Tuesday, June 16, 2020

News: The Acura RLX is Dead After 2020

It's official: Acura is killing off the RLX after the 2020 model year. The RLX, Acura's flagship sedan, replaced the aging RL (better known as the Honda Legend overseas) for the 2014 model year and soldiered on for six model years before Acura decided to drop the axe on the model entirely. Years of low sales numbers, despite a fairly attractive mid-cycle refresh and a reasonably power and efficient hybrid variant, put the final nail in the coffin for Acura's 5-Series/E-Class competitor.

To be honest, I'm a little torn about this announcement. We had a 2014 Acura RLX P-AWS Tech for three years starting from the end of 2013 all the way through the end of 2016. I personally like the car. It was reasonably powerful, comfortable, quiet, and handled surprisingly well despite its weight. That's not to say that the car was without its flaws. Much of the technology in the car was at least one generation behind parent company Honda's vehicles, specifically the ninth generation Accord that we acquired just before we retired the RLX. Ultimately, that seems to always be the problem with Acura's vehicles though. You can read our comparison of the 2014 Acura RLX P-AWS against the 2016 Honda Accord Touring here.

The main reason of why I'm torn over this announcement is because of the announcement of the next generation TLX. It's obvious Acura is ready to turn a new leaf, so why kill the model off completely rather than redesign it? Obviously, there's no guarantee that the model will go the way of the ZDX and stay permanently dead. At some point, Acura will need its flagship sedan again. My hope is that when the RLX does get a redesign, Acura will finally get it right and distance it from the highest end Honda Accord Touring. There seems to be enough distance between Acura's engines and overall handling capabilities versus its parent company cars, but I just hope Acura will finally get the packaging right so that the new RLX is actually a decent competition for the 5-Series/E-Class. 

As a final note, anyone who is interested in picking up a 2020 Acura RLX before it's completely gone can now get one for $12,000 off MSRP. Acura is really trying to get these things to move, so if you don't mind the somewhat old infotainment system and are looking for a 377 horsepower, hybrid luxury car, this could be your calling!

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