Acura’s current range-topping sedan, the RL, is now end of life. Critics would say it’s been end of life for some time, since sales of Acura’s premium sedan have been in the bottom ten each month for quite a while. It’s not hard to see why, either: the RL’s styling is dated, and its technology (once the hallmark of Acura) isn’t exactly class-leading.
On March 15, Acura will begin delivering its new flagship sedan, the RLX, and it’s betting that content and technology will lure buyers back to the brand. Front-wheel drive models (which benefit from Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer to aid handling) will hit dealer showrooms first, with a more-powerful hybrid variant debuting around mid-year. The hybrid will debut Acura’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, and it has the potential to be revolutionary.
Front-drive RLX models will use an all-new 3.5-liter V-6, which gains technologies like direct fuel injection and Variable Cylinder Management for optimum fuel economy. A six-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode (and the obligatory paddle shifters) is the only choice of transmission. While performance data is pending, Acura says the combination will deliver 24 mpg combined, 20 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
Expect to see plenty of standard or available technology, too, including the latest version of AcuraLink, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and a choice of high-end audio systems. There’s even an adaptive cruise control that features a low-speed follow function for stop and go driving in traffic.
Base front-drive RLX models will be priced at $48,450, while adding the voice-guided navigation system will raise the price to $50,950. Add the Technology Package (which also includes features like heated and ventilated front seats), and the price climbs to $54,450, while choosing the 14-speak Krell Audio Package variant bumps the sticker to $56,950. If you want it all and then some, the RLX with Advance Package is priced at $60,450, though none of the prices shown here include the mandatory $895 destination fee.
If you want to test drive the RLX, dealers will have demo cars starting next month as part of Acura’s “Destination RLX” event.