2015 Acura TLX
by John Davis
The all-new 2015 Acura TLX follows a line of admirable cars that succeeded in blending athleticism with top shelf amenities and high technology; a formula that pretty much defines today’s middle-weight luxury sport sedan segment such as the BMW 3-Series and Audi A3.
In many ways the new TLX is two cars in one, as it replaces both the TL and TSX to become the brand’s all-purpose sporty four-door.
Complete with pleasing proportions, the TLX’s exterior design is heritage Acura. That is to say it is tasteful if also very conservative. Fortunately, Acura’s shield-like grille, highly sculpted fenders, and now-signature Jewel Eye headlights lend a fresh contemporary edginess.
Engine choices also seem familiar, a 3.5-liter V6 like the TL, and a 2.4-liter I4 like the TSX. But, both are actually all-new i-VTEC Direct Injection motors with more power and efficiency. The V6 now rates 290-horsepower as it connects to a novel 9-speed automatic transmission with push button gear selectors. Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive is a V6 extra. The front-drive only inline-4 is rated at 206-horsepower and comes attached to an 8-speed dual clutch automatic that adds a torque converter for smoothness.
During our initial drive we found that the TLX exhibited a very luxurious air as things inside stayed extremely quiet. Handling is certainly very capable, if not overly dynamic. Operation of the SH-AWD system was so seamless it was difficult to detect when it was actually contributing to traction and cornering.
The interior layout is akin to the flagship RLX with a stacked flat panel setup for information and the bottom screen allowing for touchscreen inputs. True to Acura tradition, the TLX comes with lots of high end standard features including multi-angle rear view camera, paddle shifters, dual zone climate, and power driver’s seat.
But, in somewhat of a break from tradition, there are also plenty of extras available like Lane Keeping Assist, navigation, color multi-information display, and remote start. An ELS Studio 10-speaker premium audio system is also available.
For a comprehensive road test of the 2015 Acura TLX, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3403 that begins airing on September 19, 2014. For a complete listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About the Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings on the Velocity cable channel.
By melding the TL and TSX into a single model, Acura has reduced showroom confusion and appears to have put the best of both cars into one solid, comfortable, high tech luxury sport four-door. While it may not make converts of BMW and Audi buyers, it fits the Acura image, and clientele, very well indeed.