Crossovers

Acura builds subcompact luxury CDX for China only

It feels like the CDX would do well in America, where buyers are picking up both small SUVs and luxury vehicles by the handful.

Acura

Yet another piece of forbidden fruit.

Acura

America is no stranger to luxury vehicles and small crossovers. In fact, there are more than a few vehicles on sale in the US that fall into both categories. It's a bit puzzling, then, why Acura just unveiled CDX with the intention of selling it only in China.

Debuting at the Beijing auto show, the CDX is pretty straightforward -- it's a subcompact luxury crossover, which appears to be based on the HR-V, given its proportions and a few visual similarities. Acura's done a good job pretending this car doesn't exist. You're not going to find it on a press site, beyond a five-sentence blurb on Honda's global site.

A 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine powers the CDX, assumingly the same motor that currently powers the higher-trim Honda Civic. Its dual-clutch transmission is likely borrowed from other Acura vehicles, and...that's it. Is the interior nice? Nobody knows! But it's going on sale this summer, and it will be built and sold exclusively in China.

What's strange is that the US doesn't appear to be an eventual destination for the CDX. If it's close to the dimensions of the HR-V (169 inches long, 70 in. wide, 63 in. tall), that would put it in the same field as the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. Considering that Audi sold 13,229 Q3s in 2015, and Mercedes sold 25,593 GLAs in that same period, there's definitely a business case to make.

Or is there? Acura's RDX, which is already on sale in the US, has dimensions similar to all the aforementioned vehicles, and it's selling like hotcakes. Acura pushed 51,026 of these bad boys out the door in 2015, and it's likely that numbers would suffer if a similar, albeit slightly smaller vehicle were to come on the market. Acura probably just doesn't see a wide enough space for the CDX to make business sense. For now, at least.