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2020 Acura RLX Hybrid

Type:

What’s new

  • The RLX carries over unchanged for 2020
  • Part of the first RLX generation introduced for 2014

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, comfortable interior
  • Spacious cabin and seating, especially for rear passengers
  • Long list of standard safety and convenience features
  • Dual-screen infotainment system is outdated and nonintuitive
  • Interior design looks dated
  • Subpar ride and handling for the class
  • The hybrid fails to offer standout efficiency
Other years
MSRP
$61,900
MSRP Starting at
$61,900
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$50,034
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$50,034

Save as much as $12,434
Select your model:
Save as much as $12,434
MSRP
$61,900
MSRP Starting at
$61,900
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$50,034
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$50,034

Save as much as $12,434
Select your model:
Save as much as $12,434


2020 Acura RLX Review

Blingy crossovers may have taken over the landscape for the time being, but the luxury sedan still carries a certain savoir faire that cemented its place as a status symbol long ago. So it would seem there's room for a rival to the BMWs and Lexuses of the world, especially one from Acura, the company responsible for the exotic NSX, backed by Honda build quality and reliability.

Unfortunately, that sedan is the RLX. The flagship Acura sedan is well-made, offers a strong engine and comes with loads of standard features to undercut the competition. But its ride quality is not befitting of a luxury car, especially against heavy hitters from Audi, Cadillac and Genesis. The infotainment system is not only outdated but also confusing to use. An optional Sport Hybrid version offers dual electric motors but with slightly improved fuel economy, less trunk space and a smaller gas tank. It amounts to little considering the substantial leap in price.

Buyers looking for a good entry point to the luxury segment will find things to like. The interior is comfortable and spacious, with materials of a higher order than what's used in most sedans on the road. But the RLX doesn't stand out, and in many areas it falls noticeably short in a crowded field. The car hasn't been significantly updated since it first debuted in 2014. And it shows.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

6.6 / 10
While engineers clearly put care into the build quality of the Acura RLX, its parts don't add up to much. The luxury sedan struggles to meet class benchmarks. It's hamstrung by a confusing, outdated infotainment system, and the optional Sport Hybrid SH-AWD trim is neither sporty nor fuel-efficient enough. Buyers spoiled for choice have little reason to consider the RLX.

How does it drive?

6.5
The best driving qualities in the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD are right there in its name. The hybrid powertrain provides smooth electric torque to help its V6 engine achieve 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Meanwhile, the unique all-wheel-drive system encourages throttle through corners to erase the big sedan's understeer. Unfortunately, the RLX falls apart from there.

The electric power steering feels numb. The RLX has more body roll than a sedan that wants to be sporty should. And braking is a struggle. Not only does the regenerative braking system come off as unrefined, the traditional brakes simply aren't very effective. The RLX stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is poor for a luxury sedan. An NSX this is not.

How comfortable is it?

7.0
The comfortable seats and airtight cabin show that Acura still knows how to create a luxurious experience for the driver and passengers. It's a shame that quality doesn't carry over into the ride. Bumps easily unsettle the heavy RLX Sport Hybrid, which struggles to maintain a smooth ride over road imperfections and even textured surfaces.

Some of the climate controls have hard buttons, while others are tucked into the touchscreen menus. Backseat passengers will appreciate sunshades on each of the hybrid's windows to keep out the glare. The cabin of the RLX is a nice place to be, and the hybrid powertrain adds to that with smooth transitions and a nice growl under hard acceleration. It's a pity the ride itself isn't so pleasant.

How’s the interior?

7.5
The RLX is a mixed bag inside. Dual screens are rarely a good idea — especially when one is a touchscreen and the other uses a rotary selector. It's difficult to navigate between them, and asking drivers to change something as simple as fan speed through the menus is a miss.

The sedan hits its marks physically, though. There is plenty of space inside, including ample headroom up front. A 14-speaker audio system is standard, and the Sport Hybrid gets a premium version. Backseat passengers have an elevated position and good legroom, with slightly less headroom with the sloping roof a downside. Outward visibility is good, and a plethora of camera views helps, though the resolution could be higher.

How’s the tech?

5.5
A flagship luxury sedan should simply be better. The RLX shows its age with an outdated infotainment system, especially compared with the pleasing touchpad in the RDX. Instead, the touchscreen offers poor graphics and worse responsiveness to the touch. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. You can connect a phone via Bluetooth, but after two attempts it hardly seems worth it.

Driver assist safety aids also struggle to keep pace. Adaptive cruise control works down to a stop. But the minimum following distance is too far, and the RLX constantly speeds up and slows again to match the desired speed.

How’s the storage?

7.0
The RLX offers clever interior storage for small items but drops the ball with larger ones. The center console is spacious and modular, making it easy to configure as you wish. The cupholders can handle various sizes, and the rear armrest has dual cupholders. The spacious back seat makes it easy to install child seats — even larger rear-facing ones — with reachable car-seat anchors.

Yet the trunk is small for the class, at just 12 cubic feet, and the hybrid battery takes up space that makes it shallow. Making matters worse, there is no pass-through for long items, and the rear seats don't fold down. Though the back seat is large, its raised center portion limits child seats to two at a time.

How economical is it?

6.0
We observed 27.1 mpg on our 115-mile evaluation loop of mixed driving conditions. The RLX Hybrid's 28 mpg combined rating (28 city/29 highway) is respectable but falls short of its primary competitor (Lexus ES 300h). The RLX Hybrid beats the regular RLX by 8 mpg in the city but only matches its highway number.

Is it a good value?

7.0
The dichotomy of the Acura RLX is on display again with regards to overall value. It has luxury materials and build quality but an outdated design and functionality. It's nice that the RLX comes well-equipped. Its performance and fuel economy aren't strong enough, though, to separate it from BMW and Lexus hybrid sedans.

The RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD has a respectable fuel economy rating from the EPA. However, its highway rating is equal to the non-hybrid version's, and our test vehicle slightly underperformed its average rating on our 115-mile evaluation loop. It is equal to or better than competitors in warranty coverage but doesn't match some roadside assistance or maintenance plans.

Wildcard

6.0
There's nothing about the Acura RLX that stands out against its competition. And in many circumstances, the car struggles to keep pace with the most basic expectations from a modern luxury sedan. The interesting powertrain can get going in a hurry, but that doesn't make up for subpar ride quality, handling and braking. The RLX doesn't stand out in a crowd, and those drawn to its supposed value will need to contend with outdated technology.

Which RLX does Edmunds recommend?

The entry-level RLX P-AWS has a reasonable starting price for its class and comes bearing a long list of standard features. It fits the bill for buyers in need of a spacious, comfortable sedan and not much else. Performance and fuel efficiency are comparable enough to the Sport Hybrid model that you're not missing out on much by opting for the base.

2020 Acura RLX models

Acura offers only two trim levels on the 2020 RLX. The first is the RLX P-AWS, a well-equipped front-wheel-drive sedan with all-wheel steering. The second is the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, which upgrades to all-wheel drive and a hybrid powertrain, as well as a bevy of standard luxury and safety features to justify a big bump in price.

The entry RLX P-AWS offers an array of standard luxury features, coupled with a trick up its sleeve. The sedan is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine (310 hp, 272 lb-ft) mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Though it's front-wheel-drive, it also has rear-wheel steer, meaning the rear wheels will subtly turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels to help the back of the car swing around turns. Leather-trimmed, heated front seats that can be adjusted 12 ways are standard. So are navigation and a suite of driving safety aids.

One step above that is the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, which adds a hybrid powertrain and front and rear electric motors, giving the car all-wheel drive. Though both trims are powered by the same engine, the lithium-ion battery in the Sport Hybrid model ups total output (377 hp, 341 lb-ft). Power is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for better performance. A premium audio system and parking sensors are among the standard features on a long list of upgrades.


Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2020 Acura RLX.

Trending topics in reviews



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    Build Your RLX

    Features & Specs

    Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
    Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD
    3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM
    MSRP$61,900
    MPG 28 city / 29 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission7-speed automated manual
    Horsepower377 hp @ 6500 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid features & specs

    Safety

    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 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.
    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
    RolloverRating
    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 TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

    Acura RLX vs. the competition

    Acura RLX vs. Acura TLX

    Both sedans suffer from outdated technology and bland driving characteristics. The RLX holds the edge for its enormous interior space and standard V6 engine. However, a TLX can be optioned up to the same V6 and several enticing features that still leave it priced well below the RLX.

    Compare Acura RLX & Acura TLX features

    Acura RLX vs. Honda Accord

    Though the Accord is a more pedestrian sedan, it holds several distinct advantages over the RLX. For one, it's much more fun to drive. Ride quality and handling are leagues better in the Honda, even on models that are nearly half the price of the RLX. Newer infotainment and more accessible storage are also strengths in areas where the RLX struggles. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Honda Accord.

    Compare Acura RLX & Honda Accord features

    Acura RLX vs. Lexus GS 350

    The Lexus GS checks just about every box a luxury sedan buyer is looking for. Its interior is properly sumptuous, and the smooth ride easily justifies its attractive starting price. There is a performance F Sport model with upgraded suspension, brakes and styling. The biggest drawback is the infotainment system, but the RLX has its own issues in that department.

    Compare Acura RLX & Lexus GS 350 features
    FAQ
    Is the Acura RLX a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 RLX both on the road and at the track, giving it a 6.6 out of 10. You probably care about Acura RLX fuel economy, so it's important to know that the RLX gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the RLX has 12.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Acura RLX. Learn more
    What's new in the 2020 Acura RLX?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Acura RLX:

    • The RLX carries over unchanged for 2020
    • Part of the first RLX generation introduced for 2014
    Learn more
    Is the Acura RLX reliable?
    To determine whether the Acura RLX is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the RLX. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the RLX's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
    Is the 2020 Acura RLX a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Acura RLX is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 RLX and gave it a 6.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 RLX is a good car for you. Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2020 Acura RLX?

    The least-expensive 2020 Acura RLX is the 2020 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $61,900.

    Other versions include:

    • Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) which starts at $61,900
    Learn more
    What are the different models of Acura RLX?
    If you're interested in the Acura RLX, the next question is, which RLX model is right for you? RLX variants include Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM). For a full list of RLX models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2020 Acura RLX

    2020 Acura RLX Hybrid Overview

    The 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid is offered in the following styles: Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM).

    What do people think of the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid and all its trim types. 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 2020 RLX Hybrid.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 RLX Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels including Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Read our full review of the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid here.
    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 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid?
    2020 Acura RLX Hybrid Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM)

    The 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid 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 $62,925. The average price paid for a new 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) is trending $12,434 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $12,434 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $50,491.

    The average savings for the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) is 19.8% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 13 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

    Which 2020 Acura RLX Hybrids are available in my area?

    2020 Acura RLX Hybrid Listings and Inventory

    There are currently 22 new 2020 [object Object] RLX Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $62,300 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid.

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 [object Object] RLX Hybrid for sale near you.

    Can't find a new 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid RLX Hybrid you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Acura RLX Hybrid for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $15,888.

    Find a new Acura for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $10,349.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid and all available trim types: Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2020 Acura RLX Hybrid?

    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