Sophisticated, well-appointed and smooth, the 2017 Acura RLX may not provide quite the nameplate cachet of some of its European competitors, but the flagship sedan of Honda's premium division can hold its own in many other areas. It has a spacious cabin, a comfortable ride, a wealth of the latest advanced technology features and all-wheel steering, which enhances both low- and high-speed maneuverability. Such characteristics make it a good choice for shoppers running daily errands, commuting or planning a long road trip.
Following a mild refresh last year, changes to the RLX for 2017 are minor. The base Navigation trim level has been eliminated, and the AcuraWatch suite — which includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning — is now standard.
A refined and quiet 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque provides the RLX's power, and it comes linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. Although the engine doesn't propel the RLX into sport-sedan territory, it should be strong enough for the majority of buyers. And those looking for more power can opt for the Sport Hybrid model, whose three electric motors combine with the V6 to produce a total of 377 hp and 341 lb-ft of combined torque.
Fuel economy for the standard front-drive RLX is EPA-rated at 23 mpg combined (20 city/30 highway), while the Sport Hybrid version is rated at 29 mpg combined (29 city/30 highway).
On the road, the RLX may lack the outright cornering ability of some of its more sport-oriented rivals, but as a trade-off, the Acura delivers a smooth, comfortable ride with stable, confidence-inspiring handling. Acceleration is on par with other vehicles in its class and is more than adequate for easy passing on the highway.
The RLX's five-passenger interior, while roomy, nicely appointed and logically laid out, might not meet the expectations of some consumers who are shopping for a luxury model in this price range. But it does offer quality materials, well-placed controls, a host of standard features and enough packages and accessories to allow buyers plenty of leeway when it comes to personalization.
The standard RLX comes very well equipped with such niceties as heated leather seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, dual LCD displays and a premium sound system. The Advance package adds a number of comfort and convenience features. The Sport Hybrid brings extra power and even more technology. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Acura RLX that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.