2019 Acura TLX – Automotive Review

2019 Acura TLX – Automotive Review

Since 2014, Acura decided to make something smaller than the TL but bigger than the TSX. With that in mind, the TLX has been holding the fort down very well.

To provide more “character and performance” Acura introduced a new trim level called A-Spec. Entry-level luxury sedans have been always a win-win for the masses. Luxurious interior, more power, and a sportier chassis gives everyone the best bang for their buck. BMW had an answer for all those amenities with their classic 3-series. They set the bar high over the years and became the go-to for that customer, but in the process, these types of cars have evolved into more of a luxury vehicle with even pricier options. The TLX could be the under the radar answer that you may be looking for.

The TLX’s styling is near the top of the list along with Audi and Mercedes. Introducing the new Signature Diamond Pentagon grille, replacing the bright satin finish grille. Dead center of the new grille is a large Acura emblem that hides the hardware for the Adaptive Radar Cruise control. The front end has become larger and larger over the years and it is noticeable, but it isn’t as theatrical as the Lexus’ front ends. Adding to the new front end are the re-shaped full LED headlights that help tie the front end together very meticulously as well as show you what’s ahead in the late hours of the night. Large dual-exhaust tips provide a very aggressive looking rear diffuser.

Inside the cabin, the optional red leather seats offer a nice pop to what some would usually call a boring and familiar interior. The dual level infotainment system survives the year-to-year updates but has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay added. The enhanced phone connection lives in the upper-level screen, which is not a touchscreen. You interact with it via the rotary knob that lives at the bottom of the center stack. The controversial push-button gear selector made its way into the 2019 model. It’s difficult to understand why Acura went with this setup of buttons when it takes up no less space than the conventional stick gear selector.

The TLX comes in a 2.4-litre 206-horsepower engine or a 3.5 litre 290-horsepower V6. The engine is tied a 9-speed ZF transmission which in turn, provides you with 267 ft-lbs of torque to play with. A 0-100km/hr run comes in at 6.1 seconds which is very similar to the comparably priced fully loaded Audi A4 which runs at an even 6 seconds.  Under low load, the TLX will decide to shut off 3 of the 6 cylinders to save your wallet at the pump when it comes to highway cruising. In the city the stop-start idle comes standard in the V6 models. Combined city/hwy driving, the 3.5L TLX sips a mere 9.8L/100km. As for the handling, when you decide to swing your SH-AWD around a corner with the throttle down, the instrument cluster will show you as more power is delivered to the rear outside wheel. The A-Spec package gets you firmer dampers and a re-tuned electric power steering system. A-Spec models with SH-AWD (in other words, all V6 models) get firmer springs and a more rigid rear stabilizer bar for better wheel and body control.

Starting at around $35,000 offers the most value for the TLX, but the fully loaded model reviewed above comes in at around $51,000. Which is fair when compared to a fully loaded sedan in the same class, like the previously mentioned comparable Audi A4. But other competitors at this price range such as the 400-hp INFINITI Q50 RED SPORT 400, or the classic 320hp BMW 340i xDrive might start making more sense if that is what price range you are shopping for. I find the TLX a great, well-designed sedan, with a great sounding engine and it feels nimble for something with 4 doors. The interior is nice and there are many options to make it unique to you. Acura offers lots of convenient tech to add also.

Key Features:

  • Starting at $36,890 CND
  • 2019 TLX SH-AWD Elite A-Spec $51,890 CND
    • 5L Direct Injection SOHC, i-VTEC® V6 Engine
    • 290 HP and 267 Ft Lbs. Torque
    • 0-100km/hr in 6.1 seconds
    • 4/7.7/9.8 City/Hwy/Combined
  • Cargo Volume 405L
  • Apple CarPlay™* and Android Auto™*
  • Available 490-watt, 10-speaker ELS Studio® Premium Audio System
  • Array of driver safety and assistive technologies, AcuraWatch™
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Automotive Reviews

2019 Acura RDX – Automotive Review

2019 Acura RDX – Automotive Review

This BC day long weekend, the wife and I decided to go explore our backyard and really enjoy what was left of our summer. With an invitation to visit a relative’s slice of paradise out on Vancouver Island, and the keys to the all-new 2019 Acura RDX we had it all figured out.

I mean what’s not to love about our beautiful Canadian summers. I’ve always believed that we get so excited about summertime because it is such a fleeting event. Like the feeling of you get from a cold ice cream cone on a hot summer day, it is only momentary, so you savor every second.

Lucky for us the newly redesigned 2019 Acura RDX, I was testing was more than capable of delivering us in style to our destination. This is the third generation of the RDX and it really showcases the direction Acura is going. With a low wide aggressive stance and long sculpted lines, this SUV really caught our eye, and we loved the new styling. The look was accentuated in the exclusive new A-spec with a different front and rear fascia, dual oval exhaust tips, sharp 20” shark grey rims, and a diamond pentagon grille that is massive and just really in your face.

Our adventure started well before we actually left, as everyone knows the amount of stuff truly required to leave the comforts of home behind. I mean if I plan on sitting lakeside for hours on end in the sweltering heat, there better be some icey cold ones to keep me alive. However, with the Acura RDX’s class-leading 2,178 litres of carrying space and a full 881 litres of just cargo capacity, with handy underfloor storage, we fit everything we needed and way more comfortably in the backseats.

So, after a week of planning, preparing and packing we were set to go. We decided to try and beat the long weekend rush so Thursday night we took off towards the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Not leaving anything to chance we arrived well before our reserved sailing time and was surprised to see how many other people had the same idea. Thankfully our 2019 Acura RDX came loaded with the ELS Studio® 3D premium audio system, and those 710 watts kept us bouncing around, probably to the annoyance of everyone else around us. Yet having to use the all-new True Touchpad Interface (TTI), wasn’t something I was a fan of it right away, it took some getting used to and the 10.2-inch HD display was surprisingly missing touch capabilities. But after an hour or so of waiting, we started to board the ferry, it was one of those massive new ones and it looked like the whole parking lot, with even the horde of latecomers was going to get to go for a ride. We parked and rushed towards the top deck, there’s just something about watching the city get swallowed up by the horizon and seeing the surrounding blue ocean and the majestic coastal mountains take over your view. While I have never personally experienced it, I assume it must be a similar view provided by those cruise ships that people take up the coast to Alaska and back.

In what seemed like no time at all we were docking in the city of Nanaimo and with another hour or so of driving to go we were quick to get the RDX back on the road. Leaving the ocean behind we jumped on Highway 19 and really let this SUV loose. The new RDX was a real pleasure to drive, with its finely tuned turbo VTEC® engine producing 272hp and 280 lb.-ft of torque (peak torque at a surprisingly low 1600rpm) mated with a smooth shift 10-speed automatic transmission. Even more useful on the windy up and down driving on our coastal mountain highways was the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system (SH-AWD.) The onboard computer continuously directs engine power to match weight distribution, available traction, and other road conditions. It can determine the optimal level of power distribution between not only front and back but even between the rear wheels themselves. Changing power distribution based on an analysis of wheel speed, steering angle, lateral G-force gives the RDX the feel of high-performance cornering typically only felt in a high-end sports car.

Just slightly after dark, we finally arrived at our destination, and thanks to the 2019 Acura RDX the travel was almost as enjoyable as the vacation. Well not really because while the newly redesigned RDX was impressive on so many levels, nothing can compare to spending the weekend away, unplugged from the world with no cares or work to do. That’s exactly what we did, soaked up every ray, listened to every story, and savored every moment.

Key Features

  • The RDX redesign features a new, Acura-exclusive platform
  • Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)
  • VTEC Turbo®, direct-injected, inline 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter
  • 272 horsepower @ 6,500 and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (both SAE net),
    • the highest power output among key competitors (X3, Q5, GLC, XC60)
  • Acura True Touchpad Interface with 10.2-inch full-HD display
  • Acura/ELS Studio 3D™ premium audio system
    • 710-watt system utilizes 16 discrete sound channels and 16 speakers
  • Cargo Volume 31.1 cu. ft.
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