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Ranking 33 Acura Generations by Reliability

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Gen Years PainRank (?)
33rd TL Gen 3 2004–2008 9.72
32nd TLX Gen 1 2015–2018 9.19
31st MDX Gen 1 2001–2006 5.63
30th MDX Gen 3 2014–2018 5.54
29th TL Gen 2 1999–2003 5.06
28th TL Gen 4 2009–2014 4.35
27th TSX Gen 1 2004–2008 4.29
26th MDX Gen 2 2007–2013 3.99
25th RDX Gen 2 2013–2018 3.5
24th RDX Gen 1 2007–2012 3.46
23rd RSX Gen 1 2002–2006 2.78
22nd TSX Gen 2 2009–2014 2.77
21st CL Gen 2 2001–2003 2.69
20th RLX Gen 1 2014–2018 1.56
19th ILX Gen 1 2013–2018 1.09
18th Legend Gen 2 1991–1995 0.92
17th CL Gen 1 1997–1999 0.83
16th EL Gen 2 0.7
15th Integra Gen 2 1990–1993 0.62
14th RL Gen 1 1996–2004 0.6
13th Integra Gen 3 1994–2001 0.38
12th RL Gen 2 2005–2012 0.33
11th TL Gen 1 1996–1998 0.33
10th ZDX Gen 1 2010–2013 0.33
9th Legend Gen 1 1987–1990 0.3
8th Vigor Gen 3 0.26
7th Integra Gen 1 0.24
6th CSX Gen 1 0.16
5th EL Gen 1 0.1
4th SLX Gen 1 1996–1999 0.05
3rd ILX Hybrid Gen 1 2013–2015 0.0
2nd NSX Gen 1 2000–2005 0.0
1st NSX Gen 2 2018–2018 0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).