The last few weeks of Guilty Pleasures have gone Ford, Oldsmobile, Infiniti… but, really, the Detroit-to-Japan Guilty Pleasure ratio has been way more skewed in Detroit's favor than just 3:1.

The problem is that Japanese cars in recent decades have tended to be heavy on quality (which weakens the "Guilty" part) and light on lovableness (which does a number on the "Pleasure" side), while Detroit has produced an endless stream of cars you shouldn't want… but secretly do want.

Honda is tough, because Soichiro's really early cars (e.g., the Honda 1300) are all so ridiculously cool that everybody approves of them, and the later cars are so mainstream that your neighbors won't even notice them, much less think you're crazy for owning one. But wait--remember the Acura Vigor? The what?

Exactly. The Legend-chassis-based Vigor, with its five-cylinder engine and racy-stiff suspension, seduced approximately zero buyers away from BMW and Lexus showrooms. It looked sort of Buick-like, but you could get a '92 Regal for 16 grand, or about $8,000 less than the Vigor.

Because nobody knew what the heck a Vigor was, by about 1997 depreciation was fast; you can get nice ones for sub-Civic prices nowadays. I might have to find myself a clean Vigor, just so I can keep saying "No, it's not a Legend!"

Acura Vigor

Acura Vigor