Pitt Meadows, BC – Acura is saying that they will essentially have two “flagship” vehicles for 2014: the MDX SUV and the car we’re discussing here, the RLX full-size sedan. It’s a noble move on their part; respecting the MDX for being the brand’s bestselling model in Canada for a number of years now, but also giving the RLX a bit of a boost after what has been a dodgy few years for Acura’s big sedan—they sold less than 100 last year and are predicting to sell around 300 this year.
What it’s all about
The RLX may be Acura’s biggest, but in reality, it competes more with the second-biggest in other luxury line-ups; models like the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus GS Series. In fact, since the RLX is front-drive and front-drive only for now, you can even argue that the Lexus ES Series is what buyers are really going to cross-shop the RLX with. That could be a problem for Acura, as the ES starts at significantly less than the $49,990 basic price of the RLX.
There are two trims on top of that base: Tech ($55,990) and Elite ($62,190). The Tech package gets you a better sound system, 19-inch wheels, heated steering wheel and other features, while Elite adds heated back seats, even more upscale Krell audio system, lane keep assist and low speed folow, which is an advanced adaptive cruise control system that will actually take your car all the way down to 0 kilometers-per-hour; it can even be used in stop and go traffic which, if it works as advertised (we didn’t get to test it in stop-and-go), should be quite a feature and yet another step in the direction towards cars driving themselves.