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Acura's redesigned RLX sedan is a rolling example of the challenges faced by Honda's luxury brand.

We drove an RLX press car to get a first impression.

Like most other Acuras, the RLX aims to give you a lot for your money. (The compact ILX is a notable exception to this rule.) Compared to the midsized luxury sedan competition, such as the Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the RLX is positively spacious inside. Generous rear leg room answers one of our biggest complaints of the RLX's predecessor, the RL.

Acura also aimed to make the car easy and approachable to drive. A big part of that: relatively simple controls for a luxury marque.

Honda being Honda, efficiency plays a big role here, too. Even though the RLX has only six forward gears in its automatic transmission, compared to the economy-benefitting eight in many rivals, Acura claims best-in-class fuel economy. The upcoming hybrid all-wheel-drive version should be an interesting mix of power, traction, and economy.

All of this sounds good—solid, upstanding citizen-type of stuff. But there's a reason why most luxury car brands strive to emulate rapidly-growing Audi, who manages to build appealing sedans that are entertaining-to-drive, comfortable, stylish, and look very contemporary and "now."




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2014 Acura RLX: Proof Positive That

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