Innovative new mid-size Acura TLX starts at $31890 – USA TODAY
American Honda’s premium brand, Acura, says the base price of its 2015 TLX sedan will be $31,890 including shipping when the car goes on sale in August.
That prices the TLX, sophisticated and highly significant to the brand, $3,945 more than the entry ILX model, which is based on the Honda Civic. That’s a modest-enough difference that, spread over several years of purchase or lease payments, it could give the smaller car some in-house competition from the new car.
Top TLX version, with optional V-6 engine, all-wheel drive (AWD) and “Advance Package” options is $45,595.
The TLX replaces two models in the lineup, the smaller TSX and the larger TL. Acura hasn’t disclosed dimensions, but says, generally, TLX is sized between the two cars it replaces in the line.
That gives Acura a conventional “small-medium-large” array of cars that should make it easier for shoppers to decipher which one to target. ILX is the small model. RLX is the big one.
Acura desperately needs a popular car. While its SUV sales are booming – up 30.6% the first half, in an overall new-vehicle market up 4.3%, according to Autodata – Acura’s car sales are down 31.5%.
All-in, Acura sales in the U.S. are up 1.3%.
For comparison, rival Audi is up 13.6% from equally strong showings by both its cars and SUVs. BMW is up 12.1%, likewise on equally strong sales by both its SUVs and its cars.
Acura hopes the new car’s advanced drivetrains set it apart in buyers’ minds. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder models get an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. The V-6 models get a nine-speed automatic. FWD models come standard with four-wheel steering, which Acura calls Precision All-Wheel Steer.
The 2.4-liter is rated 206 hp. The V-6 is 290 hp.
Fuel economy ratings are 24 mpg in the city, 35 on the highway, 28 in combined city/highway use for 2.4-liter engines, and 21/31/25 mpg for V-6 models regardless of whether they have FWD or AWD, Acura says.
When TLX hits showrooms in early August, it will mean the oldest Acura model is the RDX compact crossover SUV, which went on sale April of 2012. The ILX, RLX and latest version of the MDX crossover SUV have been introduced since then. The NSX sports car is due next year.
The new car fits into Acura’s naming shift, making all model names end in “X.” Some studies show that shoppers see that designation as suggesting something exciting, fresh. It’s also used for AWD, which is available in all models except the ILX.