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Acura RLX Reviews (Sport Hybrid reviews pg 21)

 
Old 03-16-2013, 02:25 AM
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The rear seat center hump is particularly nasty on my 4G TL. It is a torture for an adult to sit on it for any length of time.

http://www.acura.com/TL/2013/Photos#...or-buck-p-side
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:51 AM
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Question MotorTrend


With only 379 units sold in 2012, the outgoing Acura RL was overshadowed by nearly everything else on the market. For the new flagship RLX to avoid traveling down the same path, the Japanese automaker gave the new luxury sedan a contemporary design and tech-tastic interior to help it make the lasting impression the previous car couldn’t. Below we outline the new RLX to see if the design is an improvement over the RL.

The big story on the front end is Acura’s new Jewel Eye LED headlights. Each 1 houses gem-like light sources that give the front end a bit of bling and a more premium appearance. Although the 5-point chrome grille remains, it’s much less polarizing now that the edges have been softened. Below the grille is a bigger air dam with a honeycomb grille with a lower fascia that curves slightly upward.



Looking at its profile, the RLX removes the RL’s side door moldings in favor of smooth doors. Below the doors, the RLX has a contour line that stretches all the way around the trunk while a more defined character line above the door handles connects to the taillights. The rear quarter window on the RLX is angled more sharply compared to the one on the outgoing car.

Around back, the taillights, connected by a slimmer chrome bar, are longer and are split on the trunk and rear quarter panel. The exhaust pipes are also absent, and 2 thin reflector lights flank the bumper.



Inside the RLX has a more modern instrument cluster and a larger, deeper set infotainment screen. The center stack has been cleaned up with fewer buttons, and the steering wheel now has a 3-spoke design.

What do you think of the 2014 Acura RLX’s design? Do you think it’s enough of a radical departure from the RL? Sound off in the comments below.

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Old 03-20-2013, 06:12 AM
  #203  
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Talking Continental Acura

Probably the best I have seen the 2014 RLX look so far. So phresh & so clean clean:

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:09 PM
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:18 AM
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Arrow Men's Health


Acura’s new queen mother sedan, the RLX, is full of surprises. Take the cruise control. It’s 1 of the most complete cruise systems this side of Google’s self-driving cars. It’ll maintain its distance from cars ahead of you, brake down to 0, and re-accelerate from a stop with a tap of the accelerator. That’s relatively old-hat, though, in high-flying realm of luxury sedans—the RLX’s true twist is its smooth lane-centering tech.

I tried this out on a 120-mile highway jaunt, and was flabbergasted by the precision. The system analyzes the road and constantly works to keep the car between the lines. It’s rarely spooked by things like interruptions in road markers from freeway branching—you know, exit ramps and the like—and its presence is continuous. Whereas other lane-keeping systems tend to simply bounce you off lane markers as you approach them, particularly when you’re entering slow curves in the road, Acura’s Lane Keeping Assist System won’t let you near the edges. It’s so effective that you can practically keep both your hands and feet off the controls on the highway.

Of course, systems like this are ripe for abuse, and there will certainly be some who use this trick feature as a texting and smartphone-surfing enabler. But Acura spots those bozos a mile away: If you take your hands off the wheel, the system starts to fade out and an alert pops up on the instrument cluster helpfully reminding you that “Steering is Required.”

Talk about a warning from the future.

The headlights also merit reflection, so to speak. These Jewel Eye dual-stack LED arrays illuminate farther down the road and more evenly than comparable LED headlights. Each side has 10 separate LEDs shooting through thick, precisely aimed crystalline lenses to help paint the roadway ahead of you with pure white illumination. What’s more, they look awesome, adding a degree of flair that’s often missing from Acura’s fairly predictable design language.

Swoop down to road level, and the surprises stack up further, with a new 4-wheel steering system. It electronically adjusts the rear wheels’ toe-in and toe-out by up to 2 degrees in either direction to assist with lane changing, cornering, and even controllability while braking. Called Precision All-Wheel Steering (P-AWS), the system is Honda’s 1st effort at AWS since the Honda Prelude had it in the mid-1980s. The effect is subtle, but surprisingly detectable in a variety of situations. On the highway, lane changes are a bit spooky, as the car levitates itself nicely through high-speed changes. In more aggressive turning, such as around corners, it responds as a smaller, shorter car would, with added stability and smoothness.

Inside, you’re greeted with dual-LCD screens for both your audio and GPS functions—a confusing system at 1st, but you eventually sort it out—as well a refined audio hookup, featuring a 404-watt, 10-speaker array with a 15 gigabyte onboard hard-drive for your tunes. (You can bump yourself up to a Krell Audio Package if you like, as well.) Poke around further and you’ll find a voice-recognition system in the GPS, roomy rear seats, and AcuraLink, the company’s connectivity tool with built-in cellular communication for snagging traffic warnings, remote door lock/unlock capabilities, and text and email reading.

All of these techie refinements are great—and certainly push Acura’s RL replacement to an attractively competitive position—but is it enough to place the car in standing with the likes the top-shelf offerings of Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes? Yes and no. The RLX is positioned as an economical entry-level to the top-end luxury market, so while it’s Acura’s flagship, it competes most directly with other manufacturer’s second-tier offerings, such as the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes E-Class. It still feels like a re-imagined Accord more than a fully luxed-out statement-car of its own. But that considered, the RLX is still competitive, feature- and performance-wise, with the S-Class Merc and the 7-Series BMW. Furthermore, it’s cheaper than all of those, starting at $48,000 and topping out at about 60 grand for the fully loaded Advance Package.

It further helps that the car has fully legit performance creds. Given Honda’s penchant for doing more with less, I assumed the RLX would have anemic throttle response at best, with the feeling of a 4-cylinder turbo hauling around a full-sized platform. Fortunately, that’s not the case. The RLX has a state-of-the-art, 3.5-liter 310hp V6 under the hood. Electronic cam-timing helps modulate throttle based on your desires—casual driving generates casual response from the engine, but when you lean on it, the car wakes up and you’re rewarded with firm acceleration and a suitably aggressive exhaust note. This doesn’t feel in any way like an underpowered car. Variable cylinder deactivation helps keep mpg’s in check, returning a combined 24 mpg, which is extremely good for a full-size sedan.

Now, here’s the deal. I like this car a lot, but I seriously can’t wait for the all-wheel-drive version to come out later this year. That car will have 370hp, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for uninterrupted torque flow to the wheels, and an unprecedented hybrid AWD system: You’ll have a hybrid engine/motor system powering the front wheels and a pair of electric motors driving the rear. It will permit precision torque vectoring for racetrack-worthy cornering, and a combined 30 mpg, which will also be unprecedented.

Welcome, my friends, to the future.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:44 PM
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I wish people would hurry up and buy some so we can get some "real" reviews!
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by getakey View Post
I wish people would hurry up and buy some so we can get some "real" reviews!
Im with you on that! Sad thing is theres not even much buzz from potential owners on this forum. I think a lot of people here are waiting to see what the Hybrid version has to offer. I was at the Acura dealer last week checking the car out. I didnt drive it but wow I was so impressed with the interior. Much better direction compared to my old ZDX with the same price tag.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mugen_kid View Post
Im with you on that! Sad thing is theres not even much buzz from potential owners on this forum. I think a lot of people here are waiting to see what the Hybrid version has to offer. I was at the Acura dealer last week checking the car out. I didnt drive it but wow I was so impressed with the interior. Much better direction compared to my old ZDX with the same price tag.
That's what I'm doing- waiting for the hybrid version to come out. I did test drive the RLX on Friday and placed my review in a separate posting.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:04 PM
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The notion of making vehicles turn better by steering all 4 of their wheels has inspired engineers for decades. The United States Army experimented with all-wheel-steering jeeps during World War II, and the benefits to maneuverability of rear-steering have long been known to firefighters assigned to hook-and-ladder trucks.

As demonstrated by its new flagship sedan, the Acura RLX, Honda Motor is taking its luxury division down the same well-traveled path. But the company is adding some new gloss to an old idea.

The 2014 RLX, on display in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center when the New York auto show opened to the public on Friday, incorporates a feature that Acura calls Precision All-Wheel Steer. The system is intended to improve the handling of the front-drive RLX by adding steering capability to the rear wheels.

The cheeky acronym that appears on the car’s trunk lid, P-AWS, seems well suited to a technology that the company claims will give the $50,000 RLX more catlike reflexes.

The image enhancement promised by the P-AWS system is something that Acura’s top model could certainly use. Its predecessor, the 4-wheel-drive RL, was a chronic slow seller; to compete with the likes of the Audi A6 and A7, BMW 5 Series, Infiniti Q50, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the RLX will need the ability to take corners as well as these poised — and predominantly rear-drive — sedans.

Starting in the 1980s, Japanese automakers like Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Nissan brought 4-wheel-steering to performance models, and in 2002-5, General Motors marketed its Quadrasteer system on full-size pickups. But when sales dipped with the economy, the systems, which were heavy and costly, faded away.

With miniaturized electronics and the widespread adoption of electric power steering, rear-steering is now experiencing something of a resurgence. BMW offers it on the 5 Series, as will Porsche on the coming 911 GT3.

In the new RLX, the rear wheels are steered by electric actuators on each side of the rear suspension. As a result, the left and right rear wheels can steer independently of each other. The system, which was in development for 5 years, adds just 11 pounds to the car’s weight, said Yousuke Sekino, chief engineer of the RLX, whose credentials include designing the suspensions for the 1986 Acura Legend and the 1990 NSX supercar.

Mr. Sekino likens P-AWS to the 2 skis of an Olympic slalom competitor. “By controlling both skis independently, the skier can control his turning and braking very precisely,” he said.

Unlike the front wheels, which turn in a wide sweep, the RLX’s rear wheels turn only a small amount, a maximum of 2 degrees left or 2 degrees right from center. They also react differently depending on the situation. Under braking, both turn inward slightly to increase the car’s straight-ahead stability. As the driver turns into a right-hand corner, the rear wheels steer slightly left to make the car turn more quickly; in a left-hand corner, they do the opposite.

At parking lot speeds, this opposite-direction steering also makes the car more maneuverable in tight spots. At freeway speeds, the system automatically switches modes; the rear wheels then turn in the same direction as the fronts. That’s to improve control in situations like diving across multiple lanes for an off-ramp.

The almost-undetectable labors of these systems are intended to make the RLX more agile and free it from understeer, or the tendency to plow forward even if the steering wheel is turned.

For those who have enough trouble steering just the front wheels, fear not; the actuators are not directly linked to the steering wheel. Rather, a computer determines from the driver’s inputs into the steering wheel, brake and gas pedal how best to steer the rear wheels to improve handling. And, unlike Honda’s previous 4-wheel-steering system for the Prelude model of the 1990s, P-AWS shuts off when the car is in reverse. “Many drivers complained about that,” Mr. Sekino said.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:37 PM
  #210  
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would be pretty awesome to see some race track results or even road holding...something tangible.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:34 AM
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Honda is trying to address the woes of its Acura brand with a 1-2punch: better vehicles, and better advertising. But so far it isn’t clear if either is landing with the kind of authority necessary for Acura to close the sales and perception gaps with U.S. luxury-market leaders in those areas such as a renascent Lexus and a rising Audi.

Acura demonstrated its 2-part strategy during March Madness telecasts on CBS with advertisements for the new 2014 RLX sedan, an important, all-new nameplate taking the lead in an all-new advertising campaign created by an all-new agency relationship for the brand.

“We’re refreshing the whole brand, and started with entry-level vehicles last year,” Gary Robinson, manager of Acura advertising and brand, told me about the 2012 introductions of the “gateway” ILX sedan and a new version of the RDX crossover.

“This year, it’s all about filling in the prestige market, beginning with the RLX. And a couple of months from now, a new MDX [crossover] comes out. With both of them you’re talking about price points in the $40,000s and into the $50,000s and all of our newest technology.”

Also, as it replaces the old RL model, RLX is getting a boost from a new tag line — “Luxury, taken to a whole new level” — that is the 1st effort by its new agency, Mullen, part of Interpublic Group. The idea is to get American upscale consumers to take notice of Acura like they haven’t before and even to get emotional about a brand that remains sort of mushy to most of them.

At 1st glance, Acura would seem to be on a roll already. Sales in 2012 were up by nearly 27% over 2011, to more than 156,000 vehicles, keeping the Honda-owned marque ahead of both Audi and Infiniti, which it considers the primary competition for Acura.

But the truth is that the huge year-over-year increase mostly reflected an easy comparison with a disastrous 2011, when deep supply woes resulted from the tsunami and earthquake in Japan in March and flooding in Thailand in the fall. For 2013 through February, Acura sales were up only by about 6% over a year ago.

And what’s more, the condition of the Acura brand might have been even worse. Many Americans consider Toyotas and Hondas, not Infinitis and Audis, to be Acura’s true equivalents. At 1 point last year, about 21% of people who considered an Acura also looked at a Toyota, while fewer than 13% of people looking at an Audi also considered Acura, according to Edmunds.com data.

“We have these great, luxurious products, but there’s a gap between the customer perception of what Acura is, and the luxury that is in our cars,”
Mike Accavitti, American Honda’s CMO, told Advertising Age.

Robinson said that ILX and the new RDX were meant to be just a start to refreshing the Acura brand and vehicle line, and that this year’s salvos — the RLX and MDX introductions, and the new advertising campaign — will do some heavier lifting.

And while the expressed point of the 1st TV ads is that RLX is so luxurious, it makes the owner forget about other luxury goods — an emotional appeal — the campaign is largely unfolding around boasting about the product itself and particular attributes: “Jewel Eye” LED headlights, the next generation of the AcuraLink connected-car system, and Acura’s proprietary Precision All-Wheel Steer system.

The new version of AcuraLink, Robinson said, represents the fruits of a new partnership with Panasonic for DVD systems so that “the stuff they’re putting in our vehicles is the same kind of quality levels that they put in airplanes.” He said Acura had learned from its own mistakes and those of competitors that when it comes from infotainment technology, “We need to be measured and to resist the temptation to put stuff out before it’s ready. Now it’s ready.”

Every major competitor to RLX is a rear-wheel-drive sedan or has available all-wheel drive, which traditionally have been associated with luxury performance cars because of handling characteristics that are generally perceived as superior to front-wheel drive. But RLX is going it alone in the segment with front-wheel drive even though the RL it replaces was all-wheel drive.

Robinson noted the “inherent benefit” of front-wheel drive such as lighter weight and the ability to put together a smaller exterior footprint with greater interior space. “It’s roughly the same exterior size even as [RL] was, and as its mid-size competitors, but it has noticeably more interior space.”

And while Robinson conceded that conventional wisdom in the upscale market is suspicious of front-wheel drive, he maintained that the new Acura Precision All-Wheel Steering system allows RLX to “handle better in most situations than rear- or all-wheel drive, and in extreme situations as well as them.” The handling-countermeasure system allows the rear wheels to be pointed, independently, up to 2 degrees of toe-angle adjustment in either direction, for 4 degrees of articulation.

“So the wheels can turn together or in different directions,” Robinson explained. “And if you’re braking, both wheels will turn a bit to create a wedge and slow down in a stable way, or they’ll turn together for cornering situations.”

But respected critic Dan Neil of the Wall Street Journal is among those who’ve already weighed in with criticism of Honda’s decision to choose front-wheel-drive for the RLX; Robinson said the configuration also is “something that we’re looking at for other sedans.”

Noting the “inherent advantages” and the ubiquity of rear-wheel drive in the segment, Neil wondered “what value [Acura's countermeasures] have to the consumer if all they do is restore the RLX to merely passable luxury-sedan performance.” And Neil opined that Acura “simply [decided that it] could save development money by retaining a front-drive platform and winning over luxury buyers with the RLX’s wealth of onboard driver-assist, convenience and entertainment technologies.”

And more broadly, Neil maintained, RLX “looks and feels like an exalted, compulsively over-equipped Honda Accord.”

That echoes the criticism that Acura has received for ILX for overly resembling and handling like the Honda Civic which shares its basic mechanical platform. And, of course, differentiating luxury models from mainstream nameplates when they share basic innards is a challenge for any carmaker.

But on its way to overhauling its product line and enhancing its brand, this is a challenge that Acura needs to beat.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:08 PM
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mugen_kid View Post
I actually like this commercial.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:38 PM
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I'd like to know how they find these Acura owners for their impressions. I've owned 5 Acuras and the most contact I've ever had from the company has been an email survey.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dwboston View Post
I'd like to know how they find these Acura owners for their impressions. I've owned 5 Acuras and the most contact I've ever had from the company has been an email survey.
I'm not certain these people are owners. LOL, I've been thinking we (our store) should have a RLX reunion once we've got about 10-15 in the field. I bet I could make a short doc. like we see here.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:17 PM
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I'd love to be invited to something like that.

LMK when they are filming the SH-SH-AWD RLX consumer impressions video.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:53 AM
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Arrow Edmunds Full Test


A Fine Sedan, But Will You Remember It Tomorrow?

Published: 04/09/2013 - by Erin Riches, Senior Editor

Nearly 15 years into our experiment of living in Los Angeles, we still don't know our way around this city. Forget about asking the natives (who are often even more hopeless than we are). We've got a 2014 Acura RLX Advance.

Entering an address into the RLX's navigation system makes us happy. There's a touchscreen that responds with tactile feedback when our fingertips hit it. Or, if we don't feel like typing, we just spin and push the standard Acura multifunction control dial as we would in a TL or TSX. And sometimes we just use our hands for driving and tell the car where we want to go. Most of the time, its voice control interface gets what we're saying.

The fact that the Acura RLX offers this kind of redundancy does not make it special among midsize luxury sedans. But judged for sheer ease of use, and the likelihood that you'll rarely ever have to crack open the owner's manual, the RLX's nav system ranks among the best in this class.

Of course, you practically expect a brand-new flagship to dominate its competition. But apart from its extraordinarily user-friendly cabin electronics, the 2014 Acura RLX poses little threat to the big-name luxury sedans you already have on your short list.

The Price Isn't Small

Lack of name recognition is one of many challenges ahead for the 2014 Acura RLX. It's the successor to the RL, an interesting but unloved luxury sedan that Acura couldn't give away by the end of its model run. Whereas the RL was all-wheel-drive only, the RLX will be offered with both front-wheel drive and AWD. The AWD version is going to be pretty radical: a 370-horsepower hybrid sedan with Version 2.0 of SH-AWD and a claimed 30 mpg EPA combined rating. It goes on sale in late 2013.

Until then, Acura will sell you a front-drive RLX with a conventional V6 engine in one of 5 trim levels. The base model starts at $49,345, but if you want the nav system, plus all the high-end audio and safety tech Acura has to offer, you'll find your way to an Advance model like this 1, which costs $61,345.

That puts the 2014 Acura RLX in the same price territory as nicely equipped versions of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS 350 and Mercedes-Benz E350. Acura's top luxury sedan has all the right amenities to compete with these cars. None of them can match its sense of space, either, as generous real-world legroom and shoulder room make the RLX feel more full-size than midsize.

These rivals have set the benchmarks for how a modern $60K luxury sedan should behave on the road, though, and the 2014 Acura RLX doesn't hit them.


More Fuel-Efficient V6

The Acura RLX's 3.5-liter V6 engine is a tempting target for criticism, simply because it's smaller than the 3.7-liter V6 in the old RL. But on the basis of efficiency alone, the 3.5-liter represents a significant upgrade.

It's the 1st Acura V6 with direct injection, a change that allowed the engineers to bump up compression from 11.2:1 to 11.5. Horsepower is up to 310 at 6,500 rpm (up from 300), while the torque curve remains largely the same, peaking at 272 pound-feet at 4,500 rpm. The engine also uses the automaker's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, allowing it to cut fuel and close the intake and exhaust valves on half its cylinders in low-load situations.

The results speak for themselves in the fuel economy department: The EPA rates the 2014 RLX at 20 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. Among 6-cylinder midsize luxury sedans, only the BMW 535i (21 city/30 highway/24 combined) matches that. Our test car averaged 23 mpg even in 878 miles of testing, with a best run of 25.5 mpg over 398 miles (easily achieved with an 18.5-gallon tank).

But there's no denying that the RLX lacks the low-end punch of the forced-induction engines in the 535i and A6. In Acura tradition, power builds as you gather revs and the engine remains satisfyingly smooth. This is not a slow car. But with its 6.5-second 0-60-mph time (or 6.2 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and 14.6-second quarter-mile (at 97.1 mph) times, it's slower than the elite sedans in this price range.

The A6 is by far the quickest (4.9-second 0-60, 13.6-second quarter-mile), while the 535i and GS 350 hold a half-second advantage over the Acura in a quarter-mile drag race. The RLX is marginally quicker than the AWD 2013 Lincoln MKZ we tested (6.7 seconds to 60, 14.8-second quarter-mile) and has a comfortable advantage over the 2013 Cadillac XTS AWD (7.3, 15.5), though the Caddy also outweighs it by 300 pounds.


Gets You to Work in Peace
You're not likely to find fault with the 2014 Acura RLX's standard-issue 6-speed automatic transmission on the way to work. Upshifts feel smooth and sophisticated as you accelerate up to speed on highway on-ramps, and the transmission downshifts with sufficient haste when you're ready to pass (plus, there are paddle shifters on the steering wheel if you simply can't wait).

Our 1 complaint about this 6-speed automatic is that its Sport mode isn't practical to use during a normal commute: It locks out 6th gear and often keeps the engine spinning for no good reason in stop-and-go traffic. It's disappointing, because throttle response feels more linear in Sport and downshifts are rev-matched.

This is a fleeting annoyance, though, amidst the peace and quiet of the RLX's cockpit. Acuras aren't known for serenity, but the 2014 RLX is significantly quieter than the competition at wide-open throttle and a 70-mph cruise.

Part of the credit goes to the active engine mounts and active noise cancellation system (the latter is a measure to keep you from hearing the VCM system transition the engine to 3-cylinder mode). At startup, you'd never guess this V6 is direct injected, because unlike many D.I. engines, it doesn't idle like a UPS truck (at least not to the naked human ear).

Meanwhile, driving aids like all-speed adaptive cruise control, a blind spot warning system and a lane keeping assist system work exactly as you'd expect. Still, we'd like to see the Honda Accord's excellent Lane Watch system make it to the Acura line, because a camera image of vehicles in your blind spot is more useful than an LED on the A-pillar.


Handles Decently, But the Ride Isn't Alright
Ride quality is the 2014 Acura RLX's greatest failing. It doesn't matter which route we take: The RLX never finds that perfect medium between compliance and composure unless we're driving on freshly poured asphalt. The 245/40R19 98Y Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-season tires on our RLX Advance model crash over ruts in the city, while less than optimal damping gives the car a bouncy, almost buoyant feel as it crests freeway expansion joints. (Eighteen-inch tires are standard on the lower trim levels, and it's possible they might improve the ride.)

We might forgive some of the harshness around town if the RLX showed some athleticism on twisty back roads, but that's not its thing, either. The electric-assist power steering is precise and responds crisply to inputs, but the rest of the car is in no hurry to change direction. As you've heard, the RLX has a rear steering feature (known as Precision All-Wheel Steer, or P-AWS). It provides subtle benefits on a road like Mulholland Highway, tidying up the big front-driver's cornering line, but it's not magic and there's no payoff in pushing beyond a comfortably brisk pace. If you like to drive, you'll prefer the sharper-handling 535i, A6 or GS 350.

These sedans also laid down better handling numbers at our test track. In fairness, the A6 and GS 350 owe their impressive slalom and skid pad numbers to their stickier summer tires, but a rear-drive 535i on all-season rubber managed better numbers (64.9 mph through the slalom, 0.84g on the skid pad) than our front-drive RLX (63.3 mph, 0.82g).

The RLX's 120-foot braking distance from 60 mph is average for this class, but as is too often the case with Acuras, the brakes get smelly and the pedal softens after repeated stops.


Cabin Needs More Flair
Of course, we've never heard an Acura owner complain that his car can't keep up with a BMW 5 Series. Not everyone needs a Bimmer. Not everyone needs rear-wheel drive. But one thing that made the old RL special when it came out for 2005 was its sophisticated interior. All-in-one control interfaces were still in their infancy back then, but Acura managed to pull it all together in a design that really felt cutting-edge.

And in spite of how well everything works inside the 2014 Acura RLX (though we've yet to try the 3 cloud-based Acura Link apps that weren't active during our test), it doesn't have the appealing futuristic vibe of its predecessor. Part of the problem is that the RLX's 7-inch touchscreen and the 8-inch map display above it don't look they belong in the same dash. Plus, the 8-inch screen is the same size, aspect ratio and resolution as the map display in the Accord. It doesn't look high-end enough for the Acura flagship.

Materials quality is good in the 2014 RLX. But if we're being picky, neither the leather upholstery nor the wood trim has that no-expense-spared feel you get in any of the German sedans. The metal speaker enclosures for the Krell audio system look fantastic, though. And the fit and finish in our preproduction test car is excellent.

You Can Do Better
If user-friendly technology is critically important to you in a premium-brand midsize sedan, you should give some thought to the 2014 Acura RLX. This is the sort of car that's going to reliably reconnect to your smartphone every time you start it up. You're never going to get confused programming the nav system and you're always going to able to play the Baseball Tonight podcast.

However, if you're less concerned about cabin electronics and more interested in driving, there are better midsize luxury sedans out there. For similar money, you could have 1 of the German sedans or a GS 350 that offers better acceleration, handling and, most importantly, ride quality. You could also buy a loaded Cadillac XTS or Hyundai Genesis for quite a bit less.

We have little doubt that the upcoming Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will be more engaging to drive than this RLX, but in the meantime, Acura is going to have a tough time keeping its flagship on customers' radar.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:29 AM
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I think Acura should manufacture the RLX at the same USA plant as the TL so they can reduce the price. Otherwise, it might be a challenge to sell this car profitably. As a 2005 RL owner, I would probably pay no more than invoice price for the RLX due to tepid reviews lime this one.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
I think Acura should manufacture the RLX at the same USA plant as the TL so they can reduce the price. Otherwise, it might be a challenge to sell this car profitably. As a 2005 RL owner, I would probably pay no more than invoice price for the RLX due to tepid reviews lime this one.
I don't think the review that bad...it does have some positives...the RLX has solid implementation of electronics, particularly on the touchscreen. (Lexus has been criticized and needs to rework there mouse thing, so Acura has an opportunity to differentiate here with a solid implementation)

I do agree though the RLX entry point needs to drop a little more to appeal to former RL owners and to be considered "smart luxury". Not sure if the RDX strategy would work in this category, where the RDX basically undecuts the Q5, RX and X3 by 5-10K would work though for a flagship..perhaps not since anything at this price is more about appealing emotionally and less practicality.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:42 PM
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This segment is all about brand. Since Acura isn't BMW or Mercedes, they will need to even put the RLX in rental car fleets or drop the price.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
I think Acura should manufacture the RLX at the same USA plant as the TL so they can reduce the price. Otherwise, it might be a challenge to sell this car profitably. As a 2005 RL owner, I would probably pay no more than invoice price for the RLX due to tepid reviews lime this one.
I believe currently the YEN <> $$ is actually working in their favor with building the car in Japan, but usually that is not the case.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:42 PM
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All these not so positive reviews of the RLX are less and less encouraging to the potential repeat buyers or cross shoppers. I can remember when the RL debuted in 2005, all the reviews were fantastic and it was on Automobile Magazine's 50 great new cars list, named best luxury sedan by Car and Driver's 10 Best Car for 2005, and a contender (didn't win though) for Motor Trend 2005 Car of the Year. I might have missed a few but these were at the top of my head. I wonder what awards will be in store for this RLX?
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:38 PM
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^^^
True, whether we agree or not some people will read the reviews and move on, not even visit a dealership. It is said, but true. Look Acura needs to find its way and send a message. If conservative value oriented vehicles is that message then fine, but make sure that is what the market wants. The auto industry is a crowded competitive field, we saw several brands scuttled recently because they could not gain or maintain market share, all for valid reasons. I am not saying Acura is in the same position as they sell plenty of vehicles, but it can take years to recover from some bad marketing decisions. The Power Plenum is a good example of that.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:49 PM
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Jeebus, another lackluster review. This car can't win for losing.

Acura better hurry up and release the SH-SH-AWD RLX because that's the one the automotive press is waiting for.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:06 PM
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The reveiw is not accurate. they are comparing sport Package with extra wide wheels BMW 535 with Michelen Primacy Acura RLX. and also BMW is so loud. some one should mention this to there editorial staff. always compare apple to apple.

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
Tire type All-season front and rear
Tire size, front P245/40R19 94Y
Tire size, rear P275/35R19 96Y

@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 67.0
Edmunds observed (mpg) 22.7 combined
Acura also exceled in fuel economic. Acura RLX is more spacious, more refined, and certainly more reliable. You put the same Primacy tires on BMW handling will be nearly identical.



This is a fleeting annoyance, though, amidst the peace and quiet of the RLX's cockpit. Acuras aren't known for serenity, but the 2014 RLX is significantly quieter than the competition at wide-open throttle and a 70-mph cruise.

Part of the credit goes to the active engine mounts and active noise cancellation system (the latter is a measure to keep you from hearing the VCM system transition the engine to 3-cylinder mode). At startup, you'd never guess this V6 is direct injected, because unlike many D.I. engines, it doesn't idle like a UPS truck (at least not to the naked human ear).
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:51 PM
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Totally agree on where the RLX should be built (Marysville, next to the TL/TLX). Both cars will share so many components, it just makes sense. Not to mention, it will shield Honda from the fluctuations in the yen.

Agree also with SSFTSX. The 5 series and the RLX are being equipped very differently when it comes to suspension and tires. Not really a fair comparison. If Acura wanted to step it up a notch, they'll go back to offering the A-Spec package to hone in more on Bavarian territory.

I really can't wait for the pseudo-SHAWD system coming on the RLX. Will it be competitive with the old system, offer better economy and be RELIABLE? I can only imagine the level of effort the engineers had to put into the system, something I don't think has been tried on this scale before.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by neuronbob View Post
Jeebus, another lackluster review. This car can't win for losing.

Acura better hurry up and release the SH-SH-AWD RLX because that's the one the automotive press is waiting for.
Not sure that will help. Much of the criticism is on the styling and I don't see the SH-SH-AWD adding enough flare to get away from being labeled bland. You don't usually get a second chance at first impressions. As many have said, bit mistake releasing the FWD car first without the SH-SH-AWD being right on its tail.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:55 AM
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Unhappy Consumer Reports


After more than 400 miles of driving the new Acura RLX, I can think of little good to say about it. Being neither luxurious nor sporty, the RLX fails to excite. And that's putting it mildly.

The brand-new RLX—Acura's flagship sedan and successor to the unsuccessful RL—is likely destined for deep levels of obscurity, aiding by bland styling. The RLX is slab-sided and devoid of any visual impact whatsoever. In contrast, when I was driving the new Lincoln MKZ weeks ago, onlookers actually approached me with comments like, "This car looks dynamite." The RLX has yet to garner a single "ooh" or "ah," nor so much as a 2nd glance. As my coworker Michelle Tsai Podlaha said in a previous video, the RLX is well suited to drivers in a witness protection program.

The RLX is primarily a front-wheel-drive car. All-wheel drive, increasingly common in the luxury-car sector, is available only if you buy the $60,000-plus hybrid version. Fewer than 10% of RLX buyers will go for the hybrid, though, according to Honda.

We bought a FWD model with the optional Technology Package (with navigation and expanded communication system). Price as tested: $55,345. That's right smack in the heart of the hottest midsized luxury competition. About 60% of RLX buyers will configure theirs as we did ours, according to Honda. (Read our initial impressions in "2014 Acura RLX faces a tough challenge.")

While the RLX is upscale, its lacks the true luxury feel common in the segment, as well as some equipment.
Heated steering wheel? Not available.
Heated rear seats? No.
Power rear sunshade? Absent.
Sunshades for the rear side windows? Non-existent.
Fog lights? Not here.
Back-up parking sensors? Nope.
Cross-traffic alert? Nada.
Surely, you think, it must drive nicely? After all, Honda is an accomplished company with some racing pedigree. But, alas, the car is neither coddles nor thrills. Abrupt short pitches mar the ride and undermine any sort of luxury experience. Suspension noise further detracts. Handling lacks agility and the steering is numb, sucking away any driving enjoyment. Controls are a convoluted mess of 2 screens and a sea of buttons. At least the powertrain is smooth and refined.

If the RLX were Acura's answer to the $38,000 Toyota Avalon, I'd say it hit the mark. It's a large, roomy sedan that's sort-of plush, even if it's unexciting to look at or to drive. But Honda positions this car to compete against the Audi A6, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the like... You've got to be kidding me.

And it's not as if Honda has forgotten how to make good cars. Take, for example, the excellent Accord V6. That midsized sedan is quick, quiet, roomy, and capable and costs about $30,000. I don't think the RLX is even as good as its mundane stable-mate, but it costs nearly twice as much.

With the RLX, Honda is either showing contempt for discerning luxury-car buyers, trying to rip off those who don't know any better, or simply aiming at the wrong target.

Seriously Honda, you phoned this one in and you know it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:34 AM
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Lightbulb WardsAuto

WardsAuto's Aaron Foley shares his thoughts on the new Acura RLX, a nominee in the 2013 Ward’s 10 Best Interiors competition.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TSX69 View Post

After more than 400 miles of driving the new Acura RLX, I can think of little good
If the RLX were Acura's answer to the $38,000 Toyota Avalon, I'd say it hit the mark. It's a large, roomy sedan that's sort-of plush, even if it's unexciting to look at or to drive. But Honda positions this car to compete against the Audi A6, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the like... You've got to be kidding me.

And it's not as if Honda has forgotten how to make good cars. Take, for example, the excellent Accord V6. That midsized sedan is quick, quiet, roomy, and capable and costs about $30,000. I don't think the RLX is even as good as its mundane stable-mate, but it costs nearly twice as much.

With the RLX, Honda is either showing contempt for discerning luxury-car buyers, trying to rip off those who don't know any better, or simply aiming at the wrong target.

Seriously Honda, you phoned this one in and you know it.
Ouch! That is one damning review.... and Honda expects less than 10% to buy the AWD version.....

After all these poor reviews, especially ones coming from places relying on auto advertising, I might not even go look at the car. If I wanted one, I would certainly wait for the incentives that are sure to come and no way pay anything close to sticker.

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Old 04-10-2013, 08:26 AM
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Not sure that will help. Much of the criticism is on the styling and I don't see the SH-SH-AWD adding enough flare to get away from being labeled bland. You don't usually get a second chance at first impressions. As many have said, bit mistake releasing the FWD car first without the SH-SH-AWD being right on its tail.

I agree with all points, especially about making a first impression. People may already write the car off. Also SH-AWD didn't help the 2nd gen RL sell in the $50K range, what makes people think SH-SH-AWD sell in the $70K range?
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TSX69 View Post

After more than 400 miles of driving the new Acura RLX, I can think of little good to say about it. Being neither luxurious nor sporty, the RLX fails to excite. And that's putting it mildly.

The brand-new RLX—Acura's flagship sedan and successor to the unsuccessful RL—is likely destined for deep levels of obscurity, aiding by bland styling. The RLX is slab-sided and devoid of any visual impact whatsoever. In contrast, when I was driving the new Lincoln MKZ weeks ago, onlookers actually approached me with comments like, "This car looks dynamite." The RLX has yet to garner a single "ooh" or "ah," nor so much as a 2nd glance. As my coworker Michelle Tsai Podlaha said in a previous video, the RLX is well suited to drivers in a witness protection program.

The RLX is primarily a front-wheel-drive car. All-wheel drive, increasingly common in the luxury-car sector, is available only if you buy the $60,000-plus hybrid version. Fewer than 10% of RLX buyers will go for the hybrid, though, according to Honda.

We bought a FWD model with the optional Technology Package (with navigation and expanded communication system). Price as tested: $55,345. That's right smack in the heart of the hottest midsized luxury competition. About 60% of RLX buyers will configure theirs as we did ours, according to Honda. (Read our initial impressions in "2014 Acura RLX faces a tough challenge.")

While the RLX is upscale, its lacks the true luxury feel common in the segment, as well as some equipment.
Heated steering wheel? Not available.
Heated rear seats? No.
Power rear sunshade? Absent.
Sunshades for the rear side windows? Non-existent.
Fog lights? Not here.
Back-up parking sensors? Nope.
Cross-traffic alert? Nada.
Surely, you think, it must drive nicely? After all, Honda is an accomplished company with some racing pedigree. But, alas, the car is neither coddles nor thrills. Abrupt short pitches mar the ride and undermine any sort of luxury experience. Suspension noise further detracts. Handling lacks agility and the steering is numb, sucking away any driving enjoyment. Controls are a convoluted mess of 2 screens and a sea of buttons. At least the powertrain is smooth and refined.

If the RLX were Acura's answer to the $38,000 Toyota Avalon, I'd say it hit the mark. It's a large, roomy sedan that's sort-of plush, even if it's unexciting to look at or to drive. But Honda positions this car to compete against the Audi A6, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the like... You've got to be kidding me.

And it's not as if Honda has forgotten how to make good cars. Take, for example, the excellent Accord V6. That midsized sedan is quick, quiet, roomy, and capable and costs about $30,000. I don't think the RLX is even as good as its mundane stable-mate, but it costs nearly twice as much.

With the RLX, Honda is either showing contempt for discerning luxury-car buyers, trying to rip off those who don't know any better, or simply aiming at the wrong target.

Seriously Honda, you phoned this one in and you know it.


OUCH! Although I did bold some items that I particularly agree with.

Inexcusable that a car costing $55K doesn't have back up sensors, heated steering wheel, fog lights. It goes back to a statement I made before, at least the 2nd gen RL offered value. At the time it would have cost you thousands more if you were to equip a 5 series with the same features that came with the RL. Now value isn't even a factor.

It's disappointing and sad. I still have a soft spot for Acura and I would really like to see them turn it around.

I REALLY like the new Accord every time I see it.

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Old 04-10-2013, 08:43 AM
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Red face Hybrid

Not that I wish ill against Acura but I do hope that all of these lackluster reviews prompts them to make swift changes to the RLX (like the Civic). I assume that the SH-SH-AWD version is too far along for any new changes but hopefully for the 2015 year.

CR could have at least mentioned that the rear heated seats & shades were available on the upper trim packages.

As for the hybrids, the M & GS typically sell ~50/month so I cannot imagine the RLX doing any more than that.

I guess the Germans really do rule this segment as AutoBlog recently said this about the GS450h: "The GS450h starts at $59,450, but our tester came loaded with $11,040 in options. That put our final figure at $71,385, including an $895 destination fee. If that number's not big enough for you, keep in mind a similar stack of cash will land you in hardware like a Mercedes-Benz CLS, or even a well-appointed, drop-dead sexy Audi A7. Those machines are more stylish, offer a better driving experience and a more attractive cabin. Odds are we don't have to tell you where our hardly earned dollar bills would go if we were we handing over a stack of 70,000 of them, fuel economy be damned."

Cannot imagine they will have anything more positive to say about the RLX hybrid when it arrives with a similar price tag.

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Old 04-10-2013, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
OUCH! Although I did bold some items that I particularly agree with.

I REALLY like the new Accord every time I see it.
Seems we are in violent agreement on the new RLX.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:04 AM
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RL is more refined, spacious, economic, safe (TSP+ going by Accord) and more reliable in its class and the music system is at the top of class along with full LED lights.
None of those qualities are present in BMW/Audi. You want to pay for B&O along with changing tires ever year with outsize 275 in rear to get driving experiance?. smart people will not bother by reviews. see the Honda Civic success despite not being on recommended list. and Civic was not value as its engine/refinment/lack of push button etc is inferior to competition.
RL is very clear value against competition.

see 2013 Cadillac XTS FWD test at C&D. C&D is among the most agressive testers in race times. The car is more comparable to 4 clinder Accord in performance and noisy. i am not even going to joke fuel economic of that car. performance above 60 miles nearly collapses. exteremely poor aerodynamic.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...um-test-review
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SSFTSX View Post
RL is very clear value against competition.
Can you please elaborate on what you feel are the clear value attributes the RLX (I assume you meant RLX and not RL) has over the competition and what you think the competition to the RLX is?
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by SSFTSX View Post
RL is more refined, spacious, economic, safe (TSP+ going by Accord) and more reliable in its class and the music system is at the top of class along with full LED lights.
None of those qualities are present in BMW/Audi. You want to pay for B&O along with changing tires ever year with outsize 275 in rear to get driving experiance?. smart people will not bother by reviews. see the Honda Civic success despite not being on recommended list. and Civic was not value as its engine/refinment/lack of push button etc is inferior to competition.
RL is very clear value against competition.

see 2013 Cadillac XTS FWD test at C&D. C&D is among the most agressive testers in race times. The car is more comparable to 4 clinder Accord in performance and noisy. i am not even going to joke fuel economic of that car. performance above 60 miles nearly collapses. exteremely poor aerodynamic.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...um-test-review
Jewel led lights and a stereo are the least draw for me in a car. Bmws look sharp, drive sharp and have tech not on the Acura.

Maybe the krell will sway some buyers, but will it be enough? Every time one uses the term value or smart luxury when it comes to the rlx, I only think its doomed to failure.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by noobie View Post
Can you please elaborate on what you feel are the clear value attributes the RLX (I assume you meant RLX and not RL) has over the competition and what you think the competition to the RLX is?
Value is very clear. quieter & spacious than competition like GS/BMW 5.
You cannot compromise on quietness in this category. it is not sports car. Safety already at top. (TSP+) Lexus are very poor designed for newer tests.
Acceptable performance/handling from all season tire setup. these are only 245 wide tires. so not much expensive to replace.
I presume the music system ELS with 14 speaker will outperform every thing else barring the optional B&O in Germans.
Full LED lights. which are either not present or more expensive option in competition.
No need to go over reliability factor. as it assumed that it will be superior over long term. No turbo charging in engine. I dont think this car will be slower between 60 to 120mph than GS/BMW 535/E350 which is critical for passing/merging. it is not turbo charge so little slower off the line. but once it gets up to speed. Its superior aerodynamic will give big advantage. on long drives 35+ mpg reasonable. Acura is very conservative with fuel economic figures.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by g37guy01 View Post
Jewel led lights and a stereo are the least draw for me in a car. Bmws look sharp, drive sharp and have tech not on the Acura.

Maybe the krell will sway some buyers, but will it be enough? Every time one uses the term value or smart luxury when it comes to the rlx, I only think its doomed to failure.
Every person have preference. driving sharp is meaningless when it is not Lexs LS/ES like quiet/spacious on long drives. RLX will outhandle both.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SSFTSX View Post
Every person have preference. driving sharp is meaningless when it is not Lexs LS/ES like quiet/spacious on long drives. RLX will outhandle both.
And you know this how? I like your attitude though. Acura needs it.
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