New for 2015The Acura RLX remains largely unchanged for the 2015 model year.
Vehicle OverviewThe Acura RLX is the automaker’s luxury flagship sedan that fits above the TLX in the lineup. The RLX comes in standard front-wheel drive form with all-wheel steering, or in the automaker's so-called Super Handling all-wheel-drive hybrid model.
SummaryThe 2015 Acura RLX is powered by a 310-hp 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 273 lb-ft of torque, and gets paired with a six-speed automatic that drives the front wheels, for an EPA-estimated 20/31 mpg city/highway. Opting for the hybrid doesn’t mean the typical compromised driving experience -- instead, the RLX Hybrid is a borderline sport-AWD arrangement with three electric motors, two driving the rear wheels. Acura pairs the standard V-6 with the trio of electric motors for a combined system power of 377 hp that gets channeled through a seven-speed dual clutch automatic, all for an EPA-estimated 28/32 mpg. Acura claims V-8 power and I-4 efficiency, and with the way the hybrid delivers the power and torque the only thing giving it away is the sound.
The non-hybrid RLX focuses more on comfort than sport, with plenty of rear-seat space and a subdued exterior design. Some notable 2015 RLX features include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitors, head-up display, collision mitigation braking system, LED headlights, dual color screens in the center stack (7-inch infotainment and 8-inch navigation screen), and sensors that warn of danger in every usual direction.
The 2015 Acura RLX has not been rated by the NHTSA, but is considered a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.
What We ThinkThe 2015 Acura RLX is the latest luxury flagship sedan, one that showcases a number of new technologies and seeks to compete in a small, but well-defined, niche. The RLX Hybrid SH-AWD does the gas/electric combination in the way we like it. At a combined 377 horsepower, the RLX Hybrid is the most powerful sedan ever built by Acura. “Performance is exemplary. If not for the sound, it would be easy to think all this power and torque is coming from a smooth V-8,” we said, in a Driven Review of a RLX Hybrid.
“The RLX is smooth first," we noted, "with the handling coming next in its list of priorities.” The sport mode is wholly satisfying and even the “base” RLX, with its FWD and rear-wheel steering, only exhibits mild understeer.
- Great combination of power and efficiency with the Hybrid
- All the technology bells and whistles
- Luxurious interior
You Won’t Like
- Mild understeer on FWD model
- Adaptive cruise control requires driver input when the car completely stops
- Where’s the 9-speed automatic from the TLX?
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