2019 RLX New Car Test Drive
In the bountiful crop of luxury sedans, the Acura RLX cuts a unique path. It has an advanced powertrain and a high level of passenger comfort, and a subtle shape that doesn't shout its credentials.
Little has changed for the 2019 model year, in the wake of a 2018 refresh. New styling included a massive diamond-shaped grille, along with new LED headlights and taillights.
For 2019, Acura has kept the RLX lineup simple. It sells the RLX with a choice between two powertrains, each incorporating an Advance Package.
Like other Acura models, the RLX comes in two distinct flavors: conventional and hybrid. In the former, a 3.5-liter gasoline V-6 engine develops 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, driving the front wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Acura's Sport Hybrid pairs that V-6 engine to three electric motors and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Offered only with all-wheel drive, the Sport Hybrid boasts a potent 377 total horsepower (combined). Rear-wheel steering is included, promising a tad more confidence when cornering.
Excellent crash-test scores enhance the RLX's family appeal. So does the abundance of active-safety technology.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 RLX a clean sweep: five stars overall, as well as for both frontal and side impacts. Even rollover prevention (a calculated figure) earned five stars.
In 2018, the RLX earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with 'Good'? scores in every crash test except the small-overlap test for the passenger side. Frontal crash prevention was deemed 'Superior,'? while headlights and child-seat anchors scored as 'Acceptable.'?
Each 2019 RLX gets a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warnings. Traffic jam assist also helps accelerate and slow the vehicle at up to 40 mph. Sport Hybrid models include a surround-view camera system and front and rear parking sensors..
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
The 2019 RLX w/Technology Package ($54,900) has the 3.5-liter V-6 with front-wheel drive, and includes leather seat upholstery, heated front seats, keyless start, tri-zone automatic climate control, 14-speaker audio, 19-inch wheels, paddle shifters, and navigation. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, active lane control, traffic-jam assist, and a rearview camera.
The RLX Sport Hybrid w/Advance Package ($61,900) gets Acura's gasoline/electric powertrain with all-wheel drive, and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Included are a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, ventilated front seats, and a Krell 14-speaker audio system..