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How are Honda and Acura related?

How are Honda and Acura related?

Everything You Need to Know about Acura’s Relationship with Honda.

If you ever overheard car guys or gals talking amongst themselves, you might have been confused when somebody said that some luxury automakers shared some parts with more affordable brands. They will mention that the Infiniti G35′s engine comes out of a Nissan 350Z, or that the older Acura EL was basically a Honda Civic with a leather interior and a slightly different engine. So what gives? Are these one-off collaborations, or is there some deeper connections here?

If you answered with the latter, you would be right. Let us explain.

All three big Japanese automakers—Toyota, Nissan, and Honda—have their own luxury brands (Lexus, Infiniti and Acura, respectively). There are many reasons why it is not only profitable but also essential for them to do this.

Let’s take Honda-Acura as an example. How are Honda and Acura related? In March of 1986, Honda realized they needed a way to reach upmarket. Their small and fuel-efficient vehicles were hugely popular in North America, but they couldn’t simply go against Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac with their reputation as a small and affordable automaker. They needed a new identity.

Acura badge

Their first push into the North-American luxury market was with the four-door Legend and the Integra compact. Both of them were huge successes (so much so that Honda’s competitor launched their own luxury brand), and Acura suddenly had its own reputation as an affordable luxury carmaker. In the 90′s, they surprised the world with the NSX, a car offering supercar-like performances with Honda-like reliability. Over the subsequent years, SUVs like the RDX and MDX frequently were among the best-sellers in hotly contested segments.

Today, Acura is not only building very comfortable and luxurious cars and crossovers, but they are also working on engines, chassis and technologies. And since Acura and Honda are very closely linked, most of these technologies are used for both brands. For example, the Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX share the same platform and engine (as well as the nine-speed transmission on the Pilot Touring). The 3.5-litre Earth Dream V6 is a staple of the Acura lineup, but is also used in the Honda Odyssey, Accord, Ridgeline…. Same thing goes for both brand’s infotainment systems; having a luxury feel is beneficial to Honda products, and the cost-cutting associated with mass-production helps Acura focus on other parts of their car’s interiors.

For the average consumer, there might not be a lot of things linking Honda to Acura, but take a look under the surface and you will find how closely-related these two related companies are. Dealerships are usually not too far away (and owned by the same groups, more often than not), both brands share numerous parts and you can even sometimes get some fidelity rebates if you switch from one brand to another.

So if you daily-drive a Honda and are curious what its take on luxury looks like, come on in and let us show you.

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Marc Miceli

Employee Profile: Marc Miceli, 15 years at Policaro Acura and going strong

 Marc Miceli, perhaps our most specialized Product Specialist, has been with Policaro Acura for 15 years.

He’s a lifelong car person and his first car was…wait for it…an Acura. (We even have a digital clipping of the newspaper ad below.)

If you haven’t met Marc yet, it’s about time.

Marc, where are you from? 

I was born in Toronto.

When were you first introduced to cars?

I’ve loved cars ever since I was a kid.

What is the most important aspect of your role at Policaro Acura and how is it important to customers?

With changing technology and new features, it’s important our guests know how to use all of the features and controls on their new Acura. I take the education process very seriously. It gives our guests a level of comfort and confidence with all of the functions on their new high-tech vehicle.

What was your first car? 

A 1995 Acura Integra RSX.

The newspaper clipping advertising Marc's Integra.

The newspaper clipping advertising Marc’s Integra.

What do you want people to know about Policaro Acura? 

No other dealership goes as far above and beyond as we do. This is one of the reasons why we have so many repeat and referral buyers.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Keeping our clients happy and knowing that our hard work encourages them, their family and their friends to come back year after year.

Any hobbies outside the workplace?

I have two children and love to take them ice skating.

 

 

2

The Pros and Cons of Leasing and Financing

It’s an age-old dilemma that’s been weighed by many a car shopper. To lease or not to lease, that is the question. OK, so we’re borrowing that line, but seriously, SO MANY people ask this!

Unfortunately, there’s no one-off answer. Depending on your situation, either could work. Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make the right choice for you and your car.  

Financing Pro: You own it.

One of the biggest benefits of financing is that you own the vehicle, and as long as there aren’t any issues with you paying off your loan, you can do whatever you want with it without having to wait. If you want to profess your love for kitty cats on the doors, there’s nothing stopping you. Except maybe common sense and concern for resale value.

Also, once that loan is paid off, that’s it. It’s yours! You don’t have to make any more monthly payments, ever…or until you want an upgrade, of course. Then you do it all over again.

  With leasing, you’re essentially renting the vehicle, and at the end of your term you can return it or fully purchase it, which might suit your needs more if you only need a car for a few years but don’t necessarily want to buy one. At the end of your lease, you also don’t have to worry about selling the vehicle, you can just hand the keys back to the dealership, and get a new lease agreement with a sick new ride.  

Leasing Pro: It can be cheaper over the short term

Compared to financing, leasing is a cheaper option because instead of paying for the entire vehicle in installments, you’re only paying for the depreciation on the vehicle during the timeframe you’re leasing it for. Lease agreements also tend to have lower down payments, leaving you with more cash for doing the fun stuff you’re driving to do. Financing will be a little pricier during the payment period because your payments go towards the full price of the vehicle. And yes, this is a picture of Monopoly money, because your finances aren’t a game, unless they are.

 

Leasing con: There may be distance restrictions

Leasing can come with a restriction on how much you can drive the vehicle per month. The number itself is usually negotiable when you decide the terms of the lease, and if you go over it you will have to pay extra, the same way you have to pay extra if you go over your data limit on your phone plan.

With financing, since the vehicle is yours, you can go from one end of the Trans Canada Highway to the other and back every month if you’ve got the gas money. Just keep an eye out for wildlife.

 

Financing con: depreciating vehicle value

The great thing about leasing is that once your lease is up, you can sign a new agreement with a brand-new vehicle, so you really don’t need to worry about the long-term value, unless you decide to buy it after all. Of course, if the vehicle’s value is depreciated too much by wear and tear, you will probably have to pay extra for it, but otherwise leasing means you don’t have to worry about what it’ll be worth years down the road. In the end you return the vehicle and don’t have to so much as think about selling it. Since with financing you own the car, you’ll have to keep the resale value in mind and know that the value of your vehicle is going to go down over time. You won’t have to pay any extra fees for wear and tear, unless you decide yourself that something needs fixing. Then there’s the process of selling of the vehicle. Alternatively, you could always keep your vehicle for years and years and hope that it will someday be considered a classic car, but that’s not the most dependable business plan.

 

Again, both ways of paying for a vehicle have their benefits and downsides. It really depends on your needs, specifically, whether or not you want to own the vehicle and what your plans are for its future. If you don’t want or need the responsibilities that come with owning a vehicle, leasing is a great way to make sure you can still get around. On the other hand, financing might be a little pricier, but in the end, you do own the vehicle and that gives you an autonomy you won’t get with leasing.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is the new head of the MDX family

People might be raving about the NSX’s hybrid powerplant and herald it as the next stage in automotive evolution, but the real-world applications for a two-seater vehicle that is designed for going very fast and effectively around a track, say, are sadly more limited. It is a special vehicle, and therefore not exactly suitable for the masses. But Acura hasn’t spent billions of dollars perfecting this hybrid system to simply use it in a limited-production supercar and then call it a day.

No, they were aiming at a larger segment all along and with the unveiling of the MDX Sport Hybrid, they have revealed their cards. This innovative piece of technology was intended for the very lucrative segment of full-size SUVs.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

First of all, to be fair, the hybrid-and-V6 drivetrain didn’t originate in the NSX. Its very first public outing was in the 2016 RLX Sport Hybrid, the loaded version of Acura’s flagship, which you may have spotted on the streets recently.

But let’s get back to the MDX Sport Hybrid, shall we? While the NSX uses its batteries and motors to chase lap times, the big SUV is after fuel economy and smoothness.

The heart of the MDX is a 3.0-litre V6 that integrates an electric motor between its flywheel and the dual-clutch seven-speed automatic gearbox. To provide all-wheel drive traction, a pair of electron-powered motors are fitted to the rear axle; they power each of the back wheels independently. This whole setup is good for 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, which makes it the most powerful member of the MDX family.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

The whole thing sounds pretty complex, but for the average buyer, you need only remember a few important parts: you get a very efficient torque vectoring system, you can pull away from stoplights using only the electric power, and the assistance of the electric system is pretty much seamless. You don’t need to press any button or lever. Simply accelerate, and the computers take care of everything.

“Hybrid” is now synonymous with “frugality,” and the Sport Hybrid is no exception. Capable of posting ratings of 12.6 liters per 100 km in city driving, 9.0 liters on the highway and a combined consumption of 11.0 liters per 100 km, this MDX is one of the most fuel-efficient of its segment.

The rest of the vehicle doesn’t differ too much from the regular MDX, and that is a very good thing. The Japanese SUV is comfortable, can seat seven people and does a wonderful job isolating you from the road thanks to a set of adaptive dampers.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

The MDX Sport Hybrid also has a few cool tricks up its mechanical sleeve. For example, the fact that the 1.3 kWh battery is packed underneath the floor means that the cargo capacity isn’t compromised compared to the regular MDX. And finally, the SUV has a final argument to convince you: with a starting MSRP of $69,990, the MDX Sport Hybrid is only $4,000 more than a fully-loaded 6-Passenger Elite model. With a 40 per cent improvement at the pump, it won’t take long for the additional investment to pay for itself.

And the best part? You will get a quiet, easy to use full-size SUV with a proven track record of reliability that shares its powertrain with a supercar. How cool is that?

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Rob

Employee Bio: Fixed Operations Manager Rob Rowse has racing in his blood

Some people seem to be born into the automotive industry. For Rob Rowse, Policaro Acura’s Fixed Operations Manager, a career in cars wasn’t so much a choice as a destiny. Rob is the third generation of car racers in his family. His father Bill Rowse Jr. raced professionally for four seasons in the ARCA Series in the 80s, and his grandfather put his skills to the track before him in the 60s.

Rob’s own career began in 1995 as a youth competing in the regional karting races. Soon he progressed into asphalt midget and quarter midget racing before going on to pilot full-body late models and some vintage modified cars in various races.

This proud racing heritage is just a part of what makes Rob such an asset to the Policaro Acura team. Here’s his story.

 

Rob's father Bill Rowse Jr. in  the Canadian Nascar Series at Autodrome St-Eustache in 2002.

Rob’s father Bill Rowse Jr. in the Canadian Nascar Series at Autodrome St-Eustache in 2002.

Q: Where are you from?

A: London, Ontario.

Q: When were you first introduced to cars?

A: I’ve been around cars since birth.

Q: Where did you go to school (if you did), and what did you take?

A: I went to Sarnia Collegiate Institute where I took Technical Studies.

Q: How long have you been working in the automotive industry?

A: It’s been 20 years!

Q: How long have you been at Policaro Acura?

A: Two years.

Q: What is the most important aspect of your role at Policaro Acura and how is it important to customers?

A: Leadership is the most important aspect of any management position. Good and positive leadership is contagious, and happy and positive employees lead to a positive experience for all our clients.

Q: Have you always been a car person?

A: Absolutely! From a family run small garage and auto body, to our family race team, cars have always been in my blood.

Q: What was your first car?

A: 1986 Ford Escort.

Q: What do you want people to know about Policaro Acura?

A: Policaro Acura and the Policaro Family put clients’ best interest first and ensure all our clients are completely satisfied.

Q: How has the dealership experience changed, and how is Policaro Acura leading that change?

A: The automotive industry as a whole has changed greatly over the past decade. Technology has changed the way we do business, and social media controls how people view all aspects of business. Policaro Acura does business outside the box and we stay ten steps ahead of the competition. That’s how we guarantee 100 per cent client satisfaction and treat all our clients as family.

Q: What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

A: It’s the people! Having a team assembled that fires on all cylinders daily, and having clients 100 per cent satisfied makes all the hard work worth it.

Q: What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of the workplace.

A: I’m a retired race car driver. I also enjoy hockey, golf, and most importantly, spending time with my family.

2018 Acura TLX

The 2018 Acura TLX Arrives Complete With Sporty Upgrades

The 2018 Acura TLX that recently debuted at the New York Auto Show is a testament to Acura’s commitment to achieving sport performance excellence. Just three years after the first TLX ever hit roads, this vehicle has come a long way.

The new TLX has had some major edits— “refreshed and significantly enhanced,” as the brand puts it. They’ve effectively ushered their mid-size luxury performance into the future that is the present, with some great base-model upgrades like the addition of AcuraWatch and a whole array of styling adjustments. They’ve also brought back the A-Spec handling package for 2018, which is cause for celebration.

Here’s what you need to know about the new model, including how it stacks up against its predecessor.

The 2018 Acura TLX is built on the same platform as the previous model with familiar hardware under the hood. Two engines are on offer: a 2.4 L 4-cylinder producing 206 hp and paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, or a 3.5L V6 making 290 hp and paired with a nine-speed automatic. Torque vectoring AWD comes optional on the V6. But close the hood and take a step back and you’ll start to notice the differences.

2018 Acura TLX V6 w/ Advance Package, San Marino Red

Photo from Acura

Some of the exterior style updates nod to the Acura Precision concept that debuted in 2016, like the diamond pentagon grille, the sizable air intakes below the front bumper, and the more punctuated wraparound LED headlights. The 2018 TLX also gets wider tires and exposed exhaust tips, adding even more aggression to its stance.

Within the car, there have been significant changes made to the infotainment system. It’s been gifted with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (the first time Acura has used these systems in any of their vehicles), as well as a restructuring of the touchscreen, graphics and overall electronics layout. There’s also a new wireless charging port in the centre console, because none of us is getting less connected these days.

2018 Acura TLX V6 w/ Advance Package, Espresso Interior

Photo from Acura

But perhaps the most noteworthy upgrade is the presence of AcuraWatch, which comes standard on the base model. The 2018 TLX is the only compact sports sedan to offer the protective tech suite that includes lane keep assist, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and more.

The A-Spec Package:

The real eye-catcher at Acura’s display at the show was the new A-Spec package, which marries a more aggressive and premium design with the TLX’s sportier driving abilities. The A-Spec comes with the six-cylinder V6 engine and driver’s choice of front wheel drive or Super Handling all-wheel-drive.

Visually, the A-Spec distinguishes itself with a distinct, modern front end, dual exhaust tips kicking out the back, blacked-out 19-inch wheels, circular LED fog lights and some fresh sills on the sides.

The interior is similarly ‘sportified’ with a sport steering wheel, further bolstered seats, and red or black leather features alongside a brushed aluminum details. The 2018 TLX A-Spec has a more precise power steering system as well as some tweaked suspension settings with stiffer springs and more responsive damper settings. All the better to feel the road with.

The 2018 Acura TLX is expected to hit Policaro Acura this summer.