2015 Acura RLX Review
2015 Acura RLX Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Abundant standard features
- spacious cabin.
- Harsh ride with the 19-inch wheels and tires
- disconnected steering feel
- so-so display screen graphics with distracting interface
- front seats get uncomfortable on longer drives.
For 2015, the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid will still be on sale, but Acura says it will continue to be designated as a 2014 model (there will be no 2015 Sport Hybrid per se). For the regular RLX, the Advance option package now includes a heated steering wheel.
Overall, the 2015 Acura RLX covers the luxury sedan basics pretty well, but otherwise doesn't do much to distinguish itself.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 Acura RLX 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.92 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$196/mo for RLX Base
Avg. Large Car
The 2015 Acura RLX isn't the most well-known choice for a midsize luxury sedan, but it scores pretty high marks for what truly matters in this segment. Its interior rivals a large sedan's for roominess, as demonstrated by the backseat, which has plenty of legroom for adults to stretch out. Said interior also boasts a long list of standard equipment and can be done up in soft, perforated leather upholstery and genuine wood trim. If technology is your thing, Acura offers the RLX with a smart mix of available features (we're quite fond of the optional 14-speaker Krell sound system). As a bonus, RLX pricing is also typically a bit less than the competition.
Acura introduced the new RLX last year, starting with the base front-wheel-drive model that has a 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 310 horsepower. A Sport Hybrid model with all-wheel drive, more horsepower and even better fuel economy was supposed to arrive soon after, but its introduction was delayed. As such, Acura says the Sport Hybrid will be sold during the 2015 calendar year but still as a 2014 model. For now, we're expecting that the 2015 RLX will be the base-model only. Alas, we're more fond of the Sport Hybrid than we are of the base model. Performance and handling from the base model are uninspiring, and the ride quality isn't as compliant and smooth as we expect for this class.
These aren't major drawbacks, but they factor in for our Edmunds.com "B" rating of the RLX. If you're shopping for a midsize luxury sedan, we think the 2015 Audi A6 is a better all-around package, while the Lexus GS 350 looks and feels more special inside. The new 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan is also worth a look, as it offers many of the same tech features at a lower price point. Higher up on the price scale, the engaging BMW 5 Series and prestigious Mercedes-Benz E-Class are more customizable for features and have more powertrain options. Overall, the base RLX covers the luxury sedan basics pretty well, but otherwise doesn't do much to distinguish itself.
Performance & mpg
The 2015 Acura RLX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 310 hp and 272 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard.
In Edmunds testing, a 2015 RLX with the Advance package went from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is average for a midsize luxury sedan. The EPA rates the RLX at 24 mpg combined (20 city/31 highway), which is essentially average for a six-cylinder luxury sedan.
Standard safety features on the 2015 Acura RLX include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver side knee airbag.
A rearview camera is standard, but you have to spring for the Advance option package to get front and rear parking sensors. That package also includes lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and a frontal collision warning and mitigation system with automatic braking. A blind-spot monitoring system is included on models equipped with the Technology and higher option packages.
In Edmunds testing, the RLX managed a 60-0-mph braking distance of 120 feet, an average number for this class.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has performed its battery of crash tests on the RLX, resulting The 2015 Acura RLX's V6 engine is quiet and smooth and pairs well with the six-speed automatic. It's sufficiently powerful and should suit most buyers just fine, though rival sedans with turbocharged or supercharged six-cylinders feel noticeably quicker. The RLX doesn't ride with the same composure as other sedans in this class. Especially when fitted with the 19-inch wheels, it feels harsh when driving over rough patches at low speeds, while the ride on the highway can be bouncy. Only on truly smooth pavement does the RLX ride like a luxury sedan. Take it around a few turns, and the big Acura will be steady but not particularly athletic or communicative through its steering feel.
The 2015 Acura RLX's V6 engine is quiet and smooth and pairs well with the six-speed automatic. It's sufficiently powerful and should suit most buyers just fine, though rival sedans with turbocharged or supercharged six-cylinders feel noticeably quicker.
The RLX doesn't ride with the same composure as other sedans in this class. Especially when fitted with the 19-inch wheels, it feels harsh when driving over rough patches at low speeds, while the ride on the highway can be bouncy. Only on truly smooth pavement does the RLX ride like a luxury sedan. Take it around a few turns, and the big Acura will be steady but not particularly athletic or communicative through its steering feel.
From the moment you set foot inside the passenger cabin of the 2015 Acura RLX, you can't help but notice how spacious the place feels. But the real surprise is a backseat with as much as 3 inches more legroom than you'll find in competing sedans. Though it is perhaps the most adult-friendly rear seat in the category, taller passengers may wish for a tad more headroom and more room under the front seats for their feet. The front seats will be fine for most trips, but we've found long-distance comfort to be lacking.
The interior does get points for both its array of the latest technology and its ease of use. The available navigation system is a good example of this intuitive operation, allowing you to enter destinations using the large control knob, the 7-inch touchscreen below the 8-inch map display or by voice commands. But there are a couple of negatives here, including graphics that aren't as sharp as those in other luxury models and several basic functions, such as seat heater controls, that require you to press a potentially distracting number of virtual buttons to access.
Out back, the RLX offers a trunk with 15.3 cubic feet of cargo room. Unfortunately, the lack of fold-down rear seatbacks means the space can't be expanded, though there is a center pass-through opening that can accommodate longer items like skis.
2015 Acura RLX models
The 2015 Acura RLX comes in five main trim levels (most are referred to as packages.) The Sport Hybrid variant will retain its designation as a 2014 model throughout the new model year.
The base RLX comes well-equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leatherette upholstery (premium vinyl), heated eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar), driver memory settings and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The list of standard electronics includes an upper 8-inch display, a lower 7-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 10-speaker ELS sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radios, a USB/iPod interface, smartphone app integration (with Pandora and Aha Internet radio integration) and an auxiliary audio jack.
The RLX with the Navigation package adds navigation capability to the 8-inch screen at the top of the dash plus voice controls, AcuraLink telematics and additional smartphone app integration. In addition, a modified climate control system uses input from the GPS receiver to automatically adjust cabin temperature on the side of the car that is exposed to direct sunlight.
Choosing the Technology option package bundles 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, power-retractable mirrors, a blind-spot monitoring system, noise-reducing acoustic glass, leather upholstery and a 14-speaker ELS sound system. You can further upgrade the audio quality with the premium 14-speaker Krell Audio package. This package also includes a power rear sunshade and manual rear door sunshades.
The available Advance package adds adaptive cruise control, a collision mitigation system with automatic braking, a lane-keeping assist system, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming outside mirrors, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
RLX-- love this car
2014 Acura RLX Advance Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I got the RLX with Advanced package in Oct. 2013. Have driven more than 15K miles, I can not be more happier. No matter it is 8 hrs drive from southern California to San Francisco or road trips to Vegas and Grand Canyon, or even daily commute on the highways, the car is so quite and comfortable, every time behind the wheel feels like a special treat to myself. My friends have A6 and E … class, whenever they rode with me they can not stop praising how much they enjoy the ride and how well made the car was . Actually I got the feeling they sometimes find excuses to just take a ride with me because of they like this car. update 2/29/2016 Have been more than 2 yrs now, drove more than 38K miles, still love this car. Every friend/relatives rode with me always compliment how pretty and how comfortable this car is. I am pretty sure my next car/SUV will still be an Acura. Update 8/28/2016 It will be 3 Yrs by this October. My RLX still serves me well for my daily 80+ miles commute between Orange and LA county as well as long distance road trips. The odometer is more than 48K miles as today. My only regret is I did not wait a little longer to buy the hybrid version. Maybe in couple years. Update 2/28/2017 Still own the car and enjoy every ride. Got close to 60K miles now. Update 9/8/2017 Sitll serves me well for my daily commute on 405. Have driven more than 70K miles now. Always feel safe and smoth drive every time. Quite certainly my next car will still be an ACURA. Update Marc 12, 2018 have more than 82K miles in my RLX. Still run like new. Quiet cabin, great Krell audio system and smooth ride make daily commute on 405 highway enjoyable. I love this car. Update Sept. 13, 2018 It will be five years this October since I have my RLX. Still this car is my loyal companion on my daily commute at 405. I have put more than 92K miles on my RLX, still runs like new. I am so happy with my car, this January I bought a 2019 TLX Advance PKG for my husband. He loves his TLX. Now we have three ACURA in my household. My daughter has a RDX. From our experiences, it is very likely we will be ACURA owners for life as long as Acura continues to make reliable, safe and fun to drive cars. Update 9/15/2019 Got more than 113K miles on my RLX by now. Still my loyal companion for my daily commute on 405 highway. My plan is to drive the car for another couple years, then get a new RLX because I just love driving this car and I trust Acura’s quality. Update 3/16/2020 Still have this car and still driving daily commute at 405. Almost 130K miles by now. Never fails me and the drive is always comfortable which makes the 405 traffic jam bearable. Definitely my next car will be another RLX. Updated 9/17/2020 Got more than 130K miles on my RLX now, still drive like new. Always comfortable rides in this car, also provides power and speed when I need. Very sad to hear Acura is discounting RLX. Acura please bring another model similar size as RLX or bigger. We are Acura family, my husband's TLX and my daughter's RDX can not tolerate car from other car makers in the family when it is time for me to replace RLX. I may need to settle for MDX but to me it is more fun to drive a sedan than SUV. 3/18/2021 Still driving my RLX, after more than 137K miles, it still runs like new. 9/21/2021 put almost 150K miles in this car now. Still drive like new. Just completed a five days family trip to northern California Monterey Bay and Pebble Beach. Still having fun every time driving the car. I really wish Acura will come out with another similiar size or bigger sedan like RLX. 3/22/2022 Got more than 153K miles in my RLX now, still drive like new. ABSOLUTELY love this car. Can ACURA consider to make a similar sedan? ACURA aleady brought back Integra, why not Legend? It will be very nice to have an electric Legend. 9/23/2022. My RLX just keep going, has 161K miles now. Still love it. I figure if I wait long enough maybe ACURA will hear me and bring back Legend in Electric form or other large sedans similar to RLX. 3/26/2023. Just crossed 170K miles, still run like new. 9/27/2023. Still have my RLX, almost 180K miles now. Never fail me. This car will be accompanied me for 10 years by the end of this October. It is too good a car to let go. I am waiting for LEGEND to come back. Acura please hear my plea and bring back Legend.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Really Good Car
2014 Acura RLX Navigation 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This car is alot better than reviewed from my perspective. I think the issue is this: This DOES NOT compete with the BMW 5 series or MB E-Class (regardless of what Acura would like)...really more like Lexus, Infiitniti or Lincoln based on my experience. That said, based on actual purchase price-- strong discount to MSRP/Invoice so well below BWM/MB this is a high quality, nice driving … (love teh AWS) vehicle. My personal feeling is, while not flashy, the car is also sophisticated looking. So far I'm very pleased with the overall package
4 out of 5 stars
V MEL, 11/11/2017
2014 Acura RLX Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This Acura RLX has been a great vehicle for my family. The good part of the ownership experience is the size of this car. I am 6'-2" and I am very happy with the legroom I have on both front and rears seats. The car is much more roomier than appears on outside. I can complement on the quality of the interior materials; it is made very nice, the cabin is surrounded by by soft materials … wrapped in the high quality leather; there are not many plastic parts around like in the similar class Lexus car. Very comfortable large seats, I like them better and think they are more comfortable than E-class Mercedes; nice large armrests. The control buttons and vents don't seem wear off like on most of European luxury cars. This car has a very sensitive breaks; it will stop dead in a very short time. One of the best features I like is the headlights. The optics of the headlights "jewel eye" look very attractive and deliver one of the best driving experiences at night; road signs reflections look like LED TV screens. Infotainment system is great and very easy to use. I found it much more convenient than E-class Mercedes. I like rolling volume control on the steering wheel instead of + -- volume bottoms. I like touch screen and how it gives vibrating feedback. I don't know why so many "expert" reviews are complaining about how confusing the infotainment system is. I found it very easy to use. I like the climate control in this car. The front seats heat up very fast and air fans are very quiet in a high mode, unlike Mercedes or BMW. The average gas mileage is 23 mph in mixed city/highway use which is very very good for this size car with 310 hp engine. So far I don have any mechanical or electrical problem with this car. Very, very reliable car 5+++. Now about the negative experience: First, suspension, suspension, suspension. The car drives like an Amish buggy on a bumpy road. 19 inch wheels with low profile tires make it even worst. The rear suspension is so stiff it sends pain in my spine every time the car goes over a bump. It is far from a luxury riding experience. I wish they have sport and comfort suspension modes to switch. I think this stiff suspension helps to transmit road noise to the car's body even though Acura advertises its noise cancellation technology and hollow wheels which suppose to reduce the road noise. However, I cannot say there is much road noise, but I am sure Mercedes E an Cadillac CTS is more quiet. Second is the gear shifting. It is also rough. When I try to accelerate fast, every time the gear shifts it rocks my body back and forth. Third, is the gear ratios. The car quickly goes to very high RPM during even mild acceleration. It creates unnecessary engine noise and makes it hard to control the car on the road. During "normal" driving mode the car acts like most of luxury cars would act in the "Sport" transmission mode. Forth, is the line departure alarm, blind spot and breaking warning alarms. I wish Acura change it from beeping sound warning alarm to vibration warning like it is done in Cadillac or Lexus cars. When I listen to music or radio, all these warnings become useless; I just cannot hear the beeping warning sound while music is playing. Fifth, the exterior assembly quality. The body parts are not lined as is suppose to be lined. Rear trunk lid does not line with rear fenders, I checked with dealer and it appears on all 2014 RLX models. Front hood/fender gaps are not consistent. It gives an impression like this car has been in a car rack and having some frame damage. After driving this car for 115K the P-AWS RTC actuators began to moan when making small turns. It is not critical, but I know I have to replace them soon. The bottom line is: I like this car and I think I will keep it for a couple more years. I would not recommend this car for a person who likes comfortable Cadillac-style ride. However, for a younger person who likes to drive fast alone, for aggressive driving style it could be a good choice.
4 out of 5 stars
Ed Koval, 02/22/2016
2014 Acura RLX 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
There is a lot to like about this car, and frankly little to not like. The only two gripes I have are (1) the low profile tires result in a ride that is busier than should be of a luxury car, and (2) at 6'1", my head just barely misses hitting the headliner.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2015 Acura RLX, so we've included reviews for other years of the RLX since its last redesign.
2015 RLX Highlights
|Combined MPG||24 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$196/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.7%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
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