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Parks McCants's picture

2015 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD: Should be a world-class game changer

Torque News spent a week with 2015 TLX touring Oregon’s Duck Country. As we wave farewell to Acura’s “Next Big Thing,” we reflect on our ride and what Acura could do to make TLX a world-class game changer.

Don’t read me wrong, Acura TLX is one heck of a ride. Looking to the $ numbers, we find TLX to out-standard option the competition while providing a ride experience for almost every budget looking for sport-like performance and exceptional accommodations.

What we like about 2015 TLX is its split personality

Blow it down the back roads at guaranteed ticket gathering speeds, wash it off and take it out to the finest restaurant in town; that’s 2015 TLX.
While Acura TLX is not the end game in luxury sport- performance, coming in with a base MSRP of $30,995 for a nicely equipped i-4 8 speed with paddle shifting and P-AWS,(power assisted all-wheel steering) we don’t expect it to be. However, when you do test drive TLX, expect to be pleasantly surprised, it’s a great automotive value.

You’ll find the normally aspirated duel-stage induction 206 HP i-VTEC to be very turbo-like in its mid-range torque distribution; this Acura comes on like an “R” Type. For those that wish for a bit more refinement and V6 performance, TLX offers the 3.5 Liter V6, 9 speed FWD with P-AWS and the V6 SH-AWD in a standard and advanced electronic variant.

The top of the mark leaves the showroom at a bit under $46,000, leaving us wishing for very little.
Road-sticky and Chiropractor enabling, TLX V6 9 speed with SH-AWD runs with the best in the mid $50K performance import class; yet, it’s made in America. Stating without reservations, TLX is an exceptional high-value, non-compromising mid-level performing metric sedan.

Heading off the scoffers, online Trolls and naysayer, no Billy, I don’t work for Acura, but I do enjoy reporting on the most progressive automotive group in the business today.

So, what are we looking for in a future TLX? MORE!

We've had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the dedicated development engineers of Acura TLX. You won’t find a more dedicated or passionate group of car guys and gals. Young, smart and progressive, the Acura development crew has put 5.5 years of R&D into TLX. You’d be hard pressed to find a greater automotive value for the dollar spent. However, we being car guys and having access to some of the finest hardware in the automotive game will ask Acura to fine-tune a handful of minor teething problems; we want more!

It’s a short list and is generated by reader’s comments and 30 hours’ drive time in TLX.

A few of our readers would like to find a factory standard spare tire and changing kit. (A can of flat tire don’t cut it!) Others have mentioned an optional 2 or 3 stage adjustable suspension. They find no justification for retaining Acura’s ride of the past.

Here's that short list

1.Select two stage “sport” and touring exhaust.

2. A little less plastic applied to interior surfaces.

3. Greater sound deadening and road noise isolation utilized in the rear cabin.

4. The rear seat center transitional hump to disappear: Question:Is this a cause and effect of the rear diff or sub frame carriage mounts?

5. A retractable and electronically adjustable steering column.

6. A less aggressive optional tire tread design and wider sidewall on TLX V6 SH-AWD: Would
improve road noise transference to the cabin.

7 .Acura's Infotainment touch screen and voice command to perform flawlessly.

Greater fuel efficiency from the 3.5 Liter V6 SH-AWD (I don’t know, there’s a lot of systems running in the variant.) O.K., here’s the big one: We’d( personally) like to see a special high-sport edition TLX with greater horsepower and torque.

Thought: With one of the most rigid frames in its class, fantastic braking and benchmark low drag coefficient, we want to drive a TLX with 20% more horsepower and torque. We appreciate the mid-range torque present in TLX but wish for a bit more quickness and top-end speed.

Reflections continue

Driving TLX is a beautiful thing. It’s a good performer that we believe will be a world-class leader within months of introduction. Acura engineering has combined the TSX and TL and produced a quality driver with very little compromise. Will it blow the doors off of a BMW “M” Series? No, but it wasn't designed to

2015 AcuraTLX sports a very comfortable, innovative interior featuring what we rate as the best ventilated perforated leather covered 10 way power seat in the business. We also find fit and finish to be exceptional with whisper quiet cruse speed interior road noise levels and infinitely adjustable driver and passenger climate control. looking to the two screen navigation and Infotainment touchscreen, one discovers an (almost) intuitive personal communications connectivity.

We especially appreciated Acura's rain sensing windshield wipers, auto on, off and dimming head and running lights. The power sunroof operates flawlessly and offers open or rear vent positioning..

What Acura has done through TLX is design a car that will serve as a very comfortable commuter during the work week and morph into your weekend getaway car with the flick of a hose nozzle. I found a tough time leaving TLX in the driveway wanting a bit more drive time.

We did compare TLX to a BMW 5 series and Lexus here. We found TLX to be the superior car in comfort and overall purchase value.

Hummm, did I promise to write about the Tech side of TLX in this article? Stay tuned.

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