The RLX is Acura’s flagship sedan, positioned above the ILX and TLX sedans. With the exception of the NSX hybrid supercar, the RLX is the automaker’s most expensive model, topping the three-row MDX crossover.
The 2018 Acura RLX’s standard 3.5-liter V-6 produces 310 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque and comes paired to the automaker’s new 10-speed automatic that routes power to an all-wheel-drive system. The 2017 model (with the outgoing six-speed automatic) delivered an EPA-rated 20/30 mpg city/highway; we expect the new 10-speed to deliver slightly better fuel economy. The range-topping Sport Hybrid model with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive utilizes a hybrid system similar to the NSX’s that includes the above 3.5-liter V-6 paired to an electric motor (47 hp) and backed by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Two additional rear electric motors (each 36 hp) power the rear wheels for a total system output of 377 hp and 341 lb-ft of torque. The 2017 model uses the same hybrid powertrain and returned 29/30 mpg; expect a similar figure for 2018.
Standard equipment on the base model will likely stay the same and include LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, a Milano leather-trimmed interior, 12-way power front seats, a 7.0-inch multi-use display, an 8.0-inch multi-information display with navigation, and a 14-speaker ELS audio system. Standard equipment on the Sport Hybrid will include a surround view camera system, parking sensors, a Krell audio system, LED fog lights, remote engine start, ventilated and heated front seats, and heated rear seats and steering wheel.
The 2018 RLX comes standard with a host of AcuraWatch driver assist safety features. New to AcuraWatch is Traffic Jam Assistant, a feature that works in conjunction with adaptive cruise control with Low-Speed Follow and works by keeping the sedan in its lane and will keep a set distance to the vehicle in front. AcuraWatch also includes the Collision Mitigation Braking system with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and Road Departure Mitigation. The 2018 model has yet to be crash tested, but the 2017 model received the highest five-star rating from the NHTSA and was considered a 2017 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.