Acura is hoping that its 2015 TLX mid-sized sedan will help revive sales of its slumping sedan lineup. The recently unveiled TLX will replace both the TL and TSX sedans in Acura's lineup in the United States. The brand’s front-wheel-drive sedans so far have been outsold by rear-drive offerings from Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Acura saw its sedan sales in the US drop 10 percent in 2013 and slide 23 percent in the first three months of 2014. On the other hand, Acura crossovers are in demand, posting a 21-percent surge in 2013 and a 38-percent hike in the first three months of 2014. Accavitti stated that while the RDX is cross-shopped against Audi Q5, Mercedes GLK and BMW’s sedan have some issue.
To address this, Acura is taking its learnings from the SUV segment to its sedans. The TLX will have a size that is closer to that of the TSX to distinguish it from the flagship.
Accavitti remarked that Acura will offer a wide variety of powertrains and handling technology on the TLX in order to entice not only performance enthusiasts but also costumers who “respect that type of imagery," aiming to silence critics who the TLX is just a rebadged Honda Accord.
The base engines in the TLX and Accord are both 2.4-liter four-cylinder powerplants. The engine for the TLX, however, has higher compression ratios, a two-stage intake and a modified exhaust. Also the TLX engine provides 206 hp, compared with the Accord's 189hp, allowing the sedan to accelerate from zero to 60 mph around 1.5 seconds faster than the outgoing TSX.
The engine is paired to a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic. On the other hand, the TLX's 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine also powers the MDX and RLX. It boasts of 5 mpg better highway fuel economy than the outgoing TL when mated to a nine-speed traditional automatic.
The four- and six-cylinder sedans will have four-wheel steering as standard. The V-6 sedan will have all-wheel drive and active engine mounts as options. The cabin of the new TLX will also feature softer-touch materials than in the outgoing model and will feature two large information screens in the center stack.