2015 Acura TLX: Indecisive Adaptive Cruise Control
May 4, 2015
Our 2015 Acura TLX has adaptive cruise control. If I have to be a part of the unpredictable, mindless river of humanity that characterizes LA's terrible freeways, I like adaptive cruise control.
I do not like the adaptive cruise control on our TLX.
For starters, this system is extremely paranoid. It's an orchestra of beeps and warnings, most of which stem from something I can't identify. After 20-ish miles of random panic alerts, even my passenger started asking questions: "What was that for?" and "Why don't you turn that off?"
No idea. Good idea.
But I wasn't going to turn it off before I got these pictures. If you haven't used adaptive cruise control, here's how it works: You turn the thing on, set a speed, pick a following distance, and then leave it alone. The car ahead slows down and your car slows down. They speed up, you speed up until your set max speed. At least, that's the way it normally goes.
Our Acura doesn't seem to agree with this thinking 100 percent of the time. I set the ACC to a speed higher than I could ever hope to achieve in 30-50 mph traffic and was surprised when, about half of the time, it seemed to pick random speeds to stick to while the car in front went five, 10, or 50 car lengths out of our range.
Both cars were still dozens of MPH below the set speed threshold, but the Acura didn't care. The car in front was getting away and the TLX was perfectly happy allowing that.
Both of the pictures here were taken when the car ahead was going roughly the same speed and with ACC set to maintain the same distance. Please note that the distance is not even remotely the same.
When traffic came to a stop, the system responded reasonably correctly, lurching us to a stop far less smoothly than doing it myself, but avoiding a collision by a very safe margin. When speed picked up, I resumed the system and, again, the Prius got away when the TLX decided it was tired of keeping pace.
Adaptive cruise on the TLX is part of the Advance package, which includes must-haves (in my world) like remote engine start, front-and-rear parking sensors, and stuff that should be handy but isn't, like this ACC and road departure mitigation.
On the TLX 3.5, the Advance Package adds about $3,300 to the price of a TLX 3.5 with the Technology pack. I'm just not sure I'd pay that for remote start and parking beeps.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor