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#11

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 Performance

The 2014 Acura RLX is more focused on more comfort than performance, reviewers say, although one critic writes the ride becomes uncomfortable on rough roads. Another adds that the RLX performs very well for a front-wheel drive car, but still fails to keep up with competitors like the BMW 5-Series or the Audi A6.

  • "But the RLX doesn't surprise you with it's quickness the way a high-horsepower V-8 or turbocharged six can make your eyes get big when you floor the accelerator. It's more of a smooth cruiser, with a quiet, comfortable ride and leather appointments nicer than most country clubs." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "In short, the RLX is more focused on cush than performance; both it and its passengers will be happiest long before the car's tires start to howl." -- Road and Track
  • "In terms of a FWD large car, the Acura is easily best of the bunch, but you just can't match the rear-drive dynamics and precise steering of the 5er [BMW 5-Series]. And while one wasn't available to test, we're willing to bet that the Audi A6 with Quattro would stomp all over the whole group. We put the RLX somewhere in the middle of the pack." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Acura RLX is powered by a 310-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard. The 2014 Acura RLX gets an EPA-estimated 20/31 mpg city/highway, which is average for a V6-powered luxury large car.

Test drivers say that the RLX’s engine is powerful and refined, but one reviewer thinks that the RLX doesn’t feel as powerful as the six-cylinder Audi A6 or BMW 5-Series. Most reviewers agree that the transmission shifts smoothly, and one praises its quick shifts.

  • "Though the RLX is no lightweight at an eyelash under 4,000 pounds, this V-6 remains composed when pushed hard (though drivers must engage the car's Sport mode for best results). The only problem is that this is a segment in which impressive engines are as common as seat belts." -- The Los Angeles Times
  • "Its V6 doesn't feel as potent as the six-cylinders in the A6 and 5 Series, but this engine is quiet and smooth, with plenty of power for passing when you need it. The transmission provides quick, smooth shifts." -- Edmunds
  • "Acceleration from the 3.5-liter V6 is strong and smooth, aided by the well-spaced gears and silky shifts from the 6-speed automatic transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The 2014 RLX comes with Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer system (P-AWS), which test drivers think makes the RLX quite nimble. The RLX is one of the few front-wheel drive cars in its class, but reviewers say the P-AWS system makes it feel more like a rear-wheel drive car, which they like. One critic writes that bumpy roads make the RLX’s ride very harsh. Another reviewer says that the brakes are powerful with good pedal feel.

  • "This is the front-wheel-drive car that doesn't feel like one, thanks to the extra agility provided by PAWS." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "P-AWS and AHA give the RLX vivid path accuracy and turn-in characteristics, as the car refuses to betray its front-wheel-drive layout and 61/39-percent front-to-rear weight distribution until pushed hard." -- Car and Driver
  • "When the road gets a little rough, the ride becomes very uncomfortable." -- CNET
  • "The brakes felt strong without being overassisted and grabby. …" -- Motor Trend
Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

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