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Honda Impresses in American Customer Satisfaction Index, Acura Disappoints

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The 2016 Honda Civic Coupe features a sporty exterior design and it’s available with a new turbo engine

The 2016 Honda Civic coupe

In a split that reflects recent sales figures, Honda was one of the top-ranking automakers in the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 2016 Automobile Report, while Acura finished near the bottom.

In a survey of 3,776 car customers, Honda scored 86 out of 100 possible points, making it second only to Lincoln in customer satisfaction. The company’s luxury brand, Acura, scored a paltry 76 points, putting it last on a list of 25 different

The way that Honda and Acura seem to be headed in opposite directions is best represented by the change in score from 2015 to 2016. In the last year, Honda improved from 80 to 86 points, representing an 8% increase. Acura, meanwhile, fell from 83 to 76, good for an 8% decrease.

2017 Acura NSX

The 2017 NSX, which Acura hopes will reverse its fortunes

Honda’s trouncing of Acura is indicative of another trend noted by this year’s ACSI report: non-luxury brands proving even more popular with consumers than some luxury brands.

“It’s everything, from better audio systems to GPS to crash-avoidance systems,” said David VanAmburg, managing director of ACSI, when discussing the rise of non-luxury cars with the Columbus Dispatch. “That seems to be having a lot of resonance, and Honda is one of the automakers that are leading the charge.”

However, the reasons for Acura’s last-place showing aren’t immediately clear—even for VanAmburg.

“Acura has been a strange one,” VanAmburg said. “It’s been kind of a puzzler to us.”

The automaker apparently has a habit of scoring big one year and flailing the next, so it is possible that Acura may bounce back next year. For now, though, expect the executives at Honda Division to be popping champagne bottles, while the folks at Acura Division put on a pot of coffee and try to figure out what they’re doing wrong.