After seven model years, Acura has decided to discontinue the RLX full-size luxury sedan following the 2020 model year. While the car has some positive aspects, it never received top-notch reviews, and it had even worse sales. Here’s a look at the Acura RLX and what might be next for Acura sedans.
The history of the Acura RLX
The Acura RLX arrived for the 2014 model year to mediocre reviews, replacing the Acura RL. Its style and performance were both considered average, especially considering its almost $60,000 price tag. It was updated for the 2018 model year, and the exterior design was improved, but buyers still weren’t that interested.
One possibly problematic feature has been that the RLX comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is only available on the hybrid version. Many of its competitors offer rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
While the RLX may not offer as much performance and luxury as similarly priced competitors, it does have good engine power, excellent standard technology, and plenty of space in the rear seats. Car and Driver describes the Acura RLX as “kind of like a $60,000 Accord but not really as good or fun as an Accord.”
The 2020 Acura RLX
The 2020 Acura RLX continues to be a comfortable car with lots of standard features, but it falls short on its luxury and handling. Car and Driver also points out both its high-quality build and good fuel efficiency along with its generic interior style and out-of-date infotainment system, which does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility.
The RLX has either the standard 310-hp V6 engine or a hybrid option, and these form the only two trim options: the RLX and the RLX Sport Hybrid. The hybrid has fantastic acceleration powered by its V6 engine and three motors, which produce a combined 377 hp.
The end of the RLX
It seems to be the end of the road for the Acura RLX. Although it will no longer be sold in North America after the 2020 model year, it will continue to be sold in other locations as the Honda Legend. Instead of the RLX, Acura will focus instead on its crossover SUVs, the ILX sedan, plus the redesigned performance-oriented TLX.
In addition, Acura plans on more Type S performance vehicles and also a new turbo V6, replacing a low-performance car with more exciting options.
The decision to discontinue the RLX couldn’t have been difficult given the poor sales in the past couple of years. In 2019, the Acura RLX sold just 1,019 units. Even with the design update, sales in 2018 totaled just 1,931 units sold.
Sales for the Acura RLX were strongest in 2013 when it was first released; there were 5,014 units sold that year. And, during the first quarter of 2020, Acura sold just 179 RLX models. Lifetime sales of the RLX in the U.S. and Canada between 2013 and 2020 (to date), at 16,491, are less than one-year sales of some other Acuras.
Other Acura vehicles
While the Acura RLX has had weak sales, other models have done better. The Acura RDX and MDX SUVs are now the best-selling Acuras in North America. In 2019, the RDX sold 62,876 units, and the MDX sold 52,019. That combined for almost 115,000 units sold.
Acura will still sell the ILX and TLX sedans, although both have much lower sales than the MDX SUV. During 2019, the ILX sold 14,685 units in the U.S. while the TLX sold 23,675 in the U.S.
So, goodbye to the Acura RLX. It will be fun to see what Acura comes out with next.