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2014 Acura RLX Review

While the 2014 Acura RLX has a long list of standard features and impressive fuel economy with its hybrid powertrain, it earns a poor reliability rating. A distracting infotainment system, wavering ride quality, and unsupportive seats also contribute to its low ranking.

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of standard features
  • Good fuel economy with hybrid model
  • Worrisome reliability rating
  • Unsettled ride over rough surfaces
  • Distracting infotainment system
  • Seats lack long-ride support




Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 6.3
Interior: 7.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Acura RLX Overview

Is the 2014 Acura RLX a Good Used Car?

Although the RLX comes packed with features, we can’t recommend it as your next used vehicle. It has a very low reliability rating, and rivals provide better performance and more user-friendly features for the money. Other luxury large cars also offer superior ride comfort and seats that provide better support on long trips.

Used 2014 Acura RLX Performance and Interior

The Acura RLX delivers smooth performance, with decent acceleration and fuel economy for a large luxury sedan. Its 310-horsepower V6 engine is paired with front-wheel drive and returns 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. For more power and better mileage, the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD adds all-wheel drive and three electric motors, boosting output to 377 horsepower and gas mileage to 28/31 mpg city/highway. The RLX has composed handling and rides smoothly most of the time, though things get jittery over worn roads.

Read more about RLX performance »

While the RLX has a well-made interior, it doesn’t quite reach the level of opulence found with models from other luxury brands. Still, every model has leather upholstery and power-adjustable, heated front seats. Some used models have cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and premium leather upholstery. The four-door sedan has good front- and rear-seat space, but some may find the seats lack support for longer drives. There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and a tether-only connection on the middle seat.

The RLX’s standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, and a moonroof. When using the standard AcuraLink infotainment system, it can be hard to tell which of the two screens you should be looking at for a particular function. This can be distracting out on the road. Still, it comes with plenty of features: Bluetooth for phone calls and streaming audio, satellite radio, HD Radio, USB input, smartphone integration, and a 10-speaker audio system. Available upgrades include an easy-to-use navigation system, power-folding side mirrors, an ELS or Krell 14-speaker audio system, and GPS-linked climate control that reacts to the position of the sun. 

Read more about RLX interior »

Used 2014 Acura RLX Prices

Used 2014 Acura RLX models range from about $23,100 for a front-wheel-drive base model to around $31,000 for an all-wheel-drive hybrid model with the Advance package. The price you pay depends on various factors, including the vehicle's condition, mileage, location, and demand.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 20 Reviews Analyzed

For this Acura RLX review, we examined 20 different articles written by automotive journalists. As with all our reviews, we combine this information with hard data – like reliability ratings and crash test scores – to give you the most complete buying advice possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has over 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. To maintain our objectivity, we refuse pricey gifts or trips from automakers. Also, a third party handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2014 Acura RLX?

According to J.D. Power and Associates, the 2014 Acura RLX has a reliability rating of two out of five – the lowest among luxury large cars. Three is the average score across the industry, and 3.5 is the benchmark average for the RLX’s class.

Read more about RLX reliability »

How Safe Is the RLX?

The 2014 RLX earned the highest score of Good in all five crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. All RLX models come with a multiangle rearview camera, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. The Technology package adds blind spot monitoring and rain-sensing windshield wipers, while the Advance package gives you automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist. 

See RLX safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used RLX?

Acura launched the RLX for the 2014 model year to replace the Acura RL. This generation continues into the 2017 model year with only minor changes. The Sport Hybrid RLX took a break for 2015 but returned for 2016. The 2016 RLX introduced road departure mitigation, rear cross traffic alert, and a 360-degree camera as available features. Unless these safety features are must-haves, consider buying a 2014 model to save some money. 

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 RLX »

Which Used Acura RLX Is Right for Me?

The 2014 RLX comes in hybrid and nonhybrid versions, and there are several options packages for more features. For a nicer cabin and more safety tech, look for models with packaged add-ons. The Technology package adds a 14-speaker audio system, leather and wood dash trim, 19-inch alloy wheels, and a few safety features. The Advance package adds heated rear seats and even more driver assistance features.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned RLX for added peace of mind. With Acura's CPO program, there is a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty, and the original new-car powertrain warranty is extended to seven years or 100,000 miles. Acura CPO models must pass a 182-point inspection. Additional benefits may be available, so read Acura’s warranty page carefully. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Acura certified pre-owned program »

2014 Acura RLX and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Acura RLX or 2014 Cadillac XTS?

Compared to the RLX, the higher-ranking Cadillac XTS has a better reliability rating, superior fuel economy estimates, and more power from its available twin-turbo V6 engine. However, the RLX offers more standard features than the XTS, like a moonroof, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Still, the XTS’ silky ride quality does not waver over patchy surfaces like the RLX’s does. The XTS also boasts a larger trunk and seats that provide great support, even on long trips.

Which Is Better: 2014 Acura RLX or 2014 Lexus GS?

The Lexus GS and GS Hybrid are much better alternatives to the RLX and RLX Hybrid, despite the GS’ higher price and fewer standard features. For starters, the GS has the highest reliability rating possible, putting it on the other end of the spectrum from the RLX’s poor rating. Both Lexus models offer similar fuel economy to their RLX counterparts, but the GS has nimbler handling and a stable ride over bumpy surfaces. The GS comes with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Inside, the GS employs higher-quality materials and seats that offer better support, making it a better choice both inside and out.

Compare the RLX, XTS, and GS »

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