ALL-NEW ACURA TLX A STRONG CONTENDER

 

By NITISH S. RELE – nitishrele@gmail.com

Consolidation is the keyword at Acura nowadays, as in merging the compact TSX and the midsize TL sedans into the all-new TLX luxury sports sedan. Placed between the ILX entry sedan and the flagship RLX, we must admit that the result is remarkable. Powertrain choices are a 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder (200 hp) or the 3.5-liter direct-injection V-6 engine putting out 290 horsepower (up by 10 from its predecessor) @ 6,200 rpm and 267 lbs.-ft. (increase of 13) of torque @ 4,500 rpm. The previous 6-speed has been discarded for a 9-speed gear box – an electronic push-button gear selector instead of a shifter knob.

The unit-body TLX is offered in front-wheel as well as Acura’s renowned Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD), which distributes power not just between the front and rear wheels but also the left and right rear wheels thanks to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), eco, normal, sports and sport+ settings are offered. Looking to save fuel? The Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system operates in three or four cylinder modes for substantial fuel savings.

Compared to its predecessor, the TLX has shrunk in length by 3.7 inches, width by 1 inch and height by .2 inches. Attention-grabbing jewel-eye LED headlights convey a powerful and athletic stance. The cabin is straightforward as Acura has done away with unending buttons and controls that previously cluttered the dashboard. Instead, you have two 8-inch navigation and 7-inch touchscreens. The easy-to-use central control dial takes care of audio, navigation, phone systems. Directly in front of the driver are large analog instruments for the speedometer and tachometer, fuel and coolant temp readings with a centered driver information center. The cavernous trunk can gobble up 14.3 cubic feet of belongings. Other standard niceties include dual-zone auto climate control, perforated leather seats, 10-way power and heated driver and eight-way front-passenger seats, power moon roof, and a 60/40 split rear seat.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, front/rear crumple zones and parking sensors, vehicle stability assist with traction control, lane departure and forward-collision warnings and lane-keep assist (which maintains the ride in its path), blind-spot monitor, collision and road-departure mitigation systems, hill-start assist, rearview camera, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.

Our kudos goes to Acura for successfully blending the TSX/TL into a graceful, energetic and enjoyable driving experience with an elegant interior that rocks. Unlike in the past, the all-new TLX should prove to be a tough contender.

TLX (WITH TECH/ADVANCED PKGS)

Tires: 225/50R18

Wheelbase: 109.3 inches

Length: 190.3 inches

Weight:  3,774 pounds

Suspension: MacPherson strut front; multilink rear

Steering: electric power

Fuel capacity: 17.2 gallons

City: 21 mpg

Highway: 31 mpg

Base price: $44,700

Web site: www.acura.com