2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review

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2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review  1 thousand two hundred and thirty-seven. That is the number of Acura RLX sedans had been sold during the U.s. last year-barely more than a hundred vehicles a month. In the exact same 12-month time period, Americans purchased about twice as a lot of Ferraris, practically 9000 Porsche 911s, and just shy of 16,000 Mercedes S-class designs. In other words, the Acura RLX will not be only one of America’s least well known sedans, it’s certainly one of America’s lowest-volume autos, time period. The truth is, most Americans don’t even are aware that the Acura RLX exists.

2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review 


On this condition, nearly all automakers would put the matter from its misery. But the Acura gang is really a stubborn bunch that have instead thrown a while and funds on the issue. The 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid is restyled, retuned, and considerably less expensive compared to the 2017 model. Plus the outcome is-drum roll, please-Acura’s ideal sedan.

2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review

With 377 total horsepower, the Sport Hybrid is additionally Acura’s most powerful four-door ever plus the 2nd most potent Acura ever behind the current NSX. Like that supercar, the RLX Sport Hybrid has Acura’s Super Dealing with All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and is powered by a three.5-liter V-6 and 3 compact electric motors. In the sedan, the all-aluminum six is naturally aspirated with variable valve timing and an eleven.five:1 compression ratio. It is rated at 310 horsepower and, in conjunction with a 47-hp electric motor inside the seven-speed dual-clutch automated transaxle, powers the front wheels. 

The other two motors are mounted on the rear axle, every including 36 horses for the equation and capable of torque vectoring, applying beneficial or unfavorable torque to just about every wheel to influence handling. It is primarily the identical hybrid method that powers the NSX, only the electrical motors energy the front wheels of the supercar-and its V-6 is twin-turbocharged. (The well known MDX SUV also employs precisely the same hybrid process as the RLX, but having a three.0-liter V-6.)

The elegant technique is very smooth in operation, and for 2018 Acura’s engineers have retuned the powertrain for better response within the Sport driving mode, which adds some bodyweight to your sedan’s steering. They’ve also shaved additional than eight pounds from the lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the rear seat; it steals three cubic feet of trunk room, leaving a total of twelve. In Standard mode, the V-6 participates when needed, shutting off for the duration of deceleration and highway cruising under 50 mph. In Sport mode, it is generally firing.

2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review  Interior


That significantly horsepower can make the RLX Sport Hybrid satisfyingly speedy in spite of its mass of 4373 lbs. In most situations, the transmission starts in second gear in an energy to maximize efficiency and refinement, but the torque in the electric motors mixed with the V-6’s 273 lb-ft keep this from being a problem. There is lots of thrust in all scenarios, plus the V-6 is by no means slow to kick in and add punch whenever you have to have it.

2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review

Launch the Sport Hybrid tough, along with the transmission is smart enough to give you 1st gear, with all the very first upshift happening at about 30 mph plus the 2nd close to 50 mph, both at 6500 rpm, 250 revs brief of redline. The RLX hits 60 mph in third gear in four.9 seconds. That is 1.two seconds faster compared to the BMW 530e xDrive plug-in hybrid. And it covers the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds at 102 mph. Bye-bye, BMW. We averaged 22 mpg in spirited mixed driving with liberal use of Sport mode; the RLX’s EPA mixed estimate is 28 mpg, the identical because the BMW’s.

Acura has also produced tiny modifications for the sedan’s suspension tuning to boost compliance. The ride is pleasant and cozy, and there’s nevertheless a lot of road come to feel by way of its 19-inch Michelin all-seasons. The RLX is responsive and grippy all-around town, its SH-AWD procedure pushing electrical power from side to side for the duration of really hard cornering, which promises enjoyment value to the enthusiast driver. Also, its 13.9:one steering ratio is adequately quick, which helps make the RLX truly feel smaller sized and lighter than it truly is, and the computers match revs completely if you shift the transmission with all the steering-wheel paddle shifters.

But this can be a luxury sedan, not a sports sedan, and the Acura’s 0.83 g of greatest grip is just not sufficient for serious speed from the mountains. Its suspension can get wallowy and feels underdamped when you are pushing really hard in excess of midcorner street imperfections, which neutralizes the driver’s inclination to examine what the torque vectoring can contribute at increased speeds. At its limits the RLX understeers, and that is no shock. Pop the hood and you’ll see the Acura’s V-6 is hung way out ahead of its front axle, and its 12-volt lead-acid battery is mounted far forward, just behind the left headlight. Not best for bodyweight distribution. In spite of the counterbalance of its lithium-ion battery pack, at the same time as an aluminum hood and front fenders, the Sport Hybrid carries 57.2 % of its mass in excess of its front tires.

Its four-wheel disc brakes halt the hefty sedan from 70 mph in 187 feet, which can be six feet shorter compared to the heavier BMW wants for that endeavor. The Acura’s brakes are impressively fade resistant right after 6 challenging stops, and when our track driver noted “odd” brake come to feel and slow response in challenging stops, in around-town make use of the pedal action feels pretty natural-not constantly the case having a hybrid’s regenerative braking programs.

2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review  Features


Possibly the greatest improvement towards the 2018 RLX is its new front sheetmetal. Acura has given the auto a new front clip, which replaces final year’s beak grille having a far more conventional and desirable mouth. You will find also new Jewel Eye LED headlamps-its most intriguing design and style feature-a new rear decklid, redesigned LED taillights, along with a fresh rear bumper cover that has a black diffuser that Acura says is aerodynamically functional. Total, the car or truck is 2.0 inches longer than in advance of.

2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Review

Though unquestionably a lot more attractive than it was, the Acura RLX has failed to shed its generic-sedan aura and remains invisible for the standard public. No person notices this vehicle, which now appears like a cross in between a new Acura TLX and a Honda Accord from some many years ago. Body-panel fitment is excellent, however the excellent with the black paint on our check auto was disappointing, with unsightly orange peel within the sedan’s four aluminum door skins.

Interior material and fit-and-finish high quality are in line with all the class, on the other hand, plus the RLX’s firm sport seats are properly shaped, heated, and cooled. They come to feel excellent even following hrs behind the wheel. Sadly, the Acura’s navigation system is slow and dated, and its two-screen infotainment setup is often a failed experiment in electronic ergonomics.

Hoping to entice a few a lot more luxury-car buyers, Acura has also sliced about $4000 through the RLX Sport Hybrid’s price compared to final year’s completely loaded Advance trim. It now comes in only one trim level, which starts at $62,865 and comes standard with Acura’s full arsenal of luxuries and driver aids which include a heated steering wheel, a surround-view camera method, heated rear seats, a 14-speaker premium audio technique, forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise manage.

And which makes the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid a strong value. Yes, the BMW 530e has a lower base price and modest full-electric potential from its greater battery pack and plug-in hybrid technique. The Acura nearly matches its hybrid-mode EPA estimates, even though, and includes a lot of conventional characteristics that happen to be optional about the German plug-in (the BMW we tested was outfitted rather similarly and stickered out at $69,760). As well as Acura blows the Bimmer’s freakin’ doors off inside a straight line. We’ll see if that is ample to acquire the 2018 RLX back on America’s radar. If not, Acura could be clever to get it behind the woodshed and end its struggling.

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