New for 2016

For 2016, the RLX gets new 19-inch wheels as standard as well as chassis and suspension upgrades that improve overall ride quality. Acura have also expanded the availability of the RLX’s driver assistance aids, and there are a number of new safety features, including road departure mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 360-degree camera system. The previous base trim level is discontinued to the 2016 model year.  

Teeming with Tech 

Many carmakers claim their wares have the latest technology, but sometimes that tech turns out to just be a gimmick, not providing a substantive improvement to the driving experience.

That’s not the case with the 2016 Acura RLX. This luxury sedan is teeming with tech, but the RLX doesn’t just include gadgetry as an afterthought; it was designed around it. From its sophisticated drivetrain to its user-friendly infotainment system, the 2016 RLX really is a car for people who think technology can make everything better.

Powertrains and Performance

The base RLX comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters). The EPA rates it at 24 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 31 mpg highway).*

That’s not bad for a big sedan, but what really sets the RLX apart is its standard Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system, which automatically turns the rear wheels under certain conditions to give this luxury barge the nimble handling of a much smaller car.

Acura also offers the RLX Sport Hybrid, which pairs the aforementioned V6 with a three-motor hybrid system, with power being sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed automated manual transmission and Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). Total system output is rated at 377 hp and 341 lb-ft of torque. 

Features and Trims

The 2016 Acura RLX is only available as a four-door, five-seat sedan. Prices start at $54,450** for the base, front-wheel drive non-hybrid version.

That price buys a pretty generous compliment of standard equipment, including a power moonroof, electric tilt and telescoping steering column, heated front seats, and tri-zone automatic climate control.

Acura doesn’t do multiple trim levels for the RLX, but there are more features available in multiple option packages. One of them is a standalone navigation system that includes 3D view, the AcuraLink telematics service, and a color Multi-Information Display.

On top of those features, the Technology package adds rain-sensing wipers, power-folding side-view mirrors, and a leather-trimmed interior with sport seats. A 14-speaker Krell Premium Audio System is also available.

In addition to all of those features, the Advance package includes a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear (outboard) seats, and auto-dimming side-view mirrors.

Finally, the RLX Sport Hybrid comes standard with the Technology package and can be upgraded to the Advance package. A head-up display is an exclusive standard feature for the Sport Hybrid. 

Design 

The 2016 Acura RLX clothes its copious technology in styling that is appropriately modern. It’s the best interpretation of Acura’s current styling theme so far, with looks that are restrained, but not boring.

At the front, Acura’s signature Jewel Eye LED headlights flank a bold shield-shaped grille, and they’re not the only LEDs on this car. All of the lighting on the RLX—including the lights on the door handles—is comprised of LEDs.

The interior is equally well-styled. It’s a pleasing blend of analog gauges and trendy center-stack display screens, with polished wood and metal trim. A standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add a touch of sportiness, while 12-way power driver’s and front passenger’s seats should help keep occupants in place during vigorous cornering.

Safety

Acura’s tech-heavy approach applies to safety equipment as well. Standard on the 2016 RLX are anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control systems, and front, front-side, side-curtain, and driver’s knee airbags.

There are also several standard and available electronic driver aids. Forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning systems are standard, while blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist are available with certain option packages.

For 2016, the Advanced Package is particularly impressive. It comes with an additional parking camera system that simulates a top-down, 360-degree view of the car, which makes parking in tight spaces a breeze. 

Bottom Line

The 2016 Acura RLX is a luxury sedan for the tech-savvy buyer. From its powertrain and chassis to infotainment and safety systems, the RLX is built around the latest tech. It makes a big impact, too, improving nearly every aspect of the driving experience and making the RLX quite a contender in the luxury-car arena.

For more information, or to schedule a test drive, contact us online or visit Bob Howard Acura at 13101 N Kelley Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73131. 

*Based on 2016 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors.

**Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or a $920 destination and handling charge. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary.

Image: Acura