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2014 RLX is Acura's new large luxury flagship sedan

June 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Honda's Acura brand was the first premium car line from a Japanese company.

Infiniti and Lexus came along later, but out-shined Acura in one big way, literally, with large sedans to serve as flagships.

While the LS was, and is, the flagship for the Lexus brand, Acura never really had one. For many years the RL was their largest model, but didn't have a large, premium look or feel.

Behold the 2014 Acura RLX. It's only slightly bigger than the RL on the outside, but much roomier on the inside. And almost as important, it has the look of a large premium car. From its overall shape and stance, to little details like the headlight clusters, the RLX takes Acura a bit more upscale.

Features abound, both as standard and optional. Acura has excelled at putting the latest technology into its cars in recent years, and the RLX continues that tradition.

From safety alerts to comfort items, the big Acura sedan has them.

For years, Acura was criticized by the automotive press, and maybe by some potential customers, for not having a V8 engine in its largest car. Acura might be getting the last laugh now, because pretty much all of its luxury competitors are scrambling to put smaller engines in their cars.

The RLX's 3.5 liter direct-injected V6 is all new. While smaller than the one in the previous RL, it makes 310 horsepower, and earns EPA mileage ratings of 20 city and 31 highway.

Acceleration is more than adequate. And for turning, the RLX gets an all wheel steering system. Yes, the rear wheels steer too, automatically, via electronics. The idea is to help the car rotate through curves and feel nimble. Parking maneuvers become easier too.

Is it the biggest car in the luxury segment? No, but it's fuel efficient and is brimming with technology. And most importantly, the RLX gives Acura a car that can be called a flagship.


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