Friday, April 21, 2017

ACURA 2015 TLX I-4

With the ILX at the base of Acura's vehicle lineup, and the lead RLX at the top, it was simply an issue of time before the two-lettered TL joined the three letter club as the TLX. In any case, there is a whole other world to this story than only a name change. The TLX is really a two-fer, as it replaces both the TL and the TSX, turning into Acura's new universally handy moderate size extravagance sport car. So is this two-for-one the genuine article? Then again simply sleight of hand? The all-new 2015 Acura TLX follows a line of admirable cars that succeeded in blending athleticism, with top shelf amenities, and high tech tidbits. A formula that pretty much defines today’s middle-weight luxury sport sedan segment. 

Indeed, the competition from European stalwarts like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, other Asian brands, as well as Cadillac, for this core premium four-door buyer has never been fiercer.

The new TLX fits right in. The wheelbase is the same as the outgoing TL, at 109.3-inches, slotting between the Audi A3 and BMW 3-Series. But, it’s longer than both in overall length at 190.3 inches, allowing for quite pleasing proportions.

The exterior design is heritage Acura; that is tasteful if a bit generic; with the brand’s “shield-like” grille, highly sculpted fenders, and now-signature Jewel Eye headlights adding to its contemporary edginess. Engine decisions additionally appear to be well known, a 3.5-liter V6 like the TL, and a 2.4-liter I4 like the TSX. At the same time, both are really all-new i-VTEC Direct Injection units with more power and proficiency. The V6 now rates 290-drive and 267 lb-ft. of torque. Significantly more significant is what its associated with, another 9-speed programmed transmission with push catch gear selectors. Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive is a V6 additional.The front-drive only inline-4 may have 2-less cylinders, but it has the same number of camshafts, putting out 206-horsepower and 182 lb-ft. of torque. And it has some transmission trickery of its own, an 8-speed dual clutch automatic with a torque converter.

Driving through the rural roads of The Commonwealth State, the TLX felt very luxurious as things inside stayed extremely quiet. Our 3.5-liter SH-AWD example proved very capable as well, if not overly dynamic. We found it hard to know when the all-wheel-drive is lending handling assistance as it works so seamlessly, and things stay flatter than you’re expecting when you push the TLX hard. 

Cars not equipped with AWD, compensate with Acura’s Precision All Wheel Steer for a handling boost of their own. But, it was a 2.4-liter TLX that we took to our test track for home town driving impressions. 

And while we can say the top handlers in this class have nothing to worry about, Acura buyers will find a very familiar and secure feel here. But they’ll also find a fair amount of stay-safe front-drive understeer should they go looking for it. The chassis is much stiffer now and Agile Handling Assist uses selective braking to smooth out transitions. Both Sport and Sport+ driving modes are available with the Integrated Dynamics System as well as ECON and NORM.

The 2.4 launches without much urgency. It lacks the grunt of rivals with turbo-4s. 0 to 60 takes 8.7-seconds, and it needs 16.7 to eclipse the quarter mile at 87 miles-per-hour. This is the engine for former TSX buyers where true TL fans will still want the excellent V6.

Thanks to the torque converter, shifts from the 4’s DCT 8-Speed are very smooth and sedate feeling whether triggered manually or not. Braking performance was good, with average stops from 60 coming in at 128-feet. 

The interior layout is similar to the RLX, but younger and sportier; with some materials more fitting to a top drawer Accord. There’s a Honda styled stacked flat panel setup for info, with a bottom touchscreen. True to Acura tradition the TLX comes with lots of premium standards including multi-angle rear view camera,, dual zone climate, and power driver’s seat,paddle shifters.

Likewise extras are included in only one or two packages with available content, such as navigation, remote start, and active safety features like Lane Keeping Assist depending on engine choice. ELS Studio 10-speaker premium audio is also available. Sound quality is awesome however class ordinary. 

At the same time the highlight of the inside for us are the inconceivably agreeable and steady front seats. The back seats are more agreeable as well and now, thankfully, overlay to extend the officially decent measured 13.2-cubic foot trunk.Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 24-City, 35-Highway, and 28-Combined with the I4. The V6 SH-AWD numbers aren't that a long ways behind at 21-City, 34-Highway, and 25-Combined. 

Estimating begins at $31,890 for a 4-chamber TLX. That is several thousand not as much as a 320i. The TLX V6 starts at $36,115, with SH-AWD: $42,345. All models deliver a lot of content for the price , and it is after every one of the a Honda.

By melding the TL and TSX into a single model, Acura has reduced showroom confusion and put the best of both cars into one solid, comfortable, high tech, luxury sport four-door. While it still lacks some of the crispness of the best European rivals, that will likely not matter to Acura buyers that tend to favor competency over ultimate prowess. For them, the new TLX is a 2-into-1 trick that works.

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