by Larry Lark, Herald Special Sections Writer
There’s something about the 2017 Acura TLX SH-AWD luxury four-door sedan that makes me feel comfortable, right at home – so to speak.
That may not sound like much, but when part of your job is to drive a different car every week – it’s no small feat. Everything is in the right place. It’s nice, but not ostentatious. It pampers, but doesn’t try too hard. It makes you feel safe.
The TLX prides itself on offering a compelling blend of sports-sedan performance with a lengthy list of premium refinements, and it’s successful.
“The Acura TLX continues to receive accolades for its combination of styling, driving dynamics and luxury refinements,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager, Acura Division. “TLX embodies the performance and technological sophistication of the Acura brand.”
My tester was powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The combination generates 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque — enough to check the box in the performance column.
The car seats up to five adults and delivers an EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/31/25 miles per gallon in city/highway and combined categories. The TLX also features a 60/40-split folding rear-seat back for greater cargo-carrying flexibility and a trunk design featuring a wide and deep opening, a low lift-over height, a fully flat cargo floor and two optional underfloor storage compartments.
TLX features an advanced electronic gear selector that utilizes an intuitive pushbutton array that replaces the traditional gear lever. This Super Mario-esque feature frees up center-console space while presenting a futuristic appearance.
The exterior is lean and mean. Highlights include sporty wheels and Acura’s signature Jewel Eye LED headlights, standard on all models, They lend the TLX an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination.
When it comes to creature comforts, the Acura sound system is always at the top of my list. It is world class. My tester was equipped with a 490-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system. My CDs and iPod collection never sounded better. Each and every nuance was distinguishable, even with my failing hearing.
Other goodies included heated and ventilated front seats, Bluetooth, smart entry/push-button-start keyless entry, and a navigation system with 3D view and real-time traffic with rerouting capability. All of this is displayed on a seven-inch screen mounted into the center of the dash.
Cutting-edge safety technology is included in the AcuraWatch suite. Highlights include adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation, blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and a rear cross-traffic monitor – to name a few.
It all felt right. Home sweet home!
2017 ACURA TLX SH-AWD
BASE PRICE: $45,740
AS TESTED: $46,540
Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Prices may vary at local dealerships.