2020 Acura RLX

MSRP range: $54,900 - $61,900
Edmunds suggests you pay$46,383

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2020 Acura RLX Review

  • Quiet, comfortable interior
  • Spacious cabin and seating, especially for rear passengers
  • Long list of standard safety and convenience features
  • Dual-screen infotainment system is outdated and nonintuitive
  • Interior design looks dated
  • Subpar ride and handling for the class
  • The hybrid fails to offer standout efficiency
  • The RLX carries over unchanged for 2020
  • Part of the first RLX generation introduced for 2014

Blingy crossovers may have taken over the landscape for the time being, but the luxury sedan still carries a certain savoir faire that cemented its place as a status symbol long ago. So it would seem there's room for a rival to the BMWs and Lexuses of the world, especially one from Acura, the company responsible for the exotic NSX, backed by Honda build quality and reliability.

Unfortunately, that sedan is the RLX. The flagship Acura sedan is well-made, offers a strong engine and comes with loads of standard features to undercut the competition. But its ride quality is not befitting of a luxury car, especially against heavy hitters from Audi, Cadillac and Genesis. The infotainment system is not only outdated but also confusing to use. An optional Sport Hybrid version offers dual electric motors but with slightly improved fuel economy, less trunk space and a smaller gas tank. It amounts to little considering the substantial leap in price.

Buyers looking for a good entry point to the luxury segment will find things to like. The interior is comfortable and spacious, with materials of a higher order than what's used in most sedans on the road. But the RLX doesn't stand out, and in many areas it falls noticeably short in a crowded field. The car hasn't been significantly updated since it first debuted in 2014. And it shows.

Which RLX does Edmunds recommend?

The entry-level RLX P-AWS has a reasonable starting price for its class and comes bearing a long list of standard features. It fits the bill for buyers in need of a spacious, comfortable sedan and not much else. Performance and fuel efficiency are comparable enough to the Sport Hybrid model that you're not missing out on much by opting for the base.

Acura RLX models

Acura offers only two trim levels on the 2020 RLX. The first is the RLX P-AWS, a well-equipped front-wheel-drive sedan with all-wheel steering. The second is the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, which upgrades to all-wheel drive and a hybrid powertrain, as well as a bevy of standard luxury and safety features to justify a big bump in price.

The entry RLX P-AWS offers an array of standard luxury features, coupled with a trick up its sleeve. The sedan is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine (310 hp, 272 lb-ft) mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Though it's front-wheel-drive, it also has rear-wheel steer, meaning the rear wheels will subtly turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels to help the back of the car swing around turns. Leather-trimmed, heated front seats that can be adjusted 12 ways are standard. So are navigation and a suite of driving safety aids.

One step above that is the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, which adds a hybrid powertrain and front and rear electric motors, giving the car all-wheel drive. Though both trims are powered by the same engine, the lithium-ion battery in the Sport Hybrid model ups total output (377 hp, 341 lb-ft). Power is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for better performance. A premium audio system and parking sensors are among the standard features on a long list of upgrades.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Acura RLX.

Average user rating: 3.0 stars
2 total reviews
5 star reviews: 50%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 50%

Trending topics in reviews

    Most helpful consumer reviews

    5/5 stars, End of the rainbow
    Erv ,
    P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A)
    I been driving Honda/Acura products for the past 30 years trouble free. This is the last year of an outstanding car. I compared the RL/RLX to other luxury cars, Acura won each time.
    1/5 stars, Poor reliability
    Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM)
    I had my first Acura in 1990- the Legend. Loved that car and since then I had own 2MDX, TSX ( I still have) and RLX from Acura brand and several Lexus including LS, IS and ES. I initially loved the RLX hybrid as it checked all the boxes I was looking for. That was short lived. It is plaques with random software issues with brakes, battery total discharge within 72 hours to 96 hours. If I leave the car at the airport, it is guaranteed to be dead by the time I come back 3 days later. At home you need a trickle charger connected just in case and also keep portable jump starter just in case. I feel like this car is always in ICU.now I have a brake problem that has voice message to pull the car over and get it towed as brakes may fail! The dealer has no clue how to fix this after multiple attempts other than saying it is probably a software issue ( probably really!). I am trying to get Acura Customer service involved and see what happens. It is extremely frustrating that I have 60k dead weight under warranty plus extended warranty on a car I don’t feel safe. I will update in couple of weeks.

    2020 Acura RLX video

    SPEAKER 1: The Acura NSX is a high tech super car that uses hybrid technology to create an exhilarating driving experience. But have you ever wondered what it would be like if it had four doors and the drivetrain was backwards? Well, wonder no more, because this is the 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid. Up front, the RLX receives a new hood. It receives a new front end and new grill that inherits Acura's new styling language, the thing that you're seeing on the MDX and NSX. It retains the Jewel Eye headlights, but it gets new head light pods that include some LED turn signals and LED daytime running lights. You also get this new chin spoiler that ties into the side skirt. You have new 19-inch wheels. Got a hybrid badge, in case you forget you bought a hybrid. And around back you have all-LED tail lights that are a new design with a new rear end look. Now, mechanically this car is related to the NSX, because it takes the electric motors that drive the NSX's front wheels and sticks them in the back to help guide the car through turns. It takes the V6 that the NSX had in its middle, replaces it with seats, and sticks the V6 under the hood where it's assisted by another electric motor and drives the front wheel. The whole thing makes 377 horsepower and returns 28 miles per gallon, which isn't bad. If you are a Japanese car nerd or an '80s and '90s luxury car nerd, you remember the Acura Legend. In the mid '80s, when Acura was still a very new car company, Honda brought the Legend Sedan over. And it was an important car for them, because it both helped define what Acura could be in terms of a luxury car company. It was also the first V6 in a production Honda car. The Legend eventually became the Acura RL, and the Acura RL eventually became this, the Acura RLX, which is actually going to be the Legend in Japan. Over the life of the RL and the RLX, the criticisms levied against this car have remained pretty consistent. It doesn't have a V8. It's not a rear-wheel drive. It's not quite as luxurious feeling or as sporty or as exciting to look at as some of its German competitors. With this refresh, Acura is hoping to address some of those concerns and make this a car that stands up a little better against its European competition. For 2018, Acura updated the interior, making some tweaks to the design and improving some of the material quality. So all the touch points feel pretty premium. It's a quiet interior. These new seats are comfortable. In the Sport Hybrid they're heated and cooled. You get a full suite of driver aids and active safety features. There's a lot of content in this car. The overall design doesn't have quite the same wow factor as the more recently redesigned E-Class or 5 Series. This infotainment system really lags behind the competition. The two-screen setup makes sense in some situations. It's nice to be able to look at your GPS directions and be able to change radio stations or adjust the music or whatever else. But the interface isn't very user friendly. The voice controls don't work super well. And it's just not as fully featured as the offerings from some competitors. So the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid works a little differently from other luxury hybrid cars. You get a V6 engine up front that's coupled with a seven-speed automatic transmission that has an electric motor attached to it to help boost the power from the V6. Where the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive comes in is this car takes the electric motors that in the NSX drive the front wheels, and moves them to the back. So each of the rear wheels in this car has an electric motor that can provide power to it. And that means that when you're going through turns, it really helps push the car around. And for as big and heavy a car as this is, that means that it corners really competently. And I mean it just goes on these twisty roads. So in the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid, in normal mode, at low speed, it will actually crawl along just using the electric motors. And in this car, when the gas engine kicks in during normal driving, it's actually pretty smooth. It's pretty unobtrusive. The one place where it's noticeable is if you're at a stop and the car decides that it needs to kick the engine on to charge the batteries. And that's when you sort of feel the engine start up and you hear it running so that the batteries can get juice. The RLX suspension is actually really nice. It absorbs small imperfections in the road really well, and it provides a pretty comfortable ride that I like a lot. It does-- On some road features you get bounce out of it, and that makes it feel a little unsettled. But that doesn't actually affect the performance that much. As much as some of the competitors have more controlled body roll and a ride that feels a little more buttoned down and connected, the RLX, thanks to this Sport Hybrid system, is surprisingly capable. It's really its own sort of fun. I think it's a different fun from the German sedans. It's that feeling of a big comfy sedan that just somehow magically will push itself around a corner faster than you would expect. The RLX's back seat is pretty spacious. There's a lot of leg room here, and I'd say headroom is average for the class. It's what I'd expect. The seat itself is comfortable, and it's heated as well. You get this power rear sunshade and this tricky side-- Yeah, look at that. That's almost as fun as driving the car. Not. The other thing they did for 2018 was they reduced the size of the battery, which means that the trunk has gotten slightly larger. It's still not as practical as a non-hybrid car. The rear seats don't fall down and there's no pass through, so you're definitely giving up a little bit of practicality here. Unlike some of my coworkers, I'm not terribly concerned with the outward appearance of a car. I figure once you're inside driving, you don't have to look at it. So I'll leave that up to you. On the inside, it's comfortable. It's quiet. It's quick. And it's surprisingly capable. It doesn't have quite the wow factor in here that you get from the newest generation of something like an E-Class or 5 Series. And this infotainment system is definitely just behind what's available in the class. The other thing they've done that's smart is they've reduced the cost of the Sport Hybrid trim by $4,000 for 2018. This car comes basically fully equipped, and it undercuts the cost of its competitors pretty significantly. I think that's a smart move for them, and It will make this car a little more competitive on the market. I like this car. It's a kind of fun that I appreciate, and I like the comfort that you get here. The drivetrain is an impressive piece of technology, and it works really well in the real world. But there's no denying that the impression from the inside is that this car is just a little behind the curve when you look at the competitive class. We're looking forward to getting this car back to the office so we can do a full test on it and tell you all about it. For more information, check out edmunds.com to find our full rating and review of the 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid.

    2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid Test Drive

    NOTE: This video is about the 2018 Acura RLX, but since the 2020 Acura RLX is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

    Features & Specs

    Base MSRP
    MPG & Fuel
    20 City / 29 Hwy / 23 Combined
    Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gal. capacity
    5 seats
    Type: front wheel drive
    Transmission: 10-speed shiftable automatic
    V6 cylinder
    Horsepower: 310 hp @ 6500 rpm
    Torque: 272 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
    Basic Warranty
    4 yr./ 50000 mi.
    Length: 198.1 in. / Height: 57.7 in. / Width: 74.4 in.
    Curb Weight: 3977 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 14.9 cu.ft.
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    Our experts’ favorite RLX safety features:

    Adaptive Cruise Control
    Lets you set a desired speed and maintain distance between you and the vehicle ahead, even bringing you to a complete stop.
    Collision Mitigation Braking System
    Alerts you of obstacles detected ahead. Provides visual alerts first and will automatically brake if you don't react.
    Lane Keeping Assist System
    Detects lane markings and will guide the car back to the middle if you begin to drift out of your lane.

    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.7%

    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Roof Strength Test
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test

    Acura RLX vs. the competition

    2020 Acura RLX

    2020 Acura RLX

    2020 Acura TLX

    2020 Acura TLX

    Acura RLX vs. Acura TLX

    Both sedans suffer from outdated technology and bland driving characteristics. The RLX holds the edge for its enormous interior space and standard V6 engine. However, a TLX can be optioned up to the same V6 and several enticing features that still leave it priced well below the RLX.

    Compare Acura RLX & Acura TLX features 

    Acura RLX vs. Honda Accord

    Though the Accord is a more pedestrian sedan, it holds several distinct advantages over the RLX. For one, it's much more fun to drive. Ride quality and handling are leagues better in the Honda, even on models that are nearly half the price of the RLX. Newer infotainment and more accessible storage are also strengths in areas where the RLX struggles. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Honda Accord.

    Compare Acura RLX & Honda Accord features 

    Acura RLX vs. Lexus GS 350

    The Lexus GS checks just about every box a luxury sedan buyer is looking for. Its interior is properly sumptuous, and the smooth ride easily justifies its attractive starting price. There is a performance F Sport model with upgraded suspension, brakes and styling. The biggest drawback is the infotainment system, but the RLX has its own issues in that department.

    Compare Acura RLX & Lexus GS 350 features 


    Is the Acura RLX a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 RLX both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Acura RLX fuel economy, so it's important to know that the RLX gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg to 28 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that carrying capacity for the RLX ranges from 12.0 to 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Acura RLX. Learn more

    What's new in the 2020 Acura RLX?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Acura RLX:

    • The RLX carries over unchanged for 2020
    • Part of the first RLX generation introduced for 2014
    Learn more

    Is the Acura RLX reliable?

    To determine whether the Acura RLX is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the RLX. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the RLX's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2020 Acura RLX a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Acura RLX is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 RLX is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2020 Acura RLX?

    The least-expensive 2020 Acura RLX is the 2020 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $54,900.

    Other versions include:

    • Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) which starts at $61,900
    • P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) which starts at $54,900
    Learn more

    What are the different models of Acura RLX?

    If you're interested in the Acura RLX, the next question is, which RLX model is right for you? RLX variants include Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM), and P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A). For a full list of RLX models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2020 Acura RLX

    2020 Acura RLX Overview

    The 2020 Acura RLX is offered in the following submodels: RLX Sedan, RLX Hybrid. Available styles include Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM), and P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A).

    What do people think of the 2020 Acura RLX?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Acura RLX and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 RLX 3.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 RLX.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Acura RLX and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 RLX featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2020 Acura RLX?

    2020 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A)

    The 2020 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $55,925. The average price paid for a new 2020 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) is trending $9,542 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $9,542 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $46,383.

    The average savings for the 2020 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) is 17.1% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 1 2020 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

    2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM)

    The 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $62,925. The average price paid for a new 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) is trending $10,758 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $10,758 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $52,167.

    The average savings for the 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) is 17.1% below the MSRP.

    Which 2020 Acura RLXES are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Acura RLX for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2020 RLXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $54,900 and mileage as low as 7804 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Acura RLX.

    Can't find a new 2020 Acura RLXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Acura for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $17,562.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2020 Acura RLX?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Acura lease specials