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2014 Acura RLX First Drive

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,112
edited September 2014 in Acura

image2014 Acura RLX First Drive

Edmunds' first drive of the 2014 Acura RLX includes pricing, driving impressions, specs and photos.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • Honda has become more and more irrelevant...
  • alex38alex38 Posts: 30
    terrible imo...both inside and out. Honda killed it in the 80's and 90's but they have lost their game gradually over the past decade
  • I'm skeptical when a car company finds it necessary to photograph new cars with dramatic backgrounds. It says to me that they too believe their car is boring so put it in more interesting settings.

    That being said, the most interesting this I saw in the photos of the RLX was the San Francisco skyline behind it.

    Also, the dashboard looks like it was designed for a minivan and overall, the car looks too much like the Accord.
  • Based on the pricing and specs, it seems the Cadillac XTS is much more of a competitor than the Lexus GS or BMW 5 series.
  • You lost me at the Paul Simon ding. Really?
  • jeffinohjeffinoh Posts: 156
    Size, price, front wheel drive. Comparable to the Caddy XTS. Maybe that makes it a standout from the European snob-sedans.
  • From the ugly front grille which persists year after year to front wheel drive, which none of us luxury sedan owners like or want, I have come to believe that all of the Acura design engineers are secretly moles who really work for Toyota.
  • Taking a quick look without taking a test drive, the RLX seems to have little difference in appearance from the Accord. While we are at it, the powertrain isn't even that much different. In my mind, there are not one, but two things that hold this "flagship" sedan from being worthy to go against the class leaders. One, no V8. Two, front wheel drive. Other than class-leading rear seat room (finally!), and the rear wheel steering, there is little that the RLX does to really move the needle in this class. For some buyers/Honda/Acura loyalists, that will be just fine. But for others, there are more exciting choices available in this price range. On that note, I will finish my monster energy drink.
  • This car's sales will depend on the upcoming hybrid system with SH-AWD. It is going to put out around 355 HP with 365 Ft lbs, but in lies another problem because the M35H already produces these figures, is RWD based, and returns solid fuel economy.

    @jeffinoh- Why would you bring up the XTS when it doesn't compete in this class. The new, larger, CTS will, and it's redesign and structure will take even more sales away from this RLX.

    Not that this is a bad car by any means, but it's not worth the price tag it currently yields, especially when the TL produce all of the same driving dynamics for 20K less. The RLX hybrid should have been the base model or at least AWD standard to make it the bargin Acura once was.

    Honda did a great job on the new Accord and updated Civic, but their Acura brands needs improvment. The ILX isn't worth the Civic rebadge price tag it sits under.

    The last time Acura made me think of them first was when their lineup was RL, TL, CL, and Integra.
  • cjasiscjasis Posts: 274
    The last RL didn't sell because it was ugly, front wheel drive and lacked any prestige in the market place.

    The new RLX will not sell because it's still not easy on the eye, it's front wheel drive and it still lacks prestige. A big interior will appeal to a tiny portion of the target market who are cross shopping Cadillac and almost nobody else.

    I've owned dozens of Honda and Acuras (including an NSX, two S2000's, an original Integra GS-R and a Legend Coupe LS 6-speed) and so I don't think I'm being unfair when I say that I love the company but they've lost their way. Honestly, it's time to wipe the slate clean and start over.
  • I don't understand this review you start off by saying Honda did not set out to make the best drivers car in the segment they wanted a car that appeals to mass market and has good comfort. Then you spend 3/4 of the review pointing out all the reasons why it's not the best drivers car. And then you just gloss over the cars strong suits like it might actually be Cumfy for passengers and the tech is easy to use. Oh by the way you did not even mention the navigation or infotainment or climate control the stuff that is really mattering in this class. Honda is right the best drivers car does not equal sales that's why the mercury grand marquis and Lincoln town car flew off the shelves the Acura has over 50 percent the horsepower of those cars less weight twice the fuel economy and more room. I'm a big edmunds.com and inside line fan but I you are only going to do a review pointing out faults then that is hardly a fair and balenced review and I have to dismiss this whole opinion entirely
  • In this $60K segment, Acura is bringing a knife to a gunfight.
  • $50k fwd. hahaha.

    put down the crack pipe.
  • Honda is off their rocker with this car, and pretty much everything thats coming out lately. Why would anyone buy this over any of the competition? It just has no desirability factor at all. At least to me.
  • Yep, they're still hard headed at Honda. You want to play with the big boys? Then bring RWD to the table or stay at home. It's that simple.

    Audi, BMW, Mercedes and even Lexus are going to eat this thing alive.

    I know Lexus and Infiniti CEO's are somewhere laughing at FAIL AIL X
  • Yep, they're still hard headed at Honda. You want to play with the big boys? Then bring RWD to the table or stay at home. It's that simple.

    Audi, BMW, Mercedes and even Lexus are going to eat this thing alive.

    I know Lexus and Infiniti CEO's are somewhere laughing at FAIL AIL X
  • ...But I bet this thing will be as safe as a vault. Did anyone see the 2013 Lexus ES 350 pole crash test? Toyota still hasn't gotten the safety issues together IMO. At least though they can build a RWD performance vehicle. IJS
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    The car is utterly bland and already looks a decade old. And the was $60 grand with a 6 cylinder engine based on front-wheel-drive layout.
  • dfelix70dfelix70 Posts: 143
    The last RL did not sell well because it was too closely aligned to the less expensive but similarly-sized and powered TL. Much the same that is happening with the TSX and TL today.

    That being said, I think this RLX offers an interesting option for buyers. Edmunds says that it's not offering the driving experience that he feels this segment wants. I don't agree. The E-Class is a greater seller in this segment, and it doesn't handle like a 5 Series or A6.
    There is clearly a market for smooth-driving, elegance cars. Clear evidence of that is the Lexus ES350 and RX. Granted, neither are in the RLX class, but both are extremely hot sellers, consistently. The ES350 can't handle like a 3 Series. And the RX can't handle like an X5. Look at the new GS350. Handles like a true sports car, but its sales haven't lit anything on fire as of yet, getting clobbered by the new-numb-steering 5 Series and the E Class.

    Personally, I actually think Acura is doing a VERY smart thing here. It's actually now venturing into the realm that Lexus once used to dominate the luxury sector, but is now vacating: luxurious, quiet, ample-powered, conservatively styled, yet not-going-to-give-you-goosebumps-on-the-twisties transportation.

    I mean, let's be honest. The biggest passenger car sellers are FWD, mainstream, family sedans: Camry, Accord, Civic, Corolla. Not everyone needs to feel like Schumacher when driving a car. This is about marketing and what the public wants, not what automotive publications want in a car (which is one of THE most irritating pet peeves).

    I'm so sick of automotive publications that want the entire industry to essentially be homogenized. Every sedan needs to handle like a BMW in order to be "worthy". Hate to tell you, but the 35-year-old mother of 3, chatting on her cellphone in traffic could car less how the car handles.

    And, whether you want to accept it or not, "Acura" is still a respected luxury brand to many consumers. No, it isn't as prestigious as the Tier 1 brands, but that's not Acura's mission and it never has been. I still see just as many Acuras as I do Benzes, BMWs, Audis and Lexi and I live in one of the snobbiest areas of the country.
  • dfelix70dfelix70 Posts: 143
    and I'll add that Infiniti offers essentially the car line that most automotive publications drool for, yet Acura crushes their annual sales results.
  • I simply don't understand Acura. How can you go from making such phenomenal cars in the 90's such as the NSX's, Legends, Vigors, Integras, etc., and then.... the last 15 years? I don't get it. RE-INTRODUCE THE LEGEND, as a badass, RWD, V8 sport sedan.. Acura has no clue what that would do for them, its sad.
  • dfelix70dfelix70 Posts: 143
    I find it ironic that I've read 3 other articles from automotive journalists that also drove the new RLX, and all of them were very positive. Yes, it is unanimously agreed that the styling is conservative, but that's to be expected in this segment. But the car's driving dynamics are applauded by the other articles i've read, whereas Edmunds is pretty lukewarm about it. I just find that a bit curious.
  • dfelix70dfelix70 Posts: 143
    Ok, I've now read about 6 other articles that paint a very positive picture of the driving experience. And, overall, are very positive about the RLX.
  • What they did wrong in this case is going 'Elegant Styling' direction. Like Hyundai did with genesis adding elegance with 'europen touch'. Acura should have stick on to their unique styling theme like BMW and Benze and Lexus. Acura styling is expected to be cutting edge techno styling like MDX and to the higest level ZDX and TSX or TL. actually ZDX is very pleasantly styled . very clean, minimalist and high tech , looking design with solid form. it failed in the function though. TL with new face changes is a high tech looking car and selling reasonably well.

    They shouldnt have gone the new 'Elegant styling ' like ILX,RDX,RLX to compete Europen players. interestingly the new line up has less build quality than the current line up. compare RLX to ZDX, . In every respect the ZDX build is far better. Lexus always keep their minmalist quality unique design they dont imitate european. Asian companies never can bring elgance to automobiles. They should keep their unique techno looks otherwise it will look like Hyundai's genesis. And dont expect these things to sell in large volume.
  • What they did wrong in this case is going 'Elegant Styling' direction. Like Hyundai did with genesis adding elegance with 'europen touch'. Acura should have stick on to their unique styling theme like BMW and Benze and Lexus. Acura styling is expected to be cutting edge techno styling like MDX and to the higest level ZDX and TSX or TL. actually ZDX is very pleasantly styled . very clean, minimalist and high tech , looking design with solid form. it failed in the function though. TL with new face changes is a high tech looking car and selling reasonably well.

    They shouldnt have gone the new 'Elegant styling ' like ILX,RDX,RLX to compete Europen players. interestingly the new line up has less build quality than the current line up. compare RLX to ZDX, . In every respect the ZDX build is far better. Lexus always keep their minmalist quality unique design they dont imitate european. Asian companies never can bring elgance to automobiles. They should keep their unique techno looks otherwise it will look like Hyundai's genesis. And dont expect these things to sell in large volume.
  • dfelix70dfelix70 Posts: 143
    The problem is the finicky tastes of "automotive journalists". Acura was criticized for years for conservative styling. Then when they attempted to be daring and cutting edge, i.e., power plenum grilles or slick wedgy designs, they were blasted for these designs and, frankly, sales were impacted. Seriously, where the heck have you been? Acura has always been known for conservative designs, which is why their "edgy" designs probably weren't received well.
    To say that they shouldn't have gone "Elegant" in order to compete with the Germans is nonsense. That is exactly what they needed to do. To say Lexus style is now minimalist and don't imitate Europeans is outright false. Their recent designs are a mix of the extremes of bland and garish. And, at least in the past, they were practically cloning the Mercedes S-Class with their LS.
  • I get the biggest laughs when kids point out all the other luxury car makers build RWD "LIKE AUDI".

    I would love to hear more about the RWD Audi sedans please.
  • I would like to see like a Chevy SS luxury sedan. It would be a massive failure, but would point out some truth to the car enthusiasts. It would have a horrible ride, few luxuries, but a powerful V8, and RWD. Car enthusiast's dream. Epic Failure. If it did have the features, it would cost 20k too much. Yet still, the car people yell for those performance, crap riding Acuras to come back. Yes, I just called your darling cars crap, because a modern version of them would be just that, or terribly overpriced. 40k S2000? No thank you. Same for a 35k Integra, or a 70k RL, 50k TSX, and 60k TL. For sales purposes, a comfy sedan might be perfect. @TIB2006, I need some of your monster after this rant.
  • I agree with cjasis in the front that the RL did not sell because it was ugly, front wheel drive and lacked prestige but I do think that the rlx will sell because it looks better and is seeming to get more publicity (commercials etc.). I like this car but I'll still take the new lexus gs thank you very much
  • Acura: This IS your grandma's Buick.
  • Did I miss something? Did the Chevrolet and Acura switch their designers? Seems like Acura's designs are getting worse (except the NSX) and Chevrolet is getting better...GO FIGURE! SMH
  • What are you people talking about. I mean its not that ugly. What it is is overpriced. I mean with that package its as much as a very well equipped audi A6. you'd have to be an idiot to get the acura
  • Not an inspiring design.

    I respect the engineering talent at Honda/Acura and the thoughtful execution of ergonomic details.... BUT Acura is not an exciting or aspirational brand any more.

    They are only nicer, pricier Hondas, that's all.
  • bob446bob446 Posts: 1
    Never included in these comparisons is any mention of quality and reliability. I am skeptical that the typical buyer places more emphasis on longitudinal engine positioning and rear-wheel drive than on long-term reliability. Other than being comparable to Lexus, the Acura beats the German competitors hands down on this attribute. Personally, that reliability combined with a luxurious and roomy cabin make the sale for me.
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 5,257
    Personally, I think this vehicle is absolutely gorgeous and if I had the $, I'd purchase in a nano second! Beautiful on the outside, outstanding on the inside, it just hit all the buttons in my mind. Though the vehicle is large, it's something that I could get used to. I do think the entry price is a bit overpriced, compared to the competition, it's a screaming bargain. Being already in the Honda family, the transition would be easy as everything has a familiar look and feel to it. Hopefully one day some of the good stuff will find it's way down the food chain!
    A great effort here Acura and I predict folks are going to like this vehicle and want to purchase one. Acura has finally come back into the main stream looks wise and if this vehicle drives competently, they will sell a boatload of 'em!

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

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