2015 Acura TLX 2.4L w/Tech

MPG: 24 City/35 Hwy
MSRP: $31,445 to $44,800 depending on TLX model. As tested: $35,920

Comfort and luxury can be found under $40,000.

Sometimes it’s challenging to write about vehicles. Most of the new models have standard equipment you expect to find at a price point. So, what’s different, what stands out?

The soft leather and light interior was refreshing. They are listed as sport seats with perforated Milano premium leather-trimmed interior.

8-speed dual clutch transmission feels strange at first. Understanding what it is takes a little time for me. Thankfully there are sites like to help me out.

William Harris writes: “In principle, the DCT behaves just like a standard manual transmission: It’s got input and auxiliary shafts to house gears, synchronizers and a clutch. What it doesn’t have is a clutch pedal, because computers, solenoids and hydraulics do the actual shifting. Even without a clutch pedal, the driver can still “tell” the computer when to take action through paddles, buttons or a gearshift.”

I am still struggling to be comfortable with paddle shifters. It was definitely noticeable that the car shifted quickly when the computer is doing all the work.

While showing the car to my friends, I opened the trunk. It’s huge. Huge is relative, but there is plenty of room for hauling six file boxes, golf clubs or possibly even my bicycle with the front tire removed. The rear seats are 60/40 split fold-down. There is hidden storage under the trunk floor.

What the trunk doesn’t contain is a spare tire. “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” Mike said. The Acura comes with flat tire repair equipment. Thankfully I didn’t have to try that one out. There is a spare tire kit add-on accessory if you feel more secure having one on hand. It includes a wheel disk, tire, spare tire adapter, tool box assembly, spare tire pan, wheel wrench, jack assembly and jack bar. MSRP: $369.

I’ll save you the embarrassment of heading to the gas station and having the surprised look on your face: there is no gas cap. The Capless Fueling System means “at a gas station, the driver simply opens the fuel lid and then inserts the fuel nozzle. Inserting the nozzle automatically opens the outer shutter and fueling flap. When fueling is complete, removing the fuel nozzle automatically closes both the fueling flap and outer shutter.” I hope other manufacturers pick up on this one.

There are so many more features but the last stand-out is the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). I am not sure how I feel about LKAS. While it was fun to see the car move slightly on its own to stay in the lines, I think maybe you should not be driving if you can’t do that on your own already. It does not drive your car automatically and indefinitely. I pointed out to my kids, you still have to pay attention and drive. Acura explains: “If you steer the TLX out of a detected lane without signaling your intention, the system will gently tug the steering wheel and help guide the car back to the center of the lane.”

The Acura TLX would be a top contender if I was in the market for a mid-size luxury sedan.

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