A new model year brings new features and updated performance specs – but in 2018, Acura is raising the bar. With a slate of high-quality vehicles at reasonable prices, here’s what you can’t miss out on with the 2018 Acura lineup.

2018 Acura TLX

The 2018 Acura TLX is a luxury sedan that incorporates both high-performance power and refined styling. The TLX is available with either a 206-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine or a 290-horsepower V6. The four-cylinder option is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 offers a nine-speed version. Both engine options offer considerable power and responsiveness for a mid-priced luxury vehicle. For those who prefer more traction, the V6 version is also available in an all-wheel drive format.

Because of the differences between the engines and their output, the fuel efficiency of the 2018 Acura TLX can vary based on the version you purchase. Fuel efficiency ratings are as follows:

  • Inline four-cylinder: 23 mpg city / 33 mpg highway
  • V6: 20 mpg city / 32 mpg highway
  • V6 with all-wheel drive: 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway

As with most Acura vehicles, the TLX offers a wide range of safety and entertainment features. Some of the standard safety features of the 2018 TLX include:

  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Rear backup camera
  • Advanced body structure for maximum impact absorption
  • Traction control
  • Handling assist
  • Automatic anti-collision braking system

All trims of the 2018 Acura TLX are compatible with smartphones and MP3 players. Drivers can use Bluetooth, auxiliary input, or USB to connect their smartphones to the TLX’s internal infotainment system. The TLX is also fully compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Every TLX comes equipped with a full-color multi-information display screen that allows the driver to fully control the vehicle’s many entertainment and information features.

With its MSRP starting at just $33,000, the 2018 Acura TLX is a strong competitor as an affordable luxury sedan. U.S News and World Reports lists the TLX at number 12 of its 14-top luxury midsize cars. An important distinction in this list, however, is that the TLX had the lowest starting MSRP of any competitor and was put up against much more expensive alternatives, including the number one rated 2018 Audi A6.

2018 Acura ILX

Unlike the TLX, Acura’s more compact luxury Sedan, the ILX, offers only one engine option. This engine is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder that produces 201 horsepower. Paired with an eight-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission, this engine provides a sporty driving experience despite its slightly low horsepower rating. The lower-powered engine also offers an improvement in fuel economy, with the 2018 Acura ILX rated at 25 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway.

The 2018 Acura ILX comes with several standard safety features, as well as a very wide range of optional features that are available in specific trims and packages. Standard safety features include a multi-view rear camera, traction control, and Acura’s standard advanced frame design that helps to mitigate the risk of injury in a collision. Some of the optional safety features available in the higher trims include:

  • Lane assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic anti-collision braking system
  • Blind spot information system
  • Rear traffic monitor

In addition to its many safety features, the 2018 Acura ILX boasts several premium entertainment features. All trims are compatible with Pandora and SiriusXM radio, and higher trims also offer Aha compatibility. The basic trims offer a five-inch full-color information display, with an upgrade to an eight-inch version available on the higher trims. Like the TLX, the ILX can interface with devices via auxiliary cable, USB, or Bluetooth connection.

Like many Acura models, the 2018 ILX punches above its weight and competes well with considerably more expensive vehicles. In its review of the compact sedan, MotorTrend identified the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class as two of its key competitors. The MotorTrend review also noted the ILX’s sporty driving experience as one of its best features compared to competitive models.

2018 Acura RLX

Starting at an MSRP of $54,900, the 2018 RLX is a luxury sedan that also delivers in the performance department. The RLX can be equipped with either a standard V6 that produces 310 horsepower or a sport hybrid engine that puts out 377 horsepower. The standard V6 gets 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, while the sport hybrid engine gets a somewhat more impressive rating of 28 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway.

True to its status as a premium luxury vehicle, the 2018 Acura RLX comes loaded with both entertainment and safety features. The new RLX’s safety package includes:

  1. ABS brakes
  2. Traction and stability controls
  3. Blind spot monitoring
  4. Lane departure warning system
  5. Tire pressure monitoring
  6. Cameras for front, rear, and side views

The RLX’s entertainment system includes a 14-speaker surround sound system, auxiliary and USB device inputs, and satellite radio connectivity. In the higher hybrid sport trim, the sound system’s standard 14 stock speakers are replaced with premium Krell brand units. The RLX also includes an array of convenience features, such as keyless ignition, a heated steering wheel, and a three-zone climate control system. To round out the package, the RLX’s interior features premium leather front seats to make for a comfortable and luxurious driving experience.

In the field of large luxury vehicles, the 2018 Acura RLX holds its own, but hasn’t been rated as being particularly exceptional. U.S. News and World Report rated the RLX as ninth on its list of the best large luxury cars, putting it at the lowest rank on the list. There are areas, however, where the RLX stands out. In terms of value, the RLX has a lower starting MSRP than most of its close competitors. Safety is also an area in which the RLX performs well, with the U.S. News and World Report team giving the car a perfect 10.0 rating in the safety category when conducting its review.

2018 Acura MDX

A step up in size from the ILX and TLX is the 2018 Acura MDX, a three-row luxury sport SUV. The MDX offers the choice between a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 290 horsepower and a 3.0-liter hybrid V6 with a 257-horsepower rating. The 3.5-liter engine models can be equipped with all-wheel drive for improved traction and handling. The standard V6 is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that offers optional semi-automatic paddle shifting for a sporty, aggressive driving experience. The hybrid V6 utilizes a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, giving it a less aggressive though still rather responsive feel to the driver.

Fuel efficiency ratings on the different engine formats of the 2018 Acura MDX are as follows:

  • 5-liter V6: 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
  • 5-liter V6 with all-wheel drive: 18 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
  • 0-liter hybrid V6: 26 mpg city / 27 mpg highway

All Acura MDX trims offer standard anti-lock brakes, brake assist, rear-view cameras, and traction control with mobile adaptive steering as part of their safety package. Optional packages include features such as rear traffic monitoring, a blind spot information system, and a complete surround-view camera system. Like many other Acura models, the 2018 MDX carries a five-star safety rating.

As for its infotainment system, the base MDX is slightly lacking, but upgraded packages offer many excellent features. The base package includes a CD player with MP3 compatibility, basic smartphone integration, and the ability to sync with various music-playing apps, as well SirusXM satellite radio. With higher-level packages, though, the 2018 Acura MDX can be upgraded with a full-color informational display, rear wireless headphones and even a back seat high-resolution screen in either a nine-inch or 16.2-inch format.

The Acura MDX was rated number 10 out of 21 luxury midsize SUVs by U.S. News and World Reports. Once again, the Acura boasted one of the lowest starting MSRPs on the list and fared well against more expensive competitors. In the case of the MDX, a somewhat stripped-down approach to infotainment on the base model disadvantages it against other luxury SUVs. It did, however, perform rather well in the fuel efficiency category, beating out the mileage offered by second-ranked 2018 Porsche Cayenne by a considerable margin.

2018 Acura RDX

Acura’s luxury crossover SUV, the RDX, is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 279 horsepower. The RDX is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive formats, with only a modest increase in MSRP for the all-wheel drive version. Paired with the V6 engine is a six-speed transmission with optional paddle shifting for drivers who prefer a more engaged experience. The front-wheel format gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, while the all-wheel drive version gets 19 in the city and 27 on the highway.

The basic RDX comes equipped with a good array of safety features, including:

  • Rear-view camera
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Hill start assist

Additional packages offer features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic anti-collision braking, and lane assist. Together, these features help to make the 2018 Acura RDX a safe and comfortable ride.

Like other Acura models from the 2018 lineup, the RDX allows for smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary cable. Though the base package doesn’t include a full-color control screen, one can be added as part of an upgraded package. Also available as an upgrade is a complete voice recognition and control system that can be used to direct the vehicle’s infotainment system while driving.

The 2018 Acura RDX received a 4.5 out of 5 rating from Edmunds and was compared to competitive models such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, each of which received a lower rating than the RDX. One area in which the RDX did not perform as well as some crossovers was its storage space, which is a bit small at just 26 cubic feet.