Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Acura RLX gets a new face, will anyone care?

Acura RLX gets a new face, will anyone care?

Compared to the pre-facelifted model, Acura hopes that the new styling of the RLX will help boost sales of their full-sized sedan.

Like the TLX and MDX before it, the Acura RLX has received a full beak-ectomy for its 2018 refresh.

Acura's new design for the 2018 RLX features the signature diamond pentagon grille, a more sculpted hood, new wheel designs, bold LED taillights, dual exhaust finishers and a gloss black rear diffuser.


The new Acura RLX will make its debut in the flesh at Monterey Automotive Week August 15-19. In addition to the grille, the RLX gets a new hood, new wheels, and new lighting, with a sea of LEDs lighting up the face. That comes from the NSX supercar, one of the coolest Acura models to debut in recent years.

I have been accused of being the only person under 50 who gets excited by late-model Acuras, and that may be, but I think anybody can appreciate the potential coolness of an all-wheel drive 377 horsepower direct-injection-V6-plus-three-electric-motor luxury sedan. Two Sport Hybrid SH-AWD models will be offered.

The most notable change to the dirty bits is a new 10-speed automatic transmission that mates to the standard 3.5-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower. An Espresso interior color is a fresh option. Acura says the RLX Sport Hybrid's all-wheel drive system has been further optimized using lessons it learned from the development of the NSX. It includes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation.

Standard features on the 2018 RLX Sport Hybrid include a premium Krell Audio System, surround view camera, parking sensors, LED fog lights, remote engine start, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, as well as the AcuraWatch suite of safety and driver assistance systems.

There are three new exterior colors also added to the RLX's palette, including two premium paint finishes: Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl. This system works with the adaptive cruise and low speed follow to keep the vehicle moving and following at a set distance in heavy traffic. Working in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow, Traffic Jam Assist helps reduce driver stress in highly congested traffic situations by helping keep the vehicle in its lane and a set interval behind a auto detected ahead.

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