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    • By William Maley
      The appetite Americans have for crossovers is quite large and automakers are trying their best to appease this. Acura for its part is looking at whether it should bring the subcompact CDX crossover to the U.S.
      Introduced for Chinese market last year, the CDX is underpinned by the same platform as the Honda HR-V. Power comes from a 1.5L turbo-four from the Civic and an eight-speed DCT. 
      “It’s a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility,” said Jon Ikeda, group vice president for Acura to Wards Auto.
      For Acura to bring the CDX over to the U.S., they would need to make a number of changes for the vehicle to meet the various regulations here.
      Ikeda also revealed the brand is looking into derivatives of existing models to build up its crossover lineup. A possibility is a larger CUV with a more spacious third-row. But Ikeda does say Acura "needs to be mindful of its performance and luxury direction."
      “There are many, many things we could do with derivatives of our vehicles. I’m never going to say never…(but) we have to be smart with how we approach it.”
      Source: Wards Auto

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The appetite Americans have for crossovers is quite large and automakers are trying their best to appease this. Acura for its part is looking at whether it should bring the subcompact CDX crossover to the U.S.
      Introduced for Chinese market last year, the CDX is underpinned by the same platform as the Honda HR-V. Power comes from a 1.5L turbo-four from the Civic and an eight-speed DCT. 
      “It’s a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility,” said Jon Ikeda, group vice president for Acura to Wards Auto.
      For Acura to bring the CDX over to the U.S., they would need to make a number of changes for the vehicle to meet the various regulations here.
      Ikeda also revealed the brand is looking into derivatives of existing models to build up its crossover lineup. A possibility is a larger CUV with a more spacious third-row. But Ikeda does say Acura "needs to be mindful of its performance and luxury direction."
      “There are many, many things we could do with derivatives of our vehicles. I’m never going to say never…(but) we have to be smart with how we approach it.”
      Source: Wards Auto
    • By William Maley
      When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order.
      Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system.  The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Acura
      Model: MDX
      Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD
      Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL
      Base Price: $58,500
      As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order.
      Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system.  The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Acura
      Model: MDX
      Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD
      Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL
      Base Price: $58,500
      As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      The past few years has seen Nissan expanding their lineup of NISMO performance models around the world. But that isn't enough as Nissan plans on expanding NISMO into more markets.
      To that end, the company announced a new unit called the NISMO Cars Business Unit. This will be part of Autech Japan, Inc - a Nissan group company that convert vehicles for disabled drivers and tunes performance vehicles. Nissan hopes that the new unit combined with the efforts Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. and other group companies can deliver more NISMO products in a shorter timeframe.
      "As a Nissan sub-brand, NISMO further builds upon the core values of Nissan cars. With the combined expertise of Nissan group companies, NISMO road cars will make customers enjoy Nissan cars more than ever," said Takao Katagiri, president and CEO of both Autech Japan and Nissan Motorsports International.
      Nissan doesn't make any mention of what models are under consideration for the NISMO treatment. Currently, Nissan sells NISMO versions of the 370Z, GT-R, Juke, and Sentra in the U.S.
      Source: Nissan 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Nissan sets up new unit to boost NISMO road car business
      More high-performance models to be rolled out globally YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has set up a new unit to expand its NISMO road car business by making a greater range of models available to customers in more markets.
      The NISMO Cars Business Department is part of Autech Japan, Inc., a Nissan group company that makes converted vehicles. Using talent from Nissan, Autech, Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. and other group companies, it will plan and develop more appealing products in a shorter time.
      Nissan plans to expand the range of NISMO road cars to new segments, market them more globally and boost the lineup in existing markets, including Japan, North America, Europe and the Middle East. This will help increase sales of NISMO cars, which are now about 15,000 units a year.
      Nissan introduced the NISMO brand to its mainstream model lineup in 2013 to bring customers more innovations and excitement. Featuring performance and styling developed through NISMO's motorsports activities, the cars offer a sporty driving experience combined with Nissan's quality, reliability and durability.
      NISMO road cars introduced so far include the GT-R, 370Z, JUKE and Sentra in the U.S. – plus the Note and Patrol in markets outside the U.S.
      "As a Nissan sub-brand, NISMO further builds upon the core values of Nissan cars," said Takao Katagiri, president and CEO of both Autech Japan and Nissan Motorsports International. "With the combined expertise of Nissan group companies, NISMO road cars will make customers enjoy Nissan cars more than ever."
      The new business unit will also work with Nissan Motorsports International on marketing. This includes showing NISMO road cars at Nissan dealerships and showrooms and holding events and activities for NISMO car owners.

      View full article
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