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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
August 10, 2017

The 2018 Acura RLX buffs its bod, but will buyers notice?

The 2018 Acura RLX steps into some freshly tailored threads in the new model year, as Honda's luxury brand tries to season its lineup with some of the NSX's spice.

On the 2018 RLX, Acura has adopted some of the lines and forms of the Acura Precision Concept, first shown at the 2016 Detroit auto show. The RLX now has a diamond-pattern grille with an outline like the nose applied to the MDX, as well as LED taillights, and a rear diffuser formed from gloss-black plastic. It also has more lines stamped into its hood.

Materials in the RLX's cabin have been upgraded, and the new front seats have contrast stitching and piping. Coffee lovers–yes, us–may love the new espresso interior tone.

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Under the skin the RLX has packaged more gears into its set. A base model sports a 310-horsepower V-6 and channels it through a 10-speed automatic, like the one now found in the 2018 Honda Odyssey. This RLX has rear-wheel steering, afforded by sensors that can move the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the fronts, for better low-speed maneuverability.

The top-line RLX Sport Hybrid has the same engine teamed with three electric motors, two which deliver power to the rear to grant the RLX all-wheel drive. The RLX Sport Hybrid nets out at 377 hp.

All 2018 RLX sedans will come with forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation. Acura also will fit the RLX with traffic assist, which enables the car to follow a car ahead in low-speed, stop-and-go traffic without driver intervention.

The RLX Sport Hybrid also will come with heated rear seats and steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, a Krell audio system, parking sensors, surround-view cameras, LED fog lights, and remote start.

The new 2018 RLX goes on sale in November.

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