic or the Elysion. Top tip, Joaquin!

UPDATE: Acura has released a statement saying that RL will continue to be the brand's flagship model and it's in no danger of being euthanized.



[Source: Reuters]


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  • 73 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      My father was in the market for an AWD, 40-50K, 4 door luxury car back in 2007. Drove the RL but couldn't get over the styling, even with big discounts. Ended up with a Lexus GS350, a much more stylish car. He doesn't need a BMW as far as the drive is concerned, solid power and a nice ride is good enough for him. But as he said "this thing looks like an overgrown Civic from 1999".
      • 4 Years Ago
      I remember a comparisions test with the RL beating Jaguar, Lexus, Audi, and 5 series.
      the only car that beat the RL was the Infinity M. All praise the RL style, interior, power etc.
      So its have been a historical problem with Honda to let die his product when they loss
      interest. CRX, NSX, PRELUDE, INTEGRA, RSX all discontinued without any update.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now they need to kill off the ZDX.

      I hope the TSX wagon sells and the get a clue.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Kill it? My goodness, what is wrong with a big Sport Utility X-over, with all the convenience of a high step-in height, a low roof line, and ... none of the utility? Surely, all the 5-footers in the world would love a vehicle that feels cramp- er, cozy, right?

        But seriously, hasn't anyone learned anything about the success of the Isuzu VehiCross or the Suzuki X90? I couldn't fathom why they bothered with such a vehicle, and yet allowed the RL to languish. In 15 years, Acura went from a stellar brand in the near-luxury market to a brand that folks forget about these days because there's nothing in the product line that stands out well enough for folks to consider over a Mercedes or Lexus on the comfort side, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, or Audi on the sportier side.
      • 4 Years Ago
      but... I drive an RL :(
      • 4 Years Ago
      Acura decides not to make a V8 engine, but they DO in fact decide to make a weird 5 door hatch thing.... I don't get automakers anymore.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda isn't going to kill the RL. That's very....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
        • 4 Years Ago
        I just saw the update. I facepalmed
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 2nd Generation Legend was and still is, the best looking car that ever wore the Acura nameplate. If Honda really wants to fix the RL, they simply need to go back to their roots and produce GOOD LOOKING luxury cars that were more affordable than their competition. They don't need RWD or V8 engines, they need VASTLY better styling.

      The buck toothed grill is unforgivable on any of their car designs. They even ruined the otherwise good looking MDX with that POS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree that the 2nd gen Legends were quite handsome... and had an awesome name (can't believe they dropped it in the US).

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/06/Acura-Legend-coupe.jpg/800px-Acura-Legend-coupe.jpg

        BUT, they weren't the best looking Acuras - you are forgetting about the NSX.

        Also, I have to disagree with not going RWD. I think for many people that is simply a prerequisite for entry into the luxury (or near luxury) game. Going AWD is fine, but RWD is usually the way to go.

        And while they definitely need to come out with better looking cars, that is WAY easier said than done. They need a design language that works for all their cars (and SUVs) that is both distinctive and good looking, but many other car companies have tried, but few have succeeded. Go look at Lincoln... do you seriously think they WANT to be producing ugly cars? No, but they clearly haven't hit their stride in terms of getting some good styling done right.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the 2nd Legend is easily the best-looking Acura sedan, before Acura lost their minds

        I think the current LS is probably the most handsome of the japanese sedans - well sculpted and detailed, looks purposeful.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @epyx

        I would certainly give the Legend respect for its looks. However, it looked like a larger evolution of the 1990 Accord's design (the best generation of the Accord.)

        It could be argued that the Lexus SC of the same era was the better-looking of the coupes of its time (the Eldorado, the Legend coupe, the Mercedes E-class coupe). Further, it had a V8 available and RWD.
        • 4 Years Ago
        WHAO

        @ Epyx


        SLOW your roll their bud.. no where near is that the best looking Japanese sedan.. you have lost your mind..

        • 4 Years Ago
        I would go further and say that the 2nd Gen Legend is the best looking Japanese brand (and best value) luxury car ever produced. (Infinity, Lexus, or Acura)

        I love that car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So now if you want this car, all you have to do is go buy a Honda accord as it is the same car..maybe Honda should not be cloning their cars so much, everyone yells about gm cloning their cars but Toyota and Honda both do it too, they just hide the clone better. if you look close you can see this is nothing but a hyped up Honda accord. kudos to Hyundai for not trying to make the genesis from a sonata , though I think the equus is based on the genesis but there are no shared visual components like in this Honda accord/acura RL( my 2 cents, Honda should use the RL as a new accord, even though the doors are the same and roof, the trunk and front is different and looks slightly better then the accord)
        • 4 Years Ago
        The RL is not a cloned Accord. Not sure where you got that idea than it has a family resemblance. Honda has rather let the RL/Legend languish through recent years so myy guess is that their plan was to let it go quietly. They most certainly could have ramped it up if they so chose. Will Honda replace it with something new? That's anyone's guess. I'd like to think so. They need a new premium flagship model to compete with and see them into the future. But present management seems much more cautious than the Honda I knew when Soichiro was still overseeing things.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ farmer0904 & Luis

        Moronic comments from the both of you.

        Show me where you can get a six speed, SH-AWD Accord with over 300HP with all the tech features in the TL. The RL has an incredible interior, even for a vehicle that is going on its sixth production year.

        They might be running on the same platform (TL and Accord), but that doesn't mean they are the same vehicle at ALL.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Apparently both the RL and TL are Accord based. (pulled from Wikipedia)

        RL = The 4th 'generation Legend shares large sedan duties with the Honda Inspire, known in North America as the Honda Accord starting with model year 2003 (series UC1) and continuing with the series CP3 sedan.'

        TL = 'Developed mainly in the United States by a team led by Erik Berkman with bodywork by American Honda designer Jon Ikeda, the new TL was built in Marysville, Ohio, and was derived from the 7th generation US-market Honda Accord.'
        • 4 Years Ago
        The RL is a different beast. The TL is the same as the Accord.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought (maybe mistakenly) that TL was based upon the Euro Accord and the RL based upon the US Accord? Are they both based on the same platform is the RL a unique platform?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why does Acura still exist??? The remaining lineup is less than memorable with it's mish-mash of ambiguously named vehicles.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would say that it's a good move, the RL never sold well (even in its previous generations). The 2nd generation looked pretty good but when Acura decided to use the "power plenum" in its whole lineup, it definitely made the car even worse.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It ended up with the same fate as the Infiniti Q - too bad.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The article you reference says nothing about the Acura RL. As a Japanese report, it is referring to the Japanese market - Civic hybrid only, no more Elysion, no more Legend.
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