2014 Acura RLX: Up Close

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I questioned what that would mean for the car’s styling when the lights are off, but Acura said they’re always on when the car is running. In daylight they serve as daytime running lights. The separate lights inboard of the LEDs are the high-beams. Between them is the Acura-signature shield grille, which thankfully isn’t outrageously large. It doesn’t look bad, even on the black cars here at the show. Black always exaggerated the shiny – and always controversial — shields on earlier Acuras.

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The interior is roomy by midsize standards, and Acura boasts “up to” 3 inches more legroom than the aforementioned models (detailed specs aren’t available yet). That may be so, but I found the backseat close to the floor, which raised my knees too far. The center floor hump is also much higher than I’d expect from a car whose upcoming all-wheel-drive model will use electric rear drive rather than the typical longitudinal driveshaft.

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I was most pleased to see the car’s control systems in the form of two displays: an 8-inch navigation screen up high and a 7-inch touch-screen below it. The top one is mainly navigation — up close to one’s line of sight — and is controlled primarily by a multifunction knob below the smaller screen. The touch-screen also interacts a bit with the higher display, Acura says, but it mainly incorporates audio, ventilation and other features. The most basic of these functions, however, are controlled by real physical buttons, as they should be.

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Photo of Joe Wiesenfelder
Former Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder, a launch veteran, led the car evaluation effort. He owns a 1984 Mercedes 300D and a 2002 Mazda Miata SE. Email Joe Wiesenfelder

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