2015 Acura RLX – High-Tech car that lacks soul
It is hard to reach the perfection level of any German premium limousines. Acura has been trying to do that for years now and their latest vehicle to come close to a premium limousine is luxurious RLX. Introduced in 2013 as a 2014 year model, the RLX is a D segment vehicle. Its dimensions echo those from other similarly luxurious vehicles, but the Acura RLX lacks one important ingredient offered by other luxurious vehicles. The 2015 Acura RLX is a front wheel drive vehicle and, if we disregard the technology integrated into it for a second, that fact somehow makes the RLX less desirable in comparison with other similarly sized luxurious vehicles. However, the Japanese really did their best to make the RLX as good as possible. The main architecture of the vehicle supports the newest technology such as smart cruise control system, lane keeping assist and other such mordern features. Furthermore, the suspension is tuned to provide sporty experience for the driver. Aluminum front suspension with a double wishbone setup along with the rear independent suspension with the innovative All Wheel Steer system promises above average driving characteristics. Acura even mentioned that the RLX is not all about comfort. Some independent test drivers confirmed that the ride is rather harsh on the optional 19 inch wheels. All of this remained the same for the 2015 model year vehicle. However, Acura made some changes to the trim levels of the 2015 Acura RLX model. On the higher grade models, Acura integrated more luxurious equipment such as heated steering wheel, while five different trim levels remained in offer.
Being in the segment with the best cars from the US and Europe, the 2015 Acura RLX has to have an engine powerful enough to provide the car with impressive performance figures. Unfortunately, the sporty pedigree that Acura tried to cherish with the RLX was somehow avoided in the engine department. Don’t get us wrong, a 3.5 liter V6 with VTEC and Variable Cylinder Management is a state of the art engine. It develops 310 HP and it provides fuel consumption levels of 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. However, the acceleration of 6,3 seconds to 60 mph is only average for the segment. Thanks to a cylinder deactivation technology the engine can be very fuel efficient. Basically, the engine stops burning fuel in half of its cylinders when the maximum power is not needed. This way, the 3.5-liter V6 basically becomes a 1.75 liter three cylinder engine. The transmission between the modes is seamless and the driver cannot feel the pistons stop or start to move during the drive. All in all, the 2015 Acura RLX is a nice full sized luxurious sedan. It clearly lacks the soul and image of German and US luxurious car brands but it offers very comfortable cabin and fuel efficient engine. With exceptional safety features and advanced suspension with some very interesting features (such as four wheel steering), the RLX comes close to the refinement level of premium cars. The hybrid version just completes the picture as that car offers a four wheel drive.