Saturday, September 6, 2014

We drive the 2015 Acura TLX (again): All about Acura's tech-laden mid-sizer

By on 4:59 AM

Automaker is betting the new TLX will appeal to the smart set

The 2015 Acura TLX is a brand-new midsizer intended to replace the automaker’s now-discontinued TL and TSX sedans. To Acura’s credit, it readily admits that the TLX is more TL than TSX in that it prioritizes smooth luxury over crisp sportiness -- something our first drive of the sedan last month seemed to confirm.

But there's simply too much going on under the skin of the TLX to take in one drive review, so we're glad Acura offered us another opportunity to take the wheel. This time, we traded the windy, hilly roads of Virginia for the windy, somewhat less hilly roads of northern Michigan -- and even managed to tuck the TLX's 6-foot, 8-inch program manager into the back seat for an informal on-the-road question-and-answer session.

Let's dive in.


The engine lineup for the TLX is going to look suspiciously familiar to anyone who’s configured a Honda Accord, but the Acura folks assure us that the 2.4-liter inline-four and 3.5-liter V6 are unique to the uplevel brand.

The base engine is a direct-injected DOHC 2.4-liter inline four. It’s good for 206 hp at 6,800 rpm and 182 lb-ft of torque at @ 4,500 rpm. If you want to verify Acura’s claims of uniqueness, you can look up the motor by its official model name: K24W7.

The beefier motor, a direct-injected SOHC 3.5-liter V6, puts out 290 at 6,200 rpm and 267 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. A member of the Honda J engine family, its designation is J35Y6.

To goose fuel economy, SH-AWD-equipped V6 cars get an idle-stop function; using active engine mounts, Acura says it can reduce the jarring start-stop jolts that plague similar systems. During testing, we scarcely noticed the system in operation -- so we’ll mark that as a success on Acura’s part.

A sportier version of the TLX was repeatedly hinted at by Acura personnel, but there’s no saying what might be under the hood of that. Honda’s rekindled interest in forced induction raises some interesting possibilities, though. Hey, the racing version of the TLX uses a twin-turbo V6, so we can dream


Look back at our past reviews and you’ll quickly notice that the Acura’s six-speed manual transmission was one of our favorite features from the automaker -- not to mention one of our favorite gearboxes on the market. So it’s really too bad that it isn’t even an option on the TLX.

Instead, you get a ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic (in the V6-equipped cars) or an eight-speed dual-clutch with torque converter (in the inline-four cars). Both are adequate; though the nine-speed lacks a gearshift knob entirely, paddle shifters give a fair amount of control over the gears. The torque converter-equipped (an industry first) dual-clutch transmission (which does get a conventional gear selector) succeeds at eliminating much of the herky-jerky stop/start characteristics of a typical dual-clutch.

But why no six-speed manual? Acura hopes this car will make volume in a crowded segment, and buyers aren’t exactly snapping up manuals today. Mat Hargett, the so-called “large project leader” for the TLX program, seemed to share our pain over the loss of the manual even as he reassured us that the two TLX transmissions delivered similar “responsiveness.”

The sentiment is nice, but the dwindling numbers of manual die-hards out there know it’s just not quite the same.

If there’s something that Acura can’t seem to get enough of, it’s acronyms (Acuranyms?). But there’s one – the SH-AWD torque-vectoring system -- that seems to represent a cornerstone technology for the brand in the same manner as Audi’s Quattro. SH-AWD is shorthand for Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, and it has has supposedly received substantial updates -- both in hardware and software -- for the TLX.

First, the hardware: While previous SH-AWD systems used electromagnetic actuators, this new system has switched to a hydraulic actuator with an integrated lubrication pump. The new SH-AWD rear differential is subsequently smaller and 25 percent lighter than previous units.

Acura tells us that this next-generation SH-AWD system gets a series of logic improvements as well, but it’d be hard to tell without comparing the new TLX to, say, the old TL. In any event, the system works well; when SH-AWD pushes more torque to the outside rear wheel in a corner, you can feel the car rotating around you. At least that’s what we told ourselves.

Two-wheel drive cars get P-AWS, or Precision All-Wheel Steering, which tries to do much of what SH-AWD does with two fewer driven wheels. At low speeds, P-AWS sets the front and rear wheels out of phase, decreasing turn radius slightly and improving stability. Higher speeds set the rear wheels in phase with the fronts for better line tracing. The rear wheels will even toe in slightly -- think a skier doing a very gentle snowplow stop -- to stabilize the car under high-speed braking.

Both SH-AWD and P-AWS work in conjunction with AHA (see what we mean about Acura and acronyms?), or Agile Handling Assist. AHA acts as a sort of torque vectoring system by independently braking wheels rear wheels while cornering.

The overall goal of all of these systems is to reduce the feeling of understeer and keep the car feeling flat and stable while making directional changes at speed.

Lane-to-lane translations are smooth and confident for both P-AWS and SH-AWD cars, but the overall effect is, as one might expect, more dramatic when SH-AWD is in play -- especially in corners. It’s a genuinely good AWD system that we’d love to explore further, perhaps in the wet and on ice and snow; we could see it being used to provide a truly sporty, as opposed to a merely confidence-inspiring, feel on whatever hot version of the TLX Acura sees fit to produce.
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By going to 73.0 ins around and 190.3 ins from sinus for end, the TLX 's further & wider than a TSX, although a free inch narrower and 3.7 ins shorter than the TL. Thankfully, that all trim comes from the overhangs -- leading could be down seriously 1.1 inches and also the raise, 2.7. The upper both the roof also is 50 % a definitely inch closer about the pavement.

Compared to TL, both the TLX achieves a smaller footprint lacking shedding virtually any from the inner space in its own predecessor. In case you fit in that one, you’ll suit effectively within this one; individuals managed to place three adult males (one 6 foot, all of you 6-5 along with the last 6-8) at the auto for its check drive. As long as one's writer, a 6-footer, lay from your lumbar, all appeared to go down effectively.

An auto is quite handsome in person, on top of that. A graphic bloat in the outgoing TL 's removed and also the questionable Vitality Plenum (perhaps guess it out because the Acura beak). It’s not-quite stunning, but it seems good -- &, possibly significantly more significantly for your Acura label, it truly is different against the Accord sedan, a sensible automobile employed in its own correct.

In, you’ll locate a center heap cleaner compared to people we’ve observed employed in existing Acuras. You'll find 2 screens: all of you exhibits music and also nav functions (on navigation-equipped cars), and also the all other, a touch-sensitive device, demonstrates environment understanding and varying audio/navigation/car startup functions. Unnecessary actual switches should satisfy people who choose a more responsive experience.

Tickets are comfortable; never as comfortable like a Lexus, not as vertical as being something from the Germans. You can find details in lumber over a middle unit, dashboard and also gate forums, however, it’s not necessarily both the wealthiest nor coolest veneer in the team -- we’d perhaps increase this 1 to the open-grain accessories from Audi, whose interiors sound allaround better developed (even should you’ll need to paycheck to get aspects, like double climate possession, your are available basic on the Acura).

You'll find various trim amounts readily available, also based on just how on you option a TLX, you can tack essentially fifty-percent at extras into an base car's expense. Happily, employed in Honda/Acura fashion, ease, engineering and safety upgrades are all mutual to your number of cut programs.

We drive the 2015 Acura TLX (again): All about Acura's tech-laden mid-sizer

An base 2.4-liter TLX starts from $31,890; to get a basis 3.5-liter car, you're employed in $36,115. Though the cars move snacks like keyless admission, push button ignition, double climate locations also LED headlights, you'll have for step in in to the Engineering option -- $35,920 for the 2.4-liter vehicles, $40,141 for 3.5-liter motor vehicles -- for enjoy a General practitioners navigation system, blind spot and also foward crash warnings also lane-keeping aspects, rain-sensing wipers as well as a advanced leather interior. High on an load can be your Enhance option (not available on 2.4-liter cars), that contributes parking alerts, mess bulbs, active cruise-control and much more. About front-wheel drive 3.5-liter motor vehicles, the Enhance offer produces an complete towards $43,395.

We might lean toward a few varation from the V6-powered SH-AWD auto. This can be obtainable the Technology package as for $42,345; stepping up around the Improve offer forces one to a complex $45,595 label.
Judul: We drive the 2015 Acura TLX (again): All about Acura's tech-laden mid-sizer
Review oleh: Tukang Coding |
Update pada: 4:59 AM | Rating: 4.5

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