Acura today has a thin lineup that has as many passenger sedans as crossover utility vehicles.
With only the TLX, RDX, MDX, RLX, and NSX to work with, Honda's premium line doesn't compete in a number of important markets.
The most glaring absence is in the raging hot subcompact crossover realm.
That could be set to change based on a report from Ward's Automotive.
Speaking to Ward's during the launch of the 2018 Acura TLX, group vice president Jon Ikeda hinted that the brand could bring over the more luxurious version of the Honda HR-V that's already sold in China as the Acura CDX.
“It's a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D; guys looking into the possibility,” Ikeda told Ward's.
He then tempered expectations, warning that it's “not as simple as just shipping [CDX] over here,” because of differing vehicle regulations in China and the U.S.
But damn the regulations, because Acura needs the small CDX.
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Infiniti, and Buick, are already carving up this very lucrative pie with their own premium "cute utes."
2017 Honda HR-VEnlarge Photo
And based on the report, the little CDX could do well in the U.S.
While the HR-V uses a continuously variable transmission and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with just 141 horsepower, the CDX gets the Honda Civic's excellent 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder paired to an eight-speed automatic.
On refinement alone, then, the CDX powertrain sounds like a tremendous upgrade over that of the HR-V.
Combined with improved materials and equipment and the CDX's handsome design, and Honda's premium brand could have the recipe for a sales success.
If it ever arrives.