Acura’s TSX is going away and a new mid-size sports sedan — the 2015 Acura TLX will become the successor to the Acura TL. The Acura TLX will be positioned between their ILX entry-luxury sedan and the flagship RLX sedan.

The TLX keeps the same wheelbase as the outgoing TL, but trims 3.8-inches from its overhangs, without sacrificing any interior space. Acura developed the TLX under a theme called “Red Carpet Athlete,” dedicated to blending athleticism and premium (red carpet) luxuriousness.

The 2015 Acura TLX comes in three versions: TLX with a 2.4-liter, 206-horsepower i-VTEC inline-4-cylinder engine, an 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with torque converter, and Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS); TLX with a 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower i-VTEC V-6 engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and P-AWS; and a TLX SH-AWD version with Acura’s next-generation Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (available only with the 3.5-liter).

Each of the TLX models come with an impressive and lengthy inventory of standard luxury, convenience and safety features and equipment. TLX models with the 2.4-liter engine may be upgraded with the Technology package and models with the 3.5-liter engine are available with either the Technology or the ultimate Advance Package.

Visually, the TLX is much more striking and elegant than the two Acura models that it replaces. The chassis, powertrains and precision-handling technologies of the new TLX are packaged in a dynamic new exterior design. Up front are Acura’s signature Jewel Eye LED headlights, standard on all models, with the LED lighting theme carrying through to the LED-accented side mirrors, LED taillights and LED license plate illumination.

Moving to the inside, the five-passenger interior spacious is designed and engineered to reflect the ‘Red Carpet Athlete’ development theme. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain accents, and available Milano leather seat trim.

A new 60/40-split folding rear seatback allows for increased cargo-carrying flexibility and the new trunk design features a wider and deeper opening, a lower lift-over height and a fully flat cargo floor.

During the national press introduction, my driving partner and I covered nearly 300 miles of Virginia’s backroads and freeways in: both a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with the 8-speed DCT gearbox with a base price of $30,995. and an as tested price that came to $31,890; and a 3.5-liter V6 Advance model with SH-AWD and the 9-speed automatic with a base sticker of $44,700 and a final tag of $45,495. There are seven exterior colors available.

SUMMARY: The 2015 Acura TLX’s overall objective was to appeal to a broader, more youthful buyer by simplifying the model selection process while delivering a more proper proportion, enhanced prestige and a heightened performance capability. Mission accomplished. Connectivity and entertainment are state-of-the-art in the TLX providing an ideal environment.

TLX models featuring the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine come with an advanced new Electronic Gear Selector that uses an intuitive push-button array in place of a traditional gear lever. All TLX models incorporate an Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, that, when activated, retains brake pressure when the vehicle is stopped, simplifying driving in heavy traffic or on steep hills.

Acceleration is obviously more spirited with the 3.5- liter V-6. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder performs adequately but turbocharging would certainly be a big benefit.

The TLX rides comfortably and handles superbly — especially with P-AWS and SH-AWD. Corners become more fun and less challenging. Agile Handling Assist acts as a welcome extension of the P-AWS function.

In the final take on this new Acura TLX, it is a highly desirable sport luxury sedan that is attractive, that’s competitively priced, and that’s a joy to drive.

2015 Acura TLX Sedan

Base price: $30,995

Price as tested: $31.890

Engine/transmission:

2.4-liter, 206 horsepower four-cylinder, 8-speed DCT with torque converter

Wheelbase: 109.3 inches

Length: 190.3 inches

Width: 73.0 inches

Height: 57.0 inches

Curb weight: 3,492 pounds

Fuel capacity: 17.2 gallons

Fuel consumption: 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway