The 2018 RLX Sport Hybrid. Super Handling Review

Posted by Car Reviews by Rob Davidson about 10 months ago
When a car is badged with “SHAWD” or Super Handling All Wheel Drive you’d be forgiven for thinking it’ll handle itself well in snow and slush.
But you’d be wrong.

The 2018 Acura Sport Hybrid RLX is a big car. The biggest car in their lineup. Also very heavy – at 4380 lbs that’s 403 pounds heavier than the non hybrid version of the same car. (and that’s in spite of getting rid of the differential and replacing it with two electric motors. Those electric motors are damn heavy!) A lot of the weight tends to ride on the front of the car and I suppose that might contribute to the tendency of the vehicle to surrender to inertia , but whatever the reason I can tell you I had to be mighty careful negotiating corners on my slushy neighbourhood roads.

The RLX Sport Hybrid uses a lot of the same technology developed for Acura’s supercar the NSX. First they built an electric motor INTO the V6 gasoline engine (Premium fuel alert!) at the front of the car. This is connected to two electric motors mounted at the back of the car. Each of those motors propel the two rear wheels. Most of the time the vehicle is biased to Front Wheel drive , but when the computer detects slippage or even just hard cornering, the electric motors kick in and turn the appropriate wheel. (you can see how this works in this animation )
Until normal , highway driving conditions this is a very good set up with ample road feel and feedback. I was mostly disappointed in the SHAWD system.

The new RLX also has lots of driver aids , the newest of which is the Traffic Jam Assist , a semi autonomous driving mode: in congested traffic jams the TJA will keep the car in its own lane , while the Adaptive Cruise Control will keep it from bumping into the car in front. I tried this in rush hour traffic and it works very well , though I’m uncertain it reduced my stress level: obsessing about semi autonomous driving is more stressful than simply driving the damn car.
The car also has a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms : Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW). 

The interior is very comfortable , both front and back , and the entertainment system has lots of connectivity way beyond what I’m capable of or interested in. It p[aired up nicely with my phone and played my music. There. That’s all it care about. Oh , and it uses knobs. Knobs are always nice.

Sales of the Acura RLX have never been strong – it’s an expensive car , after all. The new body cladding and all new front and rear are very attractive.
You can see my video review of this car here.
 

Tags:
2018 Acura RLX Super Hybrid, Review , new car , used car, technology, slush and snow, drive by wire, SHAWD

Latest Articles

See All
  • Kids And Cars - Keep Them Happy In The Back Seats
    Kids And Cars - Keep Them Happy In The Back Seats

    December 7, 2018 - There are a few things that you can do to keep them even more comfortable in the back. In fact, you could even keep them a bit more entertained so they don’t end up so bored easily. Read on to find out more!

  • The Best Trucks For Going Off Road
    The Best Trucks For Going Off Road

    December 7, 2018 - They’re some of the most durable and exciting options out there for you, and there’s such a broad range of 4x4 and SUVs that you could choose from. If you know you do a lot of off roading, then this article is going to suit you even more, because we

  • Feeling Secure On The Road Is The Basis Of Good Driving
    Feeling Secure On The Road Is The Basis Of Good Dr...

    December 4, 2018 - Drive a considerable distance from point A to point B in your daily life, and you’ll likely agree that many examples of bad driving will likely show themselves to you. You might be cut off, or you might see someone subtly swerving from side to side,

  • Customising Your Vehicle to Stand Out from the Crowd
    Customising Your Vehicle to Stand Out from the Cro...

    December 4, 2018 - There are so many different practical factors that we take into account when we choose a vehicle of our own. We consider cost, finding something that falls within our budget. We consider safety, opting for vehicles that are up to standard. We . Final

  • How To Have A Safe Vacation
    How To Have A Safe Vacation

    December 4, 2018 - When it comes to heading off on vacation, you know that you’re always going to have a ton of things to think about. But most of the time, if you’re honest, you’ll know that things, like packing and getting your plans organized, are what monopolizes m

  • 2018 Abarth 124 Spider: Italian Passion meets Japanese Precision
    2018 Abarth 124 Spider: Italian Passion meets Japa...

    December 3, 2018 - Many of us view classic cars with rose-coloured glasses. We might tell ourselves how cars back then were built better, drove better, easier to work on and more enjoyable back then. There is, arguably, a grain of truth to it, but the reality is, livin

  • The Perfect Road Trip
    The Perfect Road Trip

    December 2, 2018 - So, perhaps it’s time to cut that weekend grocery drive out, and head out on a road trip - after all life is short, and there is a lot to see and do. While it might be nice to drive off into the sunset for a while, the chances are that isn’t going to

  • How To Tell If You’re A Dangerous Driver
    How To Tell If You’re A Dangerous Driver

    December 2, 2018 - Along with these, though, you will also often find some bad habits, and it can be hard to know what needs to be done to find and destroy these elements of your driving career. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best wa

  • Car Out Of Commission? Here’s How To Cope!
    Car Out Of Commission? Here’s How To Cope!

    December 2, 2018 - Luckily, even if you do find yourself in a situation where your vehicle is out of commission, there are some steps you can take to cope. Read on to find out what they are.

  • Picking Our Battles: What Sort Of Car Troubles (Aside From The Basics) Should We Try To Fix Ourselve
    Picking Our Battles: What Sort Of Car Troubles (As...

    December 2, 2018 - We leave these things to the mechanics, but when we have an active interest in the maintenance of our car, but we don't have the confidence to embrace it wholeheartedly, we can make sure we prepare adequately. Complicated? Not always

Share This!

or