2018 Acura RLX Hybrid Sedan

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in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

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Detailed Review

The largest sedan from Honda’s upscale sister brand - The Acura RLX, since its introduction in 2014 has been long dwarfed by competing models from the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Audi. But after a much needed mid-cycle refresh and a sportier hybrid version, Acura has finally revealed the 2018 Acura RLX hybrid sport.

See detailed review »

Pros

Stunning build and design

Fast and fuel efficient acceleration

Spacious cabin luxurious seating

Cons

Absence of Apple CarPLay and Android Auto

Interiors feel a little outdated

Lack of customisations

What's New?

With the previous hybrid models not being very effective in sales for reasons such as the price quotient and the unappealing exterior styling, Acura has aimed for a price cut of $4,050 model along with a redesign on the outside and a simplified package structure - to boost its popularity.



Styles

 2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan in Platinum White Pearl color  2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan in Majestic Black Pearl color  2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan in Lunar Silver Metallic color  2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan in Fathom Blue Pearl color  2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan in Brilliant Red Metallic color
Platinum White Pearl

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

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

power
377 hp @ 6500 rpm
fuel
Gas/electric
mpg
28 combined

$61,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM) Starting at $61,900 MSRP (28/28/29) 377 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, gas/electric
See Full Specs
7-speed automatic all wheel drive 5 NA

Top Acura Cars

2018 Acura ILX
7.0/10

Engine: 201 hp @ 6800 rpm, 2.4 L I4

MPG: 29 combined

2018 Acura RLX
7.0/10

Engine: 310 hp @ 6500 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
8.4/10

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

MPG: 23 combined

2017 Acura NSX hybrid
8.0/10

Engine: 500 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 21 combined


Expert Review


CARHP Editorial Last updated 19 days ago

Powered by the same three motor system underpinning the japanese carmaker’s $156,000 NSX supercar - the RLX runs on a 6 cylinder 3.5L hybrid engine that incorporates both the elements of fuel and electricity to induce efficient, sporty and silent runs.

Thereby, taking its shot against the Infiniti Q70 hybrid, the Lexus GS 450H and the Mercedes GLE 350d, the japanese carmaker’s hybrid model along with its top of the line safety features has a lot to offer especially when Acura has put in a lot of effort to make the car more competitive in its segment.

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Features

2018 Acura RLX hybrid sport Trim and Features

Trim

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

MSRP

$61,900

Key

Features

  • On Demand Multi-Use Display (ODMD)
  • Bluetooth HandsFreeLink Wireless Telephone Interface
  • Krell Premium Audio System with 14 Speakers
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • USB Audio Interface with iPod Integration
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • AcuraLink & Pandora Compatibility

We recommend

The 2018 Acura RLX comes only in 1 trim but users can have some customisations in the car as per their needs.

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Engine

Engine and Transmission

While electron power is usually reserved for more efficiency focused cars (the Sport Hybrid is still efficient too), the RLX Sport Hybrid cleverly uses three motors to boost the performance-Thecarconnection.com

The hybrid powertrain from under the hood is familiar from the MDX sport hybrid. Acura even hopes that the similarities to the hybrid setup in the NSX supercar will be noticeable by the general audience. Even though there are a few shared parts, the 2 cars are very different.

Regardless, the RLX mates a 310 horsepower, 3.5L V6 engine with a 47-hp electric motor and seven speed dual clutch transmission up front. Then, in the back, one would find 2 more electric motors each contributing an extra 36 horsepower to provide torque vectoring all wheel drive. In total, the car will provide you with 377 horsepower when all the engines work together.

This hybrid setup delivers swift, slick power. The low-speed assist from the electric motors smooths out any clunkiness which is sometimes associated with dual clutch gearboxes. There's plentiful torque for passing when all 3 motors are working making the engine trumpet sonorously while doing so .

Models

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

Lexus GS 450H 4dr

MSRP

$61,900

$56,400

$63,635

Engine

3.5 L V6

3.5L V6

3.5 L V6

Transmission

7 Speed manual

7 Speed automatic

continuously variable automatic

Horsepower

377 hp@6500rpm

360 hp@6500rpm

338 hp@6000rpm

Torque

341 ft-lbs@4700rpm

258 ft-lbs@5000rpm

257 ft-lbs@4500rpm

Speaking of rivals, the Acura RLX hybrid sport has eliminated the competition with its rivals. With almost similar engine sizes, all 4 cars are offering almost different horsepower and torque respectively wherein in the Acura RLX hybrid sport brushes past all 3 cars with that extra horsepower coming from the 3 motors. It's also worth mentioning that the RLX hybrid sport redlines at higher revs than all 3 cars.

Acceleration

With one of the most powerful motors in the segment at its disposal, the RLX hybrid sport turns out to be a quite, competent gem. It accelerates predictably quiet and stunningly fast. It turns out to be the fastest cars in the segment, taking flat 5 seconds to reach the 0-60 feat, whilst demolishing the quarter mile in an astonishing 13.5 seconds. THese numbers are quite impeccable for a luxury sedan in this segment.

Models

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

Lexus GS 450H 4dr

0-60 MPH

5 sec

5.2 sec

N/A

Quarter mile

13.5 sec

13.7 sec

N/A

Engine

3.5 L V6

3.5L V6

3.5 L V6

Emission

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

6.3

5.9

5.7

All 3 cars being one of the best in their segment are competing head to head in a fierce rivalry with one just edging past the other with the smallest of margins. The RLX hybrid sport manages to be the fastest accelerating amongst the competition just brushing past the Infiniti Q70, both in the 0-60 and quarter mile time stamps.

Braking and Handling

While driving eagerly on twisted roads, the car always feels like a beat behind one's inputs. It just takes a split second too long for power to come back when one dips into the throttle. The RLX hybrid handles well and manages to maintain its composure during most of the situations it has to face courtesy of the super handling AWD setup.

In those everyday situations, the RLX Hybrid drives quitely and accelerates smooth enough making little to no wind noise entering the cabin while the stable chassis glides above the road imperfections with utter ease. Even though the steering feel is lacking wherein the connection between the 3 spoke steering wheel and the front tires is a little imprecise, but that's not what the car is about. Perhaps, the most effective thing is the easy-to-modulate brake pedal, which avoids none of the tell-tale, long travel signs of a hybrid vehicle like this.

Model

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

Lexus GS 450H 4dr

Brake Front (in.)

13

12.6

13.1

Brake Rear (in.)

12.2

12.1

12.2

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4380

4134

4112

60-0 MPH (ft.)

120

113

N/A

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Fuel Economy

One of the main main trump cards that come in for the RLX hybrid is its efficient fuel consumption when compared to its gas powered sibling. All credit goes to the hybrid motor as a combined 28mpg figure is a drastic improvement over the standard RLX.

Model

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

Lexus GS 450H 4dr

MPG (city)

28

28

29

MPG (highway)

29

33

34

MPG (combined)

28

30

31

The RLX hybrid sport turns out to be not as fuel efficient as its rivals when the city, highway and combined MPG figures are calculated. Despite all its efforts, the acura falls short of its MPG figures when compared to rivals.

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Interior

Layout and Comfort

Inside, the RLX's interior similarly lacks passion and enthusiasm -Thecarconnection.com

Inside the car, there is a new color which Acura calls as ESPRESSO, bringing the total count to 4. Talking about technology, new to the Acura lineup is the RLX's traffic jam assist feature, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist to minimise driver input below 45mph.

The RLX seats five individuals on leather upholstery, indulging front travelers on heated seats that have 12-way power adjustments. The front seats are agreeable in their own particular right, yet excessively leveled. An absence of side support may create some uneasiness on long outings.

Model

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

Lexus GS 450H 4dr

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.6/59.6/42.3

39.1/58.4/44.4

38.0/57.3/42.3

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

36.9/57.0/38.8

37.7/56.7/36.2

37.8/55.7/36.8

The RLX's interior is pleasant, at the same time it is functional enough for you to house in all your needs in the car; though there isn't much of a wow factor. The top infotainment display has a lower resolution than the bottom touchscreen, and the controls look dated and lack an intuitive flow. Rivals come with better interiors at this price.

Interior features

Some of the Highlights of the Interiors include:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Proximity key
  • Heated 12-way power seats up front
  • Collision mitigation braking system
  • Forward collision warning System
  • Lane-departure warning system active lane control
  • Blind-spot monitors
  • Rear-traffic monitoring system
  • Navigation
  • Voice-command recognition
  • 14-speaker audio system
  • Keyless Start
  • Adjustable Steering Wheel
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Heated Mirrors

Cargo volume

The trunk gains close to an extra cubic foot of volume, thanks to a smaller, lighter battery pack - The Acura RLX Hybrid can pack in a lot of stuff inside its Cargo Area. The RLX's glove box and entryway pockets are modestly sized, which leaves the three-way-access to armrest compartment as the most usable space. The rear center armrest has slide-out cup holders.

Model

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

Lexus GS 450H 4dr

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

12.0

11.3

13.2

The competition offers a similar amount of cargo space as seen in the table.

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Exterior

Design and Dimensions

Inoffensive, but forgettable, the Acura RLX does little to stand out in its class- thecarconnection.com

The styling of the RLX was one major issue which was addressed, making Acura take necessary design changes to improve the styling and the all over appeal of the car.

The RLX's deeply sculpted hood now houses an attractive angular bulge over each front tire, part of the reshaping that also visits the car's nose, side sills, and rear end for 2018. The RLX's headlamps are restyled and now are more attractive, as is Acura's pentagon shaped grille, which replaces the chrome beak the RLX has won since 2013.

Model

Acura RLX hybrid sport 4dr

Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

Lexus GS 450H 4dr

Curb weight (lbs.)

4380

4134

4112

Length(in)

197.8

196.1

192.1

Width(in)

74.4

72.6

72.4

Height(in)

57.7

59.1

57.3

Ground clearance (in)

4.5

6.0

5.1

Wheelbase (in)

112.2

114.2

112.2

Track width (in) F/R

64.3/64.2

62/61.8

62/62.6

Given the competition, the RLX hybrid sport is not the lightest but the longest car in its segment. No doubt there is a tough competition in this segment and if rated then Acura RLX finds its place somewhere in the middle of the list. If we were to crib about a certain point of the Acura, it has to be about it's Ground Clearance as it is way to low for a sedan of this class.

Exterior Features

The Exterior Features on the 2019 RLX hybrid sport:

  • Standard Jewel-Eye LED headlamps with 10 polished lenses
  • Automatic wipers
  • Power moonroof
  • All-wheel drive
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Auto dimming power remote heated folding side-view door mirrors with tilt down, turn signal indicator

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Safety

  • AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Street and Freeway Conditions
  • Advanced Front Airbags (SRS)
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control and Motion Adaptive Steering
  • 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Competition

Acura RLX hybrid sport vs Infiniti Q70 Hybrid LUXE 4dr

When it comes to comparing between the two, both the cars offer supreme build quality along with the best options for buyers in this segment. Both the cars are quite similar when it comes to their specs and features. But one thing that differentiates the Acura from the Infinity is the presence of 3 high output motors in the hybrid powertrain and a slightly well versed infotainment and safety package along with a refreshed and appealing exterior design, we have to set our preference to the Acura.

Acura RLX hybrid sport vs Lexus GS 450H 4dr

When compared with the Acura, Lexus shows better acceleration but it can be neglected as the difference is not much. Despite a bit lesser head room Acura RLX has the upper hand on Lexus in terms of front and rear shoulder as well as leg room. Lagging behind in ground clearance, the Acura RLX races ahead of Lexus GS 450 when the dimensions are compared. Acura RLX is certainly bigger in size and more spacious and comfortable too. Moreover, its better fuel economy gives it an edge over its competitors. Acura RLX comes with a driver friendly infotainment system whereas entertainment and a navigation system is hard to use in Lexus GS 450.

2018 Acura RLX hybrid Sedan Final Verdict

With the 2018 RLX hybrid sport, Acura has stepped up the game and aimed to make their way up to the level of rivalry in this competitive segment. Acura has shown that the old boring and expensive RLX is now capable of turning heads at the same time offer smooth, swift and quiet driving pleasure. With 3 mighty powerful motors and a terrific gas mileage, the Acura satiates both your thrill and comfort needs. Aided by a comprehensive set of top of the line safety features along with driver assist features that will make the Japanese under the control of your hands at the same time offer superb and fun to drive ride quality.