The 2015 Acura TLX is an all-new model that does double duty replacing the company’s TL and TSX sedans. In the words of Acura Canada, “The TLX was designed to appeal to a broader cross-section of luxury sports-sedan customers with a lower cost of entry and a wider range of powertrain and drivetrain options.”
Well, that just about sums up Acura, doesn’t it? Make a car that’s as good as, or better than the competition, but make it cost less. The problem is that Acura hasn’t always hit the bulls-eye with this strategy.
The TLX, however, has a lot going for it and could prove to be the vehicle that reestablishes the Acura brand as a legitimate contender in its segment. If initial sales are an indication, it’s off to a good start.
The 2015 Acura TLX is slightly shorter than the TL but is also a bit wider, riding on the same 2,775 mm wheelbase as the outgoing car. The starting price is $34,990 plus $2,174 freight/PDI for a very competitive $37,164. Our test vehicle is the Tech version, which raises the price to $40,864 inclusive.
Along with the all-new chassis, the 2015 TLX is powered by an all-new 2.4L four-cylinder (I4) direct injected engine making 206 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Mated to the engine is a new eight-speed, paddle-shifting dual-clutch transmission (DCT) that is fitted with a torque converter (a technological first, apparently).
According to Acura, “the torque converter offers off-the-line torque multiplication for substantially improved initial acceleration that a DCT alone cannot equal.” It is also designed to provide smooth operation in stop-and-go situations.
When driving the TLX, perhaps the most obvious technological innovation is the Precision All Wheel Steering (P-AWS) system. Acura has long been fascinated by all-wheel steering and in the 2015 TLX we see the latest version. The rear-wheel toe angles are electronically altered by actuators that change by up to 1.8 degrees in either direction (positive or negative) for a total range of 3.6 degrees.
The system is designed to minimize turning radius with neater execution of sharp low-speed turns, improve response, enhance agility in tight, urban conditions, provide more confidence and control in curves, increase straight-line stability and braking stability and provide improved high speed response and stability in winter driving. P-AWS is standard on all I-4 TLX models. Does it make the car safer? Sounds like it should. It certainly makes it fun to drive.
2015 Acura TLX Tech, headlight, steering wheel, centre stack. Click image to enlarge
The TLX driver is able to customize the driving experience with Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), via a button on the centre console that enables the selection of ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+ modes. Each mode adjusts power-steering effort, throttle response, transmission shift logic, HVAC system operation and the control logic of the P-AWS system.
Standard equipment in the TLX is abundant, including heated windshield, LED headlights and tail lights, moonroof, auto-dimming interior mirror, keyless access with push-button start, automatic climate control, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, power driver’s seat with memory, satellite radio, 17-inch alloy wheels and multi-angle rear-view camera. But the Tech package definitely sweetens the pot.