2017 Acura RLX Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth-revving V6 engine offers ample power
  • Long list of standard safety and convenience features
  • Spacious cabin and seating, especially for rear seat passengers
  • Sport Hybrid model offers fast, fuel-efficient acceleration
  • Not priced competitively against German competition
  • Dual-screen infotainment system isn't very intuitive
  • Flat front seat cushions lack long-distance comfort
  • Steering feels disconnected from the road
Other years
List Price Range
$24,990 - $31,998

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Which RLX does Edmunds recommend?

For 2017, the RLX Technology package supplants the Navigation trim as the entry-level model and is the model we recommend buying. There are a ton of standard features, including a complete suite of active safety technologies such as blind-spot monitoring and lane keeping assist. Though the Advance package contains attractive options such as heated and ventilated seats and a surround-view camera, the cost of the package at $6,000 would be better spent upgrading to the Sport Hybrid model.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.0 / 5
Compared to the most other sedans in this segment, the RLX offers a shade less performance and luxury at roughly the same price. However, its smooth 3.5-liter V6 produces sufficient power for daily needs, rear passenger space is generous, and the standard technology features are outstanding.

2017 Acura RLX models

The 2017 Acura RLX comes powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine (310 horsepower, 272 pound-feet of torque) that drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Two trim levels are available: the Technology package and the Advance package. The 2017 Sport Hybrid, which has a combined output of 377 hp and 341 lb-ft from its 3.5-liter V6 and three electric motors, is also available in both trims/packages above. The Sport Hybrid features a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with torque-vectoring technology.

The RLX with Technology (the lowest trim level) comes well-equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, automatic wipers, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), heated front seats with driver-seat memory settings and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The list of standard features includes dual displays, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 14-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radio, a USB-iPod interface, smartphone app integration (with Pandora and Aha internet radio integration) and an auxiliary audio jack.

The RLX comes standard with a full suite of driver assistance aids known as AcuraWatch. AcuraWatch bundles forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane departure intervention, road departure intervention (similar to lane departure intervention, but it can help prevent the car from leaving a paved surface), blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Advance package adds a power rear sunshade, manual rear passenger window shades, remote start, auto-dimming outside mirrors, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree parking camera system and a premium sound system, also with 14 speakers.

The Sport Hybrid equipment mirrors that of the non-hybrid RLX, with the exception of a head-up display that comes standard with all trims. The display projects information such as turn-by-turn navigation directions, power distribution, and potential collision warnings within the driver’s line of sight.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full tests of the 2014 Acura RLX Advance (3.5L V6; 6-speed automatic) and the 2016 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Advance (3.5L V6; hybrid; AWD; 7-speed dual-clutch automatic).

Driving

3.0
The RLX is relatively nimble and wields enough horsepower to handle everyday tasks with ease. Although it's dynamically competent, others in the segment offer a more engaging driving experience and a wider selection of powertrains.

Acceleration

3.5
The 310-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 is a strong, refined engine and even better when paired with three electric motors (377 hp combined). Both RLX models pull hard to redline and are always smooth, though acceleration times aren't any quicker than those of most competitors.

Braking

2.5
Brake performance is slightly below average for the segment. The RLX required 120 feet, and the Sport Hybrid 124 feet, to reach a stop from 60 mph. Pedal feel is linear and predictable.

Steering

3.0
The steering is accurate but numb and artificial, so you can't feel what's going on with the front tires, hurting driver confidence in low-grip situations (e.g., winter driving).

Handling

3.5
Acura Precision All-Wheel Steering (P-AWS) delivers predictable, confident and competent handling, but it's not a class leader. The same goes for the Sport Hybrid whose Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system helps mask some inherent handling deficiencies.

Drivability

4.0
The RLX combines luxury and performance in a way that makes it an excellent everyday commuter. The powertrains are smooth and tranquil, the transmissions deliver seamless shifts, and sufficient thrust is there when you call.

Comfort

3.5
RLX ride comfort varies between models, while seat comfort falls below our expectations at this price. Noise and vibration, however, is kept at bay, which helps preserve some cabin serenity.

Seat comfort

3.0
The seats lack sufficient lateral support for aggressive driving, and the flat bottom cushions need more plushness to be road trip-worthy. On the positive side, the Advanced Package adds ventilated seats, a huge luxury for long drives or in hot weather.

Ride comfort

3.5
Ride quality is on the firm side in the standard RLX and somewhat softer and more forgiving in the Sport Hybrid, though it will wallow occasionally over some roads. We consider it average for the segment.

Noise & vibration

4.0
A low-level hum of tire noise finds its way into the cabin, but it's mainly noticeable because of the lack of wind and engine noise. The transition from electric to gas power in the Sport Hybrid is pleasantly seamless.

Interior

3.5
The RLX interior is best described as functionally pleasant; there isn't much of a wow factor. The top infotainment display has a lower resolution than the bottom touchscreen, and the controls look dated and lack an intuitive flow. You'll find better interiors at this price.

Ease of use

3.0
The dual-screen setup takes practice: one is a touchscreen; the other uses a push-knob rotary selector. The menus aren't overly intuitive, and the lack of a hard switch for fan speed is a poor choice. More thought needs to go into organization.

Getting in/getting out

3.5
All doors open wide with big entryways, especially the rear. The easy-entry electric steering wheel aids driver entry (a common feature in this class), but the dash extends low at the knee area, limiting space. On the other hand, it's cushioned in case of contact.

Driving position

4.5
A tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, highly adjustable seats and minimal side bolstering nearly ensure that all body types will fit.

Roominess

4.0
The RLX is the largest Acura sedan to date. Elbow and shoulder room and rear legroom are generous and among the best in class. Passengers with tall torsos may be affected by the slope of the rear roofline, though a relief in the ceiling opens up some lost head space.

Visibility

4.0
Speakers in the windshield pillars make for slightly larger blind spots out front, and a high trunklid partially obscures rearward visibility. The Advance Package, however, includes multiple cameras and selectable viewing angles that greatly enhance overall awareness.

Quality

3.5
Leather surface stitching is tight and clean, and all materials feel of good quality with soft-touch surfaces in all the right places. Some minor inconsistencies, such as interior door gaps, only become apparent when you look for them. The design may be a little dated, but it doesn't feel cheap.

Utility

2.5
The RLX offers generous amounts of passenger space but fails to impress with its trunk accommodations and in-cabin storage for personal effects.

Small-item storage

3.0
The RLX's glovebox and door pockets are modestly sized, which leaves the three-way-access armrest compartment as the most usable space. The rear center armrest has slide-out cupholders.

Cargo space

2.5
Trunk space is average, though the lack of a spare tire allows for underfloor storage. There's a ski pass-through instead of fold-down rear seats in the standard RLX, and the Sport Hybrid sacrifices the pass-through due to its batteries, dropping cargo room from 14.9 cubic feet to 11.6 cubic feet.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall3.0 / 5
Driving3.0
Comfort3.5
Interior3.5
Utility2.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Acura RLX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Unfairly Overlooked and Ridiculously Underrated!
Acura host,04/18/2017
Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I test drove just about every luxury sedan in this price range--BMW, Audi, Lexus, Infinity, Porsche (suv), and some midlevel sedans as well, and I can honestly say this is the best one out there. Why? Well,....it depends on what you want. I wanted Quality (I've always loved the way Acura's drive and last), Safety (NHTSA and IIS best ratings --with suite of safety features), Visibility (you can actually see out of the car and over your shoulder), Dependability (not one issue with it for over a year), and Ease of Driving (the smoothest engine and most maneuverability I've come across), ---(btw, the steering IS very connected to the road and incredibly sporty for a large sedan). Not to mention--- the roomy, rear seat, , the quiet cabin, the improved suspension, the way it climbs a hill and never downshifts, not to mention its' classic, elegant appearance. The RLX is a fantastic vehicle and it's a shame that it doesn't get more love in the press. Read reviews from actual owners!! Test drive it yourself, and you'll be extremely surprised in the best possible way. Pricing is high, but check around to get a good deal. They are out there. There is nothing sedate about this top notch sedan. It is thee hidden jewel at Acura!
smooth ride
billy chambers,12/26/2016
Advance Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
By far the best car i have every owned. Does all the bells and whistles in outstanding manner. Cons a bit pricey for most folks.
Great Car
Bob,01/17/2017
Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Traded in a 2012 Acura TL . The 2017 Acura RLX is just a perfect Car. It is quiet has a lot of power and a great car for the price. Tested a Lexus GS350 but the Acura RLX is much better.
RLX Understated Value
Greg Moore,07/06/2017
Advance Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This car is a understated value, Had a BMW prior to buying this car. This car is a lot quieter, rides better/smoother, has better visibility, and interior materials. The BMW hype is just that! I love this Acura RLX Advanced.

Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
310 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
310 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
29 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Hybrid
377 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
29 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Hybrid
377 hp @ 6500 rpm
See all Used 2017 Acura RLX features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the RLX models:

Adaptive Cruise Control
This feature lets you set a desired speed and maintain a distance between you and the vehicle ahead, even bringing you to a complete stop.
Collision Mitigation Braking System
This feature alerts you of obstacles detected ahead, providing visual alerts first, and will automatically brake for you if you don't react.
Lane Keeping Assist System
A forward-facing camera detects lane markings and will guide the car back to the middle if you begin to drift to the side.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    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
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Acura RLX

Used 2017 Acura RLX Overview

The Used 2017 Acura RLX is offered in the following submodels: RLX Sedan, RLX Hybrid. Available styles include Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Advance Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM), and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Advance Package (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Acura RLX?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Acura RLX trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Acura RLX Advance Package is priced between $26,997 and$31,998 with odometer readings between 6265 and35818 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Acura RLX Technology Package is priced between $24,990 and$28,488 with odometer readings between 27903 and40921 miles.

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Which used 2017 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) 2017 Acura RLX for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2017 RLXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $24,990 and mileage as low as 6265 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2017 Acura RLX.

Can't find a used 2017 Acura RLXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura RLX for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,872.

Find a used Acura for sale - 8 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,598.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura RLX for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $19,870.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $11,308.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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
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