2018 Acura RLX
- Sport Hybrid model offers fast, fuel-efficient acceleration
- Long list of standard safety and convenience features
- Spacious cabin and seating, especially for rear passengers
- Dual-screen infotainment system isn't intuitive to use
- Interior design looks dated
- Steering feels disconnected from the road
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't available
2018 Acura RLX pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which RLX does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating3.5 / 5
The 2018 Acura RLX is quiet and comfortable and offers an impressive mix of power and fuel economy from the Sport Hybrid version. But this year's updates (read more about them in our RLX First Impression review) just don't go far enough in addressing the issues that make the RLX hard to recommend over similarly priced luxury competitors.
Certainly, there are positive aspects to Acura's top sedan. The Sport Hybrid is pretty cool. It's all-wheel-drive, and each rear wheel is independently driven by an electric motor; an electric motor in the transmission helps the V6 drive the front wheels. This system produces a total of 377 horsepower and returns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined. The Sport Hybrid is smooth and unobtrusive in city driving, and it provides competent handling when you're driving on twisty roads.
The rest of the RLX is a mixed bag, however. Although Acura packs in plenty of features as standard, the overall interior design comes off as dated. The biggest offender is the dual-screen infotainment system. It's frustrating to use, lacks many of the bells and whistles that other luxury marques offer, and belies all the other impressive technology that's available in the RLX.
We think it's worth checking out a few other midsize luxury sedans even if they cost a little more. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class was recently redesigned and sports a richly appointed interior. The Volvo S90 offers a likewise impressively modern interior and a hybrid option. The Audi A6 offers one of the best tech interfaces in the segment, while the venerable BMW 5 Series and value-packed Genesis G80 are also great choices. Overall, the 2018 Acura RLX is likable enough, but the competition is generally more desirable.
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Acura RLX comes in just two trims. The base front-wheel-drive version (referred to as P-AWS) comes with a list of features that's more comprehensive than what you'll get on many competitive base models. The Sport Hybrid comes with an impressive all-wheel-drive hybrid drivetrain and even more premium features.
The base RLX P-AWS is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. It sends power to the front wheels via a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment on the P-AWS trim includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a power sunroof, automatic windshield wipers, a rearview camera, and keyless entry with push-button start. Inside you'll find three-zone automatic climate control, heated and power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a dual-screen infotainment system, navigation, Bluetooth, and a 14-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radio, a USB-iPod interface, smartphone app integration (Pandora and Aha internet radio integration), and an auxiliary audio jack.
Both the P-AWS and Sport Hybrid come with a full suite of active safety features and driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The Sport Hybrid also adds LED foglights, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, remote start, and a surround-view camera system. Inside, the Sport Hybrid gets ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a power rear sunshade and manual rear-door sunshades, a head-up display, and a premium 14-speaker stereo system.
Obviously, the biggest upgrade is the hybrid drivetrain. The V6 motor drives the front wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission with a built-in electric motor, and each rear wheel has an independent electric motor. Total system power is 377 horsepower and 341 pound-feet of torque.
Noise & vibration4
Ease of use3
Getting in/getting out3.5
Most helpful consumer reviews
2018 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
Edmunds gets a First Drive of the refreshed 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid. Edmunds Associate Staff Writer Will Kaufman drives the 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid in sunny Malibu, California. For 2018, this 377-horsepower hybrid luxury sedan receives an updated exterior design, an upgraded interior with new seats, improved driver aids, a smaller battery, and a big price cut compared to a fully loaded 2017 model. But is that enough for the RLX to compete with the newest generation of luxury rivals? According to Will, "the powertrain is an impressive piece of engineering that performs well in the real world, and the RLX Sport Hybrid is surprisingly fun to drive. Lowering the cost of entry was smart, but even with all the updates the RLX still lags behind its competitors in some important ways."
Features & Specs
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 for you 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.
2018 Acura RLX for Sale
Sophisticated, well-appointed and smooth, the 2018 Acura RLX might 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, and a wealth of the latest advanced technology features. Front-wheel-drive models feature all-wheel steering, which enhances both low- and high-speed maneuverability, while all-wheel-drive models feature an advanced hybrid system. Such characteristics make it a good choice for shoppers running daily errands, commuting or planning a long road trip.
For 2018 the RLX has been refreshed with a new front end, a new 10-speed transmission for the front-wheel-drive P-AWS trim, upgraded front seats, and a handful of other tweaks and adjustments. The trim levels have also been simplified, and the top-tier Sport Hybrid trim now comes fully loaded for thousands less than a similarly equipped model from last year.
A refined and quiet 3.5-liter V6 engine, which generates 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, provides the RLX P-AWS' power, and it comes linked to a 10-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-wheel-drive RLX is EPA-rated at 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway), while the Sport Hybrid version is rated at 28 mpg combined (28 city/29 highway). On the road, the 2018 Acura RLX might 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 a par with that of 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 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 Sport Hybrid brings extra power and even more technology and luxury features. A full suite of active safety features and driver aids — including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking — are standard on both trims. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2018 Acura RLX that best meets your needs.
2018 Acura RLX Overview
The 2018 Acura RLX is offered in the following submodels: RLX Sedan, RLX Hybrid. Available styles include P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A), and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM).
What do people think of the 2018 Acura RLX?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Acura RLX and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 RLX 4 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 2018 RLX.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Acura RLX and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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 2018 Acura RLX?
2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM)
The 2018 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 $62,895. The average price paid for a new 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) is trending $9,535 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $9,535 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$53,360.
The average savings for the 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) is15.2% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 2 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A)
The 2018 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 $55,895. The average price paid for a new 2018 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) is trending $13,000 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $13,000 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$42,895.
The average savings for the 2018 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) is23.3% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 15 2018 Acura RLX P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2018 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) 2018 Acura RLX for sale near. There are currently 20 new 2018 RLXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $51,461 and mileage as low as 0 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Acura RLX. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $13,000 on a used or CPO 2018 RLX available from a dealership near you.
Can't find a new 2018 Acura RLXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Acura RLX for sale - 10 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $15,045.
Find a new Acura for sale - 6 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $22,890.
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.