2018 RLX Sport Hybrid New Car Test Drive
The 2018 Acura RLX sedan features subtly revised styling that improves its looks and upgraded interior materials. The standard V6 model gets a new 10-speed transmission.
RLX offers two drivetrains: front-wheel-drive V6 or all-wheel-drive hybrid gas-electric.
The standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that's been in the RLX since 2014, making 310 horsepower. It's front-wheel drive, and for 2018 gets a new 10-speed automatic, replacing the previous 6-speed. It gets an EPA-rated 20 mpg City, 29 Highway, or 23 Combined.
The available hybrid powertrain borrows technology from the spectacular Acura NSX sports car/supercar. The all-wheel-drive RLX Sport Hybrid combines the 3.5-liter V6 with a paddle-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and three electric motors for a total of 377 horsepower. The hybrid rates 28/29/28 mpg, indicating it's much more efficient around town.
Premium gasoline is required for both models.
Safety equipment includes rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. RLX Sport Hybrids add a surround-view camera system and parking sensors. For 2018, there is Traffic-jam Assist, which provides some autonomous driving by following the car ahead at speeds up to 40 mph. Safety scores are top-notch with five stars in every test from the NHTSA, and a top Good score in every test from the IIHS, who make the RLX a Top Safety Pick.
The 2018 Acura RLX ($55,865) comes with leather upholstery, heated power front seats, keyless ignition, navigation, ELS premium audio, and the safety equipment.
The RLX Sport Hybrid ($62,865) adds surround-view camera system, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, front and rear parking sensors, and 14-speaker Krell audio with crystal-clear sound.