2016 should not have come as a surprise; the new models of most vehicles were being introduced long before the ball dropped in Times Square! But it is still difficult to type the numbers 2-0-1-6. It will become more natural with time. Meanwhile the designers at Acura have used their time well in creating the new hybrid RLX. With upgrades in comfort, technology and safety, Acura has been able to keep the price basically the same! Quite an accomplishment in these times of rising prices.
The styling of the RLX speaks of the luxury to be found in the driving experience. My test drive for the week featured shiny Crystal Black paint, which was eye-catching, and the new 19-inch wheels enhanced the capable look of this classy sedan. Jewel Eye headlamps complemented the appearance, and the power moonroof with tilt feature seemed fitting. One might notice turned heads and second looks when driving this beauty down the street!
A fresh and rich look and feel was achieved on the interior with the Seacoast color, perforated leather seats and a sleek instrument panel. Comfort was ensured in the front seats which were heated and cooled and 12-way power adjustable. As an added luxury the spacious rear seats were heated also. With chassis and suspension upgrades the ride was supremely smooth and comfortable. “Sit back and enjoy the trip,” this Acura seems to say. And who wouldn’t enjoy the Krell premium audio system with 14 speakers, the tri-zone automatic climate control with air filtration, the rear door and rear window sunshades, the navigation and AcuraLink communication system, and many more features that answer your questions and address your every wish for comfort.
The 2016 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid has earned the highest safety ratings for side crash and rollover, and is equipped with front and rear bumpers that protect the vehicle body from damage from impact at a speed of 5 miles per hour. It has more available driver assistance aids and collision mitigation features than ever, including road departure mitigation and rear cross-traffic alert. The new 360 degree camera system gives a crisp and clear view of the entire area surrounding the car, greatly reducing the chances of bumping into or running over any otherwise invisible obstacles.
The RLX is powered by a V6 gas engine paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor is used in the front end, utilizing the available captured electric energy to power the vehicle instead of gas. Acura has also included an electric motor on each of the rear wheels, which the computer engages to drive the vehicle via front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, as needed. This system delivers 377 horsepower. There is no noticeable difference when the system changes from gas to electric or to a different drive mode, it is entirely seamless. This is a powerful vehicle that accelerates quickly and moves down the road with no apparent effort. This makes it fun to drive, and a pleasure to travel in.
The MSRP for the 2016 RLX Sport Hybrid is $65,950. Estimated fuel economy is 32 miles per gallon on the highway, 30 mpg for combined city and highway driving.