Acura RLX Gets Fresh Looks, New 10-Speed Automatic for 2018


Acura has slapped its slow-selling RLX sedan with some fresh new looks and a new 10-speed transmission for the 2018 model year.

The 2018 RLX has adopted Acura’s new diamond pentagon grille, but that’s not the only modification made to the exterior. There’s also a more sculpted hood, new available wheel designs, different LED taillights and a gloss black rear diffuser with some new exhaust tips.

Changes have also occurred beneath the bodywork. Acura says the RLX Sport Hybrid’s all-wheel drive system has been further optimized using lessons it learned from the development of the NSX. The 3.5-liter Earth Dreams V6 and trio of electric motors remain unchanged, however, and are producing the same 377 horsepower as before.

SEE ALSO: Acura to Debut New Prototype Race Car Later This Month

All-wheel drive versions of the non-hybrid, 310 horsepower RLX have done away with the twin-clutch 7-speed automatic and a new 10-speed has taken its place. Acura says the new transmission is more refined than the outgoing unit and results in improved acceleration and better passing performance.

The interior has also been graced with some upgraded materials and more soft touch points, along with redesigned front seats. New contrast seat piping and stitching and a new available Espresso interior color round out the interior changes.

Finally, two new premium paint offerings have been added to the color palette: Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl.

The 2018 RLX will make its official debut during Monterey Car Week later this month. Pricing details have yet to be announced.

Discuss this story on our RLX forum

  • r l

    wow i am quite impressed, especially the front end! great job acura. finally the much hated beak has been exiled for eternity!

  • tom1963

    Bring back the Legend name. Make the car smaller and lighter but with more interior space. This car is deserving of something that distinguishes it from other cars instead of being the car that is always overlooked.

  • nick1946

    Really like the front end

  • Jack Woodburn

    The brand emblem is a bit too large as is the chrome surround for the new grill shape. But the interior design and materials are very well done. I could happily live with it…if it’s not over priced.

  • kaffekup

    The emblem is indeed too large.
    The interior is very attractive, but maintains the much-maligned two screens. How ever can anyone tolerate TWO screens???

  • Adam Krauss

    IMO the RL/RLX has always been an enigma, overshadowed by Acura’s TL/TLX. It’s exterior styling has been drab, or at least nothing to get excited about and its features and performance do not justify the price point as compared to the TL. I bought my TL SH-AWD in approx. 2010, shortly after they drastically redesigned the car. Before that redesign, the TL was equally an enigma, which wouldn’t get a second look on the road. I have spoken to dealers who agreed the TL was eating into RL sales. Perhaps Acura’s move to marry the TL with its smaller sibling and create the TLX, was in part, an attempt to distinguish the RLX. On that subject, I am partial to my TL versus the TLX, for several reasons, including the larger size of the TL. Certainly the RLX interior finishings are premium, but the exterior is still blah.

  • DoraldB

    The last good sedan Acura built was the 2005-2008 TSX. My wife and I own two of them (’06/’08) – combined 20 year old cars now with – (150K/75K miles) and they run like we just bought them (32+ mpg on long trips)! Bring it back with a 2L turbo 8 speed and today’s safety features and watch them fly off the showroom floor. The Civic/ILX is an Acura wannabe.

  • Craig

    If only they bumped it up into the 400+ hp club.

  • ABeiruty

    I like it. I owned an RL 05 and it was underperforming in terms of acceleration, but the drivability was WOW!

  • Peter

    time for someone to take acura out back and put it out of it’s misery

  • Perry F. Bruns

    Can I get one of the translucent ones?

  • Serge Bo

    100% agree. TSX 04-06 and 06-08 TL are the best sedans they ever made. Very reliably and highly tunable, engines have great potential.

  • Delicious Points

    *sigh* no manual transmission? Forget it.. =(