Premium midsize car; Built in
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $24,700 – $37,600*

2014 RLX
2014 Acura RLX

2014 RLX
2014 Acura RLX

2014 RLX
2014 Acura RLX Hybrid

2014 RLX
2014 Acura RLX

Pros:
  • Handling/roadholding
  • Interior materials
  • Rear-seat comfort
Cons:
  • Price
  • No stand-alone options

Acura’s all-new flagship sedan struck a fine balance between luxury, technology, and invigorating performance, all while maintaining the distinctive character of the Acura brand. The RLX was brimming with available high-tech equipment, including class-exclusive 4-wheel steering. However, since Acura didn’t offer traditional stand-alone options, acquiring some features meant stepping up to expensive trim packages. Still, RLX is worth checking out if you’re in the market for a premium sedan with an athletic, contemporary personality.

Overview

After a year-long hiatus, Acura’s flagship premium-midsize car returned as a redesigned model with a different name. The 2014 RLX filled the space left by the 2012 RL in Acura’s lineup. The RLX was a “plus-size” midsize sedan; it had roughly the same exterior dimensions as the car it replaced, but boasted a 2-inch-longer wheelbase and improved rear-seat room. The RLX was built in Japan and competed primarily against the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

RLX had all-wheel steering, lane-keeping assist system, and adaptive cruise control. An all-wheel-drive “Sport Hybrid” version of the RLX produced 377 horsepower and achieved a 28 city/32 highway mpg rating. The RLX Sport Hybrid was unique from other all-wheel drive vehicles in that its rear wheels were powered by the hybrid electric-motor system and not the gas engine.

RLX’s powertrain was a 310-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine included Acura’s Variable Cylinder Management, which deactivated cylinders in cruising conditions. The 6-speed automatic transmission featured steering-wheel shift paddles and a driver-selectable Sport mode. All none-hybrid RLXs were front-wheel-drive, while all Hybrids were all-wheel drive. The hybrid version used the same 310-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and added a 7-speed-automated manual transmission that incorporated a 47-hp electric motor. Meanwhile, the rear wheels were driven solely by a pair of 36-hp electric motor/generators. The Hybrid’s combined horsepower was 377.

RLXs offered a broad range of safety features. All expected and federally mandated safety equipment was included as standard equipment. A driver’s side knee airbag, rearview camera, lane-keeping assist system, blind-spot alert, collision mitigating braking system, forward-collision alert, and lane-departure alert were among the available features.

Yearly Updates

2014 RLX

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

RLX’s powertrain was a 310-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine included Acura’s Variable Cylinder Management, which deactivated cylinders in cruising conditions. The 6-speed automatic transmission featured steering-wheel shift paddles and a driver-selectable Sport mode. All none-hybrid RLXs were front-wheel-drive, while all hybrids were all-wheel-drive. The hybrid version used the same 310-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and added a 7-speed-automated manual transmission that incorporated a 47-hp electric motor. Meanwhile, the rear wheels were driven solely by a pair of 36-hp electric motor/generators. The Hybrid’s combined horsepower was 377.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/224
Engine HP 310
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 272
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 20/31 21
ohc V6/electric
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/224
Engine HP 377
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 341
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automated manual 28/32

Road Test

A top-line Advance Package-equipped RLX is the only model made available to test. Acceleration is linear and robust in both around-town and highway driving. Transmission is smooth and responsive; a Sport Mode button activates sharper throttle response and alters the shift map for spirited driving.

With a slight bias toward highway driving, an RLX with the Advance Package averaged 21.1 mpg. Acura recommends premium-grade gas. All RLXs have a capless fuel filler.

RLX’s ride is generally composed and comfortably absorbent, but can be active on rough pavement. There is no undue pitch or wallow, and only very sharp bumps intrude.

RLX delivers sport-sedan-nimble moves and boasts plenty of high-tech driver-aid features. The 4-wheel steering system enables crisper lane changes on the highway and sharper cornering in tight turns. The Sport Mode button adjusts steering response and optimizes the all-wheel-steering system for performance driving. A “brake hold” button is a clever new feature; pressing it keeps the brakes applied after the driver lifts off the brake pedal after a stop and doesn’t release the brakes until the gas pedal is depressed. This is a handy feature for drive-thrus and the like. The Advance Package’s “low-speed follow” function works smoothly.

RLX comes standard with active noise cancellation technology that helps minimize ambient noise, and all but the base model come with sound-insulating glass. Wind rush and tire roar are nicely muted. V6 is nearly silent at cruise and sounds rich and refined in fast acceleration.

The main gauges are large, clearly marked, and easy to read at a glance. The previous-generation Acura RL had a daunting sea of buttons on the center-stack control panel, but the RLX’s touchscreen control system makes for a simpler, less cluttered interface. Buttons and switches are easily accessed. The touchscreen’s functions are intuitive, but some simple operations require multiple steps.

The cabin feels high-tech, contemporary, and rich. High-quality leather and soft-touch surfaces abound. RLXs equipped with the Technology Package or above come with upgraded perforated-leather seating surfaces that look especially classy. Wood trim inserts break up the monotone surfaces, but some testers found the wood finish to be overly glossy and artificial looking.

Most adults will find more than enough front headroom and legroom. Seats are long-haul comfortable and supportive. Ample adjustments make it simple to dial in a good driving position. Visibility is decent all-around.

Acura boasts that RLX has the best rear-seat space among its competition. Legroom and shoulder room are indeed generous, but the sunroof’s housing can intrude a bit on headroom for tall occupants.

Trunk space is generous, and the aperture is large. A lack of folding rear seat backs is a demerit; there is only a small pass-though in the rear-seat center-armrest pocket. Interior small-items storage is better than average. The center console bin is generously sized, and its cleverly engineered center console lid is dual-hinged so it can open from either the driver or passenger side.

Ratings

Model Tested: RLX Advance Pkg.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 8
80%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 66

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.2 196.1 74.4 57.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.9 18.5 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.6 36.9 42.3 38.8
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.2 196.1 74.4 57.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
11.6 15.1 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.6 36.9 42.3 38.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2015 RLX 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

None
Description: None to date

Recall History

2014 RLX/RLX Hybrid with Advance Pkg.
Description: The Collision Mitigation Braking System may mistake certain roadside objects as obstacles and unexpectedly apply the brakes for an emergency stop.
2014 RLXRLX Hybrid
Description: The reflective coating on the headlights’ inner reflector may delaminate and fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle standards.
2014 RLX
Description: Seatbelts may not extend or retract in cold weather.
2014 RLX
Description: The rear lower control arm bolts may have loosened during transportation to dealer. Loose rear lower control arm bolts may reduce steering ability and increase the risk of a crash.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.