Acura RLX gets new look, but will it be enough to compete?

11 August, 2017, 18:49 | Author: Becky Perry
  • 2018 Acura RLX refresh packs a new face and NSX DNA

The new RLX also features performance-driven design updates including Acura's signature diamond pentagon grille, a more sculpted hood, dual exhaust finishers and a gloss black rear diffuser.

The 2018 RLX will make its official debut during Monterey Car Week later this month.

The most notable aesthetic update for 2018 is the grille, which is the same beak-free grille you see on other new Acura models. This marks the first Acura application of this new Honda-developed transmission; it's already in use in the 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan and soon will be installed in the redesigned 2018 Honda Accord.

Acura is eliminating several trim packages on both the base and the Sport Hybrid model and boils everything down to just two versions.

The new look gives the front fascia of the 2018 RLX a stronger persona, we think, with a better reflection of the RLX's status as a luxury sedan.

The new grille design has also been adopted by the TLX sedan and the MDX SUV. Front-wheel drive remains standard with this engine, as does Acura's rear-wheel-steering system called Precision All-Wheel Steer. If you'd rather get a bit more oomph, opt for the 377-horsepower, three-motor hybrid with all-wheel drive.

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Acura is also offering a suite of technology options for the 2018 RLX.

If the non-hybrid variant is preferred, the RLX gets the same 3.5 litre powerplant but without the electric motors (obviously).

The 2018 RLX is available in two new premium shades - Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl - and will go on sale in November.

Other hardware changes include the addition of a 10-speed automatic gearbox to the regular RLX, which is powered by a 310hp 3.5-liter V6.

If you're spending the big bucks on the hybrid, the list of standard equipment grows to include a premium Krell sound system, a surround-view camera system, parking sensors, fog lights, remote start, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

Like the current model, the AcuraWatch suite of safety tech is standard which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and other tech you'd expect to find in a vehicle in this class. It includes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation. This system works with the adaptive cruise and low speed follow to keep the vehicle moving and following at a set distance in heavy traffic.

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