Category Archives: Acura

2007 Acura MDX Sport Ent (653)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2007 Acura MDX Sport & Entertainment edition. If you can get by the sticker shock the top of the line MDX will impress even the most demanding consumer. For many just the fact it is a “Honda-car” company product will be enough to distinguish it.

General Info:

Parts : U.S/ Canadian 65%, Japan 35%

Assembly : Alliston , Ontario , Canada

Class:  -Special Purpose

Cars: – MDX, RDX, RL, TL & TSX

Handling & Performance:

Very responsive V6 with 300 horses pushing and pulling the all wheel drive system gives the MDX very nice handling especially noticeable in the corners with power distribution to front and rear and left and right drive wheels for best performance. And when you need the horses you’ll go from 0-60 in about 7 seconds.

A lot of the “Bulky” feel comes from stiff steering but and substantial 18” wheels and oversize disc brakes. Hard driving doesn’t faze this tough competitor on or off the track.

Styling:

Personally the styling is plain and unexciting to me. But as SUVs go in today’s world, it is right up there with all the other players. I have news for manufacturers – the first one to come up with innovative design wins.

Fit and Finish:

The workmanship is as excellent as you would expect from a high end Honda.

Cost:

The upward trend in cost is consistent with the rest of the competition and as Anthony said… “Forty-eight thousand for that car … wow”. Anthony, says I, “they don’t give away neat stuff like the backup cameras, navigation systems you like so much, very cool entertainment options and you also liked the comfortable ride and quick acceleration – so bottom line is that you get what you pay for. So get back in your Honda Civic and shut up”.

However if you get the lower priced MDX you still get comfort, most conveniences and safety equipment, leather, power items including power sunroof, heated front seats and the all important cell phone link.

Conveniences and comfort:

You get about all they offer on most cars these days as far as features and it is extremely comfortable. We carried 7 people – 5 adults and two kids under 13. The rear two seats are only good for small folks agile enough to climb back there.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you’re loaded and have a great big budget you will want to consider this option for a luxury SUV. Me – I’ll buy the Cad SRX but if you’re not sure about your choice you need to test drive them all. There are some pretty cool cars in this category and all are very competitive. There is no stand out that is heads and shoulders above the others.

Recognized Competition:

Acura MDX $40-48,000, Mercedes Benz M Class $43-86,000, Cadillac SRX $37-43,000, Volvo XC90 $36-49,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $28-43,000, BMW X5 $46-55,000, Infiniti FX $38-50,000, Volkswagen Touareg $38-59,000, Lexus RX 350 $37-39,000.

Good News:

Class act among very good company, bulky but it is roomy, cargo area seats easy to put down, seats 7 normal situations – meaning there’s likely to be a couple of smaller folks, like children!

Bad News:

Class means you should expect to pay through the nose for being among very expensive company, poor fuel economy and high cargo area entry.

Standard Equipment:

3.7 liter 300 hp V6 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission AWD (all wheel drive system), 4-wheel power assist ABS disc (electronic brake distribution system), front and rear stabilizer bars, variable assist power steering, Drive-by-wire throttle system, front and side airbags, side curtain airbags with roll over sensor, vehicle stability assist system, tire pressure monitoring system, theft deterrent system, latch system for child seats, navigation system with voice recognition and rearview camera, DVD rear entertainment system with 9” display and wireless headsets, leather, XM satellite radio, surround sound system with 10 speakers, 6 disc CD, DVD, CD, DTS Dolby prologic II, GPS Linked TriZone auto climate control, Driver & passenger 8-way power seats, heated front and 2nt row seats, power windows, steering wheel mounted audio, cruise control, memory settings, hands free telephone link, power moon roof with tilt feature, 18” alloy wheels, auto leveling headlights, fog lights, heated power mirrors, power tailgate.

Gas Stats:

$3.29/ Gal avg. June 1 ‘07
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.
17 City and 22 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $47,795.

2007 Acura RDX TECH Sport Utility Vehicle (626)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2007 Acura RDX Sport Utility Vehicle. Hot digedy dog this is sweet. I had just returned from 4 days of golf on the Alabama Trail and if you play golf they are designed by Robert Trent Jones. Very fun but exhausting – and after 17 hours of golf and travel to get home this beauty was waiting for me at Los Angeles International airport like the luv that it is. She didn’t say a word all the way home, but you could hear her purr.

General Info:

Parts – US/Canadian 65%, Japan 25%

Assembly – Marysville , Ohio , USA

Class:  – Special Purpose

Cars: – RDX, MDX, RL, TL and TSX

Handling & Performance:

Watch that you don’t get whip lash from the variable flow turbocharger that will turn this 4 cylinder engine into much more. But it will come with a price of poor fuel economy. Performance is quick and it handles more like a passenger car which, of course, is why they refer to it as a crossover.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding! I just love those folks who have a first rate work ethic. The Japanese continue to consider assembly important and I believe it spills over to their plants in any country.

Cost:

Competitive for the class and similarly equipped. The AT model is about $4,000 less and excludes the nav system and Cassette player.

Conveniences and comfort:

Everything you could want and need minus an entertainment system… that I particularly like. Why, because I have grandchildren and that is the best child sitter ever while you’re driving. No more will you hear – “Are we there yet?”

Consumer Recommendation:

If you don’t need “BIG” this 5-seat crossover provides the comfort of a passenger car with much of what an SUV has become so popular for.

Recognized Competition:

Acura RDX $33-36,000, BMW X3 $36,800, Nissan Murano $28-32,000, Mazda CX7 $24-28,000, Mercury Mariner $21-27,000.

Good News:

An elegant mid-size SUV, great turbo performance and car like handling coupled with all wheel drive, well appointed and quality construction.

Bad News:

Poor fuel economy and pricey albeit competitive with cars in its class.

Standard Equipment:

2.3 liter 240 hp 4-cylinder turbo engine, 5-speed auto trans w/ paddle shifters, all wheel drive, 4-wheel power ABS disc brakes with electronic brake distribution, 4-wheel independent suspension with stabilizer bars, power steering, “drive by wire throttle”, front and side airbags, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, vehicle stability assist, tire pressure monitor system, remote entry with security, immobilizer theft deterrent, child latch system, navigation system, communication system with ‘real time traffic’, leather, surround sound w/ 10 speakers and 6 disc DVD, CD, DTS, steering wheel audio controls, XM Satellite radio, climate control, driver 8-way power seats, heated front seats, power windows and locks, hands free telephone interface, multi information display, power moonroof with tilt, fog lights, intermittent wipers, heated power mirrors w/ turn indicators.

Gas Stats:

$2.53/ Gal avg.
19 City and 23 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $36,495.

2005 Acura TL (526)

Overview:

This week I tested the 2005 Acura TL in the Pacific Northwest. Traveling through the Columbia River Gorge National Park for about 150 miles from just East of Portland to Hermiston, OR is a beautiful sight.

The stress of finding my way around was lessened by the fact it was equipped with a NAV system. GPS is wonderful and this feature is a must for those who travel a lot, or their job takes them to new territory much of the time. Daughter Jenny is in sales and decided to include this option on her Acura TL. That was another reason why I was pleased to be able to give the TL a good test. What a lovely car. It is no wonder this is Acura’s top selling sedan.  

Back in the late 80’s I owned a Lincoln Mark IV with a first generation Navigation system called ETAK. It functioned with cassette tapes you’d select from depending on the locale and if your system wasn’t calibrated regularly it wasn’t terribly accurate. It wasn’t GPS back then and was frankly more trouble than it was worth. It was simply an expensive toy. We’ve come a long way baby.

And this one has all the latest features and has made a simple but important change over others I’ve reviewed. You press a button to give voice status rather than being interrupted all too frequently in other systems.

General Info:

Parts – Engine – USA, Trans – Japan. US/Canadian 65%, Japan 20%.

Assembly – Marysville, OH, USA

Class:  – Midsize

Cars:  – MDX, NSX, RL, RSX, TL and TSX.

Handling & Performance:

A pleasure to drive – comfortable seats on long drive, perfect suspension from the 4-wheel double-wishbone design. Although you will likely never sense the stability program feature, this is one of the best innovations to come along in many years. This is where the computer applies power and braking to the wheels that need it to help you control the car in stressful maneuvers. I’ve tested this feature on the track and obstacle courses and it truly works wonderfully.

Styling:

Very much a contender to BMW and Mercedes and Audi.

Fit and Finish:

In the top 10% of cars we have to choose from.

Cost:

Not bad for this kind of quality.

Conveniences:

In addition to sporting many great features, Acura (like Lexus) has a great customer care program. The price includes a 4 year / 50,000 mile warranty, toll free customer assistance and 24 hour roadside assistance service. The very nice XM Satellite radio initial activation is included along with the first 3-months service for free.

Consumer Recommendation:

It would be fun test-driving all of them, but for me it is a relatively easy choice. I would flip a coin between the Cadillac CTS, Volvo S40 and this Acura TL. Yes, I’ve got it down to three but would be willing to leave the final choice to chance because I know I wouldn’t be disappointed with either of the three.

The competition:

Acura TL $33-35,000, BMW 3 Series $28-44,000, Saab 9-3 $26-42,000, Chrysler 300 $23-34,000, Cadillac CTS $30-49,000, Lincoln LS $32-43,000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class $26-54,000, Volvo S40 $23-28,000, Audi A4 $26-44,000, Lexus IS 300 $29-31,000, Infiniti G35 $30-33,000.

Good News:

Loads of great features, great performance and stability program safety, great styling and Japanese quality, even though it is built in the US where employee care is not as good. I’ve watched them work in Japan in similar industries and since I’ve grown up here I see a difference in work ethics – there IS a difference.

Bad News:

Japanese care and quality will cost you a premium. Is it too much for the difference? Only you can decide that.

Standard Equipment:

3.2 liter 270 horsepower V6 engine, 5-speed auto trans with sequential sport shift, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, power steering, 100,000 miles between tune-ups, dual front and side air bags, side curtain airbags, VSA (Variable Stability Assist), remote entry with security system and immobilizer theft deterrent system, Navigation system with voice recognition, leather seats, 8-speaker surround sound system with DVD and 6 CD and cassette players, XM satellite radio, climate control, 8-way driver power seat with lumbar support, 4-way passenger power seat, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, power window and door locks, hands free telephone interface and homelink system, computer information system, power moonroof with tilt and auto open / close feature, Xenon HID headlights and heated power mirrors.

Gas Stats:

20 City and 29 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $34,900.

2004 Acura 3.5 RL (482)

Overview:

This week I tested the 2004 Acura 3.5 RL 4-door sedan. Right of the bat I notice I have to re-grip the key to turn the ignition. It’s just the way the key is inserted so you can’t grip it for a single motion from inserting it to starting the engine.

This is the Flagship of the fleet for Acura from Honda. Honda continues to impress me after all these years. I’m driving a Pilot SUV at the moment and I’m reminded how much I like these cars and trucks. But with the price of gas going up and up and up (for no real reason), I suspect I’ll fall out of love with these vehicles with a voracious appetite. I’m tired of hanging out at Arco AM/PM.

Well, the Legend was the top of the line in the late 1980’s and in 1996 the RL took top spot (European alphanumeric model naming also began back then).

0-60 is about 8 seconds so it isn’t fast but it is acceptable. Consider a real performer from the company is the Civic Hybrid that gets 48-highway mpg and 0-60 is about 11 seconds and the cost is about $20,000. With gas at $1.50 car buying choices won’t change much in the foreseeable future, but at $3.00 a gallon you’ll see some radical opinion changes and humbling of those who will likely chose food over gas and general “consumption”.

General Info:

Parts – Japan

Assembly – Sayama, Japan

Class:  – Mid Size

Cars: – MDX (SUV), NSX, RL, RSX, TL and TSX.

Handling & Performance:

You’ll love the way this Sedan handles primarily because of the double -wishbone all-independent suspension. Braking is sure, smooth and quiet and the anti skid feature referred to as VSA gives confidence in hard driving. Speed-sensitive variable-assist steering is responsive and fine-tuned. The ride is solid and comfortable.

Styling:

Proletariat, or if you prefer, it is quiet elegance that doesn’t jump out at you. Now if you want to disappear into the crowd and be invisible, this is just the ticket.

Fit and Finish:

Squeaky clean and neat, as usual… bore-ing! But I did have one complaint. The door panel was too close to the seat and makes seat settings difficult. What’s that all about Acura?

Conveniences:

Wow! In the old days, Cal Worthington and other high profile car sales people would say, “This thing is loaded”. A similarly equipped Lear Jet would go for well over a million. Well dah, dad! … My kids would retort.

Cost:

Well, as Ronnie Reagan would begin his replies… everything you could want is standard. But on the other hand, if you’re in the market for a top of the line, luxury flagship car you’ll want all that stuff anyway.

Consumer Recommendation:

My philosophy in buying a car has always been to buy a year old car that is “Loaded” because you won’t pay for all that stuff. But if you have to have a new car, and I do love the smell of a spanking new car that has never been violated, you won’t mind picking up the tab for the next guy.

The competition:

Acura 3.5 RL $45,600, Volvo S80 $37-49,000, Lincoln LS $32-43,000, Audi A6 $36-50,000, Saab 9-5 $34-39,000, Lexus GS $39-48,000, BMW 5 Series $40-58,000, Jaguar S-Type $43-62,000, Mercedes Benz E-Class $48-79,000, Infiniti M45 $43,250.

Good News:

Everything you ever wanted and more, so if you don’t want to think about what options you want or don’t need you’ll get them all for one price, traditional Japanese quality attention to detail, and it is roomy with a large trunk.

Bad News:

Styling is a little proletariat if that is important to you,

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter 225 hp V6 engine, 4-speed auto trans, 4-wheel ABS (antilock brake system) disc brakes, power assisted steering, dual front and side airbags, VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist), child latch system, theft deterrent and immobilizer, remote keyless entry, navigation system with voice recognition, XM satellite radio, OnStar, leather seating surfaces, wood trim, climate control, Bose stereo with cassette and 6-in-dash CD changer, steering wheel audio controls, 8-way power driver and 4-way passenger hearted seats, drivers memory system, power tilt and telescopic steering column, power moonroof, alloy wheels and xenon high intensity headlights with auto on/off, fog lights.

Gas Stats:

18 City and 24 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $45,600.

2000 Acura Integra 3-Door GS-R (284)

Overview:

This entry-level Acura has a name. The Integra model is the only Acura with a name as every other Acura is identified with numeric designations for the RL, CL, TL, SLX, and NSX labels.

The Integra hit the market in 1986 and it is Acura’s biggest seller by a three-to-one margin. Buyers tend to be well-educated young people, and that’s not surprising because it’s a sporty performance car, and the price is right. In addition there is a wide range of models like LS, GS and GS-R, in coupe or sedan.

This coupe is powered by 1.8-liter VTEC engine that produces 170 horsepower. My initial experience was slow and go as I was busy “tak’n care of biz-ness”. But then my friend Merkel reminds me that it’s got the VTEC engine that redlines at 8000 RPM. And up there, of course, is where it develops that horsepower. Down in the low ranges it is pretty docile. Merkel says wind the P out of it and it will show its stuff. Well, Merkel is right, of course. He usually is. Thanks Merkel for the technical lesson. As you may recall, he’s one of those egghead engineers. I hate when they’re right about all that technical stuff. “Joe, this is the most advanced engine design on the market today” he tells me, and goes on to say “that ‘variable valve timing and lift’ is amazing engineering and is what allows the VTEC to get so much from so few liters”. Ok already.

A 4-speed automatic is available on LS and GS but I had the 5-speed manual transmission that gives that “real” sports car feel because you’re always busy shifting. Makes you want to get on the open road and stop exercising your left leg and right arm. Gee, what about left handed people. I never thought of that before. Do they have to drive from the passenger side?

Handling & Performance:

… is of course awesome. In some ways it even reminded me of the NSX. I had a near miss as someone pulled out in front of me from the left-hand turn lane and I appreciated the quick response you get from this sporty car.

Styling:

Pretty much the same look over the years. Hatchbacks are few and far between these days. It has clean lines and the rear Spoiler adds that final touch that this must be a performance car.

Fit and Finish:

Very good, but ho-hum in a way because you come to expect it from these Japanese automakers.

Cost:

Good. What else can you say? The badge is Acura; the engineering is top notch so you get a lot for the dough.

Recommendation:

If you like sporty, don’t need a lot of space for rug rats, or don’t want to bend over to adjust the car seat(s) this is a nice fun to drive car. At the end of the day however you’ll need to drive the competitors noted because – well, you’re you and I’m me.

The competition:

Dodge Avenger $19,045-21,290, Ford Mustang $16,615-31,605, Infiniti G20 $21,395-22,895, Mitsubishi Eclipse $17,697-20,287, Nissan Altima $15,140-20,390, Oldsmobile Alero $16,005-21,545, Pontiac Grand Am $16,040-21,470, Subaru Impreza $15,895-19,295, Volkswagen GTI $17,675-22,620.

Good News:

Popular price range for the quality, fast (at sewing machine rpms) and fun to drive.

Bad News:

Limited space when needed, small back seat and trunk area, open moon roof directs wind on back of your head.

Standard Equipment:

1.8 liter 170 horsepower engine, 5-speed manual trans, 4-wheel anti lock disc brakes, power steering, dual airbags, theft system, leather seats, air, stereo with CD, cruise, power windows and door locks, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, adjustable steering column, moon roof, allow wheels, power mirrors, rear window wiper/washer, rear spoiler.

Gas Stats:

25 City and 30 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $22,200

2000 Acura 3.2 TL (283)

Overview:

The 2000 Acura 3.2 TL is a lovely automobile. I hadn’t driven one for a few years but as I wade through the competition I have to tell you truly I could see myself owning one of these. I don’t know if I would add the Acura navigation system for the extra two grand, but I’d be real tempted.

They just seem to get better every time I test one. I had a first generation navigation system back in 1989. They weren’t satellite driven and thus less accurate. It came with the used car, or I wouldn’t have bought the thing. Surely a housewife doesn’t need it to get the kids to school or the dentist, (yuk, dentist, I hate going to the dentist), but if you’re in any business where you have to visit lots of unfamiliar places in a large metropolitan area, the navigator is easily justified.

I don’t want to belabor this Navigation thing, but I like it because it reduces stressful driving situations. Once you learn to trust its accuracy you come to rely on it. It empowers you by letting you know you can never get lost. Think of it men, now you really won’t have to stop for directions, which women remind us that we don’t stop until we’re so lost there is no way back. Well, when you miss your turn off, no sweat – the system immediately adjusts to a new suggested route. But more important you’re not likely to miss a turn because a voice feature will talk to you, even if your wife isn’t. You can gab with your passengers or if alone, you can sing along with the radio or listen intently to a program. Plus, no maps to perilously perch on the seat or steering wheel. Yeah, I know that’s not safe and people don’t do that, right? Wrong. In any case it is a great feature and I suspect it will soon be standard on most all cars when the price comes down.

Remember the time when televisions were priced beyond the reach of most. I remember folks watching TV through the window of an appliance store on Lake Avenue in Pasadena. It got so common they even brought folding chairs. Well it didn’t take long for our family to justify the purchase. Up ‘till then we sat by the fire and listened to radio. The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Straight Arrow and Inter Sanctum. Wow, life was simpler then.

Speaking of the “good old days”, what ever happened to the gas fillers being located in some secret place. Remember when they’d be located behind the license plate or tail light. Times have changed a bit. In fact the Audi TT marks the location with a larger than life aluminum contraption emblazoned with rivets and bolts so as to resemble the filler on an Indianapolis 500 race car.

Handling:

Speaking of race cars, this TL handles really well and it’s fast (from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds). It also has a “Tip Tronic” kind of notched shifter like the Porsche for manual shifting up and down to give you the ability to shift “semi-manually”.

Styling:

Common, I guess, but nice. You may even mistake it for the Toyota Avalon. The lines are clean and elegant. I like it a lot.

Fit and Finish:

Typical Japanese workmanship. They are being Westernized in many ways but they still do the detail stuff well, and take pride in their craft.

Cost:

Not bad. That means it’s a little pricey but the quality and workmanship and reliability quotient is worth the extra.

Recommendation:

If it suits your taste and pocketbook go for it because this is a “keeper”.

The competition:

BMW 3 Series $26,990-34,990, Infiniti I30 $29,465-31,540, Oldsmobile Intrigue $22,210-25,840, Saab 9-3 $25,900-44,995, Volvo S40 $23,400.

Good News:

Clean and elegant styling, lots of features for the money, good handling, powerful, comfortable and smooth ride, one of the best navigation systems I’ve seen and nice attention to detail. A keeper.

Bad News:

Brakes are a little spongy and styling may seem plain and common to some.

Standard Equipment:

3.2 liter 225 hp V6 engine, 5 speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, speed sensitive power rack and pinion steering, front and side airbags, traction control system, theft deterrent system, remote keyless entry, satellite linked DVD Navigation system, leather seating, driver 8-way and passenger 4-way power heated seats, Bose stereo with cassette and CD system, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, climate control, moon roof, power windows and door locks, Xenon high intensity headlights.

Gas Stats:

19 City and 29 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $30,400 (includes $2,000 for the Navigation system).

1997 Acura 2.2CL 2-Door Premium (91)

Overview:

Yes, this weeks car is a 1997 and it’s not a typo. The Acura 2.2 CL is a bit more up-scale from the cheap football jerseys cars reviewed over the last couple of weeks, (Hyundai and Saturn in the $14,000 range) at $23,000 plus. If this is in your price range this, new to the market car, is worth test driving.

I think in many ways buying a car is like choosing a mate…very personal, but if you make a bad choice, you can sell the car. And since first impressions are lasting (in both cases), I can say this car reminds me a lot of a previous love, the Toyota Camry. This Acura is definitely a nice automobile and one you can fall in “like” with. When I fall in “love” it takes something faster and with more curve handling, like the Ferrari or Porsche, et al. More sexy, know what I mean. Anyway, after two compacts, this sub-compact provided a little more luxury, but I’m still wondering if there is $10,000 more in features, and ego puffing to justify the added cost.

Standard Equipment:

Well, everything is standard, so Kudos to Honda. And they’ve included lots of stuff, beginning with their 2.2 liter single overhead cam 16 valve 4 cylinder engine, programmed fuel injection, a 5-speed manual transmission, load sensing power assisted rack and pinion steering, 4-wheel power ABS disc brakes and double wishbone suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars, dual air bags, keyless entry & theft deterrent system, leather appointed seats, door panels and steering wheel with tilt column, center console, wood pattern dash and door trim, dual lighted vanities, trunk pass-through with lock, remote trunk & fuel lid releases, power windows & door locks, climate control, cruise control, 6 speaker AM/FM stereo with in-dash CD player, power moonroof, 6 way power seats with adjustable lumbar support, heat rejecting glass and power door mirrors. You probably have as keen a sense of the obvious as I do, and with all the foregoing, it ain’t hard to understand the cost difference between basic and luxury Melker Karlsson cheap jersey appointed cars. Toys cost money.

Gas Stats:

EPA numbers aren’t too bad at 25 City and 31 Highway MPG.

Pricing: 

Standard Vehicle Price (MSRP) is $23,160 for everything. What you see is what you get. What a concept…. I love it…. Listen up Detroit.

For you old dude’s out there, students of history and trivia buffs, this concept isn’t new. Four score and 7 years ago, the Andreas Athanasiou elite jersey real father of our nation’s automobile revolution, Henry Ford, brought forth on this continent a new car, conceived in his mind and dedicated to the proposition that all men were created to own a car. So when the common man bought a Ford Model ‘T’, he could have it in any color and style he wanted, as long as it was black and exactly like all others that came off the production line. They were truly clones. That was 1909 and the cost was about $850. By 1927, the last year it was in production, the cost had come down to about $300, and 15 million had been sold. That accounted for fully half of every car on the road in 1927…in the world. Way to go, Hank.

Developments in Design
Contributed by: Merkel Weiss

CARS-R-US, Maybe

The new car marketing seahawk jerseys cheap business is like a graduate study course in psychology. We (the buyers) are divided up into personality stereotypes, and each large segment gets addressed with some kind of vehicle that is targeted to be relevant to the stereotype lifestyle. Does this sound a little like “we are what we drive”? Perhaps it is the other way around. Our vehicle is a reflection of the way we want people to see us. For example: Rough and tumble bad boy – try a Dodge pickup; Sporty and young – a Toyota RAV4 or maybe a Miata; Family with values – Mercury Sable or Buick Regal; Outdoorsy – definitely a Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer; Young executive – Lexus LS300 or Mercedes E-Class.

Many new cars seek to redefine small niches within larger ones and have great success in doing so. For example BMW has driven a wedge into the center of the lucrative sedan market, the very same marketplace that was the bread and butter for GM and Ford. In fact, it’s a market segment that never really had much in the way of European competition in the past. In doing so, BMW has created a highly successful line of sport sedans bearing the image of “the ultimate driving machine”. Marketing genius.

These new market niche strategies are not always successful however. Witness Mazda who, only several years ago, announced they would concentrate their product line on narrow niche markets. They also make a fine lineup of sport sedans. Perhaps you have already read that due to poor sales, Mazda is now owned 33% and essentially controlled by Ford, and that the RX7 is scheduled to go out of production shortly. Marketing tragedy…the bewildering truth seems to be that the strategy of the marketing team can often be more important than Sergio Rodriguez elite jersey the car itself!

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.