Acura’s attempt to surgically remove its bird-beak grille design has continued with a revised 2018 RLX. The brand’s largest sedan has been provided a facelift similar to that of the 2018 TLX sedan along with a few technical upgrades to keep things fresh.
At first glance it is clear the 2018 RLX is taking on the new family look that has been set by the MDX and TLX. Acura’s new trapezoidal grille design is highlighting a new face flanked by carryover headlights. More aggressive lower fascia and hood designs round out the nip-tuck strategy of the RLX front clip.
Around back Acura has swapped out the taillights with new, highly detailed LED units. Similar to that of the TLX, the light signature is very unique and adds some needed pizzaz to the RLX behind.
Changes under the new hood are similarly modest. The RLX’s standard 310 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 remains, but it is now mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. This is the Honda developed 10-speed automatic already found in the 2018 Honda Odyssey and upcoming 2018 Accord. The power continues to flow to the front wheels, but Acura’s rear-steering system is still standard as well.
Buyers wanting more power can still opt for the unchanged RLX Sport Hybrid model. It uses the same 3.5-liter V-6 but adds three electric motors to the mix to increase the power to 377 horsepower and 341 pound-feet of torque and Acura’s SH-AWD all-wheel-drive system.
Inside, Acura has spruced up some of the materials and added contrast piping to the seats. In general, the RLX interior remains unchanged and even the infotainment system is not being upgraded to the version found in the 2018 TLX.
One feature that is being added is Acura’s new Traffic Jam Assist function. This is being paired with AcuraWatch, the brand’s host of active safety features. Traffic Jam Assist will allow the car to use its adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems to tandem to follow traffic in a semi-autonomous fashion.
This revised, beak-less RLX will go on sale later this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.