Test drive 2015 Acura TLX auto industry giant killer

2015_Acura_TLX_white_pearl

Test drive 2015 Acura TLX auto industry giant killer

We believe that Acura TLX will not only elevate the brand to new hights, but change how you and the auto industry measure economy driven performance. TLX is a giant killer.

Acura has ventured back into the auto industry’s most popular sedan segment with something that’s so new Audi, BMW, MB, Lexus, Infiniti and others will be compelled to emulate the ergonomic driven driver and passenger accommodations, superior handling tech-rich safety and personal connectivity features of the 2015 TLX.

Replacing Acura’s outgoing TSX and TL, TLX puts a new spin on mid size driving performance via world class safety through electronic accident avoidance and superior road handling and braking.

Today Torque news reports on the engine, drivetrain and technical side of the innovative 2015 Acura TLX 2.4L i_VTEC 4 cylinder with P-AWS, the TLX 3.5 liter SOHC normally aspirated V6, 9 speed transmission with P-AWS and the top of the line 3.5 liter V6, 9 speed with SH-AWD and full tech package.

2015 Acura TLX: Acura’s auto industry transformer. There’s nothing else like it on the road today. From the entry level 206 horsepower, double staged intake and direct fuel injected 4 cylinder, 8 speed, paddle shifted pocket rocket, to the very refined sport- luxury environment of the 290 horsepower, 9 speed, V6 sport touring SH-AWD, torque vectoring, 4 wheel steering Euro-sedan; Acura sets a new benchmark in the sport sedan segment.

Yes, I said Euro-sedan…

TLX is offered in 7 variants. We refer to it as an automotive transformer, simply, because it’s effectively two cars in one. Hi tech sport sedan meets refined entry level luxury cruiser.

The drive

Tuesday morning weather in West Virginia was perfect for pushing the TLX through its paces. Acura kindly provided Torque News with a 270 mile run through Virginia horse and wine country, over a road course consisting of country 2 lane, city and highway driving. We would rotate 3 pre -production variants of the TLX between 2 drivers. Acura did a stellar job of insuring that each driver was given adequate drive time in all three variants provided.

We begin our test drive in the 2015 TLX V6 SH-AWD with Tech Package.

Acura Acronyms: SH-AWD = Supper Handling All Wheel Drive. The story begins here, but we’ll ldigress a bit as we revisit the cabin of TLX. While the exterior of the TLX is sized to slide between the exiting 2014 TL and 2014 TSX, Acura has retained exceptional class leading interior spaciousness and ergonomic driven driver and passenger comfort in the TLX.

In entering the car one realizes that nothing in the entry level premium sedan segment can touch the interior proportions, fit and finish of TLX. But enough already, let’s get to the road characteristics of Acura’s game changer.

Through the wizardry of Acura engineering, Project leader Mat Hargett, Brian Hourt, Chris Kipher and Dan Powderly have accomplished what other automotive development teams only aspire to do; they’ve reinvented the Acura sport sedan.

We could write a book on the upgrades and component changes that have lead to the exceptional driving experience afforded the keyless entry fob holder of the TLX, we don’t have enough cyberspace here to do so.

Automotive engineering drives it, but “form enables function” in the all new TLX.

Upon pushing the (keyless) ignition button on TLX, one is treated to a pleasant V6 emited melodic note, a promise of things to come. As with all Honda developed engines, the normally aspirated Acura aluminum block V6 is rev-happy. There’s no performance-lag based disappointment present in the TLX. Acura has installed a (modified) Mat tells us it’s a new block designed for Acura, 3.5 Liter SOHC i_VTEC direct injected V6, maried to an all new, lighter and smaller 9 speed automatic transmission, with paddle shifters.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

USA Today -Test Drive: Smooth, quick Acura TLX is spot-on

1407268453000-01-tlx

by: James R. Healey

MIDDLEBURG, VA. — Acura can’t seem to make a wrong move on SUVs, but can’t seem to put a foot right on cars.

The 2015 TLX midsize sedan is supposed to change that. It replaces the TSX and TL, giving Acura a more sensible array of small-medium-large sedans.

Small is ILX, a Honda Civic derivative, but a poor seller this year. Large is the RLX, a modest success, but a higher-price, small-volume model in any event.

Medium is the new TLX. It’s meant to be the mainstream Acura car, a big seller that can go tire-to-tire with rivals such as Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C250, Infiniti Q50 and BMW 328.

After a day thrashing all three versions on the gorgeous back roads around here, we say Acura succeeds. If the brand has trouble selling the TLX, it needs to put its marketing, not its engineering, under a microscope.

The car is so important to Acura that the TLX head man, engineer Mat Hargett, performed an amazing feat of corporate engineering and got the launch delayed so his team could go over the car yet one more time.

“We need a clean launch. The car has a lot of new technology and launching with new technology that doesn’t work is worse than launching with old technology,” he says.

Dealers have been desperate for a strong sedan entry and were vocal about their dismay. Now the Marysville, Ohio, factory is shipping them as fast as it can, and sales are starting this month.

It has three flavors:

– 2.4-liter four-cylinder base model, with front-wheel drive (FWD) and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

– 3.5-liter V-6, FWD with nine-speed automatic.

– 3.5-liter V-6, all-wheel drive (AWD), nine-speed automatic.

Those transmissions are a big leap from the five- and six-speed boxes Acura’s been using. V-6 cars use a push-button transmission control. We prefer the conventional lever in the four-cylinder car, but found the buttons on the console more-or-less agreeable.

Also part of the cars’ technical signature, the FWD cars have all-wheel steering. The back wheels turn very slightly to help pivot the car around a corner, or ease into a parking spot, or glide into another highway lane.

That’s the theory, anyway. But it didn’t seem like something a driver would notice without being told it was present — a subtlety that Hargett said is deliberate.

And it doesn’t seem to cut the turning circle diameter, which is 39-plus feet on the FWD cars, vs. 37 feet or so that’s more typical of midsize sedans.

The AWD model has idle stop, also called automatic stop-start. It boosts mpg a bit by stopping the engine at long red lights, then restarting it. It’s well done — noticeable, but lacking annoying shakes and shimmies that plague some stop-start systems.

We favored the driver-selectable “sport” mode that keeps the transmission in lower gears longer, but burns more fuel. The normal and eco settings were satisfactory, though neither played to the lively personality baked into the TLX.

The styling nicely discards the cow-catcher front end of previous Acuras.

Front seats in all models are quite comfortable. Back seat’s a tad tight, though not cramped.

Handling is secure, confident. Acceleration is strong on all models, though the four-cylinder engine sounds slightly rackety compared with the V-6s. What’s most impressive is its fine overall balance. TLX is quiet, refined, smooth, quick, well-mannered and satisfying.

If you’re a numbers shopper, seeking the quickest acceleration, biggest engine and so on, you’ll find cars with better scores.

But in our view, numbers are meaningless without the soulful integration that turns them into a car you want to drive.

In our view, TLX is such a car.

WHAT STANDS OUT

Styling: Much improved from recent Acuras.

Refinement: Well-mannered and satisfying.

Price: Tempting.

2015 ACURA TLX DETAILS

What? Midsize four-door sedan replacing the discontinued TL midsize and and TSX compact. Available with four-cylinder or V-6 engine, front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) on V-6 only.

When? On sale this month as fast as the factory can get them to dealers. Mass production began July 14.

Where? Made at Marysville, Ohio.

How much?Base 2.4-liter four-cylinder starts at $31,890, including $895 shipping.

3.5-liter V-6 FWD starts at $36,115.

3.5-liter V-6 AWD starts at $42,345.

What makes it go? 2.4-liter four-cylinder is rated 206 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, 182 pounds-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm, mated to eight-speed automatic.

3.5-liter V-6 rated 290 hp at 6,200, 267 lbs.-ft. at 4,500 mated to nine-speed automatic.

How big? Closer in size to the TL than the TSX. A few inches longer, an inch wider than Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, which Acura believes will be the main rivals to TLX.

Weighs 3,483 to 3,774 lbs.

Passenger cabin: 93.3 cubic ft. Trunk: 13.2 cu. ft.

Turning circle diameter: 39.2 ft., 2.4-liter; 38.8 ft., V-6 FWD; 39.5 ft. V-6 AWD.

How thirsty: 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated 24 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, 28 in combined city/highway driving.

V-6 FWD rated 21/34/25. V-6 AWD rated 21/31/25.

2.4-liter test car got 29.2 mpg (3.42 gallons per 100 miles) in quick driving on rural two-lanes.

V-6 FWD test car: 33.1 mpg (3.02 gal./100 mi.) in mainly highway driving with some rural two-lane, all with lots of hard throttle use.

V-6 AWD test car: 26.2 mpg (3.82 gal./100 mi.) in rural two-lane driving, mostly using transmission’s Sport mode.

Premium fuel recommended; tank holds 17.2 gal.

Overall: Sweet.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The TLX Has Arrived!

IMG_20140805_125146 IMG_20140805_125232 IMG_20140805_125258 IMG_20140805_125325100_0625 100_0620 100_0621 100_0624 100_0619 IMG_20140809_001518

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2015 Acura TLX beats BMW, Infiniti and Lexus in road handling and comfort

2015_Acura_TLX_Interior

In a recent 280 mile real road conditions driving trial through the wine country of West Virginia, we determined that Acura’s latest offering has a measurable advantage over BMW, Lexus and Infiniti in handling and superior ergonomics driven comfort.

In fact, Acura TLX will change the way that you measure automotive performance.

While that’s a bold statement for any auto reviewer to make, we believe that after comparing the BMW 328 i X-Drive, Infinity Q50 and Lexus IS 250 to the all new TLX, Acura’s newest offering is the winner in several categories.

Superior handling characteristics

2015 Acura TLX is more than a bit impressive in its handling. To date, we’ve yet to drive a stickier entry or mid level premium sport sedan. Offered in 7 models, all standard with smart handling power (P-AWS) all wheel steering, new direct injected engine designs and 8 and 9 speed transmissions, Acura has increased performance while improving fuel economy. While BMW, Infiniti and Lexus performed well in handling, TLX possesses what we’ll refer to as “Flatitude.” While driving TLX, one is in total control of the road.

TLX brings to the mid priced premium sport sedan class( base msrp $30,995.) what had previously been reserved for cars costing twice as much. The road stability and driver-wheel connectivity of this car is impressive. One can truly feel the road through the very smart electric activated power steering wheel of the TLX. Fit and finish is impressive, interior space and ergonomics, superior.

How’d Acura perfect handling and torque transference in TLX?

Acura engineering has increased the flex rigidity of the frame, crumple zone, added sound deadening to previously hollow body members while increasing suspension dampening and road noise isolation. They’ve put the development time and cost in the TLX where it most matters, where the tires meets the road. Granted, our pre-production mule was effectively new, nonetheless, we were duly impressed by the rigidity, quiet and cabin comfort of the TLX.

Acura has reinstated the “door thunk” in the TLX. First impression is one of quality. TLX is measurably superior to the competition in road-bounce recovery, downhill nose dive, braking and acceleration recovery. It swoops out of a turns without noticeable side sway. Suspension dampening eliminates squirreliness, while reducing body mass rebound. Brake fade? none.

We discover that In the 3.5 liter SH-AWD premium sports sedan, Acura engineering has all but eliminated the negative attributes of front wheel drive. We noted zero torque pull to the right on take off. This is a big deal for drivers that prefer the performance attributes of a rear live axle. In the TLX the difference is negligible. Through “torque vectoring” TLX sends torque transference to the wheel where it’s most need. You can watch the car do so via dash monitor. However, you won’t sense the change while driving, its seamless.

The annoying torque pull associated with all performance front wheel drive systems is gone.

According to Acura engineering, TLX is a car of many firsts. Lowest wind resistance in class, shortest braking distance, superior suspension dampening, class leading cabin sound deadening, road vibration isolation and lowest base msrp in class.

Less noise less driver fatigue.

We couldn’t agree more, from where we sat, this car’s interior noise level is a bit unsettlingly quiet, you can hear your own heart beat.
In-fact, other than a barely detectable intermittent rear tire bump (very rough roads) and minor mirror wind noise; there was none. Speaking at a low decibel in the TLX is effortless.

Stability through superior engineering.

Handling attitude of the TLX is a flat plane trajectory. We launched the test car several times(oops) on the backroads of West Virginia. We noted zero brake and shock fade. When pulling the TLX through several “S” turns under heavy braking and follow through acceleration, the TLX in all variants performed flawlessly.

Pilot and passenger cabin ergonomics.

We were blown away by the interior cabin volume exhibited by the TLX. Once again Acura and Honda engineering has manifested a superior ergonomic dictated driver placement and passenger seating that logic dictates would not fit within the confines of the TLX.

The seats are exceptionally comfortable. Acura has removed the hard hip bolstering while retaining seating position control and grip. After 6 hours of pushing the TLX through its paces, this reviewer walked away unusually refreshed. The TLX SH-AWD V6 with advanced package(base msrp $42,500.) comes standard with a 10 way adjustable, heated driver’s seat, the passenger gets 8.

Leg, shoulder and hip room is more than ample for this 6’ 5” reporter. Yet, adjusted with ease and comfort for our 5’8” co-driver. Visibility afforded from the cab is superior, controls, gauge and touch screen monitor is well placed with one exception.

We found the positioning of the drive mode toggle(IDS) to be less than intuitive, thus a bit distracting and clumsy. Offering four drive modes, the IDS toggle is positioned below the drive button on the center shift console. locating the toggle while driving requires a shift of the eye off of the road. We believe that the driving mode selector should be placed on the wheel, or voice activated.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Jerry Seinfeld Acura and The TLX

“I sell cars, you sell you”

The 2015 Acura TLX will be arriving in showrooms in the next couple of weeks and Jerry Seinfeld is helping with the marketing efforts. During the first season of his webseries “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, Jerry Seinfeld created a series of Acura commercials that spoofed car ads from the 1960’s. This time around he is taking aim at the new TLX.

Acura recently signed on to be the exclusive sponsor of 24 new episodes(seasons six, seven, eight and nine) that will run on Sony Pictures Television’s Crackle.com. And it’s sponsoring this season and as well as another set to run online in the fall.

“We think we’ve really stumbled onto something special,” said Mike Accavitti, general manager of American Honda‘s Acura Division.

In fact, the Acura sponsorship is the main reason the show goes on. When asked how much longer the show will continue, Mr. Seinfeld said, “I don’t think I’d be doing the show at this point if it weren’t for Acura,” adding that he feels the company is a good fit.

 

 

For more information about the 2015 TLX you can visit our website or stop by our showroom located in Gaithersburg Maryland. Rosenthal Acura has been serving the needs of drivers in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia communities.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

COOK: Changes not needed on the 2015 Acura RDX – Washington Times

COOK: Changes not needed on the 2015 Acura RDX – Washington Times.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Acura MDX: America’s All-Time Best-Selling 3-Row Luxury SUV

Record sales in the first six months of 2014 have strengthened the third-generation MDX’s position as America’s best-selling three-row luxury SUV – not only in 2014, but of all time. 

MDX INFOGRAPHIC FINAL

 

“Luxury car buyers have spoken, and we really want to thank our Acura customers for making the MDX the clear winner among three-row luxury SUVs,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura Division. “MDX is the clear benchmark in its class, consistently delivering the best combination of features, function and performance that luxury buyers are after.”

Acura pioneered the three-row crossover luxury SUV segment when it launched the first-generation MDX in 2000 as a 2001 model, when the MDX captured both the Motor Trend SUV of the Year and North American Truck of the Year titles. For three generations, the U.S. engineering team responsible for MDX has steadily advanced and refined the original concept of the MDX – a three-row, 7-passenger luxury SUV with superior packaging, fuel efficiency, and ride and handling performance.

The third-generation, 2014 Acura MDX, introduced in June 2013, has undergone a complete makeover, starting with the development of an all-new, more rigid and lightweight body and chassis, dropping more than 275 pounds versus the previous model and boasting major gains in body rigidity, aerodynamic efficiency and low running resistance.

A safety leader, the third-generation MDX applies Acura’s next-generation ACE™ body structure and the first-ever use of Acura’s new hot-stamped steel, one-piece door stiffener ring.  As a result of these and other design enhancements, the MDX obtained class-leading EPA fuel-economy ratings of 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined while earning both a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the IIHS, a feat only one other luxury SUV has matched. The MDX also offers greater interior comfort, advanced connectivity via its next-generation AcuraLink™ system, and greatly improved third-row entry and exit via its kid-friendly One-Touch Walk-In feature.

The MDX has been designed, developed and manufactured in North America for three generations. The third-generation MDX is manufactured exclusively at the company’s Lincoln, Alabama automobile and engine production facility, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized