Luxurious interior; loaded with technology; powerful V6; dynamic handling with all-wheel steering; proven Acura reliability
The 2014 Acura RLX fills a void left by the departure of the RL luxury sedan in 2012. The RLX is powered by a 3.5L direct-injection aluminum V6 making 310 horsepower and 272 ft-lb of torque, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control. With a curb weight of 4,000 pounds, the RLX isn't light, but the powertrain works well to propel the car to 60 mph in under seven seconds, all while returning an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
The RLX features unit body construction and rides on independent double wishbone suspension with lower control arms up front and an independent multi-link with coil springs and a stabilizer bar in the rear. Acura's Agile Handling Assist System provides active braking of individual wheels to assist in cornering, while the crown jewel of the RLX's dynamic handling is Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). The system enables the rear wheels to adjust toe angles independently of each other, while working in conjunction with Agile Handling Assist and Vehicle Stability Assist. Four-wheel 12-inch disc brakes provide stopping power, while 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels hold road-hugging high-performance all-season tires. Up front, "Jewel Eye" LED headlights provide what Acura claims to be a whiter, brighter beam than either HID or halogen lamps.
Standard equipment in the RLX includes leather seating, front 12-way power seats, a premium 404-watt 10-speaker audio system, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, a multi-view rear camera, Forward Collision Warning system and a Lane Departure Warning. The RLX with Navigation adds navigation with voice recognition, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic and a color multi-information display. A Krell Audio Package adds a 450-watt 14-speaker Krell sound system, power rear sunshade, and rear door sunshades. Finally, the top-of-the-line RLX with Advance Package includes 6-way heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, as well as a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keeping Assist System and Adaptive Cruise Control, all of which work to keep the car out of harm's way through a series of alarms, controlled braking and measured following distance.
Recent Model Changes
The Acura RLX is brand new for 2014. As Acura's flagship model, the V6-powered, front-wheel-drive luxury sedan replaces the RL, which went away in 2012. Styling is angular up front in keeping with the Acura lineup, while the rest of the car flows. A new direct-injection 3.5L V6 making 310 horsepower and 272 ft-lb of torque is underhood that is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Acura has outfitted the new car with Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), which provides the rear wheels with up to two degrees of toe angle adjustment. The RLX comes with a base price of $48,450 and can be equipped with a host of technology packages, bringing the total up to $60,450.
The Acura RLX is a refined, capable luxury sedan in a crowded segment, but it more than holds its own. A powerful V6 and smooth-shifting transmission provide spirited performance, while Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer system gives the RLX a sure-footedness not found in other front-wheel-drive cars. With loads of impressive amenities and safety features, and a base price under $50,000, the all-new RLX gives buyers a new contender to consider against competitors like the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz E350.