Acura's mid-size sedans get merged into one for the 2015 model year, as the TL and the TSX become the new TLX sedan.
The TLX was shown at the 2014 Detroit auto show as a prototype, a lightly veiled version of the sedan due in Acura showrooms by the fall. The new car adopts some of the cues found on the larger RLX sedan, with emphatic use of LED headlights and exaggerated fenders that house the 20-inch wheels of the concept car. LED lights also underline the sideview mirrors.
Two distinct models should emerge as the TLX makes its way from the auto show circuit to Acura dealers. The base version is expected to share the Prototype's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Power output is left undisclosed, but with direct injection and variable valve timing like the similar engine in the Honda Accord, output should reach to 185 horsepower or more. The four-cylinder will be coupled to a new eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission that should give the TLX a more sporty driving feel than, say, the CVT coupled to Honda's four-cylinder in the Accord.
The upgrade to this base powertrain will be a reworked version of Honda/Acura's 3.5-liter V-6, also outfitted with variable valve timing and direct injection and cylinder deactivation for better fuel economy. Today's version is rated at 286 horsepower. In the new TLX, the revamped engine will team up with a new nine-speed automatic transmission for what Acura predicts will be the best gas mileage ratings in its class.With either drivetrain, the new TLX will be offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. The front-drive car gets the ability to steer its rear wheels slightly via actuators, a setup like that on the luxury RLX four-door. With all-wheel drive, the TLX has torque-vectoring control to assist with cornering. And the TLX also will be fitted with a four-mode driver-selectable system that alters steering weight, throttle response, and shift mapping to give it a more comfort- or sport-oriented feel.
While it also replaces the Euro-Accord TSX, the new TLX is sized more like the outgoing TL. It rides on an identical wheelbase of 109.3 inches, but is shorter overall, at 190.2 inches (down nearly four). Acura promises interior space will stay in the same range as that in the TL, good for five passengers. The cabin should be more quiet, with the use of active noise cancellation.
There's no information yet on luxury features, but in terms of safety, the 2015 TLX should perform well, based on recent Acura scores and a slew of equipment including lane keeping systems, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors.
Stay with The Car Connection for a first drive of the new Acura TLX later this year.
- Clears up brand confusion
- Promising new gearboxes
- Expected gains in safety, fuel economy
- RIP TSX Wagon
- No manual-transmission option