New and Notable
- Acura’s new flagship sedan
- Four-wheel steering is standard for tighter cornering
- Instead of traditional headlights, clusters of eight LEDs provide illumination
Brand new for 2014, the Acura RLX is Acura’s new flagship sedan replacing the outgoing RL. It competes with other midsize-large luxury sedans like the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.
The RLX is new from the ground up and at first glance, has a few striking features that give it a modern, sophisticated air, starting with the revolutionary all LED headlights. Instead of a large bulb and smaller LEDs to function as daytime running lights, the 2014 RLX combines the two using the same eight LEDs in each headlamp cluster to perform both duties. It is the first car we’ve seen use this setup and while it can take some getting used to, the new design is a stylish step forward in that department. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, while 19-inch rims are also available. The powered side mirrors are also heated and look downward when reversing to show obstructions close to the vehicle.
Under its skin, the 2014 RLX also has a slew of mechanical innovations that improves handling and performance, as well as comfort. Under the hood is a 310-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission; the RLX is front-wheel drive. The suspension and chassis is where the RLX breaks new ground, offering standard four-wheel steering. Four-wheel steering allows the rear-wheels to turn both directions, offering tighter cornering and smoother lane changes at high speeds. There is also Acura’s standard Agile Handling Assist, which can brake individual wheels and helps keep the RLX in line with less steering effort.
Inside, the RLX offers standard leather upholstery (Milano perforated leather seats are optional) to go along with metallic and faux wood inserts. The technology laden cabin offers not one, but two large screens in the dashboard, the lower one housing audio and climate controls, while the larger, high display can be used to display other information like directions from the optional navigation system. Bluetooth connectivity, Pandora internet radio interface, HD radio, power moonroof, three-zone automatic climate control, and a USB/iPod port are standard.
Safety technology in cars has come a long way in the past several years and the 2014 RLX is no exception. Standard safety features include front, front side-impact, and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, antilock brakes, backup camera with guidelines, and AcuraLink which can call for help in the event of an airbag deployment. There is also plenty of optional safety technology, including lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning with a Collision Mitigation Braking system which will automatically apply the brakes if the car senses a frontal collision is imminent.
Bigger, more luxurious, and with new technology inside and out, the 2014 Acura RLX is a fitting car to bear the Acura flag into the future.