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2016 Acura RLX Review

The 2016 Acura RLX offers exceptional safety scores and an impressive list of high-tech features. However, it ranks near the bottom of its class because of its lackluster performance. 

Pros & Cons

  • Polished, fuel-efficient engine
  • Impressive list of standard safety features
  • Excellent rear-seat room
  • Class-leading safety score
  • Small trunk
  • Bland interior design
  • Uninspired ride and handling

7.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.2
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.1
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Acura RLX Overview

Is the 2016 Acura RLX a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Acura RLX is a luxury large car that features a pleasant cabin fitted with supportive seats and an array of standard tech features. It also boasts a top safety score. However, its uninspiring handling and unrefined ride limit its appeal. It’s a decent used car, but shop around before making your purchase.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 27 Acura RLX reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Acura RLX?

Expect to spend between $27,000 and $42,000 on the 2016 Acura RLX. The average list price on our site is $34,000. These figures are based on about 40 listings for the 2016 RLX on our site. The price varies depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Acura RLX Cost to Own?

Projected five-year costs for the 2016 Acura RLX's gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are $28,305, or about $5,660 per year. That’s below average for the luxury large sedan class. By comparison, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 has a similar five-year cost of $28,215, while the five-year costs for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS and 2016 BMW 6 Series are a whopping $40,527 and $36,511, respectively.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New RLX?

The 2018 Acura RLX starts at $54,900. That's $21,000 more than the average price of a used 2016 model. The new RLX comes standard with AcuraWatch, a suite of active safety features. For 2018, Acura debuts Traffic Jam Assist, which helps keep the vehicle stay centered in its lane and at a set distance from vehicles ahead. Acura also refreshed the RLX’s design inside and out and introduced a 10-speed automatic transmission for gas-only models. Unless you love the new design of the RLX, stick with a used model to save thousands of dollars.

Read about the new Acura RLX »

You won't find a new luxury large car for less than the price of an average 2016 RLX. However, there are a couple of great nonluxury large car options. The 2018 Toyota Avalon, for example, is a great alternative to a used RLX. The Avalon’s base model costs $33,500 and comes standard with a suite of active safety features and a high-class cabin with premium materials. We named it our 2018 Best Large Car for the Money because of its combination of quality and value.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Acura RLX?

The 2016 Acura RLX has a J.D. Power reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

2016 Acura RLX Recalls

At the time of this writing, the 2016 Acura RLX has no safety recalls. Before you purchase an RLX, check to see if any recalls have been issued. Make sure the dealer takes care of any recall notices before you buy.

See more information on Acura RLX safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Acura RLX Is Best?

The 2016 model is part of the RLX generation that began with the 2014 model year and includes the 2018 RLX. The 2015 RLX remained largely unchanged from 2014, but Acura added several driver assistance features in 2016. For 2017, the AcuraWatch suite of driver assistance features became standard, making the 2017 RLX a good choice.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 RLX »

Which Used Acura RLX Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Acura RLX comes in only one trim, but a number of packages are available. Most shoppers will be satisfied with the base trim, which includes an impressive amount of standard features, including tri-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a moonroof, a USB port, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a rearview camera, and the AcuraLink infotainment system with navigation.

The Technology package adds blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, a 14-speaker Acura/ELS stereo, and perforated leather seating. The Advance package gets you a premium Krell audio system, remote start, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a power rear sunshade, front and rear parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system.

An RLX Sport Hybrid model is also available. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and most of the features in the Technology and Advance packages.

Certified Pre-Owned Acura RLX Warranty

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. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Based on our analysis, several luxury brands have more robust CPO programs than Acura, including Audi.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Acura certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the RLX?

The Acura RLX leads the 2016 luxury large car class when it comes to crash test safety scores. The 2016 RLX received the highest rating of Good in all five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, as well as a Top Safety Pick+ designation. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the RLX earned a perfect five-star overall rating, as well as five out of five stars in all three crash tests categories.

Every 2016 Acura RLX comes standard with a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Available active safety features include blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system.

See RLX safety scores »

2016 Acura RLX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Acura RLX or 2016 Lexus GS?

The 2016 Lexus GS offers an upscale cabin and stellar performance. The GS has a strong base engine, as well as potent available V6 and V8 engines. On the road, the GS has a smooth and athletic ride. Despite being a luxury midsize car, the Lexus GS has nearly as much trunk space as the larger Acura, plus plenty of room for adults in both rows of comfortable seats. Furthermore, the GS has an outstanding reliability rating of five out of five. The GS is the superior luxury sedan.

Which Is Better: 2016 Acura RLX or 2016 Audi A6?

The 2016 Audi A6 is another luxury midsize car, and it has a bit more going for it than the RLX. Inside, the A6 has a handsome design and top-notch materials. Its front seats are spacious and comfortable, and even 6-footers can comfortably fit in the back seats. It also has a lineup of powerful engines, including a strong base engine that gets better gas mileage than the RLX’s. The A6 has excellent handling, easily taking on corners with poise. However, the RLX may be a better fit for you if you want a soft ride, as the A6’s ride is on the firm side.

Which Is Better: 2016 Acura RLX or 2016 Cadillac CT6?

The Cadillac CT6 is a luxury large sedan that launched for the 2016 model year. While it has a less powerful base engine than the RLX's, the rear-wheel-drive CT6 delivers strong acceleration and is more agile around corners. It also has two optional V6 engines. The CT6 offers more cargo space, more rear-seat legroom, and better fuel economy than the RLX. Also, an average-priced 2016 CT6 is about $24,000 less than an average 2016 RLX.

Compare the RLX, GS, and A6 »

2016 RLX Performance

How Does the 2016 Acura RLX Drive?

The 2016 RLX comes with a V6 engine that generates 310 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The engine is quiet and delivers a good amount of power for highway driving, though many rivals have more powerful engines. The RLX feels a bit quicker when driven in Sport mode. The RLX handles fairly well, but rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive competitors have more-engaging driving dynamics.

The RLX hybrid model has the same V6 engine paired with three electric motors that together produce 377 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive come standard.

Does the 2016 Acura RLX Get Good Gas Mileage?

According to the EPA, the RLX gets 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which are good numbers for a luxury large sedan. The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid earns 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which are some of the highest estimates in the class.

Read more about RLX performance »

2016 RLX Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 RLX Seat?

The five-seat RLX has plenty of space, including lots of back-seat legroom. The cabin features upscale materials and elegant styling, though some competing cars have more-luxurious interiors.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Acura RLX?

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the RLX's rear-outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for its ease of use because some anchors are difficult to find.

2016 Acura RLX Features

The RLX comes standard with many features, including tri-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a moonroof, Bluetooth, an infotainment system, navigation, voice recognition, and a USB port. The standard infotainment system is mostly intuitive, but its screen could have a crisper resolution. Available features include a 14-speaker Krell audio system, remote start, and a number of driver assistance features.

See 2016 Acura RLX specs »

Read more about RLX interior »

2016 Acura RLX Dimensions

Acura RLX Cargo Space

The 2016 RLX has well-below-average cargo capacity for the class, offering just 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space (14.7 with the available Krell audio system). The hybrid model’s battery impedes on cargo capacity, reducing it to 11.6 cubic feet.

2016 RLX Length and Weight

The RLX is approximately 16.3 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 3,955 pounds for the base RLX model to 4,359 pounds for the RLX Sport Hybrid.

Where Was the 2016 Acura RLX Built?

The 2016 Acura RLX was built in Japan.

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