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#14

in Luxury Large Cars

MSRP: $48,450 - $60,450
Invoice: $44,324 - $55,183
MPG: 20 City / 31 Hwy
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Acura RLX Review

The 2014 Acura RLX ranks 14 out of 14 Luxury Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Acura RLX, as well as reliability and safety data.

Despite decent handling and an impressive array of tech features, test drivers say the 2014 Acura RLX simply can’t keep up with its more luxurious and fun-to-drive competitors.

Reviewers say that the RLX’s V6 engine is refined and powerful, but not impressive given its stiff competition, which includes luxury cars that offer more powerful engine options. Most reviewers agree that the Acura RLX’s six-speed automatic transmission is smooth-shifting. The 2014 RLX gets an EPA-estimated 20/31 mpg city/highway, which is average for a V6-powered luxury large car. The 2014 Acura RLX features Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer system (P-AWS), which automotive journalists say makes the RLX quite agile, though still not as competitive with the sportier cars in this class. One critic writes that rough roads make the RLX’s ride very unforgiving. Still, the RLX earns praise for its strong brakes, which have good pedal feel.

Critics agree that the interior of the 2014 RLX lacks the sophistication found in German competitors built by Audi and Mercedes-Benz, although they also write that the RLX features quality materials and construction. The RLX receives praise for its spacious interior and comfortable seats. Reviewers like the RLX’s long list of tech features, especially its advanced safety features. However, some find the controls confusing. The 2014 Acura RLX comes standard with 12-way power-adjustable front seats, LED headlights, a power moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, a touch-screen infotainment system, push-button start, a text/email reading function, a 10-speaker ELS surround-sound system and forward collision and lane departure warning systems. Optional features include navigation, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, a lane keeping assist system and a 14-speaker Krell surround-sound audio system.

  • "Buyers have plenty of choices in this price range, of course: The Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Lexus GS 350 are more entertaining to drive, while the Mercedes-Benz E350 is more luxurious. Meanwhile, big sedans like the Cadillac XTS and Hyundai Genesis offer many of the same tech features while undercutting the RLX on price. Indeed, this is a tough crowd and the front-drive Acura RLX is largely outmatched." -- Edmunds
  • "Its peers throw into sharp relief the fact that the RLX feels and drives too much like a Honda to justify even the $49,345 base price. Plus, every other car in this class holds a meaningful advantage the RLX lacks." -- The Los Angeles Times
  • "Making the RLX bigger fixes nothing. The RL's problem, and now the RLX's, is that the car looks and feels like an exalted, compulsively over-equipped Honda Accord." -- The Wall Street Journal
  • "Refined ride and handling, and a roomy, classy interior propel the RLX to heights of excellence never seen in its RL forebear. Whether that excellence will help the Acura RLX take meaningful market share from the dominant BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans remains to be seen." -- Kelley Blue Book

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Other Cars to Consider

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has balanced performance and a very luxurious interior, according to test drivers. The E-Class has a wide variety of available powertrains, including V6 and V8 engines that critics say deliver strong acceleration.

Reviewers say the Audi A6 has an opulent interior, agile handling and a comfortable ride. The base A6 gets better fuel economy than the RLX, and its optional supercharged V6 is more powerful. The A6 also has a lower starting price.

Compare the RLX, E-Class and A6 »

Details: 2014 Acura RLX

The 2014 Acura RLX seats five and has standard front-wheel drive. A 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. The Acura RLX comes in five trims: RLX, RLX with Navigation, RLX with Technology Package, RLX with Krell Audio Package and RLX with Advance Package. The Acura RLX is an all-new model for 2014.

See the full 2014 Acura RLX specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

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