Acura has hit a number of balls out of the park in recent years with SUVs like the MDX and RDX. However, where it continues to strike out is with its passenger car models.
The luxury arm of Honda is hoping to improve its batting average with the refreshed 2018 Acura TLX making its debut at this week’s New York International Auto Show. Designed to pick up on the more “aggressive and sporty” cues of the recent Acura Precision Concept, and with plenty of new technology, the Japanese maker is looking to join the luxury big leagues.
“We’ve really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX’s dynamic capabilities,” declared Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager, as the new 2018 TLX rolled into the Big Apple.
Acura’s midsize sedan made its debut in 2014, replacing the older TL and TSX models. Like the original TLX, the new sedan will roll off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio.
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While not quite as edgy as the Acura Precision Concept that debuted at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2018 Acura TLX definitely largely abandons the plain-vanilla look of the older sedan that seemed too easily lost in the crowd.
While it retains the familiar Acura diamond pentagon grille, any hint of the old chrome shield has vanished entirely. The basic dimensions of the car don’t change much – it is, after all, a mid-cycle refresh – nonetheless, the updated TLX does pick up a nicer, sportier stance and the proportions seem more in balance.
Some of the more obvious revisions include new, “Jewel Eye” headlights, a new bumper and a more sculpted hood and front fenders. In the rear, the ’18 TLX gets a revised fascia that barely concels rectangular dual-exhaust finishers and a rear diffuser. Standard issue are 18-inch alloy wheels.
There are several packages that add details such as chrome sill garnish and new seats, as well as a variety of tech features, such as trapezoidal LED headlamps.
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There are different variant models including, for the first time, the TLX V6 A-Spec, which adds even more sporty details, such as an exclusive front fascia, round LED fog lights, aggressive side sills, rear diffuser accented by large, round dual-exhaust finishers and gloss black decklid spoiler, The A-Spec suspension also is sport-tuned.
Inside, the A-Spec adds leather seats with increased bolstering, red driver’s meter highlights, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, and a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel.
The 2018 Acura TLX gets the first updated take on the brand’s distinctive dual-touchscreen display technology. It features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the new SiriusXM 2.0.
The TLX also gets the AcuraWatch suit of safety technologies, including Collision Mitigation Braking, Land Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.
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Two engine options are offered, meanwhile, including the base 2.4-liter inline four, as well as a sportier V-6. On the A-Spec, a buyer also can order either front-wheel-drive or Acura’s Super Handling-All-Wheel-Drive, or SH-AWD, system.