J.D. Power: Styling biggest reason people reject Acura

2010 Acura TL SH-AWD – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's no secret that the corporate schnoz adopted in recent years by Acura is, shall we say... controversial. But whether or not it's helping or hurting sales is up for debate. On one hand, the brand's 24-percent increase in sales in 2010 over the previous year has Honda's luxury division outpacing the gains of its rivals. On the other hand, nearly everyone's 2009 sales figures went down the economic toilet, and J.D. Power reports that exterior styling is the number one reason new car shoppers are rejecting the marque, followed closely by Acura's interior styling.

Perhaps tellingly, Acura's two most successful models in sales gains are the MDX and RDX utility vehicles, models competing in burgeoning segments (and the former of which features a somewhat muted faces compared to the rest of the company's lineup). But hope may be on the way, and soon. According to Automotive News, Dave Conant, who owns an Acura store in Mission Viejo, California and has gotten an early look at the next-gen TL, Acura's middle child is getting a major nose job.

And more new models are reportedly on the horizon as well, including hybrids and a likely return to the entry-level compact luxury class. What's more, the automaker has promised dealers that future models will be better differentiated from one another, both styling-wise and in size. All that sounds good, just so long as no giant polished cow-catcher grilles get in the way.

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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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