Acura RLX Sport Hybrid
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The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid is an AWD vehicle that’ll pamper you while being surprisingly nimble.
The top-of-the-line Acura sedan takes cues from the automaker’s NSX supercar. Make no mistake, these are two different cars, and the chances of seeing an RLX drifting around a corner during a track day are pretty much nil. But what the car lacks in pole-position cred it makes up for in solid AWD (all-wheel drive) handling, comfortable accommodations and aggressive styling.
At its core, the RLX has all the attributes of a luxury car: a smooth ride that all but eliminates rough roads, a quiet cabin that forces you to open the window if you want to actually hear the engine and steering that has a casual relationship with the road.
In the switchbacks, the RLX surprises with its ability to stick to a line around tight corners. Yes, there is body roll but nothing near what you would expect from a big sedan. On twisty roads, it’s almost like two cars: an interior that reminds you where all your money went and an AWD system that’s up to the task of keeping the wheels planted onto the asphalt.
That impressive cornering has a lot to do with parent company Honda’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). It might be a feature that sounds like it was coined by an eight-year-old, but the tech behind it (especially in the RLX hybrid) makes a potentially boring car almost exciting to drive in the mountains. The system dynamically sends torque to the wheels to adjust for a corner. At a basic level, it pushes more torque to the outside wheels during a turn. On the RLX the electric motors are used to deliver that extra power.
The RLX’s combined power output of 377 horsepower and 341 pounds of torque.
The RLX only has a normal driving mode and Sport as opposed to many other hybrids that offer a plethora of options to fine-tune their gas versus electric driving. The RLX, not so much, but after a day were are fine with it. Sometimes you just want the car to figure it out, and the RLX does that with aplomb.
It also does a fine job pampering its occupants. The seats are plush and comfortable. Long hours in the car melted away with nary an ache or pain while the headrest felt more like a pillow than protection against whiplash (it’s still protection against whiplash). All four seats have adequate legroom and warmers so that driving home after a day on the slopes is an opportunity to raise your core temperature via your butt.
Acura’s sport sedan makes for a comfortable cruiser. Thanks to Honda’s stellar SH-AWD, the car will pleasantly surprise you in corners. Plus will likely to give you peace of mind in inclement weather.