Honda launched its luxury arm Acura in 1986, with its original lineup consisting of the Legend and the Integra. It aimed to "satisfy the most demanding driver while delivering the kind of efficiency intelligent people demand today," according to a Honda press release from the era. Nearly 40 years later, that mix of efficiency and driving dynamics still forms the blueprint for its cars today. Buyer tastes have shifted hugely since then, although it's safe to say that there will always be a market for cars that are both enjoyable to drive and easy to live with every day.
A key part of that easiness is reliability, something that both Acura and its parent brand Honda have a hard-earned reputation for. While any Acura should be generally reliable, some models perform better than others, and to rank the top performers, we've used data from the research platform iSeeCars. They collect data from millions of used car listings to establish which models will last longest and rack up the highest mileages without issue, and their data shows these eight models to be Acura's most dependable so far.
The original Acura NSX was a landmark car in more ways than one. Not only did it launch the Acura name into the public consciousness in America, but its blend of everyday driveability, performance, and handling forced European competitors to up their game. The second generation NSX, launched in 2016, never managed to make quite the same impact, although we've previously argued that it might just have been ahead of its time.
The limited-run Type S fixed many of the criticisms reviewers had of the original car, although by that point, it was too late for the model as a whole. It was axed after the run of 350 Type S cars sold out. It might be a mid-engine, technologically advanced supercar, but the NSX still retains its Honda build quality underneath. That makes it very reliable by supercar standards, with iSeeCars giving it a 7.1 reliability rating.
Most recently refreshed for the 2021 model year, Acura's TLX sedan is a strong contender in its segment. Our reviewer was impressed with the car's handling and thought its styling looked even better than the flagship NSX supercar. It is, however, subject to plenty of competition from both European and Japanese brands, many of which sport higher power outputs and sportier demeanors than the regular TLX. To counter that, Acura also sells the more powerful TLX Type S, which sports a 355 horsepower turbo V6 engine and uses the brand's SH-AWD system to ensure all those horses can be put to good use.
No matter whether you pick the wilder or milder variant of the TLX, a few things remain the same. Firstly, this is still a practical family car, and although the ride errs on the firmer side, it's still just as comfortable doing the grocery run as it is on the track. Secondly, it still lives up to Acura's strong reputation for reliability, with iSeeCars giving the TLX a reliability rating of 7.2.
Acura RLX Hybrid
As the luxury sedan market has shrunk in recent years, the competition between remaining entries has gotten fiercer. Acura's former offering, the RLX, was given a refresh for 2018, but that wasn't enough to boost sales, and it was axed after 2020. The issue with the car was not that any one element stood out as particularly a letdown, but rather that few elements stood out at all.
The car's exterior styling, while pleasant enough, wasn't particularly distinctive, and the interior was also not the most memorable. The 2018 update saw a few new tech features added, but the car also trailed its competitors in that regard too, missing industry-standard features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Up to 377 horsepower was available with the hybrid powertrain, again a respectable figure but not an unusual one for the segment.
Even its reliability rating wasn't exceptional – iSeeCars gave the hybrid variant a 7.4, beating the segment average but finishing short of the best in class.
Much like the NSX supercar, the ILX was discontinued in 2023 after a lackluster reception among buyers. However, unlike the NSX, a replacement has already been launched for Acura's small sedan in the Integra, the latest revival of a long-standing enthusiasts' favorite.
While no reliability data is available for the new Integra yet, the ILX proved to be generally fault-free, scoring 7.7 in iSeeCars' rankings. Our review of the facelifted 2019 ILX model confirmed it was an enjoyable car to drive too, with decent handling and a 201 horsepower four-cylinder engine providing enough poke for everyday driving.
We noted that some parts of the car seemed at odds with the entry-level luxury branding –- the dash, in particular, was a low point that seemed better suited to a Honda than an upmarket Acura –- but generally, the ILX made a solid case for itself as a first foray into the brand's range for younger buyers.
The non-hybrid RLX is more reliable than the fuel-sipping electrified variant, scoring 7.8 from iSeeCars' reliability rankings. It's also the less exotic of the two. While the hybrid, which was refreshed alongside the conventional gas car in 2018, used an electric motor and V6 setup derived from the NSX, the regular RLX can claim no such supercar relations. There's less horsepower on offer, too, as the plain gas engine makes 310 horsepower, 67 horses less than the hybrid.
Styling remains essentially the same between the two models, as does the interior and standard equipment. Really, the primary advantage to the non-hybrid RLX is its slightly increased reliability, but at only four percentage points higher ranking, it's not a significant difference. In general, it's a fairly safe bet that most examples of the car should provide thousands of miles of hassle-free driving, whether they benefit from the extra electric assistance or not.
The current generation RDX debuted in 2018 but was subject to a 2022 refresh to keep it competitive against its ever-evolving field of rivals. The cabin is designed to be quieter than ever, with extra sound insulation in key areas to eliminate road noise. In-car tech also gets an upgrade, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard -– a feature that, until relatively recently, was strangely omitted from even some of Acura's top-end models.
The exterior design has also been tweaked, with a revised grille at the front and new exhaust tips at the rear. The RDX sits a step below the MDX in terms of size, features, and pricing, and it's marginally less reliable too, although it's still a top performer. Reliability analysis from iSeeCars saw the RDX awarded an 8.6 rating, putting it at the top of the luxury small SUV segment and making it even more dependable than Acura's range of sedans.
By far Acura's most reliable car according to iSeeCars is the MDX, which gets an exceptional 9.4 rating. The MDX last saw a refresh in 2022 and is impressive in many other ways too. It packs the automaker's AcuraWatch safety package as standard, boasts generous legroom across the first and second rows, and a redesigned dash that's significantly improved over its predecessor. The powertrain remains unchanged from older model years –- a 3.5L V6 making 290 horsepower is the sole non-hybrid option across the standard MDX range.
The MDX isn't without its flaws, however. While improved, we thought the touchpad controlling the infotainment was a little counter-intuitive, and the headroom in the third row was below the best in class. That said, the SUV does make a solid case for itself in the luxury three-row segment and offers enough that both existing fans and newcomers to the Acura brand should find it appealing.
Acura MDX Hybrid
The only Acura to beat the MDX in the reliability rankings is — another MDX. Specifically, the last-generation hybrid version, which defies the trend seen elsewhere in Acura's range to actually be more dependable than its gas-powered counterpart. This is, however, by the smallest of margins, as iSeeCars gives the previous-gen hybrid MDX a score of 9.5, only a single percentage point above the latest MDX.
The MDX Hybrid was retired after the 2020 model year, with the new 2022 generation replacing its space in the model lineup with the sporty MDX Type S. While Acura has kept the door open for the possibility of a new hybrid in the future, for now, Acura's most reliable car is only available in used form. It's not quite as luxurious as the latest MDX, nor does it boast the same level of tech, but it should be just as dependable as anything that's currently on offer in Acura dealerships.