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Acura sticks new nose on RDX, plus new V-6s in MDX, TSX

Posted by Bill Griffith  July 31, 2009 04:57 PM

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The 2010 Acura RDX gets the new corporate nose.

The MDX luxury SUV gets a more-refined 3.7-liter V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic. A rear-view camera will offer three different views for added safety and the nav system will tie into live weather radar.

The crossover RDX gets a freshened look, more technology, and a higher-end interior. Much of the rest of the country will be interested in seeing that a two-wheel drive version is going to be available.

The TSX high-end sports sedan will have a 3.5-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic with 280 horsepower and 254 lb.-ft. of torque. However, it doesn't have a manual transmission option. For that, you have to settle for the 2.3-liter four-banger.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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51 comments so far...
  1. On RDX "new nose" is improvement to last year's boring "nose". Vehicle has new rally car looks.

    Posted by JohnC July 31, 09 09:10 PM
  1. I like the nose on my boyfriend's limo much better.

    Posted by Jane X Jones August 1, 09 06:51 AM
  1. doesn't "love it or hate it" imply that someone, somewhere... "loves" it?

    what is up with your text formatting?

    Posted by mikeybigboy August 1, 09 10:50 AM
  1. Honda is sure designing some fugly vehicles for the Acura line. Their latest models all look like turd.

    Posted by wa August 1, 09 10:54 AM
  1. The "power plenum" grille is ridiculous. It only looks organic on the TSX and looks completely out of place on the RL, MDX, and TL. Acura has lost its way thanks to stupid design decisions championed by Dick Colliver and Chris Bangle-wannabe Dave Marek. Colliver is gone from Honda and hopefully Marek soon will be. These folks worried more about something superficial and stupid like a "corporate nose" than in positioning Acura's wonderful SH-AWD technology in the marketplace. Acura needs a complete design makeover. It's in danger of losing its most ardent fans if the current design trend continues. Check the forums over at to see the negative reaction from the enthusiasts.

    Posted by Dan August 1, 09 01:00 PM
  1. If you remember the robot in the Styx "Mr. Roboto" video, then you will understand the inspiration for these odd mouths--especially on the flagship sedan.

    Are you surprised that some Acura dealers are offering to paint the brushed silver to match the car, so it hides better?

    Domo Arigato, Honda.

    Posted by Asimo August 1, 09 09:30 PM
  1. The prior TV ads show multiple 2009 models concentrating on the SUV instead of the ugly front end TL. Now that they've ruined the RDX and the RL the same way, one wonders what they'll do now.

    Acura like Lexus has started missing the style marks and will loose market share. The RL was a failure; too expensive and a poor performer that tanked sales. The TL was a great car and needed a rear drive version to challenge BMW and others in that space. But nobody wants a car that looks like a shark.

    Posted by Jay R August 2, 09 08:24 AM
  1. As a 2006 TL owner I am extremely disappointed by the Acura new grill treatment. I will not buy a new TL or any other Acura at this point. The TL went from being a stylish Japanese BMW challenger to an ugly freak looking car. Its too bad, because the new engines and power train improvements are quiet nice.

    Posted by BT August 2, 09 09:05 AM
  1. I am NOT a fan of the new nose. I love Acura's, the legend is the best car ever made. I have a TL now and will not buy another unless there is a change.

    Posted by Anonymous August 2, 09 10:56 AM
  1. How about a comparison photo of the "old nose" ?

    Posted by Edzo August 2, 09 01:32 PM
  1. Ditto. The new Acura's nose is ugly and I won't buy another until they change the styling.

    Posted by Chuck August 2, 09 05:06 PM
  1. As an Acura owner now I never considered Acura before - did not like the styling. I like the comfort, styling and power much better than comparable Lexus/Infinite/BMWs. It is a sweet ride - and I've driven a lot of cars. It is also a car than gives you more for the money.
    Too bad Obama is trying to force us to buy golfcarts. I will never buy an American union-made car.

    Posted by The Man August 2, 09 06:39 PM
  1. That's why I own an Infiniti!

    Posted by John S August 2, 09 11:31 PM
  1. Personally, I don't love it or hate it... the new corporate nose is ok by me, and it really wouldn't dissuade me from buying an Acura (any new Acura). Just as before, I'd cross-shop it against competitors and heavily weigh the fact that Acura tends to be a better luxury value for the money, especially vs. its overpriced German competition.

    Posted by NSXZero August 2, 09 11:50 PM
  1. Japanese cars have become particularly ugly over the past two years--this one is no different than the others.

    Posted by AL5000 August 3, 09 07:11 AM
  1. Even the usual acura fanboys online hate the new styling. This foolishness is going to catch up with the company if it hasn't already.

    Posted by mike August 3, 09 08:02 AM
  1. Terrible looking, enough said

    Posted by no August 3, 09 08:06 AM
  1. I am a proud owner of a 2005 TL and I HATE the new grille on the new models. It is the biggest blunder in Acura's history. They should fire the designer. How in the world could someone sit there and agree to such a fugly design. Unfortunately, my next car (after owning 3 hondas and this acura) will not be an Acura unless they go back to a better front grill and design.

    Posted by Ben August 3, 09 08:52 AM
  1. The funny thing is after they ruined the 2009 TL with the same nose style, some dealers and owners started painting most of the TL grille with the body color. Looks much better.

    Posted by Mansfield Dude August 3, 09 10:14 AM
  1. First off, I thought the MDX's recently redeisgned grill is what prompted the deisgners to change up the rest of the models. Now the rest of the models are influencing the MDX of which they were inspired?! Vicious fugy circle.

    When I see a car brand with all their models looking the same I figure the designers just ran out of good ideas.

    Now Toyota circa 2004 had a full range of vehicle that looked unique unto themselves. I saw that as a sign of being prosperous enough to afford good designers.

    The poor top-of-the-line RL went from tastfull beauty to angled beast.

    Posted by Andy August 3, 09 10:43 AM
  1. I have had 2 Acura's and when I looked for a new car didn't even consider another one, despite how much I liked the others, due to the new look of the Acura. How to take a popular car and uglify it to the point where it may be the best drive on the market but it is so bad looking that I couldn't even consider it.....

    Posted by TEH August 3, 09 11:19 AM
  1. The new nose "blows"!

    Posted by Vern August 3, 09 11:33 AM
  1. It's really sad that Acura styling is so lackluster. The cars are amazingly well engineered -- if they could get their styling act together and take some risks, they'd be best sellers.

    Posted by Anonymous August 3, 09 12:02 PM
  1. What happened to you Acura ?

    Did you fire all your top notch designers and hire some fresh out of college kids? These vehicles are just ugly. The lines are some of the worst I've seen since 1980's american cars. I just bought a new BMW because quite honestly it came down to the styling. These vehicles are just ugly now period.

    Posted by what happened to Acura ? August 3, 09 12:58 PM
  1. Acura sucks, .....waiting for the new Taurus and Taurus SHO....Now that's great looking a car, and will spank any Acura

    Posted by Buy a Ford August 3, 09 01:06 PM
  1. Joe Camel

    Posted by blech August 3, 09 02:20 PM
  1. Hope the 2012 is as sleek, classic, upscale, and as "clean" looking for that is when we'll move our 2009 which we LOVE!

    Posted by Neil August 3, 09 02:39 PM
  1. I love my 2007 TL but am not at all a fan of the new designs. I hope Acura/Honda make some changes quickly before it's too late!

    Posted by 2007 TL August 3, 09 02:53 PM
  1. Ew. Usually I notice Acuras on the road because they're nice looking. Now I notice them because they're weird looking, and not in a good way.
    I used to think that if I was in the market for a luxury car, I'd get an Acura, as I've always driven Hondas. That definitely would not be the case if they were still looking like this!

    Posted by ED August 3, 09 02:56 PM
  1. I love my 2004 MDX. This new nose job is UGLY.

    Posted by vinnie August 3, 09 02:57 PM
  1. I'm also an Acura owner- I have a 2004 TSX- and have always thought Hondas, Acuras in particular, were some of the best, most reliable, most stylish cars on the road. No longer. Just like every other carbon based life form, I can't stand the nose on the new vehicles, it looks kitschy and cheap, and a very lame attempt at creating brand recognition through the grille the way BMW does. Speaking of BMW, they are definitely overpriced, but they are great cars and BMW never resorts to this type of Gimmicky stuff. I think my next car will definitely be a BMW, because the Acuras are WAY less fuel efficient than they used to be, and many BMW models are actually better on gas than their new Acura counterparts.

    Posted by Scott August 3, 09 03:43 PM
  1. The 2004 TL redesign turned what had been an eye catching, arch-conservative, well proportioned sedan with a substantial rear deck--into something a "Fast and Furious" moviegoer would attempt to pimp a fart can and a 2 foot tall fiberglass rear spoiler to.

    Posted by mike August 3, 09 04:09 PM
  1. I keep seeing a goofy smiley face in the "power plenum" Acura models. They just look silly. I wouldn't buy model with that smiley face on the grille.

    My current car is a 2007 TL, and my previous car was a 1997 CL. I've been pretty happy with both of them. I'm hoping that they fix this design issue by 2017 or else they're going to lose me as a customer.

    Posted by mongrel August 3, 09 04:19 PM
  1. It looks like a jack-o-lantern smile. Very ugly!

    Posted by joed August 3, 09 05:01 PM
  1. I think the new Acura grill design really rocks..! & though bold and a bit ostentatious it's design is before it's time... Naturally, when we move from the plain and the "same old, same old", to something NEW and INNOVATIVE there will certainly be some back lash and criticisms until the old "same old" mindset shifts and accepts the new. Acura should be applauded for it's creativity, boldness, and for not sitting back and creating a vehicle that is like the others undistinguishible and weak.

    Posted by Steve August 3, 09 07:31 PM
  1. Bought an original '96 TL and then a 2007. I hate the "Beak" on the new Acuras and should be able to hold out for the 5-year model cycle. A guy in town had a kit installed that replaced the "beak" with a clean, and very natural looking honeycomb grill. It makes the front end look really great.

    Posted by dotcommonsense August 4, 09 05:49 AM
  1. I'm a member of, and an avid Acura fan with two Acura models sitting in my garage. I once said I would be a lifelong driver of Acura's as they offer an unmatched value, bulletproof reliability, and classy, timeless designs. The new designs are far too contemporary and awkward; instead of focusing on their faithful customers, they have completely disregarded our wishes and gone for a new market, merely on a hope.

    The cars are still fantastic, technological delights but if someone over in Torance doesn't get their act together, they are in danger of losing their most vital asset they have: customers.

    Posted by CK August 4, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Yes, Acura/Honda have lost their curb appeal. Style is what makes the car other than engineering, technology and the fit and finish in the interior. I have check out the new Audi A4, A5 or the Q5 SUV. I will tell you that Audi right now has the best and overall package from style, performance, safety in/out overall the best premium luxury on the planet. I was a previous Honda/Acura owner but after driving the new 2009 Audi's nothing else comes close. You can feel how well the car responds to your needs and driving habits, the leather is firm and real leather not immitation like the ones in Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, the fit and finish in the interior is superb!

    Posted by Sophos August 4, 09 04:04 PM
  1. Also to add the real cool LED running lites that Audi came up with, they are make a big statement when you see those coming behind you. What a clever technology and I am sure everybody else will try to copy them.. Audi is the best engineered car made in Germany...Drive one and make sure you ask for S-line with the paddle shifters or just put in S-mode in the tip-tronic.

    Posted by Sophos August 4, 09 04:13 PM
  1. After owning three Acuras, I am so disgusted with the design direction the company is taking, that when I wanted a new car, I left. While Acura offers unparalleled value for the luxury dollar, outdone only by Hyundai, exceptional fit and finish, and awesome interior design, its exterior designs of late have left me cold.

    I hope Torrance fires the external design team.

    Posted by Rembert August 4, 09 04:21 PM
  1. Long time owner of many Acura and Honda product, but sad to say they are losing their touch. The designs of late that are coming out of Acura are flat out odd and repulsive looking. Gone are the days of classic, beautiful Acura vehicles. Until the Acura beak goes away, there will be little to love from Acura.

    If you want to know more about the latest Acura news go to
    Plenty of enthusiasts that know a lot about Acura, and at the same time are "upset" by Acura's design direction.

    Posted by MTS August 4, 09 05:22 PM
  1. 2002 TL driver here. Can't stand the new 09 models at all. Acura should never have stopped designing their cars in Japan. The current lineup has a designed by committee look to it. It's like lets see how many tacky styling cues we can through onto one vehicle and hope that builds sales. They need to drop those college interns and go back to paying one or two chief designers with experience. I also think they need to go back to the rounded off body panels look and lose all the weird angles that are flowing in a million different directions. It just looks hideous!
    I used to love Acura's just about every "car" (not counting their generic looking SUV's) from the Legend up to the 08 TL looked pretty good until this latest batch. Azine FTW!!

    Posted by Scott August 4, 09 07:39 PM
  1. Hopefully the dummies over at Acura will get a hint.

    Posted by 55 August 4, 09 09:15 PM
  1. Acura has lost its way. I drive a '98 CL which is a handsome ride. I hoped to buy a new manual TSX with a very high mileage turbo diesel (mpg: 53 hwy; 34 city) but that engine is on hold. Instead, the TSX added a crappy mileage V6 without the option of a stick-is anyone at Acura paying attention to the price of gas? The new generation TSX is not as classy as the previous model and the color choices with a manual are black, white and shades of gray/silver-is this the rebirth of Henry Ford? Acura started to lose it when it dumped the Integra/RSX. I've driven a Honda or Acura for almost 32 years but I fear that the Acura line will go the way of Plymouth and Oldsmobile. Very sad.

    Posted by jungathaht August 5, 09 07:07 AM
  1. The shadow nose

    Posted by josh August 5, 09 11:04 AM
  1. Like many of you, I am a huge Acura fan. I have a 2005TL and a 2008 MDX. I would have traded the TL for the new one (2009TL) in a flash if the styling had been reasonable. Unfortunately I can't bring myself to buy a new TL...Have been looking at Audi's Q5 and will give the Infiniti G37 another look.

    Posted by BobF August 5, 09 05:33 PM
  1. Look Acuraphiles. The 5 series BMW had similar detractors when it first came out and now? It wins design awards, it gets all the "best of class" awards from all the auto magazines and the old style (E39 body) now looks stodgy and from another era. I know, I had one and now have the new style which is beautiful. There are those who are stuck in past, who are afraid of anything different and innovative. Someday you will realize that not everybody is as dull as you are.

    Posted by D. Nichols August 11, 09 06:59 PM
  1. The grill on the new Acuras and Hondas remind me of catching fish as a kid and carrying them home with my finger hooked through the jaw. Yuck.Or the flip top on a can of beer.

    Posted by NiceBodyTooBadAboutTheFace September 8, 09 04:37 PM
  1. Nose of my boss is better looking then this.

    Posted by GB September 18, 09 01:23 PM
  1. CORRECTION: The TSX has 2.4 Liter K-Series engine not a 2.3L

    Posted by Murt September 21, 09 03:34 PM
  1. My neighbor bought a TL.

    Like your own nose, it grows on you.

    Posted by DL September 27, 09 07:07 AM

About Boston Overdrive reports the latest trends, auto shows and wrings out the newest cars in our city's hellish maze — and across the great roads of New England.
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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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