First Drive Review- 2015 Acura RLX Advance

If you’ve followed my blog for any period of time, you know that I am a loyal fan of Acura products. I love the understated luxury, high quality and track record of reliability. This is Acura’s flagship sedan.  The large luxury sport sedan segment is fiercely contested, with competitors such as the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series and Lexus GS. Acura is relatively new to this segment, and the RLX is not what you would call a strong competitor among the others, selling supposedly less than 8,000 units last year. The 3.5L V6 makes a healthy 310 horsepower which is enough to calmly propel the large sedan at a nice pace and still have enough grunt in store for freeway merging or passing. The RLX sets itself apart from the competition by offering a 3-motor Hybrid AWD system. You read that correctly- 3 electric motors. The largest of the 3 mated to the transmission in between the front wheels operates like any other FWD-based hybrid- providing power assist at low speeds and also in high-load scenarios. The rear motors- operate together using Acura’s SH-AWD torque vectoring programming to allow for stellar cornering and traction and can be powered under low speed.

The bolstering isn’t excessive, the RLX is geared towards comfort, not sport. The back seat is roomy and the cushioning is soft. The leather is high-quality and surrounds the entire cabin. Acura is now using a two-screen infotainment system, the larger screen sitting high on the dash is used for the navigation map, and the smaller, sits lower in the dash and is an interactive touch-screen with tactile feedback. The smaller unit is used to control climate, audio, phone and navigation inputs.

Models with the Advance Package include safety features such as Blind Spot Monitoring, Collision Mitigation Braking System, and Lane Keep Assist. The RLX can be ordered in a few different trim levels- base, w/ Navigation, w/ Technology Package, w/ Krell Audio, w/ Advance Package and SH-AWD Hybrid w/ Technology or Advance. Prices begin at $48k and climb to a steep $65k before options and accessories- prices are right in line with the competitors.

The car feels as large as it is. The steering has weight to it, but not a sporty type of weight- almost an artificial feeling designed to create the feeling of size. The 3.5L Direct Injected V6 provides a nice feel of power reserve and the brakes inspire confidence.

All in all, the RLX is aimed at a very specific demographic of a very large market. I honestly think the only people who will buy an RLX are Acura loyalists who find themselves in the market for a large sedan. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more reviews of the rest of Acura’s lineup and some offerings from Infiniti.

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