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Acura RLX Reviews (Sport Hybrid reviews pg 21)

 
Old 02-15-2013, 02:33 PM
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On-Sale Date: March 15, 2013

Base Price: $49,345

Competitors: Cadillac XTS, Infiniti M37, Lexus GS 350, Lexus ES 350, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Powertrains: 3.5-liter V-6, 310 hp, 272 lb-ft; 6-speed automatic; FWD

EPA Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 20/31

What's New: Acura's flagship, formerly the RL, is revamped after 8 long years. Under the hood a direct-injection version of the Honda/Acura 3.5-liter V-6 replaces the old 3.7-liter, and makes 10 extra horsepower with massive 4 city/7 hwy mpg jumps in fuel economy. We'll do the math for you: 310 hp and 20/31 city/hwy fuel economy. The interior is similarly revolutionized, with 7-inch touchscreen “Multi-Use Display” to supplement the main 8-inch screen and take the place of the myriad buttons that clutter other Acura center consoles.

This car will be known for its jewel-eye cluster of LED headlights, which literally glitter in the daylight. As for the rest of the styling, the best we can say about the RLX is that it looks better in person. Acura has taken a critical beating for some of its recent designs; perhaps as a reaction to that the RLX is perfectly inoffensive but lacks distinctive character, aside from those lamps. Overall length is about the same, but wheelbase and width both increase about 2 inches. Going back inside the car, those dimensions contribute to what Acura claims is best-in-class rear-seat legroom.

RLX buyers can choose from 5 trim levels: base, Navigation, Tech, Krell, and Advance. Each offers an increasing level of content and technology, but the mechanical bits remain the same. And trim levels from Tech on up come with insulated 2-layer glass on the windshield and side windows.


Tech Tidbit: Where do we start? The RLX is packed with clever technology, even down to wheels that have a special noise-reducing resonator attached to the inside of the rim. There are active engine mounts for when the engine runs in a fuel-saving 3-cylinder mode. The doors have aluminum skins with steel inner panels, made using a new process that curls the 2 metals together at the edge for an impenetrable seam. Forward collision warning and lane-departure warning are standard; all-speed adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping assist are optional. The RLX even has a capless fuel filler.

The biggest innovation on the RLX, though, is what Acura calls Precision All Wheel Steer (PAWS). Unlike other systems that move the rear wheels to help cornering, PAWS moves each rear wheel independently, up to 2 degrees. For enhanced stability the system makes the rear wheels toe-in under heavy braking, and at high speeds the rear wheels move in concert with the front for better stability. At low speeds, the rear wheels move opposite of the front to reduce the turning radius.

Driving Character: This is the front-wheel-drive car that doesn't feel like 1, thanks to the extra agility provided by PAWS. Steering is accurate, if lacking in feedback in the way we've come to expect from electric-power-assisted systems such as this. The engine is strong, with an extra surge of power above 5000 rpm on the way to the 6800-rpm redline. But the RLX doesn't surprise you with it's quickness the way a high-horsepower V-8 or turbocharged 6 can make your eyes get big when you floor the accelerator. It's more of a smooth cruiser, with a quiet, comfortable ride and leather appointments nicer than most country clubs. And if your club happens to be near a twisty road, the RLX can handle well enough to scare the monocles off your 1-percenter friends. On our test drive, a portion of which occurred at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California, Acura provided a BMW 535i and Mercedes-Benz E350 for comparison on a small autocross. We wouldn't say the RLX beat the Germans, but it certainly belongs in the same company, which is an admirable feat.

Our test car was a fully-loaded Advance package, complete with an amazing 14-speaker Krell audio system that sounds so good that it makes the low audio quality of Pandora radio nearly unlistenable. Advance trim also includes lane keeping and active cruise control. The lane keeping, which uses the electric power steering to nudge the wheel, is 1 of the best we've ever encountered. It keeps the car centered in the lane with subtle adjustments and can even follow some curves. If not for a warning after 10 seconds, we could take our hands off the wheel for minutes at a time. Active cruise works less admirably, with some jerky brake modulation at low speeds and a reluctance to accelerate hard. But both systems together make for almost-automated driving, from highway speeds down to a stop and back up to speed again.

Favorite Detail: The headlights work as well as they look, lighting up the road like a surgery room. The multi-touch screen has haptic feedback, which means it buzzes slightly when touched to mimic the feel of a real button. Best of all, this touchscreen responds quickly, so when it switches to a keyboard for navigation inputs, the experience is 1 of convenience instead of frustration.


Driver's Grievance: For a high-tech flagship, the RLX is missing a few items on our wish list, like rear-seat climate control, auto high beams, and a larger digital display in the instrument cluster with more information than the small screen currently nestled between the tachometer and speedometer.

The Bottom Line: Acura's pitch for the RLX is to the customer that is looking for a certain level of value for the money. And the RLX offers a good mix of features, space, and performance for the price. In Tech trim, for $55,345, Acura says the RLX is about $5,000 less than a comparable-equipped German sedan. But top-of-the-line Advance trim, at $61,345, is the only way to get lane keeping and active cruise.

This is a great car, but not so brilliant that anybody will rush to trade in a German sedan. And the RLX is unlikely to turn many heads. Aside from the distinctive headlights, the styling is more forgettable than understated. In terms of performance, refinement, and general luxury the RLX is Acura's best car yet, but you might not notice it driving down the road. The biggest problem with the RLX is anonymity.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:48 PM
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Jimmy Durante was born of humble circumstances on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the dark days of the 1890s, but went on to become one of the most well-respected and highest grossing stars of the Jazz era. Yet however great was his regard, when he was eventually enshrined in pop music by Cole Porter with “You’re the Top,” Durante was memorialized solely for his signature sniffer. To quote: You’re a rose/You’re Inferno’s Dante/You’re the nose/On the great Durante.

Similarly, though it began as the offspring of workaday Japanese automaker Honda in the dark days of the 1980s, Acura went on to become one of the most well respected and best-selling car brands of the post-Malaise era, producing immortal and beloved hits like the Integra, the 1st generation Legend, and the original TSX. Yet when reviewers write about the brand today, they’re always certain to lead with a reference to the straked and argent beak Acura designers stuck on their models in the late aughts. To quote: You’re an axe/You’re Charles Barkley’s razor/You’re a shield/That could block Spock’s phaser.

This snooty reaction isn’t limited to the snoot. Neither is it solely the fault of the AutoCAD wielders in Tokyo and Torrance, Calif. Somewhere along the way, just as Durante lost his radio mojo to TV, Acura lost its keel to complacency, crossover dependency, the rear-wheel drive revival and an institutional sight-lowering that Honda once fought with innovations like CVCC instead of caving to catalytic converters, but has grown to accept in this century.

Which brings us to the brand’s new flagship, which, despite Acura’s marketing tagline for it — "Luxury Defined by You" — is not called the UL, but rather RLX. As in, Frankie say.


Sit down in its cushy captain’s chair, start up the actively noise-cancelled engine, roll up the insulating laminated windows, and begin coasting along on resonator-equipped frequency-reducing wheels, and you’ll see what we mean. As if there were any doubts about the car’s intent, at the launch, an Acura executive described it as providing the kind of “relaxed driving situation” wherein one could pilot it with one hand lightly touching the wheel, making it an ideal competitor for that 1978 Lincoln you were cross-shopping.

The new RLX is actually slightly sportier than that, with an iVTEC V-6 that's smaller but more potent than the powerplant it replaces. The downsized 3.5 liter unit’s 10 hp bump to 310 hp is accomplished through Acura’s 1st use of direct injection, and when combined with a 170-lb steelectomy, should translate to slightly better acceleration than the old RL. Fuel economy rises as it must, from 17/24 mpg in the RL to 20/31 mpg. So to does the acronym count, with the requisite collision, lane departure, lane keeping, adaptive cruise, and low-speed following systems, all of which work appropriately well if you turn them on, which we mostly didn’t because, well, we’re generally in favor of being the ones to drive the cars when we’re driving them.

The most relevant acronym here though is PAWS, which stands not for Prow All Wreathed in Silver (sorry), but Performance All Wheel Steering, a trick system that uses a pair of electronic actuators to provide unique toe-in or toe-out angles to each rear wheel. If this sounds like something Honda might have invented in the '80s, it is, kind of. But it’s much more sophisticated and computerized and magical than the 4-wheel-steering setup on the 3rd-generation Prelude. In a wet slaloming comparison with a Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series, we found PAWS to be seamless yet evident, providing the RLX with a more balanced feel than 1 would expect of a cushy, nose-heavy front driver.


Speaking of heavy noses, the Acura still suffers from the aforementioned familial endowment, though its prominence has been dissipated by the distracting presence of its new Signature Jewel Eye headlights. These definitely look …distinctive, though the unique toe-in and toe-out angles applied to each of the lamp’s 5 sets of LED nodules give them the appearance of a pair of stacked engagement rings lumpily crafted by Jared after a few trips to the champagne fountain.

Our own engagement with the RLX over a variety of roadkill-littered Northern California roads was sadly similar: gemlike, yet misaligned. The cabin is finely crafted, with clean lines and smart materials, and hosts a surprisingly roomy rear bench — the result of a 2-inch wheelbase stretch back there. But the space feels '90s austere, lacking the flourishes of color and handcrafted richness one now expects in the category. The dual LCD screens—the lower 1 controlling ventilation and media, the upper dedicated to the nav and multifarious AcuraLink features that this car’s aging buyers will never use — nicely split functions you’d want to access simultaneously, but are no more user-friendly or less distracting than they’d be on one screen. (Whom do we have to bribe to get some knurled knobs up in here?) And the 6-speed automatic transmission couples well with the engine, but lacks the bandwith, sharpness, and efficiency of the 7- and 8-speeds in its competitors.

Overall, we kept thinking: this is a very nice car. But at $60,450 for the fully equipped models we were driving, we had to ask, is it twice as nice as Honda’s lovely $30,000 Accord V-6, or once as nice as a similarly kitted-out Audi A6? The answer was always no.

Perhaps our minds will be changed by the addition of 60 hp and two more drive wheels when the range-topping Super Handling All Wheel Drive version arrives later this year. We hope so. With the enticing NSX 2.0 Concept it just displayed at Detroit, Acura has shown that it can sniff out its moxie, so it’s not impossible to imagine the brand blowing past its current limitations. It worked for the Schnozolla. As no less than Frank Sinatra sang in his 1955 revision to Burton Lane’s “How About You?” I’m mad about good books/Can’t get my fill/And James Durante’s looks/Give me a thrill. Thrill us, Acura. Please.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:04 AM
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Jimmy Durante was born of humble circumstances on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the dark days of the 1890s, but went on to become one of the most well-respected and highest grossing stars of the Jazz era. Yet however great was his regard, when he was eventually enshrined in pop music by Cole Porter with “You’re the Top,” Durante was memorialized solely for his signature sniffer. To quote: You’re a rose/You’re Inferno’s Dante/You’re the nose/On the great Durante.

Similarly, though it began as the offspring of workaday Japanese automaker Honda in the dark days of the 1980s, Acura went on to become one of the most well respected and best-selling car brands of the post-Malaise era, producing immortal and beloved hits like the Integra, the 1st generation Legend, and the original TSX. Yet when reviewers write about the brand today, they’re always certain to lead with a reference to the straked and argent beak Acura designers stuck on their models in the late aughts. To quote: You’re an axe/You’re Charles Barkley’s razor/You’re a shield/That could block Spock’s phaser.

This snooty reaction isn’t limited to the snoot. Neither is it solely the fault of the AutoCAD wielders in Tokyo and Torrance, Calif. Somewhere along the way, just as Durante lost his radio mojo to TV, Acura lost its keel to complacency, crossover dependency, the rear-wheel drive revival and an institutional sight-lowering that Honda once fought with innovations like CVCC instead of caving to catalytic converters, but has grown to accept in this century.

Which brings us to the brand’s new flagship, which, despite Acura’s marketing tagline for it — "Luxury Defined by You" — is not called the UL, but rather RLX. As in, Frankie say.


Sit down in its cushy captain’s chair, start up the actively noise-cancelled engine, roll up the insulating laminated windows, and begin coasting along on resonator-equipped frequency-reducing wheels, and you’ll see what we mean. As if there were any doubts about the car’s intent, at the launch, an Acura executive described it as providing the kind of “relaxed driving situation” wherein one could pilot it with one hand lightly touching the wheel, making it an ideal competitor for that 1978 Lincoln you were cross-shopping.

The new RLX is actually slightly sportier than that, with an iVTEC V-6 that's smaller but more potent than the powerplant it replaces. The downsized 3.5 liter unit’s 10 hp bump to 310 hp is accomplished through Acura’s 1st use of direct injection, and when combined with a 170-lb steelectomy, should translate to slightly better acceleration than the old RL. Fuel economy rises as it must, from 17/24 mpg in the RL to 20/31 mpg. So to does the acronym count, with the requisite collision, lane departure, lane keeping, adaptive cruise, and low-speed following systems, all of which work appropriately well if you turn them on, which we mostly didn’t because, well, we’re generally in favor of being the ones to drive the cars when we’re driving them.

The most relevant acronym here though is PAWS, which stands not for Prow All Wreathed in Silver (sorry), but Performance All Wheel Steering, a trick system that uses a pair of electronic actuators to provide unique toe-in or toe-out angles to each rear wheel. If this sounds like something Honda might have invented in the '80s, it is, kind of. But it’s much more sophisticated and computerized and magical than the 4-wheel-steering setup on the 3rd-generation Prelude. In a wet slaloming comparison with a Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series, we found PAWS to be seamless yet evident, providing the RLX with a more balanced feel than 1 would expect of a cushy, nose-heavy front driver.


Speaking of heavy noses, the Acura still suffers from the aforementioned familial endowment, though its prominence has been dissipated by the distracting presence of its new Signature Jewel Eye headlights. These definitely look …distinctive, though the unique toe-in and toe-out angles applied to each of the lamp’s 5 sets of LED nodules give them the appearance of a pair of stacked engagement rings lumpily crafted by Jared after a few trips to the champagne fountain.

Our own engagement with the RLX over a variety of roadkill-littered Northern California roads was sadly similar: gemlike, yet misaligned. The cabin is finely crafted, with clean lines and smart materials, and hosts a surprisingly roomy rear bench — the result of a 2-inch wheelbase stretch back there. But the space feels '90s austere, lacking the flourishes of color and handcrafted richness one now expects in the category. The dual LCD screens—the lower 1 controlling ventilation and media, the upper dedicated to the nav and multifarious AcuraLink features that this car’s aging buyers will never use — nicely split functions you’d want to access simultaneously, but are no more user-friendly or less distracting than they’d be on one screen. (Whom do we have to bribe to get some knurled knobs up in here?) And the 6-speed automatic transmission couples well with the engine, but lacks the bandwith, sharpness, and efficiency of the 7- and 8-speeds in its competitors.

Overall, we kept thinking: this is a very nice car. But at $60,450 for the fully equipped models we were driving, we had to ask, is it twice as nice as Honda’s lovely $30,000 Accord V-6, or once as nice as a similarly kitted-out Audi A6? The answer was always no.

Perhaps our minds will be changed by the addition of 60 hp and two more drive wheels when the range-topping Super Handling All Wheel Drive version arrives later this year. We hope so. With the enticing NSX 2.0 Concept it just displayed at Detroit, Acura has shown that it can sniff out its moxie, so it’s not impossible to imagine the brand blowing past its current limitations. It worked for the Schnozolla. As no less than Frank Sinatra sang in his 1955 revision to Burton Lane’s “How About You?” I’m mad about good books/Can’t get my fill/And James Durante’s looks/Give me a thrill. Thrill us, Acura. Please.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:07 PM
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Automobile magazine: Driven 2014 RLX

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...014_acura_rlx/

Written by someone who does NOT know the RL. Didn't get that the second Gen is AWD, and that P-AWS does not do anything with Torque, but rather with Toe. Geez ...

But they did get a chance to test drive the hybrid AWD version:

"A few laps of coned-off Sears Point make the RLX's mild understeer more evident. We had a couple of the same limited laps in an RLX hybrid with Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, which uses an electric motor to power the rear wheels and combines with the 3.5-liter V-6 and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to provide 370 horsepower. The hybrid's steering and handling responses are sharper, and the powertrain is a hoot: the V-6/electric hybrid should be able to keep up with the average German luxury V-8 and, at the limit, the chassis will be more likely to give in to four-wheel drifts. Acura was hush-hush about the RLX hybrid's specs. It has a series of pushbuttons in place of the front-wheel-drive car's conventional gearshift and will be a standalone option rather than a separate trim level. "

Last edited by JonFo; 02-16-2013 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:22 PM
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Car And Driver Magazine: 2014 RLX First Drive

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:27 PM
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Motor Trend: Then and Now: 2014 Acura RLX, 1997-2009 Acura RL

http://wot.motortrend.com/mt-then-an...rl-328855.html

Motor Trend: Acura 2014 RLX First Drive

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...x_first_drive/

Last edited by JonFo; 02-16-2013 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:49 PM
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:53 PM
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:22 AM
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:31 AM
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I can't speak for how the car rides, but from what I saw at the dealership yesterday, the RLX is pretty dull. The exterior is too generic and the interior is so-so. I like how the touch screen buzzes when tapped. Acura could have done better with car.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by diddy_nyc View Post
I can't speak for how the car rides, but from what I saw at the dealership yesterday, the RLX is pretty dull. The exterior is too generic and the interior is so-so. I like how the touch screen buzzes when tapped. Acura could have done better with car.
I agree, but I also think the "dull" design will age better than some of the other cars such as the new Lexus GS.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
I agree, but I also think the "dull" design will age better than some of the other cars such as the new Lexus GS.
I think the present design language of Lexus, infiniti, bmw & mercedes is where the entire industry is headed and needs to - sharp contour lines with a dynamic front/rear fascias. I believe the RLX will age poorly compared to its competitors.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
I agree, but I also think the "dull" design will age better than some of the other cars such as the new Lexus GS.
You're making excuses for them.

I am not trying to be argumentative. I have been on this forum a while and I am not like that.

You can still have a dynamic design that ages well. THey have done it before.

The original NSX. Was beautiful then. Is still beautiful now.

The 2nd gen Legends were beautiful cars, especially the coupes. If you can find one today that isn't rusted out. I saw a Legend coupe a few months ago. Had some rust on it, but the design still looked nice.

More recently the third gen TLs. My brother has an '06. No one ever thought that car looked dull and it still looks nice today.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by diddy_nyc View Post
I think the present design language of Lexus, infiniti, bmw & mercedes is where the entire industry is headed and needs to - sharp contour lines with a dynamic front/rear fascias. I believe the RLX will age poorly compared to its competitors.
how exactly is RLX dulll design.

here is some examples of dull design.look and front lights like SUV and rear lights.




Car looks very proportional.

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Old 02-17-2013, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
You're making excuses for them.

I am not trying to be argumentative. I have been on this forum a while and I am not like that.

You can still have a dynamic design that ages well. THey have done it before.

The original NSX. Was beautiful then. Is still beautiful now.

The 2nd gen Legends were beautiful cars, especially the coupes. If you can find one today that isn't rusted out. I saw a Legend coupe a few months ago. Had some rust on it, but the design still looked nice.

More recently the third gen TLs. My brother has an '06. No one ever thought that car looked dull and it still looks nice today.
Orignal NSX does not have to deal with todays safety, refinement and fuel efficiency requirement. and certainly not as spacious as RLX. your brining irrelevant examples. This car is designed for tommorrow requirements not yesterday.

see how outdated CTS-V look like both from exterior and interior.



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Old 02-17-2013, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SSFTSX View Post
Orignal NSX does not have to deal with todays safety, refinement and fuel efficiency requirement. and certainly not as spacious as RLX. your brining irrelevant examples. This car is designed for tommorrow requirements not yesterday.

see how outdated CTS-V look like both from exterior and interior.



So you say that because of today's safety requirements the car design has to be dull?

and what does the CTS-V have anything to do with the discussion?
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
So you say that because of today's safety requirements the car design has to be dull?

and what does the CTS-V have anything to do with the discussion?
and what has NSX that low sitting sports car has anything to do with RLX design. CTS-V atleast compete in same segment.
and this car is certainly not dull when u post those dull pix of competition.

what is so special about this design. the same oversize overhang. oversize door relative to over all length.





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Old 02-17-2013, 01:45 PM
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You obviously can't comprehend when you read. SOmeone made a comment that the dull design will not make it look dated.

I said that a good design doesn't necessarily get old. Like the NSX. I never compared the NSX to the RLX.

Try understanding what people are posting before you blindly post your cluesless ranting.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:08 PM
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Nope. you cannot make NSX a dull design as it wont be a sports car. see Audi R8. so basically your comparing two diffferent things.

show me single MB/BMW/Lexus sedan that age better than Acura. infact they are so unreliable and maintainance so expensive that there is not many on the road relative to the sales volume.




car has no presence with smaller rim size. there is no side mirro indicators.
so despite fuel economic advantage BMW will cost more on long run due to higher depreciation and maintaince costs. Acura is always best choice in this segment due to more uniquenss.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:16 PM
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Oh brother. I should have known better than to get into a debate with you. You don't get it.

I am done with you.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:40 PM
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Styling is very subjective, of course, but the pics of the 750 back to back with the RLX are instructive. The 750 has the "rolling brick" motif. At least the RLX has a little style to it. I personally can't see anyone praising the style of the 750 but being critical of the RLX as "boring" or "anonymous." Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:57 PM
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Both YOUTUBE videos posted here seem to show a "nicer" looking RLX in my opinion. Once again, when I get a non static view of the RLX, it appears to have a nicer presence and more balanced look. It is hard to describe, but I did notice that way back when the prototype RLX was released, the videos showing the vehicle in motion made it look nice. Then when I saw the "release" pics of the car, I was disappointed until I saw both videos but maybe WHITE has something to do with it Bottom line, it is not enough to convince to drop the money on one, at least not I see the vehicle in the flesh and have a chance to drive one. But it sure looks like the tradition of Acura to be non photogenic continues
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
Oh brother. I should have known better than to get into a debate with you. You don't get it.

I am done with you.

I made the same mistake and came to the same conclusion.
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GoHawks (02-17-2013)
Old 02-17-2013, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JM2010 SH-AWD View Post
Styling is very subjective, of course, but the pics of the 750 back to back with the RLX are instructive. The 750 has the "rolling brick" motif. At least the RLX has a little style to it. I personally can't see anyone praising the style of the 750 but being critical of the RLX as "boring" or "anonymous." Thanks for posting.
The posting of the picture of the 750 is irrelevant to me. I am not a big fan of that either. The issue is that BMW has developed such a following that they don't have to put out a looker and people will still buy their cars. Not so yet with Acura, or specifically with the RLX.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:20 AM
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Can't we all just get along? I think we can all agree that the RLX will be a niche product just like its predecessors. Hopefully, Acura can sell the RLX is limited quantities profitably and then the lessons learned and technologies used can migrate down to the other Acuras and Hondas.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:22 AM
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Lightbulb Aluminum


Honda Motor Co. has developed a new technique for joining steel and aluminum, 2 materials that are difficult to fix together, and will use it to make lighter door panels for a forthcoming model for the North American market, the company said Feb. 18.

It said the doors of the new Acura RLX, which will debut in the United States in March, will comprise a lightweight aluminum skin over a sturdy steel frame, with the edges of the two materials folded tightly together and then glued.

Honda said seams where aluminum abuts steel have traditionally been prone to electrical corrosion and stress because the 2 metals expand differently under heat. It said the new technique counters these risks.

Furthermore, it said, assembly lines can easily be adjusted to offer the new technique.

"These technologies do not require a dedicated process; as a result, existing production lines can accommodate these new technologies," it said in a corporate statement.

Honda said it has been making a number of efforts recently to reduce vehicle weight. In 2012, it began using a different hybrid steel-aluminum construction in the North American version of its Accord car.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:48 AM
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LeftLaneNews


The Acura RL was dealt a difficult hand in life. Although positioned as Acura's flagship vehicle, the RL was more of a “tweener,” straddling the line between mid-size and full-size luxury.

Making things more difficult for the RL was competition from within Acura's own lineup. It may have been positioned as the brand's flagship sedan, but the RL was actually the same size and less powerful than the cheaper TL.


And sales figures clearly reflect the RL was getting lost in the mix – just 1,096 units found new homes in 2012.

But Acura is starting fresh for the 2014 model year with the RL-replacing RLX. Although still not quite laser-focused on a single segment – Acura says the sedan has the interior space to compete with vehicles like the Audi A8 – Honda's luxury brand is now aiming the RLX in the general direction of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.


RLX-factor
Acura typically isn't shy about pushing the styling envelope, but you'd never know that by looking at the RLX. Rather than emulating some of the more daring design cues from the ZDX crossover or NSX concept, Acura took a decidedly safe approach when penning the new RLX.

Although the RLX's styling won't catch the world on fire, we'd still classify it as a handsome sedan. The RLX's nose wears arguably the most attractive version of Acura's 'shield' grille design, with that wedge shaping carrying over nicely to the car's lower bumper.


The RLX arrives with new-look LED headlights that are technically better than HID units, but stylistically much worse. SEMA called. They want their headlights back.

Down the sides of the RLX you'll notice what appear to be character lines, but there are more to those creases than just looks. The curved portion of the line in the front fender and door actually help to divert wind from the RLX's A-pillar, resulting in a reduction of in-cabin wind noise.


The rear of the RLX is somewhat derivative – we personally see a little last-gen Toyota Avalon in there – but there are enough lines and bulges to keep the design interesting.

Step inside the RLX, though, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. The RLX boasts an upscale interior design with some of the nicest materials we've seen, regardless of vehicle class. All plastics are top-notch and the RLX's leather wouldn't feel out of place in an Italian exotic.


Although not everyone will be a fan of the RLX's protruding center stack, we generally like the added dimension it brings to the cabin. And, if nothing else, it puts controls within an easy reach of the driver.

Those controls are easier to operate, too, as Acura has (thankfully) replaced the RL's keyboard-like center stack with a touch screen and few physical buttons. We're also fans of the RLX's dual-screen setup, which separates radio and HVAC displays from the car's navigation system.


Unfortunately, Acura's navigation system remains 1 for the more finicky on the market. The controls for the system aren't as intuitive as they should be, but at least Acura ditched the RL's 1990s-era screen with a unit that could pass for high-definition.

We found the RLX's front buckets to be plenty comfy during our day-long journey, and the rear seats proved to be spacious enough for passengers well above the 6-foot mark. That should come as no surprise as the RLX boasts best in-class rear-seat leg and shoulder room.


P-AWS helps the cause
Although a hybrid version of the RLX with all-wheel drive will launch later this year, the only model currently on sale is the front-wheel drive version with Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steel, or P-AWS for short.

But let's start with the basics. The RLX is powered by Acura's 1st-ever direct-injected engine, which takes the form of a 3.5-liter V6. Although slightly smaller than the RL's outgoing 3.7-liter V6, the all-new 3.5-liter generates 10 more ponies, good for a total output of 310 horsepower. The new V6 is also more efficient, returning 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, netting a combined rating of 24 mpg.


Power is sent the RLX's front wheels via a heavily revised 6-speed automatic transmission. The new gearbox features more aggressive gear ratios (afforded by the more efficient D-I engine) resulting in better acceleration.

On the open road the RLX never left us wanting for power, but there are a speedier options in the segment (the BMW 535i comes to mind).


However, the RLX's party piece isn't its new engine but rather its trick all-wheel steering system. The P-AWS system – which can individually change the toe-in and toe-out of each rear wheel – functions largely under the radar during typical driving, but really comes to life when you start throwing the RLX into the corners.

We were able to test the system on a closed track and came away quite impressed. Although the RLX still exhibits some understeer at the limit, the P-AWS system does an extremely good job of emulating rear-wheel drive by rotating the back of the car, particularly in tight corners. If you need the sure-footedness of front-wheel drive but want the driving dynamics of rear-wheel drive, the RLX could be the car for you.


But we doubt many RLX owners will be tracking their car, and Acura has planned accordingly. The RLX's suspension has been fitted with a sort of Jekyll and Hyde damper system, providing both sporty handling and a smooth, luxurious ride. That comfortable ride is amplified by the RLX's whisper-quiet cabin, made possible by touches like noise-reducing wheels and active engine mounts that help keep engine vibrations at bay.

And, just in case that quiet interior puts you to sleep, the RLX is equipped with a host of new safety systems. The RLX comes standard with a knee airbag system, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning. Uplevel models can be fitted with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Acura's Lane Keeping Assist System, which can help steer the car to keep it in the proper lane.

Thankfully, all of the RLX's electronic nannies can be switched off.


Leftlane's bottom line
The RLX is a very good car that might be let down by its badge. Acura simply doesn't have the cachet of brands like BMW and Mercedes, and that could hurt the RLX's sales, no matter how comfortable, quite and competent it might be.

But if you're willing to forgo the status associated with the blue-and-white roundel or the 3-pointed star, the RLX is a pleasant surprise just waiting to be discovered.

2014 Acura RLX base price range, $48,450-$60,450.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:02 AM
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Smile AskMen


If you haven’t realized it, the future is here. In 2012, Nevada legalized self-driven cars, with Florida and California soon following suit. This is just 1 indication of the automotive sea change we are in the midst of. Although the adoption of vehicles like Google’s driverless Prii is still some way off, new cars like the 2014 Acura RLX now come laden with such technological features that they can practically drive themselves. Realizing decades-old dreams, these vehicles are completely transforming the driving experience.

Acura’s goal for its latest flagship, the 2014 RLX, is the synergy of man and machine, and this elegant and luxurious vehicle is rewriting the balance of that equation. Driver aids like Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) allow the car to brake and accelerate with the flow of traffic and even steer itself -- within limits.


Acura’s Lane Keeping Assist is a system that uses a windshield-mounted camera to monitor lane markings. When it detects you straying from center, it applies counteracting steering torque to maintain proper lane position. What does this mean? Essentially, you can cruise along with your hands off the wheel, and the RLX will keep itself true as long as there are markings to guide it. Start drifting off course, and you’ll feel an invisible hand gently shift the wheel as you’re returned to center. Let the car enter a corner without guidance, and it’ll sidle itself right along. Luckily, the system only functions between 45 and 90 mph.

Why is that a good thing? Start traveling under 40 mph, and you enter the world of suburban streets, parking lots and intersections. Places where no car should be allowed to steer itself. There are just too many accident-inducing variables in such locations. Features like LKAS and ACC do certainly make things safer by acting as safeguards against our waning attentions. The risk, however, comes when these safeguards become so prevalent that we no longer devote the attention to driving we once did.


For a man my father’s age, the RLX’s Adaptive Cruise Control is a dream come true. Gone are the days of your leg cramping up shifting through endless gridlock. Push a wheel-mounted button, and the RLX will follow the car in front of you at a set distance, starting and stopping appropriately with the flow of traffic. The system’s so good you could practically catch some shut-eye while on your morning commute. The only thing is that the RLX can’t see stop signs, and, once again, that’s a good thing. If the RLX could negotiate traffic signals and maintain proper road position at low speeds, it’d be automated driving realized.

Starting at $48,450, the RLX sits alongside the 5 Series and E-Class in terms of pricing but offers the interior spacing of their bigger brothers. Though it's not available till March, Acura flew us out in early February so that we could take the RLX for a pre-release spin.


Its V6 gives it a satisfying amount of power, and its Amplitude Reactive Dampers provide a serenely smooth ride even over varied road surfaces. Road noise has no luck penetrating the RLX’s insulated interior, and Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system gives the RLX an unnatural agility for such a spacious saloon.

Continuously monitoring the car’s steering input, engine and road speed, throttle position, brake pressure, lateral acceleration and more, P-AWS independently directs the rear wheels for maximum efficiency. During high-speed maneuvering, they’ll turn in phase with the front wheels for increased agility, and during low-speed turns, they’ll turn in opposition to the front wheels to provide a tighter turning radius. During braking, P-AWS will even have both rear wheels toe in for increased stability and braking force.


The rotational movement (yaw) introduced by P-AWS while cornering aggressively allows the RLX to slice through corners disproportionately well. The sensation it provides, however, is 1 that will leave serious driving enthusiasts asking questions. When in the midst of a curve, P-AWS shifts the RLX’s stance in a semblance of oversteer right at that moment you expect its considerable front-wheel-driven weight to blunder into understeer. This momentary shift, this slight loosening and sideways shuffle, gets the full-sized sedan through corners more effectively than I ever expected, but it simultaneously removes the tactile faith you need to take things to the limit. This isn’t a bad thing, as the RLX is certainly no sports saloon -- it’s a luxury cruiser meant to get you from point A to B with minimal fuss and maximal comfort. Something it does admirably.


Are we ready for automated driving? Some of us certainly are, specifically those old enough to remember when cars had carburetors. After driving for decades, you build up a set of intrinsic skills that allow you to drive safely with minimal thought. You just do it, and, as such, experienced drivers can appreciate having computerized assistants there to back up their instincts.

They know they’re not going to crash into oncoming traffic, but it’s nice just to have a machine take care of it for you. This is not, however, something we would want our kids to experience. New drivers must be made excruciatingly aware of the dangers of driving. A moment’s inattention can spell disaster, and learning to drive in a vehicle that can stop, start and steer itself is a recipe for kids hitting the roads without the proper skills.


The definition of driving is morphing. Technology has disrupted the balance of man and machine, and the machines are taking the reins. If your car is stopping, starting and steering all on its own, you are no longer driving; you are a passenger. Maybe our kids will exist in a world where being driven is the norm and driving is a lost art. What is for sure is that if these driver aids continue to advance in ability and prevalence, young people's ability to manage and prevent emergency situations on their own will wither along with their enthusiasm for driving and car culture in general. Knowledge of how a modern car functions has been relegated to the mystifying world of 1s and 0s, rather than the bloodied-knuckle reality of nuts and bolts, a trend that’s replaced the logical magic of mechanics with digital wizardry.


Regardless of what its technology portends, the Acura RLX offers a taste of tomorrow today. Potential buyers be warned, though -- a sweeter package is in the works. Acura will make a Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive version available this fall. With an electronic motor attached to each rear wheel, the RLX Sport Hybrid will put out a combined 370 hp, with up to 70% of that able to be shoved through the rear wheels. Not only will the Sport Hybrid be more powerful, but it’ll also be more efficient, getting 30 mpg combined in comparison to the standard RLX’s 24.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
Can't we all just get along? I think we can all agree that the RLX will be a niche product just like its predecessors. Hopefully, Acura can sell the RLX is limited quantities profitably and then the lessons learned and technologies used can migrate down to the other Acuras and Hondas.
I have been on this forum a long time and would lie, to think I was a contributing member and respectful of everyone's opinions. That is until one particular poster joined the ranks.

I enjoy debating and am not self-absorbed enough to think my opinions really matter to anyone. They are my opinions.

I apologize if my irritation with one particular poster has been disruptive. I will avoid engaging with him in future discussions.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:21 PM
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Arrow Mega Gallery


Here’s a fresh and very large gallery of the all-new 2014 Acura RLX, a car we 1st saw in December last year. The RLX is Acura’s answer to popular mid-size luxury stalwarts like the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 and Lexus GS, although the company is also hoping to encroach into the class above.


New to the RL’s replacement is an all-new engine from the Earth Dreams Technology series, a lighter body structure, and new tech such as Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer, Jewel Eye LED headlamps and the AcuraLink cloud-connected ICE system.


The RLX is also said to offer class-leading interior space, with three inches more rear legroom than competing models. Width, wheelbase, and front/rear track are all up on the RL.


The RLX’s new 3.5 litre V6 engine has 310 hp and 370 Nm, and Acura says over 90% of the latter is available from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm. The direct-injection i-VTEC SOHC unit can shut off cylinders when not needed and run on reduced displacement mode for fuel savings.


The engine, which is paired to a Sequential SportShift 6-speed auto with steering paddles, is mounted to a lightweight and rigid aluminum front subframe using a vibration-canceling Active Control Engine Mount (ACM) system.


The standard Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system continuously monitors and calculates the correct amount of independent rear-wheel steering (toe angle) necessary for driving conditions. As the industry’s 1st left/right independent rear-wheel toe angle control system, P-AWS uses an all-electric system that enhances driving dynamics.


Not the most original design perhaps, but the RLX is handsome nonetheless. Mega gallery of nearly 200 high-res pics after the jump.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:18 PM
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Arrow The Car Connection

Meta Rating: 7.8/10
Bottom Line
The 2014 Acura RLX leaves the bold ambition to other brands; it's a studied update that delivers smoother looks, quicker performance, and better fuel economy, but no more excitement.

Likes
Smooth V-6 growl
Gas mileage estimates lead the class
Interesting new safety features

Dislikes
Design isn't distinctive
Rear-wheel steering is a pretty exotic solution
Multiple screens, multiple guesses?
Disassemble a luxury car and try to distinguish it from a normal vehicle. You won't find much difference. Some extra steel and aluminum and glass, maybe some wood or a few ounces of carbon fiber. Mostly, you'll get more sound deadening and more badges. What's left behind are the intangibles like prestige, heritage, and word of mouth.

With the 2014 RLX, Acura offers up the 1st reinvention of its flagship sedan in more than a decade. And instead of plying you with acres of responsibly harvested wood, or exotic hand-massaged leathers, it says it's offering "luxury defined by you." Is that nebulous enough to woo back the shoppers that might have been smitten by the biggest Acura when it was a Legend--and now find themselves behind the wheel of a Lexus, an Audi, or even a Mercedes or BMW?

After our 1st in-depth drives in the Acura RLX, we're apt to define luxury as something more intensely flavored, unique, and barely attainable. Leather and branded audio and electronic driving assists? They're to be had in $30,000 family sedans these days. Luxury has to be more.

On that scale, the 2014 RLX is a polite, well-composed premium sedan, a contender in the ring with the Cadillac XTS and Lincoln MKS--but not crazy, not flagrantly out of skew, not brilliant enough in any single facet to run any of the old-money names off the VIP list. That's despite some thoughtful new safety gear and some nifty handling tricks that obscure its front-drive running gear.

The RLX has understatement down pat while it runs lean on sizzle. It's a gentle reiteration of the BMW 5-Series with a softer Acura boomerang of chrome applied to the front end, a hint of animal musculature over its front wheels in the fender lines. It's a no-drama zone from LED headlight to LED taillight, elegant in the same way the cabin is pretty and handsomely constructed, orchestrated instead of inspired. The leathers and grains are better than any Acura we've sampled. They just need a touch of alchemy.

The name's only 2 vowels away from "relax," and that's a clear predictor of how the Acura RLX tackles the road. It's up only 10 horsepower in a crazy age where the Lincoln-cum-Volvo MKS has 365 hp--and the Hyundai Genesis, 429 hp. On principle it gets the best gas mileage in the class, by Acura's estimates, and in practice, it feels it, with ample but steady acceleration, woken up at 3000 rpm with some intake snarl that's bound to be remixed in 12-inch form on the upcoming NSX's soundtrack.

There's a hybrid all-wheel-drive version with the same 310-hp V-6 and 6-speed automatic on tap, but 30-mpg fuel economy across the board. We've just driven the front-drive version, which eschews the adaptive suspensions common in the class for a well-tuned set of coils, links, and digressive dampers. It's a setup that is well aware of what the RLX wants to be: a mildly cushy cruiser, with only token amounts of road-surface feedback. That's what makes the RLX's electric steering system so unusual: it has actuators on the back wheels that work in concert to deliver rear-wheel steering, an effect that lends stability to the RLX on the interstate but sounds like an exotic solution for a car without high-performance intentions.

Size is a factor Acura hopes will appeal to RLX lookers. It remains about the same size as the outgoing RL sedan, although overhang has been shortened somewhat and the wheelbase is 2 inches longer—which together with 2 more inches of width, in all, means more passenger space inside. The front seats are supple and trimmed in very rich leather, but rear headroom is scant for tall adults, and trunk space is only average.

Safety is again a focus for Acura's flagship sedan. The brand's 1st application of Lane Keep Assist is available, and all RLX sedans have standard Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning. In addition to the usual roster of safety features and airbags, the 2014 RLX will include a driver's front knee bag, and Acura is already expecting top 5-star scores from the federal government and the upcoming Safety Pick Plus status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The optional adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems even work together as a follow function: the RLX will steer itself at low speeds behind another car, say, in stop-and-go traffic.

5 grades of RLX are on the order sheet for the 2014 model year: RLX, RLX with Navigation, RLX with Technology package, RLX with Krell Audio package, and RLX with Advance package. All have an extensive list of features including dual LCD displays for infotainment functions, while upper trim levels get a next-generation AcuraLink Communication system and the Aha streaming-audio interface, as well as an expanded range of infotainment and connectivity features based on smartphone integration. The navigation system now includes surface-street traffic, and security features include stolen vehicle tracking, airbag deployment notification remote locking and unlocking, and 24-hour concierge services.

Prices start from just under $50,000, and the top RLX with Advance retails for more than $61,000. The 2014 Acura RLX is on sale at dealers as of March 15, with the hybrid model to follow later this year.

Interior/Exterior = 7
Good-looking but not at all daring, the Acura RLX would get called "catalog" on any of the cutthroat fashion-model reality shows.

The challenge for any luxury sedan today is to hit some benchmarks that would have been coachbuilt in a bygone era. The Audi A7 and Jaguar XF are in the RLX's periphery, and they faintly reek of sophistication and substance--nevermind the Cadillac XTS and its flair-filled, jewel-blinged bod.

The RLX? It's less apt to leap off a runway. The stance is right, and the proportions are good, and even the BMW-esque turn to the roofline has enough distance between it and the original to claim its own birthright. The rest is subtle but graceful, from the LED headlights to the curve stamped over the front wheels to the LED taillights. As rolling stock, the RLX's smoothly arched roofline and somewhat aggressive stance are attractive--but they're not groundbreaking.

The cabin is a pretty functional, handsome place to check off driving tasks, but it's more of the same. It falls in the gap between the opposing ways drivers tend to define luxury: it doesn't wrap itself in the precisely modern design cues that define most Audi cockpits, or in the pervasive sense of old (and new) money that fills every Jaguar cabin. Cadillac is doing fantastic interiors in this class, too, and the choice of materials and grains and glosses are as point-perfect in the Acura RLX. It has the sense of refinement down pat, but lacks the sense of drama that's almost a basic requirement in an age of A7, XF, and XTS.

Performance = 7
The Acura RLX finds itself in a performance arena that used to have the gentle ambiance of the Westminster Dog Show, but now feels more like Thunderdome. When the former RL was new, 300 horsepower was supercar territory; now, that's the base output for some of the RLX's hottest competition, and the 400-hp mark is an easy hurdle for some of its pricey mid-size luxury competitors.

Even among the milder editions of those other aspiring sedans, the Acura RLX's 310-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 isn't a spec-page leader, nor is its 272 pound-feet of torque. It's up 10 hp and 1 lb-ft over the RL's 3.7-liter V-6, but it pales next to the Lincoln MKS EcoBoost's 365 horsepower, or the Hyundai Genesis R-Spec's 429 hp. It does deliver most of its torque over most of the powerband--and in a bit of a preview of next year's NSX sportscar, the flat delivery of torque comes with a shade of exhaust ripple and intake grunt that aren't filtered away by active noise cancellation.

It's an aural component that puts some waveform into the engine's straightforward delivery. There's not much urgency in the way it pulls uniformly away from a stop, or in its relaxed uptake. It's a contrast to the Lexus GS, which has some peaks whipped into its performance, though it doesn't necessarily feel any quicker than the Acura RLX--both sit squarely in the 6-second 0-60 mph range.

The RLX's automatic transmission nets shift paddles and a sport shift mode this year, but no more gears. It's a 6-speed automatic with very smooth upshifts, less invisible downshifts. The top-rated sedans in the segment are changing over to 8-speed automatics, as is the Chrysler 300. The ZF 8-speed that's nearly universal sets a high bar, and the RLX could use more tightly spaced gears to accelerate more quickly off the line.

As for the gas mileage benefits of more gears, the RLX doesn't need much help. It's estimated at 20/31 mpg, or 24 mpg combined, near the Chrysler's numbers with 2 fewer gears.

Handling puts the RLX in a breed of luxury sedans that doesn't have a dog among them, but doesn't have a champion, either. Along with the XTS, MKS, and Volvo S80, it's in a niche divided from the traditional luxury marques by heritage as much as orientation. At BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar, rear-wheel drive is the norm, and all-wheel drive is an option for marketing's sake. Audi is the grey area.

Acura's on the other side of the fence. The RLX and the RL before it have always been front-drivers, and the dynamic difference between Acura and those brands has only shrunk a little bit. The RLX has a conventional suspension tuned for comfort 1st, with a bit of lively feel dialed in via electric power steering and a trick pair of actuators at the rear wheels. The RLX's steering has a light touch on center that's very noticeable at parking speeds, entirely intentional, before it transitions to a more consistent heft. The transition's less obvious at speed, where the ability to steer its rear tires becomes the RLX's most significant new hardware bullet point.

The RLX's rear steering--Precision All-Wheel Steer, or P-AWS--is technologically extravagant, for what the RLX wants to be. P-AWS puts an actuator on each rear wheel and keeps tabs on vehicle speeds and steering motions, so it can feed in minute amounts of rear-steer to give the RLX more stable road feel. In lane changes, all 4 wheels move in the same direction. On a curving road, P-AWS can steer the rear wheels up to 2 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels, to cut a sharper line. It's an effect that can be helpful in daily driving, mitigating some of the width that's been baked into the RLX's platform (maybe for interior room, maybe also to accommodate some of the hardware on the way in the RLX hybrid and NSX).

Under extreme conditions, like on the stretch of Sonoma Raceway where Acura let us press the system, P-AWS can make you rethink the way you approach corners and react to them, by virtue of the way it transitions through its rear-steer spectrum. Drive it quickly in an uphill straight line, then dive down and deeply left, and the quick oversteer set up by P-AWS is unlike any other system before it. It's a glint of edge in a car that doesn't necessarily need for one, or pretend to one.

The powertrain and steering work in concert with a conventional suspension design to give the RLX a comfortable, composed ride. It's sprung and damped well enough to absorb stretches of broken pavement with little fuss, and it leans into corners casually and undramatically. For that kind of driving duty, you'll never miss an adjustable suspension system or adaptive shocks like the ones commonly found on competitors, but absent here. Those systems can be tailored to a wider range of performance limits, and the RLX doesn't intend to ultra-high performance. There's no M or AMG edition in the works. It's a mono-spec machine that knows its limits, and makes the best of them.

Quality = 8
The Acura RL, may it retire in peace, was a great long-distance tourer for front-seat passengers. The rear seats were tight, and interior storage was slight. The new RLX fixes most of that, though we're still left unimpressed by rear-seat headroom.

About the same size overall, the RLX is fractionally longer than the RL but has a wheelbase 2.0 inches longer, and sits 1.8 inches wider. It instantly registers, not so much from the RLX's stance, though that's certainly chunkier and broader.

It makes an impact more when you open the door--that's when the RLX keys up, emits a little jingle (yes, a jingle) and shimmers its displays in a slightly fancy display of emotion we've never seen from Acura. The interior looks large, and it's not all visual tricks, though the clever stylists have boxed out the door panels and boxed in the central tunnel to create rectangular passenger spaces that read more like architecture than car design.

In front, the seats fit like broad-backed executive desk chairs. They adjust 12 ways and have heating, and optionally, ventilation. Acura says shoulder room is among the best in the category, though their chosen competition is more German than American, something we differ with. The center console is wide, but so are the passenger spaces, and headroom is fine for tall adults, even without having to lean back in those well-done chairs.

The back seat? It looks enormous, and the rear door cuts are usefully large, making it easy to slide into the 3-passenger space. The cushions are wide and long under the leg for great support--but even with a slouch, I still rubbed my head on the ceiling, something that happens regularly in Passats, Accords, and Fusions, but never in the MKS or XTS. There's somewhat less shoulder room than expected, too. The rear seats can be optioned up to heating; our ancestors would probably be disgusted at how far from the hunter-gatherer tribe we've fallen, but who doesn't like a warm cheek or two?

Acura's fitted the RLX with plenty of small-item storage. The center console's the foremost space to hide valuable objects, since its lid opens from either side, or slides with a lovely damping toward the rear. The trunk has a slight 15.3 cubic feet of space, or less if you get the top audio systems; it's a flat floor, but it's a couple of gym bags smaller than the trunk on the MKS.

We were impressed duly by the uptick in materials used in the RLX. Our late-run prototypes didn't show much evidence of being test cars, and the presence of engine note is a welcome change for Acura--not noise to be filtered out, we think. The tire noise? That's something the RLX's hollow-core wheels were meant to address, but don't always nix completely.

Safety = 8
Neither of the well-known safety agencies has checked in yet on the 2014 Acura RLX, but with its new safety technologies and Honda's recent advances in crash mitigation and prevention, we're giving the RLX a high preliminary rating, which we'll adjust as the scores come in.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't tested the RLX as of this writing; neither has the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Acura says it expects to ace both sets of tests, and to get the IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ rating.

All RLX sedans come with the usual airbags and stability control. A driver-side knee airbag is standard as well, and so are a rearview camera and Bluetooth, 2 features we consider almost essential in everyday driving due to driver inattention. The RLX's rearview camera actually displays a 180-degree view of its surroundings, for even better visibility. It helps too that the RLX doesn't have the very thick roof pillars or very small rear glass of, say, the Lincoln MKS.

Among the options offered to RLX buyers are blind-spot monitors, a feature we like for the added information it gives drivers who fail to check their rearview mirrors. There's also adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure and lane-keeping system; together with a collision-avoidance system, the chorus of sensors and alerts can actually prevent lower-speed accidents--and even can grant a degree of autonomous driving. When the adaptive cruise control is set, the RLX will stop itself at lower speeds--and all the driver has to do to re-engage is to hit "resume" on the steering wheel, or tap the gas. The RLX will even steer along with the vehicle ahead at very low speeds. It's clever, it's creepy, it's a step too far toward divorcing the car and the driver--you pick. To us, it's mostly an expensive, unnecessary frill.

And finally, for safety's sake, the RLX loses 1 of the features we've long appreciated in Honda and Acura vehicles. Acura now blocks out any user from entering touchscreen information when the vehicle is moving. The logic's unassailable if the driver's the only passenger--but what about other passengers? In this case the "feature" becomes an annoyance.

Features = 9
Rich with features, but priced significantly higher than some of the vehicles we consider competitive with it, the 2014 RLX caps the Acura lineup with some versions costing more than $60,000 before all options are added. That vies with the 2013 Cadillac XTS as the most expensive front-wheel-drive car on the market.

The $49,345 RLX has a price and features more in line with the cars we'd cross-shop. Its standard features include power windows, locks, and mirrors; cruise control; automatic climate control; 18-inch wheels and 45-series Michelin tires; Bluetooth; a rearview camera; forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems; an 8-inch upper LCD and a 7-inch lower LCD touchscreen that display output for the AM/FM/CD/XM audio system, which also includes 10 speakers, HD radio, a USB port and an aux jack; a power sunroof; pushbutton start; leather upholstery; 12-way power heated front seats; power tilt/telescoping steering; and automatic headlights.

The $51,845 RLX with Navigation adds the GPS with voice commands; AcuraLink, a suite of services discussed below; and a color LCD display between the primary gauges. The $55,345 RLX with Technology Package upgrades the wheels to 19-inchers and refines the leather choice to "Milano" hides; adds blind-spot monitors, acoustic glass, and 4 more speakers; and caps it with retractable side mirrors and rain-sensing wipers.

For $57,845, the RLX comes with a 14-speaker Krell audio system with reference-quality sound, one of the near-overkill systems usually found on ultra-premium brands, and power sunshades. At the top of the lineup, the $61,345 RLX with Advance includes adaptive cruise control with follow ability; lane-keeping assist; front and rear parking sensors; ventilated front seats; and heated rear seats.

The 2014 RLX carries Acura's standard warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Of all the new features integrated into the new RLX, the AcuraLink system and the dual-screen output of the infotainment system will take the most time to learn and to use. The logic behind both sounds reasonable. AcuraLink's basic setup uses a smartphone app, Aha, to be the gatekeeper for dozens of other apps like Facebook. With one link they're all accessible through the head unit, and new information like points of interest can be accessed without massive, regular updates. Still, it's an additional interface between the driver and safe driving--something the best and simplest systems like a simple smartphone mirroring setup will do best. AcuraLink also offers paid services to connect to live operators, a service we've never been sold on in the smartphone era, in any case.

The dual-screen setup? It's an interesting spin on the complexity of systems like MyLincoln Touch and Cadillac CUE. By splitting functions, Acura hopes to keep the non-touch-displays on the larger, more visible screen, while controls like audio toggles are placed closer to the driver on the smaller touch-sensitive screen. On some models, the third screen in between the gauges offers still more information.

The result, though, is a duplicative, sometimes confusing interface that feels like a compromise around an existing dash architecture. It gives us pause about the coming dual-screen setup in the Infiniti Q50--never mind the agita we already get when we climb into single-screen systems like those in the Cadillac XTS or the Lincoln MKS.

Apple, Google, Samsung--someone, please save us?

Fuel Economy/MPG = 7
The Acura RLX is more powerful than the RL sedan it replaces, but it's also more fuel-efficient, Acura promises.

The EPA hasn't confirmed those estimates yet, but Acura says the 2014 RLX will earn gas-mileage ratings of 20 miles per gallon city, and 31 miles per gallon highway, for a combined rating of 24 mpg. In the class of cars we think it compares with most directly, that's a hit: nothing comes close to those ratings outside of the Lexus GS and Infiniti M hybrids, and vehicles like the turbocharged Lincoln MKS are much further off the RLX's pace. It's also a strong step forward from the old RL's numbers of 17/24 mpg, and 20 mpg combined.

Models with an all-new Sport Hybrid system will be the best-performing in the lineup, not only from a performance perspective but from a green one. They get a new triple-electric-motor hybrid system and lithium-ion battery pack, in addition to the 3.5-liter V-6, and 2 electric motors power the rear wheels for this latest version of Acura's SH-AWD (all-wheel drive) system. These models should boast an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 30 miles per gallon city and highway, as well as a 30-mpg combined figure. We'll add more information once we drive this model later this year.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:50 AM
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We have never experienced an automobile that seemed to be more intelligent than we are: but live and learn. There we were, driving a 2014 Acura RLX, up and down the hills above Napa Valley, experiencing this brand of technology whose goals are to make the driving experience more synergistic and equipoised between human and machine.

The ideal of human/machine synergy/balance is demonstrated in many ways, but 1 that Acura likes to highlight is the P-AWS, an acronym for precision all wheel steering. In this Acura, it is handled electronically, which means the wheels function independently. When we brake, the wheels move inward, keeping the car more stable. Then, there is the Adaptive Handling Assist system, which rotates the car into corners.

But wait there’re more – where Acura technology has the ability to be more aware of driving nuances than its driver. The Sedan we drove had the Lane Keeping Assist System, which helped the Acura keeps it in the lane, its camera-based intelligence actually steering the car away from a road line, when we went too far to the right or too far to the left. The Adaptive Cruise Control allowed the Acura to keep up with the cars ahead, slowing when they slowed, stopping when they stopped.

And of course, with the GPS virtual voice, speaking to us about where we were going, up 1 hill and down the other, the technical experience was unique, as we could take our hands off the wheel for a while, but why would we? The driving experience was exceptional, and no doubt because the engine was so smooth. The 3.5-liter V-6 has direct injection (DI) and cylinder cutoff, moving between 6 and 3 cylinders to save fuel when the demand is modest. Finally, we drove, sat on the passenger side and sat in the backseat – all were exceptionally comfortable. The backseat especially where many times tall people have the most trouble, was quite comfortable and spacious.

Acura’s flagship 2014 RLX starts at $49,345, including an $895 destination charge, when the luxury automaker’s largest sedan goes on sale March 15. The almost $50,000 entry fee includes numerous standard features like a 310-horsepower V-6 with direct injection, and “jewel-eye” LED headlights. These headlights, that we used driving on a very dark night in Napa, allowed us to see not only far ahead, but also clearly side to side, in this case into the wooded areas in the hills above Napa.

The idea of intuitive technology was never far from us, as we could understand the technology found in this solid, well-running automobile could be 1 of the evolutionary benchmarks moving toward the driverless technology of the future. We wanted to know more, so we interviewed John Watts, Senior Digital Manager of Acura/Honda, and a gentleman who has been on the inside track of the advent, challenges and future of this type of automobile technology.
Pursuitist: How do you see the upsides and challenges of ACURA’s intuitive technology?

John: I see many upsides of the intuitive technology, the 1st being just that, that is intuitive! We set out to design and develop a luxury sedan packed with cutting edge technology that enhance the driving experience. At Acura, we do not apply technology simply for the sake of saying we have it, we very carefully select them based on their ability to address the needs of the driver. For instance, our Lane Keep Assist system can take some of the angst out of daily driving by alert the driver that the RLX is out of lane and helps to return a vehicle to a location between the lines. The adaptive cruise control with low speed is another anxiety reducing technology that helps the driver maintain a prescribed distance between the car in front of him/her and will bring the car to a stop if the car in front stops. A situation that is typically encountered in urban driving.

1 of the biggest challenges as I see it is getting prospective customers, particularly those who have been exposed to the very complicated systems found on European luxury competitors, to understand just how intuitive our technology is and how seamlessly it operates.

Pursuitist: The idea of a car having a mind of its own is a great idea. Do you see this being the wave of the future? What positive and more challenging issues can you see with this?

John: Many drivers, luxury car owners in particular, are still car and driving enthusiasts. Acura’s approach to technology is designed to enhance, not eliminate, the driving experience.

Pursuitist: Personally, I see this kind of potentially driverless technology challenges being generational ones. I think boomers may have to make greater adjustment to these things than gen x and y-ers. Do you see this happening?

John: I think that all ages will be receptive to adopting most technology. The fact of the matter is that drivers of all ages adapting to new vehicle technologies all the time. Many things about the vehicles have evolved over time, things you can see and touch like lighting technology and the operation of the audio system, navigation systems etc., as well as power train that you can’t see.

You’re right though, that there are always people who are more eager to utilize new technology. That’s why Acura’s intuitive approach to technology is meant to easily integrate technology into all driver experiences-not just those of any one demographic profile.

Pursuitist: How do you see Acura changing the face of driving? many see it as a task, but with this type of technology it can also be a very pleasant task…not one that tires you out but one that maintains the drivers health and consistency of awareness. How do you see the future of driving?

John: The future of driving will be different to the extent that more technologies are integrated into the drive experience than we ever before thought possible. Acura will continue to innovate and advance these developments.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TSX69 View Post
Got excited when I saw the video was all of 14 minutes long.

Then the guy decided to rev the engine after telling us oh how quiet it is...he could hear nothing from the front so he took the camera under the car...brilliant.

So we heard nothing and then we saw water coming out of exhaust ...sexxy.

Nobody else mentioned it so I figured I would...I think the Sport button should open up some flaps somewhere and make the car sound meaner.

I mean...I get the part where it's a Luxury cruiser but that Sport button better do something other than change the steering feel.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:50 PM
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and another note on styling...it takes very minor tweaks to take a Luxury cruiser into a sporty looking....cruiser.

Wheels, drop, maybe paint the nose. done...





So, you can have it any way you like it and still keep a very reliable car.

70k for awd...now that's hard to justify even if it is a performance hybrid.

I'll be lining up to test drive one anyway and who knows, maybe I'll get another great used deal again
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:16 AM
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Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Branding is tricky business. Do it correctly and your product can flourish with minimal change (see: Coke). Do it incorrectly, and it doesn't matter how good the product is. Selling it is going to be an uphill battle (see: Blackberry).


And, as with Blackberry (née RIM), the changing of a product name is a bold, sometimes desperate attempt at brand strategy. Good-bye, brand equity; hello, blank slate. This year, the front-drive 2014 Acura RLX replaces the slow-selling all-wheel-drive Acura RL (which was killed in 2012). That's right, Acura's added an "X" and removed standard all-wheel drive from its $60,000 luxury flagship sedan in an effort to increase desirability. (All-wheel drive will be available on the 370-horsepower Acura RLX Hybrid.)

What have they added to make up for it? Slightly more legroom, even more high-tech interior features, upgraded ELS stereo and 10 more horsepower (for a total of 310 hp) from a smaller V6. Acura has also added Precision All-Wheel Steering to the mix which, in theory, helps to offset the front-drive dynamics.

During our 2014 Acura RLX First Drive we were given back-to-back time with the RLX, the BMW 535i and a Mercedes-Benz E350 on a small road course. Our initial take was that the 535's adjustable dampers and rear-drive nature were a better combo. But do the numbers back up our take? We took a 2014 Acura RLX to the track to find out.


Vehicle: 2014 Acura RLX

Odometer: 1,424
Date: 2/19/2013
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $61,345

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front engine, front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, direct-injected V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,471/211.8
Redline (rpm): 6,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 310 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 272 @ 4,500
Brake Type (front): 12.3-inch 1-piece vented cast-iron rotors, single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 12.2-inch 1-piece solid cast-iron rotors, single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbone with double ball joint lower arm, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar

Tire Size (front): 245/40R19 98Y (M+S)
Tire Size (rear): 245/40R19 98Y (M+S)
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Primacy MxM4
Tire Type: Asymmetrical, all-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,980


Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.7 (2.8 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.4 (4.5 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.5 (6.6 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.2 (6.3 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 9.0 (9.2 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.6 @ 97.1 (14.7 @ 96.8 w/ TC on)

Braking
30-0 (ft): 30
60-0 (ft): 120

Handling
Slalom (mph): 63.3 (ESC Sport)/62.7 (ESC Normal)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.82 (Sport)/0.81 (Normal)

Db @ Idle: 39.0
Db @ Full Throttle: 70.8
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 60.3

RPM @ 70: 2,150


Comments:

Acceleration: Absolutely hates pedal overlap, but there's plenty of power at launch for wheelspin. Traction control is very effective and I was not able to improve on the car's ability with it shut off. There's no difference between "Normal" and "Sport" at wide-open throttle, but manual shift works in Sport. The free-revving and lively engine has power all the way to redline upshifts.

Braking: Consistent stopping distances from 60 mph, however, noticeable pad odor after 4 stops and softening pedal feedback.

Handling:

Skid pad: Very gentle, almost imperceptible throttle closure as the car approaches the front tires' ability to grip. Good steering weight and decent feedback.

Slalom: Good, crisp steering response; however, the body roll delays a change in direction. Stability system is rather lenient and only intervenes when steering doesn't match direction of travel. Confident, and competent, but not outstanding.


PHP Code:
      2014 Acura RLX     2011 BMW 535i
Curb weight 
as tested:     3,980     4,056
             
0
-30 (sec.):     2.7     2.3
0
-45 (sec.):     4.4     3.9
0
-60 (sec.):     6.5     5.9
0
-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.):     6.2     5.6
0
-75 (sec.):     9.0     8.6
1
/4-mile (sec mph):     14.6 97.1     14.3 95.1
             
30
-(ft):     30     28
60
-(ft):     120     110
             
Skid Pad Lateral Accel 
(g):     0.82     0.84
Slalom
:     63.3     64.9 

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:29 AM
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I am thinking Acura should have kept the 3.7 and bumped HP to 330...but then again, it wasn't going to catch up to 535 anyway. I wonder why they compared to a 2011 model and not the new one...

Either way, thanks for posting acceleration results, it is no faster than the older generation and it lost awd..
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:04 AM
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RLX is faster at quater mile than 535 at. and RLX is also quieter.
more over 535 is with sport package. so slightly better handling. look at the width of rear tire.


http://www.edmunds.com/bmw/5-series/...st-specs3.html
Sport Package ($2,200 -- inclludes sports leather steering wheel; 19-by-8.5-inch front and 19-by-9-inch rear V-Spoke [style 331] alloy wheels with 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear run-flat performance tires

Last edited by SSFTSX; 02-20-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SSFTSX View Post
RLX is faster at quater mile than 535 at. and RLX is also quieter.
more over 535 is with sport package. so slightly better handling. look at the width of rear tire.


http://www.edmunds.com/bmw/5-series/...st-specs3.html
Sport Package ($2,200 -- inclludes sports leather steering wheel; 19-by-8.5-inch front and 19-by-9-inch rear V-Spoke [style 331] alloy wheels with 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear run-flat performance tires
faster trap speed but it took longer for the car to get to that spot, so ... slower at quarter mile.

No matter how you slice it the BMW turbo is pushing way more than 300hp it is being sold at so that's not a huge surprise.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 037 View Post
faster trap speed but it took longer for the car to get to that spot, so ... slower at quarter mile.

No matter how you slice it the BMW turbo is pushing way more than 300hp it is being sold at so that's not a huge surprise.
Agree. It in the few categories where it outperforms the 5 series it is not by much, and it's now about as expensive as a 5 series, so the value that you used to get with buying an Acura is gone.

BMW also pays all of your maintenance while under warranty so the typical luxury car buyer doesn't have to worry about expensive maintenance while they are leasing the car. My experience over on the BMW forums is most of those folks lease their cars.

What you do get is arguably better reliability, and stealth wealth.

Two things that the typical luxury buyer are not as concerned about especially with those brands that pay for maintenance. If they were, BMW would be chasing Acura as opposed to the other way around.

Your only expense during ownership is your lease payments, insurance and fuel

Maybe the performance numbers will be different when the Hybrid SH-AWD model comes out.

I will say though that the more I look at it, I am less bored with the look.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:51 PM
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I would love to see the awd RLX whip some BMW and Audi @$$ in handling and acceleration...

at least that would justify the price, otherwise...2014/2015 Genesis is where my money will go.
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