Engine:2.3L I4 16V MPFI SOHC
VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): 19UYA3157WL004986
Stock Num: 004986
Model: CL 2.3
Exterior Color: Black
Options: Drive Type: FWD
Number of Doors: 2 Doors
4600 66th St N, Kenneth City, Florida, United States
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What Is, What Could Have Been, And What May Yet Be
History is largely unkind to losers. That's true in the world of politics and sports, and it follows on with a few caveats in the realm of automobiles.
In terms of cars, historic losers tend to be remembered in one of two broad ways. Every once in a while, unsuccessful or oddball models actually make reputational gains after some time away from the new-car marketplace. I consider the Saab 9-2X one of the recent poster children for this group; a car that moved like molasses on dealer lots in the mid-2000s but has morphed into a sort of hard-to-find, used gem in recent years. More often, though, that which was unloved when new remains unloved with tens or hundreds of thousands of miles on the odometer. Pontiac's seriously misunderstood Aztek has king status here (despite the wailings of oddball fan clubs across the nation), so much so that invoking "Aztek" as a pejorative stopped being pithy about a dozen years ago.
Earlier in the year, I reviewed a powder-blue Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, and I witnessed a group of high-school-aged girls ogling the car as it sat in my driveway. In my head, I found it to be a funny-yet-fitting scene that I didn't think of again until a 2014 Acura RLX showed up in my driveway. This time around, an elderly neighborhood couple stopped to give the big Acura sedan a closer look. The RLX is trying to shed past stereotypes of its predecessor, the Acura RL, just like the Beetle. Hoping to avoid becoming the de facto "grandpa car," Acura has completely reworked - and renamed - its flagship sedan.
As the bookend to the new entry-level ILX, the addition of the 2014 RLX might give Acura its strongest sedan lineup ever as the automaker looks to break the cycle of being a middle-of-the-road luxury brand. Stepping up to the big-boy table isn't going to be easy, though, as the competition keeps getting tougher. Forget cars like the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series, the Acura RLX is going to have its hands full with the likes of the Cadillac XTS, Lexus GS and Hyundai Genesis, not to mention a strong consortium of lower-priced, mid-luxury sedans like the Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon and Chevy Impala. The one thing all of these cars have in common is a reputation for being an old man cruiser.
I spent a week with the new RLX to see if it could shake the stigma of its outdated predecessor or if it would just leave me searching for the nearest early bird specials.
When Acura launched the new TLX sedan as a prototype at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show it promised that the car would be a "red carpet athlete." Presumably that meant it would mix photogenic looks with an engaging drive. Now, it's your chance to dress up the vehicle for the festivities with its new configurator that's just hitting the Web.
Prices start at $30,995* for the basic 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 206 horsepower and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic or $35,220 for the least expensive 3.5-liter V6 with 290 hp with a nine-speed auto, but the bill goes all the way up to $44,700 for a V6 with all-wheel drive and the Advance Package (*plus a $895 destination and handling charge for them). Only the six-cylinder can be optioned with all-wheel drive, but all front-wheel-drive models get Acura's slick P-AWS system that steers the rear wheels.
Outside of the available Technology and Advance packages, the options are kept pretty slim. The range of colors is fairly subdued too with shades of black, white and silver, plus dark blue, dark red and a deep brown called Black Copper Pearl. Upholstery options are limited to a few choices for each exterior color.