It’s the worst-kept secret in the world that due to sibling rivalry, shared nameplates, the changing whims and tastes of two diverse continents and pure brand snobbery, that the Acura TSX is merely what the Europeans call the Honda Accord. But not even the Euro-chic Accord is safe from fledgling sales and emissions requirements—and if that casts into doubt the European Accord’s survival, what does that say about us?
Not that much, in fact. Turns out, we love the Acura TSX, and Honda won’t want to forget that fact.
In the UK, Accord sales used to hold 10,000 per year. Last year, Honda only sold 2,500. In England the Accord competes in the “D-sector,” which encompasses medium-sized family cars like the Ford Fusion and Volkswagen Passat. Owners are taxed based on the amount of carbon dioxide their cars emit—and with rising taxes based on CO2 emissions, many are downsizing to compacts like the Volkswagen Golf.
On the flip side, owners are also buying SUVs large and small, replacing their staid four-doors with all the attributes that made SUVs popular in America in the 1990s.
And what’s seemingly the last nail in the coffin is that Accord is still imported from Japan, a pricey move for Honda. Its Swindon plant may build 93 percent of Hondas sold in the UK, but the Accord isn’t one of them. The strengthening yen is a problem that Honda has to deal with, which we’ve seen in North America.
So when British car magazine Autocar called up Honda of England and asked them about the future of its bread-and-butter lineup, the news was bleak: “there are no concrete plans” for the Accord. Which means that the future of our dear Acura TSX is in even further jeopardy than that. Meanwhile in the States, Honda wouldn’t comment on future products, and Acura firmly maintains a separation from Honda’s operations overseas.
Here’s the kicker, however: In America, the Acura TSX still sells at a frenetic clip. Last year, Acura sold 30,935 TSXs, and this year, it’s on track to sell even more: this past June Acura sold 2,602 examples, an increase of almost 800 TSXs from June of last year. Acura sales surged by 48 percent this June compared to 2011′s, and the TSX—wagon and sedan alike—held 19.5 percent of the division’s sales. Not bad for a 3-year-old car that held its own against the likes of the brand-new RDX and ILX.
Honda sells the Accord in the UK, most of Europe, Canada, U.S.A., Japan, and China (as the Spiror). In England, the Honda Accord starts at the equivalent of $34,000, which is right on par with the base price of the premium badging on the Acura TSX (at $30,010). If the Euro Accord goes, we’ll be sad to see the TSX go—it’s a compelling car to drive, with balanced handling and a rev-happy engine—but at the same time, there’s an inkling of hope that we won’t see the TSX going anywhere.