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Considering a Sport-Hybrid

 
Old 06-24-2019, 11:34 AM
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Considering a Sport-Hybrid

Hello all. I've been contemplating the RLX Sport-Hybrid as my next vehicle. I've read many of the threads and done some research online, including reading over the owners manual. I had a few questions I'm hoping ya'al can help me with.

1. It states in the owners manual that "The SPORT mode is turned off every time you start the power system, even if you turned it on the last time you drove the vehicle". I'm not sure I'll necessarily want the sport mode on all the time, but is there any sort of setting or mod that would cause the car to automatically start in SPORT mode rather than having to manually turn it on every time? I don't see this as a deal breaker but it would be nice if there was some sort of override.

2. It seems that battery issues (reliability/keeping a charge) have been pretty rare. Can anyone comment on any problems? Especially with "older" models like the 2014 or 2016? Referring to the lithium battery, not the 12V lead-acid.

3. Is there anything I should keep an eye out for when test driving one? Other than the obvious things. I'm pretty car savy but this vehicle is a different animal. I've read through the problems and fixes section and so far I've seen reference to an "All Wheel Drive System Problem" that can pop up. I've also read about some weird noises here and there but they largely appear normal. Even the owners manual addresses them. I've also read about some sort of bouncy backup issue. Seems some have it and others don't. And that it sometimes goes away once the engine is warmed up.

4. This would be the first car I've owned with direct injection. Has anyone had issues with carbon buildup on their valves? I figured once I get a car with DI (which is sort of inevitable - most auto manufacturers are going to it) that I'd use something like CRC GDI Intake valve cleaner on occasion, as well as get an oil catch can. But I know some DI engines have carbon buildup problems while others not so much.

5. The Krell audio system seems to get good reviews online. Any audiophiles out there with feedback? Good or bad? The ELS system in my 4G TL is great. If the Krell even matched that I'd be happy.

6. Any common parts that break or fail? e.g. alternator, fuel pump, cv joints, suspension components?

Thanks for any help

And any thoughts on this one?:

https://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/5439956?ad_cid=1#
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:53 AM
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Wow that is a steal! Buy it and don't look back. Drive it and you will be sold.

Sport mode can only be selected for that particular drive cycle. It automatically switches back to eco mode when you turn off the car. Sport mode is bonkers so I rarely engage it, but it is the only way to engage 1st gear manually. It normally starts in 2nd gear. The 12v battery is going to need to be replaced at some point. The hybrid battery is flawless. I have 89,000 miles and the car is just as awesome today as the day I bought it. No direct injection cleaner done or needed for mine. Tires and wipers are the main wear items. Sound system is great (either the ELS or Krell). No part failures of any kind. Suspension noises are heard by some owners. The back up process, especially on a hill, can be jolting but that is normal for a direct transmission as this has. It is a quirky car, but that gives it some personality. I'm a big fan. You will enjoy it I'm sure.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:32 PM
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Gotcha. Thanks for the tips. I figured tires would be a wear item with the SH-AWD. Seems to be the case with many torque vectoring AWD systems. As for wipers, I usually get PIAA silicone wipers which last quite a while.

I'm test driving it today. We'll see how it goes
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:04 PM
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Make sure you engage sport mode after the car has been running for about 10 minutes, brake hold and pull back on the right paddle to get the transmission in M1. Then simply mash the gas to the floor and enjoy. 0-60mph is gone in 4.9 seconds every time! Then push the sport mode button again to get it into eco mode, and drive normally. The fun in my mind is the 2,000 to 3,000 rpm range where you are NOT giving it the beans and simply ride the hybrid system where you get thrust without really changing the rpm range for the most part. It is more prodigious than you will expect, because it is so smooth in its delivery. Enjoy!
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:33 PM
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I had a 2014 SH advanced, now a 2016 SH advanced.

Sport mode is rarely used because the rpms hang up high.

Original batteries at 95,000.

Reverse is notchy, even worse from ev to ic.

No obvious signs of carbon buildup.

Krell is super clean, although I added a sub.

Water in tail lights, tpms sensor leaking air, front lower ball joint worn, cracked front sway bar, cracked windshield due to turning the heat on with snow on it, shocks a bit noisy when cold.

The one listed looks like a good deal. The 2016 has 360 cameras, heated steering wheel and remote start which the 2014s were missing.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pcloadletter View Post
I had a 2014 SH advanced, now a 2016 SH advanced.

Sport mode is rarely used because the rpms hang up high.

Original batteries at 95,000.

Reverse is notchy, even worse from ev to ic.

No obvious signs of carbon buildup.

Krell is super clean, although I added a sub.

Water in tail lights, tpms sensor leaking air, front lower ball joint worn, cracked front sway bar, cracked windshield due to turning the heat on with snow on it, shocks a bit noisy when cold.

The one listed looks like a good deal. The 2016 has 360 cameras, heated steering wheel and remote start which the 2014s were missing.
Why was there no 2015 models?
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:26 PM
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^^^ No 2015 SH RLXs were imported to the US. They exist in Canadian trim however.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:43 AM
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So I went to the dealer link about the car, and pulled up the CARFAX report. That car has an interesting background, as it looks to have been sold once already as a CPO, and then sometime in the past 2 months has been in an accident (right rear). It might explain the lower cost - so I'd check that car over pretty carefully.

Overall the other comments above are appropriate for the vehicle overall. We have an '18 Sport Hybrid that has about 3500 miles on it by now. I have owned cars with direct injection before and haven't had any issues differently than with non-direct injection vehicles - and with the sport hybrid it uses the EV mode a lot so the car actually puts less stress on the v6 overall (oil life goes much more slowly based on overall miles vs a non-hybrid). I don't run sport mode often because you really only need to lean on the gas pedal slightly to get the full effect in normal driving - so not starting off in sport mode isn't a concern.

good luck - andy
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by andysinnh View Post
So I went to the dealer link about the car, and pulled up the CARFAX report.
Thank you for going the extra mile for the poster. :-)
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:28 AM
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Thanks for the info. Yeah, I went to the carfax as well. Seems it's been used as a fleet car or loaner. I saw the damage indication on the Carfax. Stated that the repair was <$1000 which isn't much. I'm guessing someone backed into something and scratched up the bumper. Even a respray would be around $1000 so it may have even been a touch up and dentless repair. I'll check it out.

I haven't been able to make it over to test drive it. Once I do I'll give my feedback. Thanks again.
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by losiglow View Post
1. It states in the owners manual that "The SPORT mode is turned off every time you start the power system, even if you turned it on the last time you drove the vehicle".
You won't want it to lock into Sport Mode after you've experienced it for a while. Even when not in Sport Mode, the car will allow some rear wheel drift that disconcerts inexperienced drivers, and the phenomenon is exaggerated when in Sport Mode. My car is a 2014 car from October. The only other KC2 models that I've driven have been Honda demonstration vehicles, so if the programming is different on other cars, I would not know about it. But my car seems to be programmed for people who are enthusiastic, even if they're not speed demons.

Sport Mode also locks out 7th gear and holds the revs higher, and makes more noise. It's a matter of choice, but I'm betting you will not want to have the car locked into Sport Mode. :-)

2. It seems that battery issues (reliability/keeping a charge) have been pretty rare.
Not the first problem, ever. Five years and counting.

3. Is there anything I should keep an eye out for when test driving one?
The best counsel I think I can offer in this regard is to be sure you drive the car in a variety of circumstances over a variety of surfaces. The KC2 is better than the KC1, because the suspension was designed for the KC2, but some people are put off by what appears to be a kind of harshness when compared to other vehicles of this ilk. If you live somewhere they don't pay enough taxes to keep the potholes cleared up, this could be a problem for you.

On the other hand, the car maintains its composure well when bouncing over a gater, and always comes back down onto the suspension pointing where you want.

But...even the KC2 will have an occasional "clunk" in the suspension that will bother some people.

Some kinds of switchbacks will disconcert the car. If the first curve is a wider radius than the second curve, this will take some knowledge and training.

Regarding the clunk in reverse: The DCT has some slack in it in order to be able to do what is necessary regardless of whether you are on the electric motors or the gasoline motor. Just be aware of it. It is usually not going to matter; however, if you are nose down on a slope the car will roll forward as much as two feet. You just have to get used to that and compensate.

4. This would be the first car I've owned with direct injection. Has anyone had issues with carbon buildup on their valves?
Nope. Haven't heard the first thing about any such problem with these.

5. The Krell audio system seems to get good reviews online.
It is a little better than the ELS (I had one), but not stupendously better. iPod audio is great. If you have Bluetooth that will stream HD over a data connection, it is also surprisingly good. Krell *tries* to decompress satellite audio, but there isn't but so much you can do with that, and satellite is behind iPod/iPhone and Bluetooth audio. I've only used a CD a couple of times. No HDD is going to be high fidelity, and it's only there for convenience, IMHO.

But iPod and Bluetooth, and FM HD, they're all very good.

6. Any common parts that break or fail? e.g. alternator, fuel pump, cv joints, suspension components?
Nope. Not the first problem. The KC2 is the first Honda like this, and the early couple of years have a long, long list of TSB you might want to look at. But don't get scared off.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by George Knighton View Post
Thank you for going the extra mile for the poster. :-)
The most interesting thing about posts where folks are asking questions in preparation for a car purchase is that there are general questions, and then there the questions that need to be asked about a specific car that's on a lot. I look for triggers in CARFAX reports. In this case it had an accident (might not be a big deal), and it was also a corporate/regional vehicle. Now that in and of itself might not be bad, but you never know how the car was used. Maybe it was used during a track day to test out the sport mode by a bunch of local dealers. In some ways you could relate that to considering a rental car with a bunch of different drivers. And as such, things like the transmission behavior could be impacted. Might not be anything at all - just good ammo to have when looking at the car. (Can you tell I got burnt in the past? :-) ).

andy
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:37 PM
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Thanks again. Not too surprised about the feedback on suspension. It seems Acura's in general ride a bit stiffer. I prefer that. The 4G TL definitely rides stiffer than my old 3G and while that sometimes results in a nasty ride on bad roads, it also provides some great handling around the corners. I'm happy to make that compromise. Happy to hear the battery seems solid as well.

Otherwise, it sounds like a run of the mill Honda product. I still have a few other vehicles on the list. I'm also planning on test driving the Lexus GS 450h. On paper, the RLX and GS are the top runners. But paper vs. reality can be much different.

Anyone here ever test drive the GS 450h prior to picking up the RLX SH?
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by losiglow View Post
Otherwise, it sounds like a run of the mill Honda product.
So, I'll have to offer a slightly different viewpoint here. It's a significant step above the current flock of "run of the mill Honda products" that exist today. Frankly, it's of the quality that matched my wife's '93 Legend in terms of overall quality and driving style. My only conclusion is that the RLX is built in Japan, same as the Legend. This isn't a knock against the North American manufacturing of Honda/Acura products over the last couple of decades, but the RLX has just this tighter feel and sense of just being put together better than some of our recent experiences - 17 MDX, '15 RDX, '12 TL . I've found it really sad that I used to love my MDX in terms of driving, feel, fit/finish, etc - and after driving the wife's RLX, it's a whole different perspective about the way the car just "is". And I feel let down back in the MDX. :-( But I'll get over it.

Bottom line - I think the RLX is more than just the recent "run of the mill" Honda products. My $.02...
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:50 PM
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I test drove the Lexus GS450h and in short, it wasn't even a close comparison from a driving perspective. The interior is nicer in the Lexus I think, but the drive experience is 100% different, and in my opinion not very good when driven back to back. The RLX-SH smokes it in every way.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:09 AM
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I bought a 2016 RLX SH a couple months ago. I absolutely love it. I drove it a 1k miles home in one day and I probably couldíve drove it another thousand. It can be slightly notchy in reverse, especially nose down but other than that this thing is so nice. The trans shifts so fast and so smooth. It is a blast to drive. I came from a 2006 RL which I absolutely loved and I contiplated long and hard before I bought the SH and I have zero regret. My biggest advice is to look the car over real good and check car fax and donít be afraid to travel a little bit. These cars are going for great prices right now. I bought my 16 SH one owner 40k miles clean Carfax for under $28k. Good luck with your hunting and I would absolutely recommend this car.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:25 AM
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neuronbob didn't you have one and have a pretty strong opinion on ownership?
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:05 PM
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Had a 2014 RLX SH since March 2018. Other than some warranty repairs on this specific vehicle, no major issues.

You are right about the car "on paper." It checks off all of my boxes. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger on one.

If I could go back, I might have waited for a 2016+ just to get the 360 camera and heated steering wheel. I love the
auto power folding mirrors, too.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rockstar143 View Post
neuronbob didn't you have one and have a pretty strong opinion on ownership?
Thanks for the tag. I was pleased with my 2014 other than weird electrical and tranny issues that were specific to my car, and not widespread. The issues caused me to end my lease early. Even so, I'd own another given the opportunity, honestly. However, my goal is to eventually buy a NC1 NSX . I don't have much to add as the other guys have said the same thing I would. The particular car posted by the OP I personally wouldn't choose based on the Carfax, unless you inspect it and find it sound. If you find it sound, then you've saved a few bucks in purchasing it.

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Old 06-27-2019, 05:23 PM
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That new NSX is very special. I'm assuming you've been able to drive one? I did...a prototype for about a half hour. Wow.
Maybe OP should shoot for one of those.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:54 PM
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NC1 is the real deal performance wise. I drove one in anger about eleven months ago and can't get it out of my mind.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:26 AM
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It was like taking the Caddy and making it not lazy...
the power delivery, the shifting...there's something very
special about that car.
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