2020 Acura RLX

#18
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$54,900
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7.2

Overall Rating

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2020 Acura RLX Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: December 8, 2019
Abhinandan Banerjee's image

Abhinandan Banerjee Content Lead


When a brand goes with a Tagline of Precision Crafted Performance, you do expect the Cars from the brand to stand by the same. The RLX series of cars have managed to reflect the same values, over their years of existence and continue to do the same. Acura is wasting no time in introducing its 2020 Lineup to the market and the latest car to join this bandwagon, is the 2020 Acura RLX sedan. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Spacious Interiors

Long List of Standard Advanced Driver Assist and Safety Features

Super Smooth Powertrain and Noise Insulation inside the cabin

Motor strikes a good balance between efficiency and performance

Cons

Still NO Apple Car Play and Android Auto

Infotainment System feels clumsy in application

Limited Options on offer

What's New?

The 2020 Acura RLX carries forward unchanged from 2019


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$54900

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

155 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

212 cu.in.

horsepower

310 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

272 lbs.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

10 Speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

64.3/64.2

dimensions

wheelbase

112.2 in.

length

198.1 in.

width

74.4 in.

height

57.7 in.

curb weight

3977 lbs.

ground clearance

4.5 in.

capacity

passenger volume

102.2 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.9 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.2 sec.

zero to 100 mph

6.5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/23/29 mpg

ev range

370 mi.

highway range

536.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

powertrain warranty

6 yr. / 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

4 yr./ 50000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
 2020 Acura RLX Exterior video
 2020 Acura RLX Review video
 2020 Acura RLX Interior video

Styles

 2020 Acura RLX in Brilliant Red Metallic color  2020 Acura RLX in Fathom Blue Pearl color  2020 Acura RLX in Pewter Metallic color  2020 Acura RLX in Lunar Silver Metallic color
Brilliant Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.0

Engine And Performance

7.6

Fuel Economy

5.0

Interior

6.5

Safety

9.9

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Acura RLX Base

Base

power
310 hp @ 6500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
23 combined

$54,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
P-AWS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 10A) Starting at $54,900 MSRP (20/23/29) 310 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.2

Overall Rating


Competing against a segment dominated by the European brands, the Acura RLX, has somehow managed to carve out a niche for itself in the minds of the buyers. The RLX offers unmatched refinement, space and comfort and has been built by some of the best engineers at Acura. In terms of features as well, you will be heavily impressed by the Long List of advanced driving assistance and safety features as standard. The 2020 RLX, carries forward unchanged from 2019 and that means that the Motor and the Drivetrain, both remain the same from last year. We aren’t disappointed by this fact as the drivetrain and the motor in the RLX, rank as one of the finest and the smoothest, if not the most powerful in its category.

The Acura RLX, rivals European brands like BMW and Mercedes, in terms of their features and driving dynamics and has a build quality that equals the Japanese brands like Infiniti and Lexus. Available in just a FWD configuration, the 2020 Acura RLX has been priced at $54,900 and that makes it, one of the most VFM propositions in the segment.

2020 Acura RLX Sedan Front View
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Front View
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Rear View
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Rear View

7.0/10
Features

 

7.6/10
Engine and Performance

 

5.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.5/10
Interior

 
 

9.9/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Acura RLX Features

7.0/10

The Acura RLX comes in just one trim but comes loaded to the Hilt, with a variety of features as standard. Available with just an FWD configuration, you can get the RLX with features that include the like of On Demand Multi-Use Display, Acura Connected Services, Acura Navigation with a 3D view and a lot more.

Trim

Acura RLX Technology Package 

MSRP

$54,900

Key Features

Standard AcuraWatch Driver Assist and Safety Features suite

 

Front 4 Way Power adjust Lumbar Seats

 

14 Speaker ELS Studio Audio System

 

Milano Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel

 

Milano Leather Seats with High-Contrast Piping and Stitching

 

JewelEye LED Taillights

Which trim to go for?

With just one trim on offer, the 2020 Acura RLX can be just bought with just the Technology trim. However, this trim comes loaded with all the modern bells and whistles that you’d expect from a Sedan in this category but at a far lesser asking price.

2020 Acura RLX Engine and Performance

7.6/10

Since the 2020 Acura RLX carries mostly unchanged from the 2019 version, you get the same 3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6 motor for 2020 as we saw in the 2019 model. The 3.5 Liter naturally aspirated isn't a very exciting engine, even though it is quite a powerful unit, churning out 310 horsepower. Even with over 300 horses under the hood, the car doesn't have a sporty character, as reflected by the front-wheel-drive setup. However, the Motor isn’t slow to respond by any means and feels decently quick for a class of this class. 

This motor comes mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is a few gears higher than what most rivals offer. This isn't a dual-clutch gearbox, but you do get paddle shifters behind the wheels. Still, driving around in auto-mode is much more preferable as 10-gears a little too many to operate when driving.

Models

Acura RLX FWD

Volvo S90 T6 Momentum AWD

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Infiniti Q70 3.7 LUXE RWD*

MSRP

$54,900

$51,195

$52,090

$52,550

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 Cylinder

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.7L Naturally Aspirated V6

Transmission

10 Speed A/T

8 Speed A/T

8 Speed A/T

7 Speed A/T

Horsepower (hp)

310@6500rpm

316@5700rpm

311@6400rpm

330@7000rpm

Torque (lbs.-ft.)

272@4500rpm

295@5400rpm

280@4800rpm

270@5200rpm

*2019 figures used for reference purposes only

Lexus GS series of sedans give a tough competition to the Acura RLX while undercutting the price a significant margin as well. The Infiniti undercuts the Acura by a pretty big price margin and offers slightly more power figures than the same. The Volvo is similar in price to the Acura but has marginally higher power and significantly high torque output than the same.

How fast is the Acura RLX?

The 2020 Acura RLX, puts its 310hp to good use on both the city streets and out on the motorways. While the Acura sedan doesn't claim to be a performance-centric car, it ain’t a slouch either. 0-60 MPH comes up in just 5.6 seconds, while the quarter-mile run takes about 14.6 seconds. Behind the wheel, you can clearly feel the car's weight hindering its performance but you won’t be left wanting for more, while on the move in the city.

2020 Acura RLX Sedan Front View
2020 Acura RLX Sedan 0-60 MPH In just 5.6 sec

Models

Acura RLX FWD

Volvo S90 T6 Momentum AWD

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Infiniti Q70 3.7 LUXE RWD*

0-60 MPH

5.6

5.9

5.7

5.6

Quarter mile

14.6

14.3

14.5

14.2

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 Cylinder

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.7L Naturally Aspirated V6

Emission 

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 

N/A

7.1

7.7

8.4

The rivals of the RLX, aren’t better than the same in terms of the performance they offer. While the Volvo has a lot of heft to carry behind it’s back, the twin-charged motor gives it a clear advantage and hence, is the fastest in the acceleration run. The Infiniti is similar to performance to the Acura and the Lexus falls short by the duo by the smallest of margins.

What about Ride and Handling?

The RLX is a luxury sedan, and luxury sedans usually favor ride quality over handling prowess. The RLX has been always famed for the same fact and the 2020 RLX, continues to offer the same characteristics. If you plan to use this car primarily for ferrying your family around, then this is the perfect tool for the job. The driver though won't love the car as much as the passengers. We would have loved a sportier suspension setup as the European rivals of the Acura, feel a bit sportier to ride.

2020 Acura RLX Sedan Front View
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Front View

The handling isn't bad, but cornering abilities are certainly limited in this car. The weight, along with the soft suspension, gives this car a considerable amount of body roll. Cornering isn’t and won’t be a forte of the RLX and the RLX doesn’t boast of one as well. As said previously, a slightly sportier suspension would have been a welcome feature in the RLX as the Germans feel a lot better to ride than the Acura on the corners.

How good is the braking of the Acura RLX?

We don't have many qualms to make about the braking performance of the Acura RLX. Just like any other modern car, you get a disc brake setup all four wheels in this car. The brake discs have a substantial diameter, at 12.3 and 12.2. Under a panic braking situation, the car holds up quite well and there is minimal nose-dive under panic and heavy braking. You could simply bury the pedal into the floor, and the electronics will make sure you safely come to a halt safely in no time. Braking distances of the Acura, may not be class-leading but they certainly aren’t the worst and will offer enough confidence to the driver in the real world.

Model

Acura RLX FWD

Volvo S90 T6 Momentum AWD

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Infiniti Q70 3.7 LUXE RWD*

Brake Front (in.)

12.3

12.6

13.1

12.6

Brake Rear (in.)

12.2

11.9

12.2

12.1

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3977

4135

3726

3876

60-0 MPH (ft.)

126

107

113

167**

**70-0MPH figures used for comparison purposes only

When comparing the Acura to its adversaries in terms of the braking performance, you will find that the Volvo beats the Acura by a fair margin. This is due to Volvo's emphasis on Safety and braking and a long plethora of braking aids as standard. The GS 350 does well in the braking department and manages to outshine the Acura on this front. The Infiniti and the Acura are at par with each other and there isn't much separating the two, owing to their similar dimensions and brake setup.

2020 Acura RLX Fuel Economy

5.0/10

Despite having a big naturally aspirated motor under it’s hood, the Acura RLX returns decent gas efficiency on the whole. With an overall 23MPG figure and a big 18.5 gallon fuel tank capacity, the RLX can traverse a minimum distance of 370 miles and on the highway, the same figure goes over 537 miles.

Model

Acura RLX FWD

Volvo S90 T6 Momentum AWD

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Infiniti Q70 3.7 LUXE RWD*

MPG (city)

20

21

20

18

MPG (highway)

29

31

28

25

MPG (combined)

23

25

23

21

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

18.5

15.9

17.4

20.0

Range (City/Hwy) in Miles

370/537

334/493

348/487

360/500

Compared to its’ rivals, Acura has a clear edge over the others, in terms of range on offer. However, going by individual figures, it’s the Volvo that takes top honors with its twincharged motor. The Lexus comes next to the Acura in terms of MPG figures and the Infiniti, courtesy of its monstrous motor, loses out in this test.

2020 Acura RLX Interior

6.5/10

The RLX is a proper luxury car on the inside, and its interiors are extremely premium. The space in the front seats is very generous, which is primarily due to the generous exterior dimensions. Talking of Seat, 5 passengers can be easily accommodated inside the RLX with ease and much comfort. The seats are soft but supportive and feel more like a couch than a car seat. The Cushioning and support on offer are top-notch while the bolstering on the same, won't leave you asking for more. The Rear Seats offer generous space for the rear passengers and you won't tire out, spending long hours sitting in the same.

2020 Acura RLX Sedan Front Seats
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Front View

The overall interior quality is quite premium and you will feel like you are sitting in a car that rivals the European luxury sedans. The stitching has been meticulously done on both the dashboard and on the seats and the overall premium materials on usage, adds to the pleasure of sitting inside this cabin.

Models

Acura RLX FWD

Volvo S90 T6 Momentum AWD

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Infiniti Q70 3.7 LUXE RWD*

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Head/Shoulder/Legroom (cu.ft.)

37.6/59.6/42.3

37.8/57.5/42.2 38.0/57.3/42.3 39.1/58.4/44.4

 

Rear Head/Shoulder/Legroom (cu.ft.)

36.9/57.0/38.8

37.8/55.4/40.4 37.8/55.7/36.8 37.7/56.7/36.2

What about the infotainment system?

While we would have loved to rave about the Infotainment system of 2020 RLX, sadly, that isn't the case. Acura has bundled most of the features that you would expect from an infotainment system of a car in this class, we certainly don't like the application of the same. The interface of the Infotainment is quite laggy and tends to have a bit of glare, when seen in direct sunlight. We do miss modern-day necessities like Android Auto and expect Acura, to provide it in the near future

2020 Acura RLX Sedan Infotainment screen
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Infotainment Screen
  • 14 Speaker ELS Audio System
  • Sirius XM Radio/ HD Radio/Pandora/Song by Voice compatibility
  • USB, AUX, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Speed-Sensitive Volume Control
  • Natural Language Voice recognition
  • Acura Navigation with Real-Time traffic and Rerouting feature
  • Color Multi-information Display with Homelink

What is the Cargo space of the Acura RLX?

At 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, the RLX saloon doesn't have the largest trunk around. The seats don't fold down, which is disappointing, but there is still a lot of usable space in this car, enough for your daily family needs, such as carrying luggage. There are plenty of cubby holes on offer on the inside and other nifty storage spaces that include bottle holders, phone holders, sunglasses holder and lot more.

Model

Acura RLX FWD

Volvo S90 T6 Momentum AWD

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Infiniti Q70 3.7 LUXE RWD*

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

14.9

13.5

14.3

14.9

While we may criticize the Cargo Capacity of the RLX, comparing against its rivals, the RLX doesn’t fare as badly as the rest. The Volvo offers the lowest cargo space in the segment and is then followed by the GS from Lexus. The Infiniti and the Acura, are tied for the top spot and offer 14.9 cu.ft. Of space.

Interior Features

Acura is known for loading up their Sedans with the best that they have and 2020 RLX is no different either. You get a lot of bells and whistles as standard and the Interiors, on the whole, feel a lot premium.

  • Milano Leather-Trimmed Sports Seats
  • 12 Way Power adjust driver seat and 4 way adjust passenger seats
  • 3 Way Heated front seats and Rear Outboard seats
  • Ambient Cabin Lighting
  • Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control with GPS link
  • Push Button Start and Smart Entry
  • Leather Wrapped Heated steering wheel with Tilt/Telescopic function
  • Steering Mounted Cruise, Audio, Telephony, Navigation controls 
  • Auto Up/Down power windows
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Interior

2020 Acura RLX Exterior

The RLX is a full-size sedan and thus has considerable dimensions. It is considerably larger than, let's say, a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry. Still, it isn't as high as it is long, and if you look at it from a distance, you'd probably think its quite a low car. The wheelbase isn't too big either, which helps keep the turning circle in check. The weight is just under 2 tons, a lot for a sedan, and you feel the weight under cornering and braking.

2020 Acura RLX Sedan Three Quarter View
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Three Quarter View

The 2020 Acura RLX Sport is quite a distinct looking car, but to call it handsome would be a bit of a stretch. It doesn't necessarily mean it's not a good-looking car, as looks are extremely subjective. The front end of the car barely avoids a fashion disaster, with shapely headlamps and spiderweb style front grille. The rear tries hard to be sporty but isn't much. The proportions are good though, and in the side profile, the car looks quite handsome. The dual quad tailpipes are the sportiest design detail on this otherwise boring looking car.

Model

Acura RLX FWD

Volvo S90 T6 Momentum AWD

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Infiniti Q70 3.7 LUXE RWD*

Curb weight (lbs.)

3977

4135

3726

3876

Length(in)

198.1

200.1

192.1

196.1

Width(in)

74.4

74.0

72.4

72.6

Height(in)

57.7

57.1

57.3

59.1

Ground clearance (in)

4.5

6.0

5.1

6.0

Wheelbase (in)

112.2

120.5

112.2

114.2

Noteworthy highlights on the outside?

One of the primary USP's of Acura over the years have been their long list of features. Continuing with this trend, the 2020 RLX comes loaded with a long list of features on the outside. Some of the noteworthy features include

  • Power Moonroof with Tilt and Slide Function
  • Auto-On/Off Jewel LED Headlights with Wiper
  • LED Taillights, Brake Lights and Illuminated Door Handles
  • Heated, Power Folding and Integrated LED Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Remote Operated Windows and Moonroof Open operation
  • Gloss Black Rear Diffuser
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior
2020 Acura RLX Sedan Exterior

2020 Acura RLX Safety

9.9/10

Acura has been famed for offering a lot of safety features in all of its cars, as standard and the 2020 RLX is no different. Despite not having been tested by the IIHS and NHTSA since the time of writing this piece, we do feel that with the following list of Safety Features on offer will ensure the complete peace of mind for the occupants of the RLX.

  • Multi Rear View Camera with Dynamic Guidelines
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow
  • Lane Keep and Traffic Jam Assist with Road Departure Mitigation
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Rear Cross Traffic Monitor
  • Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers with Windshield De-Icer
  • Front, Side, Side Curtain and Driver’s Knee Airbags
  • Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control and Motion Adaptive Steering
  • 4 Wheel ABS with EBD and Brake Assist
  • Auto Brake Hold with Hill Start Assist
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System and Tire Sealant and Repair Kit
  • LATCH Child-Seat Mounting System

2020 Acura RLX Competition

Acura RLX vs Volvo S90

The Volvo S90 is one of the most popular Sedans in the segment, owing to it’s low starting price, long list of creature comforts and unmatched safety proposition. Hell, it’s luxurious on the inside as well and efficient too. However, the Acura is a lot better built than the Volvo, is very well equipped and will stand the test of time far better than the Volvo. If you weren’t to be wooed by the Creature comforts on offer and would look for a well rounded package, we would strongly recommend the Acura over the Volvo.

Acura RLX vs Lexus GS 350

Picking among 2 Japanese brands is always difficult and same is the case, when we pit the Acura RLX against the Lexus GS 350. Both the brands offer fantastic reliability, have been build by the best Japanese Engineers and come loaded with creature comforts and safety features as standard. The Lexus looks the better of the 2 but again, styling is a personal preference. However, the Lexus comes in a RWD as standard and is cheaper than the Acura, which is why we will choose the Lexus over the Acura.

Acura RLX vs Infiniti Q70

Infiniti is a luxury brand by the Japanese Auto giant Nissan, much like the relationship between Acura and Honda. Just like Acura, Infiniti offers a lot of equipment, is very practical, and packs in a lot of luxury in as well. Both of these sedans, get a large V6 engine with over 300 horses available on tap. The Infiniti inches slightly ahead due to its lower price tag, but you can choose any one of these cars and be extremely satisfied.

2020 Acura RLX Final Verdict

The Acura RLX, has been able to stand the test of time, despite not having undergone a lot of changes throughout it’s years in existence. What favors the RLX, is it’s super smooth drivetrain, impeccable interiors, long list of creature comforts and safety features and stupendous reliability. Surely, you will find better driving cars than the Acura or more powerful one as well but if you want something, that offers a complete peace of mind when driving and will stand the test of time, the 2020 Acura RLX is something that you could easily bet on.