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2017 Acura RLX Review

The 2017 Acura RLX has a roomy cabin, great safety scores, and lower-than-average ownership costs. However, its flavorless interior and lukewarm handling keep it at the bottom of the pack.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Spacious cabin
  • Long list of standard safety features
  • Sedate handling
  • Bland interior design




Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.3
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Acura RLX Overview

Is the 2017 Acura RLX a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Acura RLX isn’t a great pick if you’re shopping for a used luxury large car. Its highlights include excellent fuel economy, a comfy interior, great safety scores, and a long list of standard safety features. However, these benefits are overshadowed by numerous drawbacks. The RLX’s driving dynamics don’t live up to the brand’s performance reputation. The sedan’s cabin styling and materials lack the wow factor found in rival interiors, and its dual-screen infotainment system isn’t user-friendly. Before you buy, consider higher-rated alternatives in this class, like the 2017 Genesis G90 and Cadillac CT6.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 30 Acura RLX reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Acura RLX?

You can expect to pay between $36,000 and $58,000 for a used 2017 RLX. These figures are based on about two dozen listings for the 2017 Acura RLX on our site. The average price is $42,900. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Acura RLX Cost to Own?

The RLX’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $30,800 – or about $6,160 per year. That’s lower than average for the luxury large car class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New RLX?

The 2018 Acura RLX starts at $54,900. You can save thousands of dollars with a used RLX, especially if you want a base model with few options. However, there are a few perks to buying new. The RLX received updated exterior styling for 2018, as well as a new 10-speed automatic transmission and traffic jam assist. If these updates are important to you, opt for the 2018 model.

Read about the new Acura RLX »

For a less expensive Acura sedan, consider the 2019 Acura TLX, which starts at $33,000. As a luxury midsize car, the TLX isn’t as roomy inside as the RLX. However, it comes standard with a similarly large suite of safety features, an easier-to-use infotainment system, and popular tech features that the RLX lacks like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Acura RLX Is Best?

The RLX debuted as an all-new model for 2014, and it effectively replaced the aging Acura RL. All 2014 to 2018 RLX models offer roughly the same features and performance. The big changes between these years pertain to styling and standard features. A number of previously optional safety features – including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control – became standard on all 2017-and-newer models. For 2018, the RLX received a styling update.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 RLX »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Acura RLX?

The 2017 RLX has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is average.

Read more about RLX reliability »

2017 Acura RLX Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no recalls for the 2017 RLX.

See more information on Acura RLX safety recalls »

Which Used Acura RLX Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 RLX comes in two trim levels: RLX and RLX Sport Hybrid. The base model comes standard with the full suite of AcuraWatch active safety features, a 7-inch touch screen, a navigation system with a separate 8-inch screen, a rearview camera, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth, keyless entry, push-button start, tri-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, and alloy wheels.

The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD adds all-wheel drive, a head-up display, and leather seats. Both models are available with an Advance Package, which adds heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear sunshades, a surround-view camera, and parking sensors.

See 2017 Acura RLX trims and specs »

What Does Acura's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Acura offers a certified pre-owned program for cars six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles get a limited warranty that is good for up to two years or 100,000 miles after the four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty has expired. Acura covers the powertrain for seven years or 100,000 miles. These CPO models must pass a 182-point inspection. Additional benefits are available, including roadside assistance and the first scheduled maintenance, so read Acura’s warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Acura’s CPO program is about average, according to our research. You’ll find better programs from Lexus, Tesla, and Infiniti.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the RLX?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Acura RLX a 2017 Top Safety Pick, also giving it the top rating of Good in all areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the RLX a perfect five-star rating in all areas tested as well.

All 2017 Acura RLX models come standard with a rearview camera and the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety features. This suite includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with brake assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Parking sensors and a 360-degree camera system are available.

See RLX safety scores »

2017 Acura RLX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Acura RLX or 2017 Lexus GS?

The 2017 Lexus GS outshines its Acura rival with a smoother ride, zestier handling, and higher-quality interior materials. Its range of four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines provides stronger performance. You’ll find better fuel economy with the Lexus GS Hybrid as well (up to 29/34 mpg). Despite belonging to the luxury midsize car class, the Lexus GS has more trunk space than the RLX. It also has plenty of room for adults in both rows of comfortable seats. The GS rates far higher for predicted reliability, in case you need another reason to pick the GS over the RLX.

Which Is Better: 2017 Acura RLX or 2017 Audi A6?

The 2017 Audi A6 is a midsize luxury sedan that has a bit more going for it than the RLX. The A6 boasts a more opulent interior with nicer materials. Its infotainment system is easier to use and supports the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Audi has sharper driving dynamics and a range of stronger engine options. Still, it’s not perfect. The A6 isn’t as comfortable on rough pavement, and it has fewer standard safety features than the Acura. Still, it’s a better option overall.

Compare the RLX, GS, and A6 »

2017 RLX Performance

How Does the 2017 Acura RLX Drive?

The 2017 RLX comes in two configurations. The standard RLX has a 310-horsepower V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The RLX Sport Hybrid adds three electric motors to this V6 powertrain, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. Notably, both models also have all-wheel steering, which can independently turn the sedan’s rear wheels to improve handling at low speeds.

Regardless of setup, the RLX scoots up to speed swiftly, and its powertrain delivers more than enough muscle for climbing hills and passing other vehicles on the highway. Both transmissions provide smooth and prompt gear changes as well. The RLX’s ride quality is fairly comfortable, and the sedan remains stable when rounding turns. However, despite its high-tech handling tricks, the RLX doesn’t feel as agile or fun-to-drive as many competitors in this class.

Does the 2017 Acura RLX Get Good Gas Mileage?

The RLX Sport Hybrid gets the best fuel economy in the lineup, at 29 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are great by luxury large car standards, but even the nonhybrid RLX tops many class rivals with its rating of 20/30 mpg city/highway.

Read more about RLX performance »

2017 RLX Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 RLX Seat?

The Acura RLX is a four-door sedan with seating for up to five. The front seats are comfortable and nicely contoured. The rear seats are comfortable as well, and both rows provide generous head- and legroom, even for taller passengers. Leatherette upholstery and heated front seats are standard. Leather, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Acura RLX?

The RLX has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats. The IIHS gave the RLX’s LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for overall ease of use. While the upper tether anchors are easy to find, the lower anchors are too deep within the seat cushions.

2017 Acura RLX Features

This is where the Acura’s drawbacks really start to show. The RLX’s dashboard and materials look dated compared to rivals. Its infotainment system also looks rather low-tech. The RLX comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen and an 8-inch screen mounted higher on the dashboard that displays navigation functions. Other standard features include Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary ports, and satellite radio. The top screen has a grainy resolution, and the lower screen relies on touch controls for climate and audio adjustments. However, most feel the system would be much easier to use if it had conventional buttons and knobs. Overall, this dual-screen system complicates things rather than simplifying them.

See 2017 Acura RLX specs »

Read more about RLX interior »

2017 Acura RLX Dimensions

Acura RLX Cargo Space

The 2017 RLX has 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which is small for a luxury large car. The Sport Hybrid model has just 11.6 cubic feet of trunk space, due to the placement of its lithium-ion battery pack.

2017 RLX Length and Weight

The Acura RLX is 16.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,955 to 4,003 pounds. The Sport Hybrid model is heavier; its curb weight ranges from between 4,312 to 4,359 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Acura RLX Built?

The 2017 RLX was built in Japan.

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