The cars we loved.
Poor Vigor, when it was launched in 1992 to join the Legend and the Integra in the fledging Acura Division’s lineup, it was all but over shadowed. After all, the Legend had established that the Japanese could build premium cars with performance and quality to rival the Europeans, while the Integra was building a reputation as being a true drivers car. The Legend had also distanced itself from the top Honda sedan, the Accord by being larger and having distinctive (if not Honda bland) styling.
Honda had hoped the market would move towards lower priced alternatives to European near luxury cars. It would eventually, but Acura was in the right place with the wrong car as new entries from Lexus and Infiniti eclipsed it in performance, comfort and passenger room. The Vigor was criticized for having a harsh ride among other things. Attempts were made to make the Vigor more Lexus like (soft ride), but it was already too late as Acura buyers either went upscale for the Legend or down market for the sportier Integra sports coupe, if they stayed in the Acura showroom at all. After sales and customer response started to take a beating, Acura decided to pull the plug on the Vigor after just 3 model years. A rare failure for Honda, the unloved Vigor was replaced with the more popular TL in 1996.
Too bad this car never really took off in America. Acura got the formula right with the TL. It’s more distinctive styling and improved room, comfort and performance was just want the Vigor needed.