Luxury-car ride with performance-car handling; spacious interior; cutting-edge infotainment, safety and audio options; super-comfy front seats
New model structure is a take or leave it prospect; poor city fuel economy figures; vague brake pedal feel on hybrid model
The 2018 Acura RLX gets refreshed styling front and rear, bringing it inline with other Acura products such as the MDX and TLX. Trim levels are reduced to just two well-equipped models: RLX P-AWS (Precision All-Wheel Steering) and the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive). Traffic Jam Assist is added to the RLX's standard AcuraWatch suite, while a new 10-speed transmission is offered on the base RLX trim. The Sport Hybrid gains more features yet sees a price drop of $4,050 over last year's model.
If you're not all about performance-driving and cutting-edge electronic assistance, we think the base RLX should be enough. The price remains reasonable, and the features are quite impressive. Then again, with a $4,000 price cut, the Sport Hybrid model may be a doable option, bringing better performance and more high-end features such as ventilated seats and the Krell audio system.
The Acura RLX comes in two trims: the RLX and the all-wheel-drive RLX Sport Hybrid.
The RLX ($55,865) includes a power moonroof, active sound control (which uses the audio system to quiet the cabin), the Acura Navigation System with 3D view, AcuraLink, Real-Time Traffic and rerouting and a color multi-information display. Also standard is a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, heated front seats, driver and passenger 12-way power seats with power lumbar support, keyless access with push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate control, 19-inch alloy wheels, a multiview rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, perforated Milano leather seating, a 14-speaker ELS Studio audio system with HDD music storage, Aha and Pandora app compatibility, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors with a reverse tilt-down feature and adaptive cruise control. The Acura Watch suite of safety and driver-assist features brings forward-collision warning and mitigation braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, road-departure mitigation, Traffic Jam Assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Also standard is a full suite of airbags, including a driver's knee airbag.
The RLX Sport Hybrid ($62,865) includes all the features found in the non-hybrid RLX plus a head-up display, an electronic gear selector, electric tri-zone air conditioning with an air quality sensor and LED fog lights. Also standard are the contents from last year's Advanced Package, including heated and cooling front seats, heated rear seats (outboard positions only), a heated steering wheel, a high-end Krell audio system with 14 speakers, Surround View camera, a power rear sunshade, remote start, manual rear-door side sunshades, auto-dimming side mirrors and front and rear parking sensors.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||6 Years/70,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2018 BMW 5 Series -- The 5 Series will cost more but offers far more advanced technology than the RLX. Although the 5 Series' ride tends be a bit on the stiff side, this rear-drive sedan still feels a little more agile in the curves, and it comes with a number of body configurations and engine choices.
2018 Audi A6 -- While the A6 isn't as powerful as the RLX Sport Hybrid, its turbocharged V6 handily outguns the RLX's. The A6's interior and exterior also outshines the RLX's, as does its overall ride and handling.
2018 Infiniti Q70 -- A nicely equipped Q70 costs about the same as the RLX and offers more horsepower but worse fuel economy. The Q70's color palate is rather drab, and its rear seats not as accommodating as the RLX's, although the stretched L models are quite accommodating.
Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- A 2012-2016 E-Class offers plenty of features, power and prestige, but be sure to get a certified pre-owned model, because repairs for a car out of warranty can be pricey.