Every year, I swear, top-of-the-line goes higher and higher and higher.
And by that I mean the level of accoutrements – and price.
My latest tester, the top-of-the-line 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Advance luxury mid-size sedan is a perfect example. It’s crammed with more technology, creature comforts and whiz-bang gadgetry than ever, at a price of $62,865.
The first thing you’ll notice about the new RLX is its redesigned exterior. A sculpted hood takes your eyes to the model’s signature diamond pentagon grille. Other changes include a new wheel design and LED taillights, exposed dual exhaust finishers, gloss-black rear diffuser and a Majestic Black Pearl coat of paint.
Once inside, your senses will kick into overdrive. Heated and ventilated leather front seats, both with 12-way power seats, pamper with the best. Rear passengers are treated to heated comfort as well.
But that’s just the beginning. Highlights include a navigation system with voice recognition and surround view camera system, Krell premium audio system with 14 speakers, tri-zone climate control with air filtration, heated steering wheel, heads-up display, satellite and HD radio, parking sensors, power moonroof and power rear-window sunshades.
RLX is powered by a 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC V6 engine mated to an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission with precision all-wheel steering. The hybrid seats up to five adults and earns an EPA rating of 28 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving.
This Acura was silky smooth, accelerated on command, cornered with aplomb, while the interior stayed library quiet. A colleague talked on his cell phone the better part of a recent trip to Mount Vernon and never had to raise his voice.
In addition to push-button ignition, the RLX comes with a push-button shifter. It’s a little funky at first, but once you get it down, pretty slick.
AcuraWatch comes standard, which is a suite of safety features second to none. The list includes road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist system and traffic jam assist.
But the technology doesn’t stop there. Acura digs deep and also includes blind-spot information, rear cross-traffic monitor, electronic parking brake, parking sensors, HomeLink system and power-folding side mirrors.
With the daylight disappearing on a daily basis, the RLX’s jewel-eye LED headlights and LED foglights lit the road like a beacon. That doesn’t provide a wow factor, but it’s probably more important than everything else I’ve blathered on about.
The Acura RLX is a world-class sedan anyone would be proud to own. Its final assembly point is Sayama, Japan.
Base Price: $61,900
Price As Driven: $62,865
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.