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2016 Acura RLX Test Drive

2016 Acura RLX

The 2016 Acura RLX is a front-wheel-drive luxurious sedan that was launched as the substitution for the RL model. Its most significant innovation is, probably, the AcuraWatch, a system that assists and secures driving. However, it’s disputable whether the model can compete with other cars from its class like the Lincoln MKS and Cadillac XTS?

Exterior and Interior

The Acura RLX is rather attractive and graceful; its smooth lines do their bit. However, it isn’t unique. Even if it catches your eye on the road, chances are you’ll forget it pretty soon. Its exterior elements aren’t groundbreaking at all. Although its rivals are Cadillac, Jaguar, and Lincoln, to be honest, the RLX cannot compete with them (at least, in exterior look).

The interior is also nice. Cabin materials are of high quality and everything is well-finished. There’s just one snag to it: it’s soulless as the exterior; it neither inspires nor impresses.

Also, there isn’t much shoulder room in the rear seats. It may be problematic – if not traumatic – for tall people to get in and out despite large rear doors. Be careful if you don’t want to hit the ceiling.

Driving Performance

The Acura RLX is equipped with a 310-hp 272 lb-ft engine. The 2016 Acura RLX test drive showed that although it isn’t the most powerful in its class, the acceleration is quite sufficient. The car speeds up to 60 mph in 6 seconds that’s a very good result.

Engineers set a 6-speed automatic transmission in the RLX although sedans of its class have already changed over to 8-speed gear box. Upshifts are smooth that cannot be said about downshifts.

If you strive for higher performance, consider driving the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD that’s powered by a specially developed 3-motor hybrid system (with a main 3.5-litre V6) and makes 377 hp and 377 lb-ft of torque. Driving the Sport Hybrid, with a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox, is more exciting than being at the wheel of a standard RLX.

Noise, vibration, and harshness are reduced, so driving becomes even more pleasant and easy. The Acura RLX has the Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system that makes cornering smoother, quicker, and more stable. With the help of the electric power steering, you can be not afraid of bumpy and curvy roads.


For the RLX sedans, stability control, airbags, driver-side knee bag as well as Bluetooth and a rear-view camera, which captures 180-degree view, are standard. Among optional features, there are blind-spot monitors, lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and a forward collision warning system. Also, the 2016 RLX got a 360-degree camera that provides a driver with an all-round view.

The AcuraWatch is a suit of safety technologies such as lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and a surround view camera.

The Verdict

Impressions of the 2016 Acura RLX test drive are the following. It’s somewhat difficult to answer the question whether the 2016 Acura RLX can compete with other representatives of its class. Yes, it looks graceful but it isn’t enough nowadays to stand out from other vehicles on the road. What really distinguishes it from all the rest front-wheel-drive sedans is the rear-wheel steering, which is an exotic feature today. The RLX is the leader when it comes to gas mileage. Also, the model offers a range of new useful safety features.

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