I wanted a good sounding engine, reliability, and refinement as the three dominating factors in that order. I was sick and tired of hearing a nasty exhaust, the constant problems, and lack of refinement that my inherited 04 explorer had. This Acura is better in every way except cargo/seating capacity that I never needed. It is especially fun to drive; it begs you to drive it hard. The deep, refined growl of the engine is priceless, though the effervescent purring of the I4 would have satisfied me. Handling is excellent, but the ride is quite stiffer than a Lexus, and it is louder at high speeds. At least you won't fall asleep! Not a great city commuter, but very fun for highway/mountainous.
Refinement, acceleration when necessary, very fun to drive especially on mountainous roads, reliability; in approx. one year 10,000 miles, an oil change was performed and nothing bad like engine/transmission/tires/brakes/electric problems/significantly annoying rattles found, though considering replacing tires/brakes/battery in another 4 or 5 years, assuming I still have it. (most likely will) Also, I am a very tolerant and patient individual, but noise/suspension are within acceptable limits in my eyes. This for the money is a great value in my eyes, especially compared to the German competitors. I'm 5' 10" and easily find a comfortable driving position.
When driven hard in the city, mpg can get as low as 13 MPG! When you take it easy, its more like 20. On the highway, 23 MPG while going 80+ mph is realistic, but its possible to get over 30 if you try. Trust me though, this car is so fun to push, it's both worth the fuel economy and hard to get good fuel economy! The wide spaced transmission and lack of high-tech direct injection are likely to blame. Go for the I4 if you are willing to sacrifice the at-times excessive performance for much better efficiency. The backseat is too small for families of greater than 4, and with aged children, but I won't have to worry about that for years, so it's okay for me. Some will like less noise also.
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