Acura has long had trouble differentiating itself from its lesser Honda siblings. Come 2014, it is going to have even more trouble, assuming Honda's new Urban SUV looks anything like the concept once it reaches production.
The upcoming 2015-model-year subcompact crossover will share its bones with the Honda Fit, which will also be all-new at the same time. However, the new crossover seems to share its design more with Acura than any Honda. If there is one bit that clearly comes from the big H's playbook, it's the grille – the one on the Urban SUV Concept looks like it has come straight from the 2013 Accord PHEV. The rest of the design is pure Acura, though.
At first glance, the Urban SUV looks like an evolution of the first-generation Acura RDX. Short overhangs and a short, muscular body are what remind us so much of the original RDX. From the B-pillar back, the Urban SUV Concept looks like a scaled down version of the current Acura RDX.
Rightly emphasized in the teaser photo, the Urban SUV's profile is dominated by an eye-catching, slashing character line that sweeps down from the C-pillar across the door skins. The greenhouse arches in a similar fashion to the RDX and MDX, although it is more rounded and sporty-looking than the more-pedestrian RDX. Swollen wheel arches are filled with flashy wheels, but, honestly, go unnoticed in person thanks to the swage line and oversized grille.
Around back, the taillights are exaggerated Acura – the luxury brand's club-shaped taillights dip low on the Honda concept for the turn signals and reverse lights. It's clear that Honda's designers channeled – and chiseled – the RDX's tail to create the Urban SUV Concept.
The RDX-lite design tack could actually be a smart move on Honda's part. The Acura brand has some cache over Honda, and this me-too look on an entry-level crossover may give it an aura above its sub-CR-V price point.