2015 Acura TLX: Rough Start-Stop System
April 9, 2015
I own a 2015 Acura TLX. I bought my TLX in September, and I test drove both the four- and six-cylinder versions before making a choice. I decided to go with the four-cylinder base model. I have about 6,500 miles on the thing so far and I must say I'm really enjoying it.
As much as I the four-cylinder TLX, I often wonder if I should have gone with the bigger engine. I traded in my beak edition 2011 Acura TL Technology Package for the TLX after becoming accustomed to the extra horsepower and torque from the 3.5-liter V6.
So you can bet I was thrilled when I heard we were adding the TLX V6 SH-AWD with Advance Package to our fleet. Now I'd get chance to spend some time in the bigger engine. As an added bonus, I'd get to see some of the additional smart features in action.
This was my first weekend with one of our newest additions and I'm impressed. Lots of content for the price and an engaging drive. Comparing my previous TL and the new V6 TLX, the drive feels similar, which is a good thing. Over the 350 miles or so I drove this weekend, however, I noticed two big differences. One, I loved. The other, not so much.
First, the TLX's nine-speed automatic is just awesome compared to the five-speed in my old TL. The shifts are a whole lot smoother and quicker. I enjoyed the ride in my TL, but the TLX does an even better job thanks to the new transmission.
The other difference is the TLX's Auto Engine Idle Stop. I don't have this feature in my four-cylinder TLX and didn't have it in my 2011 TL. I've spent a lot of time in cars with auto start-stop. I was first introduced to it back in 2003 when Honda made it a standard feature on the Civic Hybrid.
I've never really liked auto-stop systems and our TLX has done nothing to change that. The restart on the TLX V6 is more jarring that what I remember in the Civic Hybrids I sold for many years. Perhaps because of the hybrid's small engine size, the re-start was easier to ignore. Hard not to notice when the 3.5-liter V6 power plant re-starts, though.
But there are two easy ways to bypass this. One is by pressing the button that turns the system off, located on the shifter about three inches from the drive button. The other way is by not laying into the brake. Make a complete stop without pressing the brake pedal all the way down to the floor and the engine keeps running as usual. Press it all the way and the engine shuts off as intended.
I look forward to my next go round with the TLX V6. So far, it trumps my 2011 TL. I'm curious to see if, by the end of our time with the TLX V6, I regret getting the smaller engine in my personal car or feel even better about my choice.
Matt Jones, Senior Editor @ 1915 miles