A bronze 2022 Acura MDX is shown on a dirt path after leaving a used car dealership.

Used Acuras: An Under-Considered Option

When you think about shopping for a new car, it’s easy to overlook the used car market. Sometimes, that market gets a bad reputation due to a few unsavory characters, especially individuals who sell cars privately. We’ve all heard stories of someone getting swindled by a seller on Craigslist or someone who bought a car from a friend of a friend, and that car proceeded to break down five times within the year. Yet, individual sellers are not the only gateway to the used car market. A used car dealership will offer you used options with more guarantees and no safety worries. Many dealerships offer Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programs, which means the used car has been well inspected. In some cases, you’ll feel like you bought a new car but at a bargain.

The Acura brand is a great example of why used cars and SUVs can be such stellar options for buyers. Acura makes fantastic vehicles, but they can end up on the pricier side if you buy new. If you decide to give a used Acura a test drive, though, you’ll see why going used might be the smart move. You could end up with an incredible ride at a much lower cost than expected. Simple story: Acuras are great. Used cars can be great. Put them together, and you’re really cooking.

The Acura Lineup

Acura was introduced in 1986. However, it was founded as the luxury arm of Honda, so its history goes back even further than the 1980s. Still, as a division with a name that would be brand-new to the public, Acura knew it had to set itself apart from the pack. Instead of just trying to put out as many vehicles as possible, Acura set itself the goal of quality over quantity of models.

The results speak for themselves. Perhaps one of the most striking examples is Acura’s involvement in the racing industry. Anyone who pays attention to endurance racing, for example, knows that a vehicle has to be incredibly robust to survive hours of non-stop high-speed driving. But Acura has dominated the endurance circuit.

By setting the standard high, Acura gained customers who prioritized quality and elegance in their cars and SUVs. Naturally, this means Acuras tend to cost a bit more than the average vehicle. You’re getting incredible quality in return, but it’s understandable if you might balk a little before shelling out a bunch of cash, especially if inflation is making you tighten the belt more than usual. That’s where the used car market can come in real handy.

A yellow 2022 Acura TLX Type-S is shown driving on a race track.

The Used Acura Sedan Advantage

If you’ve long desired a sports car, then a used Acura can be the answer to your dreams. Acura has offered multiple sporty vehicles, so you’ll have your choice of model and year. In fact, you may soon find that there’s a past year you prefer to the current year. Just because there’s a newer model does not mean it’s the best for you or your aesthetic preferences. Nor does a past model mean you’ll be denied excellent performance. Rest assured: models a couple years old are still going to shock onlookers.

Take the Acura TLX. It has a 2.0L turbocharged engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, and 272 hp. You’re rocketing to 60 mph in under six seconds. And that’s just the base powertrain. The TLX Type S will have you going with a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 and 355 hp, so you can leave your friends in the dust. Why, then, you wonder, would you want an older version?

That’s the trick. That is an older version. I’m talking about the 2021 model. You see what I mean, right? You don’t need a brand-new model in order to have a great car with outstanding performance. You just have to do your research to see what older models will work for you. In this case, the research is pretty easy, as Acura has consistently produced sedans that combine luxury and agility. The manufacturer has adeptly combined sportiness with luxuriousness on all its sedans, be it the TLX, the ILX, or the RLX. You can’t go wrong with a 2021, 2020, 2019, or even older model, for that matter.

A red 2022 Acura MDX is seen off-roading.

A Used Acura SUV? Just as Stellar

What if I told you the Acura MDX SUV comes with a standard 3.5L V6 engine that gets you from zero to 60 in six seconds flat, a remarkable achievement for a three-row SUV? You’d probably say that you’re onto my game, and I’m talking about an older model to trick you like before.

Sure. You’re right. But this time, I’m going further into the past and talking about the 2016 model. Those numbers are sure to impress now, but on a model from seven years ago? That’s amazing. It’s no wonder it was rated highly upon release. Now, you can get a great-looking SUV with that level of capability at a used car price. You have an incredible deal in your hands.

We can play this game for a while. I can tell you the MDX also comes in a sporty hybrid trim with 321 hp, only for me to reveal that I’m now talking about the 2018 model. You see my point, though. The numbers and specs I’m rattling off would be great for a new SUV, let alone one that entered the market years ago.

That’s why when I hear someone refusing to look at the used market, I just have to shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. Manufacturers like Acura have been steadily putting out high-performance vehicles for years now, so why break the bank for a new model when an older one will wow you and your family just as much?

Okay, but What About Safety and Reliability? Is That Good?

With used cars, one very understandable concern is reliability. This is where Certified Pre-Owned programs can help put you at ease. Every detail is rigorously reviewed before a CPO vehicle hits the market. Once more, we also see why buying from a reputable used car dealership is important. For a dealership to sell CPO models, it will need to be far more honest than an individual off Craigslist.

A benefit of Acura is that its vehicles have long had the driver-assist features that other manufacturers were a little late on. Take a look at the 2019 Acura MDX. It has a Lane Departure Warning System, a Lane Keeping Assist System, a Collision Mitigation Braking System, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. These features are bragged about in 2023 releases, but Acura had them all standard in 2019.

If you go with a used Acura, you won’t be sacrificing your and your family’s safety. That said, it’s fair to ask about safety specifics whenever inquiring about a used vehicle. Ask away! But I suspect if you’re going with a used Acura, you’ll be happily surprised at what it offers you.

The Used Market Should Never Be Overlooked

Recent inflation has made life a lot more expensive than it used to be. We all have to cut back in ways we weren’t expecting to. Luckily, if you take a look at the used Acura market, you’re going to find that you’re not sacrificing much at all, even though you’ll be putting down less money. In fact, you may soon wish you’d taken this route in the past and wonder why you were so settled on always buying or leasing new vehicles.

Take a trip to a used dealership offering Acuras. You’re going to be happy you checked out an avenue you normally wouldn’t. Your wallet will thank you, sure, but so will your family because they’re going to be quite happy with your new sporty yet luxurious ride.