By on December 20, 2013

2015 Acura TLX Spy Shot

We’re a bit late on this one, but it’s still worth noting that both the Acura TL and TSX will soon fade into history, and will be replaced next summer by the TLX.

Acura’s newest mid-sized offering — slotted between the Civic-sized ILX and the automaker’s RLX flagship (what do these letters mean, B&B?) — will be underpinned by the current Honda Accord, which will also make the sedan smaller than the TL it will replace; the TSX, underpinned by the outgoing European Accord, will simply be phased out.

Under the hood will be the Honda’s Earth Dreams 3.5-liter V6, which, in spite of the granola name, makes 310 horsepower under the bonnet of the RLX. The TLX will most likely also include AWD, an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel steering like the system used in the aforementioned RLX.

Though no price has been given as of this writing, the TLX will make its worldwide debut as a prototype during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show alongside the new Honda Fit, and will be assembled at Honda’s Marysville, Ohio plant.

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66 Comments on “Acura’s TL, TSX Out, TLX Coming Next Summer...”


  • avatar
    cammark

    Historicly the “X” at the end of Hondas naming scheme indicated an experimental prototype that found it’s way into production. Or so I’ve heard. Other than the NSX (the initial model to carry this naming scheme for Acura) I presume all subsequent models- RSX, TSX, MDX, RDX are an attempt to reference back to the haloed status of the NSX.

    “TL” and “RL” do stand for something more concrete; “Touring Luxury” and “Refined Luxury.” I would assume “TSX” would be “Touring Sport Experiment.” ILX… I could only guess.

    • 0 avatar
      Dirk Stigler

      Indifferent Luxury?

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      I think there’s two different X’s.

      The ‘X’ in NSX possibly signified eXperimental and was retained because it conveyed an unknown quantity (as in algebra). So RSX, TSX and ILX all got X’s in ever diminishing relevance to make them sound edgy.

      But then along came the 4×4 SUV craze and everybody knows that a big hulking vehicle without an ‘X’ in its name is just a minivan, so we get MDX & RDX to notify the neighbors that the household contains more than an emasculated manager and a soccer mom.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    All wheel steering? What’s the point of the cost and complexity, besides smaller turn circle? Acura is really over-thinking things. All they need in this new car is RWD and hydraulic steering. Then the TLX could be the new G37. Oh, and please hire Italians again to design the exterior, like they did for first gen TL.

    • 0 avatar
      cammark

      The rear steer mechanism is marginally more complex than the multilink Honda has been using since 1998 in the Accord.

      great discription and pictures here.
      http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/track-tests/2014-acura-rlx-suspension-walkaround.html

      Rear steer combined with the SH-AWD system has potential to handle like a RWD sedan. It depends on how it’s programmed and set up though.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      It’s apparently working for Porsche on the GT3. As they cars get larger, they need a way to make them feel small again.

      And yes, at this point Acura should just pay someone else to design their cars. They are failing miserably.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Honda is a relatively small company. Their only viable option is to base the TLX on the Accord. The big problem is figuring out how to convince the customer to pay extra for Acura. Used to be that buying Acura got you a larger engine and better styling. Today I’d prefer V6 Honda Accord Touring over a TL. Maybe AWD would be a selling feature in the snow belt, but in the South it just means more weight and operating cost.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m in the snow belt and I don’t think AWD wouldn’t even be necessary on an Accord/TLX as the Accord already does well in the snow. I’ll be happy when the AWD fad goes away, its a legitimate technology but its generally not necessary on seemingly every automotive application.

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          Fad? You think AWD is a fad? LOL, AWD has been around forever and it’s not a fad that will go away. Sorry, but AWD is here to stay across the spectrum of new cars. And of course you’ll always have the option of buying cars with front- or rear-wheel-drive if that’s your preference, but don’t think for one minute that AWD is a fad and will fade away. As long as companies like Audi & Subaru are around, others will have no choice but to continue offering AWD vehicles to compete with them.

          • 0 avatar
            Tosh

            Speaking of Subaru and competing, they became dead to me once they went all-AWD in a marketing boner move, as I have no need for AWD…

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Love my Touring! Have had my baby since March 1st of this year, and am still in the “honeymoon” phase! ;-)

        (Can’t even get LED headlights and ACC on the TL now, and at least * MY * LED headlights are conventional-looking, unlike the multi-element “Jewel-Eye” Acura offerings.)

        And yes, the Accord V6 is good in the snow.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        AWD is definitely worth it in the TL; it changes the whole character of the car. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would buy the FWD version, snow or no.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I feel the opposite, AWD is simply far more expensive to run over time and adds needless complexity to the drivetrain. If I decided “I don’t care about the costs I want the AWD feel” I’m going to go to Audi or Subaru, not check option boxes on FWDs at Japan Inc or The Big Three.

          Additional: While we’re on the subject of TL, why does anyone want to buy one over Accord, whats the reasoning?

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            I couldn’t tell you; I didn’t consider the Accord. I cross-shopped it against other AWD midsizes, mostly the A6. (Which I’m probably going to make a move to if the AWD RLX underwhelms in person.)

          • 0 avatar
            Jacob

            You are happy with Honda Accord, but you want a better badge to feel better driving it to a cocktail party. This demographic is not big enough to outsell Lexus or BMW, but given that Honda was managing Acura in the same way for the last 20 years, they’re clearly satisfied with the sales numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            Tosh

            Around a decade ago, one couldn’t get HID or ABS on an Accord, so one had to buy an Acura. Today, Acura serves no purpose except to limit Honda’s lineup.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    What I don’t get is why Honda kept telling the world that the TSX wasn’t going away, when all but the most prolific koolaid drinkers knew they were full of sh1t. Slow Euro Accord sales, rising yen, ILX… all the signs were there for almost 2 years.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      My guess would be that Acura wanted to clear the TSX pipeline without taking a financial beating. If word got out 2 years ago, people would stop buying it for fear of no replacement parts, no support, no mechanics.

      We know better, but too many would act as if the death of a model is the death of a manufacturer.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    So, Acura is about to remove the last two reasons why anyone should shop at an Acura dealership, before continuing on to a Honda showroom. What next, a similar move from Honda like discontinuing Accord and Civic?

    Personally, why would anyone now want to visit Acura? For an RLX or future new hybrid NSX? Because the TLX will have AWD. You mean like Audi Quattro, some BMW sedans and MB 4MATIC? That will certainly set Acura apart, won’t it.But, it will have four wheel steering. Right, like the best selling ’88 Prelude. Ya, that will put Acura over the top.

    I can read the mind of an Acura executive: Snake, you just don’t know what we’re doing. To which, I agree with him. That would make two of us, exec.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    I assume there won’t be a manual wagon version available in brown?

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      But there will be a 3 and 5 door, manual, ILX hot hatch!

      Kidding! I haven’t a clue, but that would be an interesting replacement. But such a vehicle would probably be too pedestrian for Acura. Didn’t they dump the successful and well loved 3 and 5 door Integra?

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        WheelMcCoy,
        “Too pedestrian for Acura”? With only two exceptions, who do you think is the poster child for ‘pedestrian’ cars? They’re starting to make Toyotas seem almost exciting, by comparison.

        And, ILX used in the same sentence with ‘hot’. If yours or my garage were on fire with an ILX inside, maybe then it might be hot. You, you really were kidding all along.

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          I am half kidding. Brown diesel wagon with stick is the meme / joke around here. I thought I’d throw in hot hatch.

          By pedestrian, I mean a hatchback in general is too “college-kid” or “poor grad student.” Acura’s ILX is targeting young, upscale, professional, urbanites, and Acura (mistakenly) believes a hatchback belongs in a “common” brand rather than with Acura, despite the historical success of the Integra.

          Yes, the ILX needs more work if it aspires to be a “hot” anything, let alone a hot hatch.

          • 0 avatar
            WhiskerDaVinci

            “Acura (mistakenly) believes a hatchback belongs in a “common” brand rather than with Acura, despite the historical success of the Integra.”

            How many premium/luxury brands actually sell hatchbacks in the US? Acura is only really sold in North America, where upscale hatchbacks don’t really exist. Audi ditched the A3, Volvo the C30, Mercedes and BMW don’t have one either. Neither does Infiniti, Cadillac, Lincoln or Jaguar. It seems NO car maker in the US thinks a hatchback belongs in the premium market anymore. Acura is just thinking and doing what pretty much everyone else in the upscale market is as well.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I test drove one, its a Civic and doesn’t do a very good job of hiding it outside of a slightly better front end and a very nice dash. Same body, doors, drive-train, and feel. The Cimmaron’s back. I say if you like Civics (esp if you like a manual) and/or can get a deal go for it, but if you’re deluded into thinking your stepping up to a luxury (or even a premium car) you’re kidding yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            “Acura is just thinking and doing what pretty much everyone else in the upscale market is as well.”

            I hear you. But I can think of a couple of hatchback exceptions that serve the high-end market: Lexus CT200H and Tesla. Perhaps Acura needs to make a hatchback that doesn’t look like a hatchback. The Audi A5 Sportback — sold only in Europe — looks like a coupe, until you look closer and see that it’s a 4 door sedan, until you look even closer and realize it’s a 5 door hatch.

            If Acura is following conventional wisdom, they may as well make a RWD sedan while they’re at it. But they won’t. Success for them can’t come from copying others.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            @WhiskerDaVinci – I’m confused. Isn’t the BMW 3-series GT a hatch in the luxe segment?

            Admittedly it won’t last long, but it exists here.

  • avatar
    SeriousInternetBusiness

    I, for one, really like the direction Acura is heading with the above design. The automotive equivalent to the brown paper bag. Well done.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Acura’s TL, TSX Out, TLX Coming Next Summer”

    And nobody will notice when it happens. Poor Acura.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    The press release mentions an “advanced transmission” (singular). I guess the manual option is out. Shame, the gen 3 TL with the 6-speed was a lot of fun.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    So much hate for a car that doesn’t even exist. Personally I love Honda’s engines and transmissions, now if only they can put it in a package that coddles my old butt. Please and keep the price under $40,000 and I just might buy it. Thank you.

  • avatar
    callisall

    At the TL’s price range if you want prestige, you get an entry-evel (or used) Merc/Audi/Lexus.

    If you want value, you max out a new Taurus/Accord/Azera.

    That doesn’t leave much room for the TL(X), MKZ, etc.

  • avatar
    MLS

    The current TL not appreciably larger than the Accord. Wheelbase is the same, TL’s other exterior dimensions are slightly larger. The Accord’s interior and cargo volumes are significantly greater.

  • avatar
    pietalian

    If I buy one, will Baruth autograph it?

  • avatar
    readallover

    Shall we start the clock on the first complaint that ` I want a TSX wagon, now that they stopped making them`?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Let me know when Acura comes to their senses and releases a new Legend. Till then, they’re dead to me. (Mr. Wonderful is great!)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      RL/RLX is a Honda Legend, its basically what you’re looking for with a stupid name. I’m sure you can get the JDM emblems for the trunklid.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        “I’m sure you can get the JDM emblems for the trunklid.”

        Useful advice for those who only care to impress themselves.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Who else should you be trying to impress but yourself? When I was in need another car mode last spring I looked hard at an MKZ before I switched to leasing. If I ever picked up an MKZ the very first thing that’s happening is that ridiculous name is coming off the doors and trunklid and being replaced by “LINCOLN ZEPHYR”.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Blackmail is such an ugly word, I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound more exotic.

  • avatar
    Ion

    The TL and the MDX are Acura in the NYC area. I don’t know why some of the automakers are messing with their best sellers, did they learn nothing from new coke. Atleast the 4series and Q50 are name changes only. The TLX will be too different from the TL.

  • avatar
    krayzie

    Terrible Looks eXperimental

    Then again they’ve been at it for over a decade. Almost as if Toyota and Honda are starting to switch sides.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    The TLX will appeal to the buyers that are also shopping for the Volvo S60, Lincoln MKZ, and Lexus ES350. This is an odd-ball segment, it always has been. These cars are unsellable in the EU, other than maybe the Volvo, but I’m sure it does a tiny fraction of something like a Mondeo or 3 series. They are for people who care less which wheels are doing the driving or whether the engine is facing sideways or front to back. They don’t know what front overhang is, or why 60/40 weight distribution is something you might not want to have.

    All they care about is that they don’t want to be seen in a car with an “H” on the front, and they don’t want to have to go to the Honda dealer and sit in an uncomfortable chair and drink bad coffee and wait in line at the service desk behind some college kid with a CR-V. That’s it. The TL hasn’t been any better (but it’s certainly been a lot uglier) than the Accord EX-L V6 since the last generation got the beak. It’s the same with the ES, it’s no better than the Avalon. It’s just got a better badge on the front, and nicer chairs at the dealership. And you won’t have to wait behind some kid getting his Corolla fixed.

  • avatar
    william442

    I have a garage full of autos that most of you have never seen, muchless OWNED. One of them is an ILX which I drive every day.


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