Quite simply, if the new 2015 Acura TLX doesn’t excite loyalists and draw new luxury sport sedan buyers into the fold, this luxury division of Honda is going to be in real trouble. Therefore, the TLX matters more than any other vehicle in Acura’s arsenal. More than the MDX. More than the RDX. And more than the upcoming halo hybrid sports car, the NSX.
2015 Acura TLX Preview: 2014 New York Auto Show
New 2015 Acura TLX: What’s New
Replacing the TSX and the TL in Acura’s lineup, the new 2015 TLX provides about the same amount of interior room as the outgoing TL, wrapped in a tidier package.
Three versions of the car will be available, starting with a standard model equipped with a 206-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. If that sounds familiar, you must be thinking about a 2014 Honda Civic Si, which has the same engine. The difference is that in the Acura TLX it is paired with a new 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission that drives the front wheels instead of a 6-speed manual gearbox.
If you want a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 in your new 2015 TLX, Acura obliges. This engine has a new 9-speed automatic transmission, and it includes Variable Cylinder Management, which shuts down half of the cylinders under certain driving conditions in order to maximize fuel economy.
A Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system is available for models with the V-6 engine. Acura’s not kidding with the name of this AWD system, which is equipped with torque vectoring technology that has historically worked to excellent effect in the previous TL model. This version of the new TLX also gets an automatic stop/start system that shuts the engine off when the car is idling at an intersection or in traffic, helping to conserve fuel.
Versions without SH-AWD get Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), which helps to tighten the front-drive TLX’s cornering line when the car is driven with gusto. Agile Handling Assist also works to support this Acura’s mission as a sport sedan, and the driver can adjust the standard Integrated Dynamics Management technology to Econ, Normal, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes.
Each version of the new Acura TLX is well equipped, and each version can be upgraded with a Technology Package. An Advance Package is reserved for the TLX V-6 models. Acura hasn’t defined what goes into each one, but does provide a list of what’s not standard equipment, such as premium leather, a premium audio system, an upgraded climate control system, a navigation system, an adaptive cruise control system, and a long list of safety-related technologies designed to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of a collision.
New 2015 Acura TLX: What Autobytel Thinks
Though we’re really going to miss the TSX Sport Wagon, there’s no question that the new 2015 Acura TLX is a better car than both of those that it replaces. It looks good, inside and out, and if Acura’s claim that the TLX is the most dynamically advanced car it has ever built proves true, then it will be worthy of enthusiast acclaim. Add what is likely to be high standards of quality and excellent reliability, combined with what should prove to be impressive safety, plus the all-weather traction supplied by the TLX SH-AWD model, and this new midsize luxury sport sedan could prove to be a turning point for Acura.
2015 Acura TLX photos by Megan Green