Acura is an upscale automaker known for offering cars with impressive levels of luxury, features and performance. Generally, Acura cars are not considered as glitzy or as glamorous as the premium European makes. Depending on your viewpoint, this can be a positive or a negative trait, but either way there's no denying the quality of Acura's vehicles, nor their compelling prices and overall value. The company also continually scores well in J.D. Power quality and satisfaction surveys. The history of Acura is relatively short. Parent company Honda introduced the Acura brand to the U.S. market in 1986 in an effort to create a separate luxury division for its products. At first, it was just a two-car show: the Legend sedan, which was the first true Japanese luxury car sold in America, and the Integra sport coupe and sedan. Though essentially a marketing creation for the North American market (there are still no "Acuras" sold in Europe or Japan, only Hondas), the Acura brand was immediately successful. Consumers liked the features, performance and upscale image of Acura cars, along with the fact that Acuras were backed by Honda's reputation for reliability and low ownership costs. In 1991, Acura introduced its crown jewel: the NSX sports car. The all-aluminum NSX was a true rival to the era's top performers and, in typical Acura fashion, undercut them in terms of price. As Acura's product line grew in the 1990s, however, the company struggled a bit with the brand image it hoped to project. Some of its products were duds and it risked alienating loyal customers when it replaced the Legend and Integra names with alphanumeric designations. The company quickly keyed into consumers' rising interest in luxury SUVs in the mid-'90s with the SLX. Unfortunately, the SLX was a rebadged version of an Isuzu SUV and its quality did not match customers' expectations. For the new millennium, however, Acura was fully dedicated toward revamping its product range. An all-new SUV called the MDX debuted in 2001. Designed in-house by Acura, it incorporated numerous family-friendly features, including a third-row seat, and was immediately popular with consumers. The following year, the company introduced the successor to the Integra, the new Acura RSX sport coupe. Acura introduced an all-new entry-level sport sedan called the TSX for the 2004 model year. That year Acura also performed a complete redesign of its most popular model, the midsize TL sedan, followed in 2005 with a redesign of its flagship RL luxury sedan. All three cars are entertaining to drive, packed with technology and thousands of dollars less expensive than their European competitors.