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MSRP: $54,900 - 61,900

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Acura RLX ranked #10 in Luxury Large Cars. Currently the Acura RLX has a score of 7.6 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 42 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.7
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Acura RLX Review

The 2019 Acura RLX has plush leather seats, lots of standard safety gear, and fuel-efficient powertrains. Despite these assets, it struggles to stand out alongside rivals that are sportier and more stylish on the inside. The RLX places near the bottom of our luxury large car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy cabin with supportive seats
  • Lots of high-tech standard safety features
  • Smooth powertrains
  • Hybrid model is energetic and athletic
  • Few available options
  • Small trunk and no folding rear seat
  • Complicated infotainment system
  • Lackluster cabin styling

Is the Acura RLX a Good Car?

Yes, the RLX is a good car. Though it faces stiff competition in the luxury large car class, it has some appealing qualities of its own. The RLX has a generous list of standard safety and technology features, as well as outstanding crash test scores. The hybrid version offers an especially intriguing blend of athletic performance and excellent fuel efficiency. However, you can find many of these same benefits in competing sedans, along with larger trunks, snazzier styling, and less complicated infotainment systems.

Should I Buy the Acura RLX?

The RLX is an appealing luxury sedan for shoppers who want a good value. That said, it isn't the only vehicle in this class that boasts a noteworthy combination of features for a price below the class average. The redesigned 2019 Kia K900 costs around $60,000. It’s equipped with first-class front seats, and it comes with a well-equipped infotainment system that’s easier to use than the one you’ll find in the Acura. You can save even more money with the 2019 Lincoln Continental, which has a base price near $46,000 – though it comes nicely equipped for around $60,000. It isn't as refined as the RLX, but the Continental is comfortable, and its upper trims are attractive.

Compare the RLX, K900, and Continental »

Should I Buy a New or Used Acura RLX?

The Acura RLX adds a few more standard safety features for 2019. It has the same base price as the 2018 did when it was new, but you’ll most likely save money buying a used 2018. Since its debut for 2014, the RLX also gained new standard safety features for 2017. Acura refreshed the RLX’s styling inside and out for 2018, and a smoother automatic transmission became standard for the gas-only model.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 RLX and 2018 RLX reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 RLX »

We Did the Research for You: 41 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Acura RLX in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 41 professional Acura RLX reviews.

This 2019 Acura RLX review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which runs from 2014 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Acura RLX Cost?

The retail price for a new Acura RLX starts at $54,900, which is less than the cost of most base models in our luxury large car rankings. Pricing for Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD starts at $61,900. For more information on vehicle pricing and standard features for these two models, see our Which Acura RLX Model Is Right for Me? section below.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Acura dealer. You can also find manufacturer incentives on our Acura deals page.

Acura RLX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Acura RLX or Mercedes-Benz CLS?

Those who can afford the higher price tag of the Mercedes-Benz CLS will be in for a treat. It has handsome styling, swanky cabin materials, a polished ride, and an outstanding list of available features. The CLS starts around $14,000 more than an RLX.

Which Is Better: Acura RLX or Kia K900?

The Kia K900 matches or beats the RLX in almost every way, yet the Kia costs only a few thousand dollars more than the Acura. The K900 pampers front-seat travelers with standard Nappa leather seats that are both heated and ventilated. It also has plenty of room to stretch out in, and Kia's infotainment system is easier to learn and use than Acura's. A smooth ride and a quality interior also help the K900 earn its luxury status.

Compare the RLX, CLS, and K900 »

RLX Interior

How Many People Does the RLX Seat?

The RLX seats five, though a large hump in the floor hinders legroom from the rear middle-seat passenger. Otherwise, this Acura has a roomy cabin with supportive seats and a relaxing ride even for a full day of traveling. The standard leather upholstery is a high-quality perforated Milano leather with contrast stitching. All models have heated front seats, and the hybrid also includes ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

RLX and Car Seats

The RLX has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connections and a middle-seat tether anchor. All three tether anchors are clearly marked. Though the lower anchors are mounted deep in the seat cushions, it doesn't take a lot of extra muscle to clip a car seat in.

RLX Interior Quality

The RLX flaunts its fair share of quality interior materials, including glossy wood, metal inlays, and perforated leather with contrast piping. The styling comes off as a bit ordinary, though, and some elements have an outdated appearance.

RLX Cargo Space

The 14.9-cubic foot trunk of the RLX is below average for a luxury large car. Furthermore, because there is no folding seatback, you won't be able to haul oversized items easily. You can pack about two large suitcases and around three soft-sided pieces of luggage into this car. Trunk space in the hybrid shrinks to 12 cubic feet.

RLX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The infotainment system in the RLX is more complicated than the systems in most competitors. Its upper 8-inch display is reserved mostly for the included navigation system, and there’s also a lower 7-inch display that is a touch screen. Figuring out the system is labor intensive, and even after you are comfortable with the interface, some settings still take too many steps to adjust. Advanced smartphone integration – such as Apple CarPlay – is nowhere to be found.

Read more about interior »

RLX Performance

RLX Engine: A Smooth V6 and a Peppy Hybrid

The standard RLX powertrain includes a 310-horsepower V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It's smooth and reasonably quick, but you'll want to upgrade to the RLX Sport Hybrid if you want more punch. The hybrid powertrain produces 377 horsepower with its V6 engine, three electric motors, and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

RLX Gas Mileage: Hybrid Wins Again

The RLX Sport Hybrid is not only more exhilarating, it's also more fuel efficient. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway is one of the highest in the class. The nonhybrid gas mileage rating of 20/29 mpg city/highway is a shade above average. It will cost the average driver about $400 more in annual fuel costs than the hybrid.

RLX Ride and Handling: Balanced and Stable

The RLX is a composed sedan, and most professional reviewers say it has a comfortable ride and precise steering. Not everyone is overjoyed with the way it handles, though, and a small faction of critics cite a jittery ride and lack of agility. The base sedan comes with front-wheel drive and P-AWS, which stands for Precision All-Wheel Steer. This system can manipulate the rear wheels independently to improve stability and handling. The RLX Sport Hybrid features Acura's SH-AWD, or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, system. Several reviewers say that this system isn't just marketing gibberish, but that it noticeably enhances the car's handling, grip, and stability.

Read more about performance »

RLX Reliability

Is the Acura RLX Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2019 RLX a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Acura RLX Warranty

Acura covers the RLX with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Coverage for the hybrid battery pack varies from state to state.

Read more about reliability »

RLX Safety

RLX Crash Test Results

The 2019 RLX has an overall safety rating of five out of five from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also acing every crash test category. The RLX received perfect scores in all crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

RLX Safety Features

Standard safety features in the 2019 RLX include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, Traffic Jam Assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a multiview camera. Additional safety features in the RLX Sport Hybrid include a head-up display, a surround-view camera, and front and rear parking sensors.

Read more about safety »

Which Acura RLX Model Is Right for Me?

Acura offers two RLX models to pick from: the front-wheel drive base trim and the all-wheel drive RLX Sport Hybrid. Each trim comes with its own set of amenities, bundled as the Technology package in the gas-only car, and as the Advanced package in the hybrid. Despite the name, each package represents the standard setup for each trim level. Other than a handful of factory accessories, Acura doesn't offer any optional features for the RLX.

The RLX is packed with value, and for most shoppers, the base trim represents an ideal blend of price and features. That said, there are a couple of reasons some shoppers may want to consider the hybrid instead. Its powertrain has a higher horsepower rating, and it will save the average driver about $400 each year in fuel costs. This is also the only model that has all-wheel drive. The hybrid RLX boasts a number of interior enhancements as well, including ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a number of high-tech safety systems.  

Acura RLX P-AWS w/ Technology Package

The Acura RLX FWD ($54,900) comes with a 310-horsepower V6 engine, front-wheel drive, and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Its leather seats have heat and 12-way power adjustments for front passengers. The base RLX also comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a moonroof, and a GPS-linked climate control system with three separate zones. Standard technology includes a 14-speaker 3D premium audio system, a navigation system, a multi-view rear camera, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

Acura RLX Sport Hybrid w/ Advance Package

The RLX Sport Hybrid ($61,900) comes equipped with a V6 engine, three electric motors, and a lithium-ion battery. This powertrain produces a combined 377 horsepower. In addition to the features that come standard in the base model, the all-wheel-drive hybrid model comes with a premium 14-speaker Krell Audio System, a surround-view camera, a head-up display, ventilated front seats, and heated outboard rear seats, to name a few of the extras.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Acura dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Acura deals page.

See 2019 Acura RLX specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Acura RLX is pleasantly practical for a luxury vehicle. Between its below-average price and wealth of standard features, it makes a smart buy for many luxury car shoppers. The RLX Sport Hybrid will appeal to those looking for lively performance that doesn’t break the bank. As charming as the RLX is, it's also hard to look past its faults, especially when some competitors offer a similar level of features for about the same price. The most alluring of these is the Kia K900. Fresh off a redesign, the 2019 K900 catapults to the top third of our luxury large car rankings.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "You'll Like This Car If... Substance means more than status. The top-level 2019 RLX comes with an exceptionally well-engineered drivetrain, delivering impressive performance and fuel efficiency. Both models also provide high levels of equipment for relatively reasonable pricing."  -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acura's flagship sedan fails to match the standards of its luxury car competition. Even worse, multiple alternatives, costing around $40,000, surpass the RLX's level of luxury, room and performance."  -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Here is an intriguing car with plenty of power but no consumption penalty, along with a mix of decent equipment, luxury appointments, composed handling and superb build quality. The canny buyer whose tastes run beyond the European offerings would do well to check this one out."  -- Autotrader (2018)
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