It looks like time as run out for the Acura RLX, at least in North America. Automotive News reports that the luxury sedan is being axed from Acura’s lineup after the 2020 model year. It won’t completely disappear from existence however, as it will continue to be sold in other markets under the Honda brand where it’s called the Legend.
The news broke through a communication from Honda to its dealership network in North America. A representative reportedly told Automotive News that the company’s RDX and MDX SUVs are now the volume sellers for North American buyers, and that’s absolutely true when looking at Acura sales figures for 2019. The RDX was Acura’s best-selling vehicle last year with 62,876 units sold. Combined, RDX and MDX racked up nearly 115,000 sales.
The RLX wasn’t nearly as popular. In fact, Acura reported just 1,019 RLX sales for the entire year. Yes, 2019 was rough for pretty much every sedan on the market, but RLX sales in 2018 – the same year it received a significant refresh – only amounted to 1,931 sold units. With such poor performance in the showroom, the writing was on the wall for Acura’s flagship sedan a long time ago.
Gallery: 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid: First Drive
Why didn’t the car garner more attention among buyers? That’s a question we’re sure Acura executives are pondering as well. It launched in 2014 to a reception best described as meh, with critics panning the sedan’s unassuming styling, middle-of-the-road performance, and a general blandness for something priced in the $60,000 range. The extensive refresh that came for the 2018 model year addressed some of those issues – exterior styling was more eye-catching – but it failed to make a passionate connection with shoppers. It a realm of rear- and all-wheel-drive competition, the RLX turned the front wheels in standard form with all-wheel-drive only offered in hybrid form.
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Acura isn’t abandoning cars completely in the U.S., however. The ILX and TLX soldier on, though sales for both sedans combined still can’t match the MDX, never mind Acura’s best-selling vehicle, the RDX.