In 1986 Honda introduced its luxury division, Acura, focusing on luxury, comfort, and performance with the functionality and reliability of the Honda brand.
Because Honda makes Acura, many potential buyers are curious about what’s under the hood of an Acura vehicle.
In many cases, Honda and Acura vehicles use the same parts. However, to be interchangeable, the cars must be of the same generation, have the same engine, or be the same car with different interiors.
What are the Differences Between Honda and Acura?
Honda is a brand with broad appeal. They make affordable, functional cars that generally run well and last a long time.
Honda created the Acura and their entrance into the luxury car market. Acura focuses on comfort, beauty, performance, and luxury, while the Honda brand is all about engineering, practicality, and reliability.
Honda vehicles are almost always less expensive than Acuras. Even in today’s vehicle market, a new Honda can usually be found for under $20,000.
The same can’t be said for the Acura.
The main reason for the price differential is the standard features available in an Acura.
Almost every Acura comes with power seats, seat warmers and coolers, and other “luxury” features like dash screens, nicer interiors, and wheels.
Acuras may also have upgraded parts in their transmission, drive train, axles, exhaust, etc., to make the vehicles quieter and smoother to drive.
When it comes to safety, both brands have great records. Usually, Honda has around a 4-star safety rating while Acuras have a 5-star rating.
The difference in rating is again related to Acura’s upgraded features.
Both lines come with lane-departure warnings, forward collision avoidance, and backup cameras. But, Acuras have more safety features and more complex computers than their Honda counterparts.
Hondas and Acuras also have the same safety systems, though under different names to match their brands.
Both vehicles are dependable, but despite the extra features, Honda usually beats out Acura.
Honda has some of the most reliable engines on the market, and while Acuras shares engines with Hondas, the luxury brand requires more maintenance.
Both vehicle brands have no problem reaching 300,000 miles (482,000 km). One record-breaking Acura has racked up over 900,000 miles (1,448,000 km), but it isn’t difficult to find Honda owners with a vehicle clocking over 400,000 miles (643,000 km).
Annual maintenance for the cars is similar, sitting at around $500 per year (a Honda is slightly less, while an Acura is slightly more).
Despite added features or upgraded systems, Hondas and Acuras are basically the same. Each line of vehicles that Acura produces has a parallel version from Honda.
That means many parts are interchangeable, with the biggest difference being the serial number. An Acura-manufactured part will generally start with an “A,” while a Honda-manufactured part will usually start with an “H.”
A well-maintained car from either brand will drive well for a significant length of time and shouldn’t cause too many problems when driven safely.
Is a Honda or Acura Better For You?
Deciding whether a Honda or an Acura is better for you depends on what you’re looking for in a vehicle. Both brands will work well for driving around town, running errands, or taking the kids to school.
Hondas, however, are more suited to family trips and outings than Acuras. A Honda vehicle typically has more storage and luggage space.
That being said, Hondas aren’t nearly as comfortable as Acuras. The extra attention to detail in the interior of Acuras gives them the edge when it comes to how good it feels to drive them.
Acuras also typically have better versions of the parts than a Honda, beating out Honda in the performance category.
These differences can be as simple as a different grade of brakes, a better suspension, or higher-quality parts in the engine.
Yet, because of how similar the cars are, it comes down to personal taste and usage when determining which one is better.
If you want a nicer interior, more features, and a smoother ride, you should go for an Acura. They’re excellent vehicles if the price tag doesn’t scare you away.
If luxury and performance aren’t your top priorities, a Honda is an excellent choice. They’re durable, well-built, and extremely functional.
Hondas are also more common on the resale market, and you should have no problem finding a good-quality second-hand vehicle. Acura sells fewer cars on the secondary market, partly because of the price difference.
In many cases, Honda and Acura parts are interchangeable because the two brands share many engineering similarities.
The Acura is a luxury car, though, and may have upgraded parts that a Honda does not; therefore, not every component can be swapped.
Before exchanging parts between cars, confirm they will fit and work properly.
In all likelihood, upgrading a Honda with an Acura part will be easier than getting a Honda part onto an Acura.