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2019 Acura RLX Review

The 2019 Acura RLX is one of the lowest-ranked vehicles in the luxury large car class. Despite its spacious interior and lengthy list of standard safety features, the RLX is brought down by its lackluster cabin.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy cabin with supportive seats
  • Lots of high-tech standard safety features
  • Smooth powertrains
  • Energetic and athletic hybrid model
  • Dull cabin styling
  • Complicated infotainment interface
  • Small trunk and no folding rear seat

7.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership:
This model has never been fully tested for total cost of ownership. Its overall score is being calculated without total cost of ownership.
N/A
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2019 Acura RLX a Good Used Car?

The 2019 RLX is an OK used luxury large car. It boasts superb safety scores, a comprehensive list of standard driver assistance features, brisk acceleration, and good gas mileage figures. However, this Acura suffers from fussy infotainment controls, and below-average cargo space.

Models like the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS and 2019 Acura TLX are also worth considering. The CLS has a more luxurious cabin than the RLX's, while the TLX has similar attributes to the RLX but a smaller price tag.

Compare the RLX, CLS, and TLX »

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 39 Acura RLX reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, 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.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 Acura RLX Cost to Own?

We currently do not have projections for the 2019 RLX's five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repairs, and maintenance.

2018 vs. 2019 Acura RLX: What's the Difference?

There are no major differences between the 2018 and 2019 RLX.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 RLX »

Here are the key changes for the Acura RLX over the last few years:

  • 2016: added some standard and available driver assistance features
  • 2017: AcuraWatch safety features became standard
  • 2018: refreshed with updated interior and exterior styling; gained standard Traffic Jam Assist; 10-speed automatic transmission replaced six-speed automatic in nonhybrid models
  • 2019: no major changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 RLX, 2017 RLX, and 2018 RLX reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 Acura RLX?

The 2019 RLX has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about RLX reliability »

2019 Acura RLX Recalls

There have been 2 safety recalls issued from NHTSA.

FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:DELIVERY:FUEL PUMP Recall Date: 05/27/2020
  • Summary: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Acura NSX, 2019 Acura RDX, RLX and RLX Sport Hybrid, 2018-2019 Honda Accord, Civic Hatchback, Civic Type R and HR-V, 2019-2020 Insight and 2019 Fit vehicles. The low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank may fail.
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 136057
  • Consequence: If the fuel pump fails, the engine can stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: Honda will notify owners and dealers will replace the fuel pump assembly, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138.
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 20V314000
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:GASOLINE:BELTS AND ASSOCIATED PULLEYS Recall Date: 04/11/2019
  • Summary: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot vehicles and 2019 Acura RLX, RLX Sport Hybrid, TLX and Honda Odyssey and Ridgeline vehicles. The timing belt teeth may separate from the belt.
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 93946
  • Consequence: Teeth separation from the timing belt may result in an engine stall, increasing the risk of crash.
  • Remedy: Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicle and replace any affected timing belt free of charge. Vehicles receiving a replacement timing belt will also have the engine inspected and any damaged components will be replaced for free. The recall began June 7, 2019. Honda owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's number for this recall is L4M. Acura owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Acura's number for this recall is Z4L.
  • Dates of Manufacture: JUN 12, 2018 to JUN 12, 2018
  • Manufacturer Recall Number: L4M, Z4L
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 19V298000

See more information on Acura RLX safety recalls »

Which Used Acura RLX Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Acura RLX sedan comes in two variations: RLX and RLX Sport Hybrid. Both models have similar standard features, so choosing between the two comes down to which powertrain you want. The base front-wheel-drive RLX comes with a 310-horsepower V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This setup should be quick enough for most shoppers. Those wanting a little more gusto should opt for the all-wheel-drive RLX Sport Hybrid, which comes with a 377-horsepower powertrain comprising a V6 engine, three electric motors, a lithium-ion battery, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The hybrid model boasts some of the best fuel economy figures in the class.

  • Acura RLX w/ Technology Package: The base RLX trim comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a moonroof, and GPS-linked tri-zone automatic climate control. Other standard features include a dual-screen infotainment system with a 14-speaker premium audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 3D navigation system. Advanced safety features 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 parking camera.
  • Acura RLX Sport Hybrid w/Advance Package: The Sport Hybrid trim adds a 14-speaker Krell premium audio system, ventilated front seats, remote start, a heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats, a head-up display, and a surround-view parking camera system.

See 2019 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, Audi, and Infiniti.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the RLX?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 RLX an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in every crash test category.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 RLX the highest rating of Good in all five crash safety tests conducted. The RLX received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The RLX earned the highest rating of Superior for its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic Jam Assist (manages braking, acceleration, and steering in low-speed conditions)
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Multiview parking camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Front and rear parking sensors

See RLX safety scores »

2019 Acura RLX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2019 Acura RLX or 2019 Mercedes CLS?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS is a lot more expensive than the RLX, but it’s worth it. The high-ranking CLS offers a cushioned ride and premium cabin materials. The Benz also has a powerful base model and an available performance-oriented AMG variant that delivers more horsepower than any of the RLX’s offerings. Add in the CLS’ higher predicted reliability, and it’s the winner in this matchup.

Which Is Better: 2019 Acura RLX or 2019 Acura TLX?

The 2019 Acura TLX is a smaller and more affordable Acura than the RLX. This luxury midsize car can comfortably accommodate four adults, has nearly as much trunk space as the RLX, and comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which aren't even available in the RLX. The TLX also comes standard with a more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, and it has an available V6 engine for those who want additional power. If you can do without the extra space and horsepower that the RLX provides, go with the TLX.

Compare the RLX, CLS, and TLX »

2019 RLX Performance

How Does the 2019 Acura RLX Drive?

This Acura comes in two powerful variants. Most shoppers will be content with the base RLX model, which has plenty of power for most driving situations. If you're looking for more punch or improved fuel efficiency, you should opt for the RLX Sport Hybrid.

The RLX lacks the agility of some classmates, but its precise steering and composed ride make it comfortable to drive. While the RLX comes with front-wheel drive, the Sport Hybrid’s standard all-wheel drive improves the vehicle’s stability and road grip.

  • Base engine: turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with 310 horsepower (RLX)
  • Available engine: turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 and three electric motors with a combined 377 horsepower (RLX Sport Hybrid)
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive (RLX); all-wheel drive (RLX Sport Hybrid)
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic (RLX); seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (RLX Sport Hybrid)
Does the 2019 Acura RLX Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base RLX earns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is slightly above average for the luxury large car class. The Sport Hybrid delivers great gas mileage figures of 28 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Read more about RLX performance »

2019 RLX Interior

How Many People Does the 2019 RLX Seat?

The 2019 RLX seats up to five people, but the rear middle-seat passenger will have to deal with hindered legroom due to a large hump in the floor. Besides that, the cabin is roomy, and the seats are supportive. This Acura features high-quality cabin materials, but its interior styling is bland compared to that of many class rivals.

Standard seating features:

  • Perforated Milano leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • 12-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Available seating features:

  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 Acura RLX?

The 2019 RLX sedan has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use. The upper tethers are easy to find, but the lower anchors are too deep in the seats.

2019 Acura RLX Features

The RLX's standard dual-screen infotainment system features a 7-inch touch screen on the bottom and an 8-inch upper display that is mostly used to operate the navigation system. Unfortunately, it may take a while to figure out which buttons control which functions, and there’s no advanced smartphone integration technology via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

  • Standard infotainment features: a dual-screen infotainment system with a 14-speaker premium audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 3D navigation system
  • Available infotainment features: a 14-speaker Krell premium audio system
  • Additional standard features: a moonroof and GPS-linked tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: remote start

See 2019 Acura RLX specs »

Read more about RLX interior »

2019 Acura RLX Dimensions

Acura RLX Cargo Space

There’s up to 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space in the 2019 RLX, but the lack of a folding seatback prevents you from hauling larger items. Sport Hybrid models have a smaller cargo capacity of only 12 cubic feet.

2019 Acura RLX Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 6 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,977 to 4,380 pounds

Where Was the 2019 Acura RLX Built?

Acura built the 2019 RLX in Japan.

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