2018 Acura RLX

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2018 MODEL

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2018 Acura RLX Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

A combination of beauty and power, the 2018 Acura RLX wields some striking hardware. The sedan gets a refreshed look but what's under the hood is even better as the hybrid trim borrows its powertrain techs from the NSX supercar.

There are two engines to choose from, the standard variant gets a 3.5 L V6 engine while the hybrid trim pairs the same engine with three electric motors to generate 377 horsepower. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard on the base but the hybrid engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

See detailed review »

Pros

Powerful hybrid engine

Striking new design

Plush interior

Comfortable seats with good back support

Cons

Lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Antiquated infotainment system

What's New?

Refreshed exterior styling

New front seats

Available with 10-speed automatic transmission

New driver safety aids


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$54900

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

126 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

horsepower

310 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

272 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

10-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.2 in./12.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

112.2 in.

length

197.8 in.

width

74.4 in.

height

57.7 in.

curb weight

3977 lbs.

ground clearance

4.5 in.

capacity

passenger volume

102.1 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.8 sec.

zero to 100 mph

14.2 sec.

rolling start (5-60 mph)

5.9 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.2 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

168 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/23/29 mpg

highway range

536.5 mi.

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2018 Acura RLX in Brilliant Red Metallic color  2018 Acura RLX in Fathom Blue Pearl color  2018 Acura RLX in Gilded Pewter Metallic color  2018 Acura RLX in Lunar Silver Metallic color  2018 Acura RLX in Majestic Black Pearl color  2018 Acura RLX in Modern Steel Metallic color  2018 Acura RLX in Platinum White Pearl color
Brilliant Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.5

Engine

6.3

Fuel Economy

7.1

Interior

6.6

Exterior

6.0

Safety

8.6

Comfort

7.5

Driving

7.3

7.0

OVERALL RATING

Top Acura Cars

2018 Acura NSX hybrid
8.1/10

Engine: 573 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 21 combined

2017 Acura NSX hybrid
8.0/10

Engine: 500 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 21 combined

2018 Acura RDX
7.9/10

Engine: 279 hp @ 6200 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 23 combined

2019 Acura NSX hybrid
8.4/10

Engine: 573 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L V-6

MPG: 21 combined

2019 Acura RDX
8.4/10

Engine: 272 hp @ 6500 rpm, 2 L I-4

MPG: 24 combined

2019 Acura MDX hybrid SUV
7.8/10

Engine: 321 hp @ 6300 rpm, 3 L V-6

MPG: 27 combined

2018 Acura MDX
8.1/10

Engine: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 22 combined

2019 Acura MDX
8.4/10

Engine: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm, 3.5 L V-6

MPG: 23 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

7.0

Overall Rating


The RLX has its share of flaws as well. The interior design and infotainment system feels antiquated. Also, one would be happy to have more engine options and trims. Prices for the luxury sedan starts at $54,900.


6.5/10
Features

 

6.3/10
Engine

 

7.1/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.6/10
Interior

 

6.0/10
Exterior

 

8.6/10
Safety

 
 
 

2018 Acura RLX Features

6.5/10

Acura has kept things simple by offering RLX in two trims. The base gets a 3.5 L V6 engine that sends power to front wheel drive via a 10-speed automatic transmission. It also comes loaded with a plethora of techs and features that is more than what the competitors offer. The Sports hybrid meanwhile pairs the same engine with a dual clutch seven-speed transmission and three electric motors to generate a combined power of 377 hp.

Trims P-AWS w/ Technology Pkg Sport Hybrid w/ Advance Pkg
MSRP $54,900 $61,900
Features
  • FWD Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS)
  • Agile Handling Assist
  • 10-speed sequential sport shift with paddle shifters
  • Variable cylinder management
  • 3-Motorsport hybrid super handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) system
  • Idle stop
  • 7-speed dual clutch transmission
  • Electronic gear selector

We Recommend

Out of the two variants, the Sports Hybrid model is highly recommended with a price tag $61,900. The Hybrid RLX gets all the optional safety and comfort features and comes with all-wheel-drive precession system. The only drawback with this trim is that you will have to compromise on the trunk space.

2018 Acura RLX Engine

6.3/10

"Acura offers the choice between a gasoline-only and a hybrid powertrain for the 2018 RLX. Both feel refined and smooth, have excellent fuel economy ratings, and are powerful enough to move this large luxury sedan with ease. While the RLX has an adequate amount of agility, it isn't very sporty or engaging. It also doesn't offer as comfortable of a ride as some competitors"-Cars.usnews.com

Engine and Transmission

Acura offers the choice between a gasoline and a hybrid powertrain for the 2018 RLX. The base trim P-AWS is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that churns out 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic replaces the 6-speed automatic this year and comes standard on the base along with the front-wheel drive.

The Sport Hybrid meanwhile comes loaded with the same V6 engine along with three electric motors, two of which sends the power to the rear wheels in order to provide all-wheel drive experience. A seven-speed dual clutch transmission is standard while the hybrid puts out a combined output of 377 horsepower and 341 pound-feet of torque.

Model Acura RLX P-AWS Lincoln Continental Premier Cadillac XTS standard Lexus GS 450h
MSRP $54,900 $45,160 $47,390 $63,635
Engine 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 3.6L SIDI DOHC V6 3.5L V6 24V DOHC
Transmission 10-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic CVT Automatic
Power 310 hp 305 hp 304 hp 338 hp
Torque 272 lb-ft 280 lb-ft 264 lb-ft 257 lb-ft

Acceleration

The standard Acura RLX with 3.5L V6 accelerates from 0-60 MPH in 6.2 seconds and does a quarter mile in 14.2 seconds. The hybrid model with three electric motors and a 7-speed Dual clutch automatic transmission accelerates even better. It is not the fastest among its competitors but has an upper hand in terms of the overall package.

Model Acura RLX P-AWS Lincoln Continental Premier Cadillac XTS standard Lexus GS 450h
0–60 mph 6.2 sec 6.8 sec 6.9 sec 5.6 sec
Quarter Mile 14.7 sec 14.9 sec 15.3 sec 13.6 sec
Engine 3.5L 3.7L 3.6L 3.5L

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.6 8.8 8.0 5.7

Handling and Steering

Acura’s All Wheel Steering delivers smooth and predictable handling. On curvy roads, the P–AWS system turns the rear wheel slightly in order to increase the stability. The RLX hybrid meanwhile does not get the P–AWS system, but it does come with Acura’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive. The sedan cruises effortlessly and absorbs most of the bumps in the road while offering a luxurious ride.

Braking

The RLX has a decent amount of bite that comes from 12.3-inch front ventilated discs and 12.2-inch rear solid discs. This helps the RLX to stop from 60 to 0 in 121 ft. which is not the best in class. The Lincoln Continental Premier leads the competition by having stopping power of 110 feet.

Model Acura RLX P-AWS   Lincoln Continental Premier Cadillac XTS standard Lexus GS 450h
60 – 0 mph 121 110 116 123
Curb Weight (lbs.) 9377 4224 4021 4112
Brake (Front) in 12.3 13.9 13.6 13.1
Brake (Rear) in 12.2 13.6 12.4 12.2

 

2018 Acura RLX Fuel Economy

7.1/10

The Acura RLX is economical as the standard variant is rated at 20 MPG city,29 MPG highway and 23 MPG combined. The hybrid variant with the three electric motors improves things and check in at 28/29/28 MPG. Acura gets tough competition from the Lexus GS which leads the segment with 29/34/31 MPG.

Model Acura RLX P-AWS Lincoln Continental Premier Cadillac XTS standard Lexus GS 450h
MPG (City) 20 17 19 29
MPG (Hwy) 29 26 18 34
MPG (Combined) 23 20 22 31

2018 Acura RLX Interior

6.6/10

"The 2018 Acura RLX has spacious, comfortable seats and lots of standard features. There's more room in the back seat than in many of the RLX's competitors, but its trunk size falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. The dual-screen infotainment system is not as high-tech or easy to use as some"-Cars.usnews.com

Seating and Comfort

The interior quality is top-notch as one would expect. Entry and exit are made easy by the big wide opening doors. The tilt and telescoping steering wheel and highly adjustable front seats make for a comfortable driving position. Speakers in the windshield pillars create large blind spot but the issue can be taken care off by opting for an Advance package that includes multiple cameras.

The 2018 Acura RLX accommodate five passengers and both the front and the rear seat have aggregable amount of space. Seats are supportive and cushioned all around. For child safety, the Acura gets two tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors in the back seat. Seating feature includes:

  • A leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated
  • 12-way power adjustable front seats
  • Ventilated front seats (RLX Sport Hybrid)
  • Heated outdoor rear seat (RLX Sport Hybrid)
  • Heated steering wheel (RLX Sport Hybrid)
Model Acura RLX P-AWS Lincoln Continental Premier Cadillac XTS standard Lexus GS 450h
Passenger Capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume (Ft.3) 102.1 106.4 104.2 99.0
Headroom (Front/Rear) (in.) 37.6/36.9 39.3/37.7 39.0/37.8 38.0/37.8
Legroom (Front/Rear) (in.) 42.3/38.8 44.4/41.3 42.1/40.0 42.3/36.8
Shoulder Room (Front/Rear) (in.) 59.6/57.0 58.3/55.9 57.9/56.3 57.3/55.3

Infotainment

2018 Acura RLX gets the same outdated infotainment system from the outgoing model. The Navigation system is slow as compared to the latest technology available among competitors. The dual-screen infotainment system only complicates things. The user interface looks antiquated and doesn't match up to the standards of a luxury sedan.

Cargo

Truck space stands at 14.9 cubic feet of the RLX and 12 cubic feet in the hybrid model. These numbers are unimpressive for a small car as the rear seats also don’t fold down. The RLX fails to win over its competitors as the Cadillac XTS has a total of 18 cubic feet of trunk volume which is best n the class.  Even the Lincoln Continental and the Lexus GS offer better trunk space than the Acura.

Model Acura RLX P-AWS Lincoln Continental Premier Cadillac XTS Standard Lexus GS 450h
Trunk Vol. (Ft.3) 14.9 16.7 18.0 15.9

2018 Acura RLX Exterior

6.0/10

"RLX gets a diamond-pattern grille with an outline like the nose applied to the MDX, as well as LED taillights, and a rear diffuser formed from gloss-black plastic. It also has more lines stamped into its hood"-The Car Connection 

Dimension and Weight

The 2018 Acura RLX is longer than the outgoing model which means there is more legroom on the inside. It is although not the longest in this segment but has a decent amount of space for five people. The RLX has 112.2 inches of wheelbase, same as the Lexus GS 450h.

Model Acura RLX P-AWS Lincoln Continental Premier Cadillac XTS standard Lexus GS 450h
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3977 4224 4021 4112
Wheelbase (in) 112.2 117.9 111.7 112.2
Length (in) 198.1 201.4 200.9 192.1
Width (in) 74.4 75.3 72.9 72.4
Height (in) 57.7 58.5 59.4 57.3
Ground Clearance (in) 4.5 5.5 5.0 5.1
Track Width – Front (in) 64.3 63.2 61.7 62.0
Track Width – Rear (in) 64.2 64.1 62.0 62.6

Exterior Features

Some of the exterior features include:

  • Dual channel Jewel LED lamps
  • LED fog lamps
  • Gloss black front splitter
  • Gloss black rear diffuser
  • Exposed exhaust pipes
  • All LED tail lamps
  • 19-inch alloy wheels

2018 Acura RLX Safety

8.6/10

The NHTSA has rated the sedan with a 5-star score in all tests while the IIHS says the 2018 RLX earns “Good” scores in all tests and gave it a Top Safety Pick award. In terms of reliability, Acura has covered the RLX with a 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

NHSTA Rating

Overall Rating 5 Star
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 5 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 5 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 5 Star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5 Star
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat 5 Star
Combined Side Rating Front Seat 5 Star
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat 5 Star
Rollover Rating 5 Star

IIHS Ratings

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front Passenger side N/A
Moderate overlap front Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good
Head restraints & seats Good

 

Crash Prevention and Mitigation
Frontal Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
Child Seat Anchors Acceptable

Safety Features

Acura has fitted the RLX with an extensive list of standard safety techs and feature. Traffic jam assist is new for this year and allows autonomous driving. The RLX can steer, accelerate and stop itself at speed of up to 40 mph. Standard safety feature includes:

  • Vehicle Stability Assist Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS and Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Blind Spot Information System Blind Spot Sensor
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System Forward Collision and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor Rear Collision
  • Lane Keeping Assist System Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist System Lane Departure Warning
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Back-Up Camera

2018 Acura RLX Competition

Acura RLX Vs Cadillac XTS

The new Cadillac XTS standard is priced higher than the RLX. The Cadillac wins over the RLX in terms of interior quality. It feels more modern and sophisticated. The Cadillac has excellent ride comfort, thanks to the new Magnetic Ride Control System.  The top variant of Cadillac XTS gets 20-inch alloy wheels, which look great as compared to the 19-inch alloy on both the Acura variants. Cadillac XTS also has better cargo space.

Acura RLX Vs Lincoln Continental Premier

The Lincoln is not as aggressive as the Acura RLX, rather it is more subtle and royal looking. Lincoln looks great with light color scheme and rich interior design. It also has more trunk space and a roomy interior as compared to Acura.

2018 Acura RLX Vs Lexus GS 450h

The Lexus GS 450h is a pretty looking car. Lexus gives more engine and trim options for you to choose. Whereas, the RLX has just two variants. The GS 450h comes with a rear wheel drive package, which makes it a driver's car. The 3.5L V6 pumps out 338 hp and does 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds.  On the inside, Lexus gives a decent amount of space and luxury options. There are not as many standard features that one gets on the Acura RLX but it has modern styling cues which makes it stand out from others.

2018 Acura RLX Final Verdict

The all-new redesigned 2018 Acura RLX is no doubt a good-looking car with a striking design. The front fascia is fully revamped and the new colors on offer makes the car more stunning. The RLX is undoubtedly a sporty, luxurious and a daily drivers car.

If you are looking for an ultra-luxurious interior and features you’ll surely be disappointed here. But, if you are looking for an affordable premium sedan with a decent price tag, the 2018 Acura RLX is the best choice you can make!