Year

2018 Acura RLX Pricing

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Model Type

Sedan

pros & cons

pros

  • Sport Hybrid model offers fast, fuel-efficient acceleration
  • Long list of standard safety and convenience features
  • Spacious cabin and seating, especially for rear passengers

cons

  • 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
Acura RLX Sedan MSRP: $54900
Based on the P-AWS Auto FWD 5-passenger 4-dr Sedan with typically equipped options.
EPA Est. MPG 23
Transmission Automatic
Drive Train Front Wheel Drive
Displacement 3.5 L
Passenger Volume 117 cu ft
Wheelbase 112 in
Length 197 in
Width 74 in
Height 57 in
Curb Weight 3977 lbs
Acura RLX Sedan MSRP: $54900
Based on the P-AWS Auto FWD 5-passenger 4-dr Sedan with typically equipped options.
  • Upgraded Headlights
  • Leather Seats
  • Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarm
  • Heated seats
  • Power Driver Seat
  • Back-up camera
  • Rear Bench Seats
  • Trip Computer
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Aux Audio Inputs
  • USB Inputs
  • Stability Control
  • Auto Climate Control
  • Navigation
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Post-collision safety system
  • Pre-collision safety system

Acura RLX 2018

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."

Transcript

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 For Sale

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2018 Acura RLX For Sale

safety & reliability

5 star overall rating

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating

Overall
Driver
Passenger

Side Barrier Rating

Overall
Driver
Passenger

Rollover

Rollover
Dynamic Test Result
No Tip
Risk Of Rollover
9.7%

Side Crash Rating

Overall

Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings

Front Seat
Rear Seat
No information currently available.
Side Impact Test
P
M
A
G
Good
Roof Strength Test
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M
A
G
Good
Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraint
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M
A
G
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front Test Results
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M
A
G
Good
Moderate Overlap Front Test Results
P
M
A
G
Good
No information currently available.