Acura Canada's RLX flagship carries on as a single-model lineup, following last year's elimination of the entry-level gasoline powered model that's still available in the U.S.
North of the border, this big sedan is offered only in its performance-oriented hybrid guise, which brings with it a version of Acura's Super Handling AWD (SH-AWD) system.
Under the hood, a 3.5L V6 is mated with an electric motor to drive the front wheels, while each rear wheel gets its own motor to provide four-wheel traction and the AWD system's torque-vectoring function. Acura claims a total power output of 377 hp and 341 lb-ft of torque, with the main gas engine/motor combination's juice being fed to the front wheels by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Natural Resources Canada's fuel economy estimates are 8.2/7.8 L/100 km (city/highway).
The RLX is not a typical luxury sedan flagship. It's smaller and far less expensive than cars like the 7 Series, S-Class and Lexus LS, working out to something more like a really nice mid-sizer sized and priced to compete with the likes of the 5 Series, E-Class and Lexus GS. This car was initially launched as a gasoline-powered model, which left us cold. The hybrid powertrain transforms this car, and while we're still not convinced it's enough to establish Acura as a true luxury marque the way is Hyundai is doing with its Genesis line, the RLX Hybrid at least has the performance to back up its status as the brand's poshest model.
For its $65,490 starting price, the RLX Sport Hybrid comes with 19-inch wheels, heated and power-folding side mirrors, LED "jewel eye" headlights with washers, LED fog- and taillights, sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, acoustic glass, active noise cancellation, navigation, AcuraLink infotainment system, ambient cabin, door handle lighting and front footwell lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, capless fuel filling, colour TFT information display, electric parking brake, Bluetooth with streaming audio, head-up display, heated steering wheel, garage door opener, passive keyless entry with push-button start, multi-angle backup camera, power-adjustable steering column, remote engine start, surround-sound stereo with hard disc storage, 12-way power-adjustable and heated front seats, heated rear seats and Milano leather and woodgrain interior trim.
An Elite package ($69,990) adds auto-dimming side mirrors, ambient rear-seat footwell lighting, upgraded stereo, front and rear parking sensors, power rear sunshade and manual rear side window sunshades, surround-view camera and ventilated front seats.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed