New York Auto Show: 2015 Acura TLX

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Acura-TLX-2What is it?

The all-new TLX merges the TSX and TL into one car. That means the TLX retains the TL’s larger wheelbase with the simplified interior and four-cylinder engine choices of the smaller TSX. You may remember that last year, Acura replaced the flagship RL with the RLX. These cars are not related to the entry-level compact ILX or the two SUVs, the compact RDX or the midsize MDX. Alphabet soup, our favorite!

Why should you care?

If you want a nicer Honda Accord, a medium-priced Acura sedan is your fix. It looks pleasant inside and out, offers competent powertrains and as a Honda, it will most likely be dead reliable. There are two engines, a 2.4-liter 206-hp four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter 290-hp V6, both with variable valve timing that let them rev sweetly and deliver lots of punch in other Acura models. Two new transmissions, a dual-clutch 8-speed automatic and 9-speed automatic, pair up on those respective engines with either front-wheel drive or with Acura’s torque-vectoring all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. Beyond all those high tech parts, Acura throws in LED headlamps and a thumping ELS sound system — and best of all, the TLX is expected to deliver between 32 and 35 mpg highway, depending on the trim.

Acura-TLX-1What’s not to like?

The styling, like most modern Acuras, reads like store-brand cereal. It’s good enough, but the TLX doesn’t sparkle. We’re also not fans of the dual screen setup in the center console, a move that Infiniti has copied on its new Q50, because it duplicates things like the radio so you’re never sure which screen to use. To make matters more confusing, the top screen is low resolution and controlled by a multi-way knob, while the bottom is a higher-res touchscreen. The deletion of a regular PRNDL shifter for button controls is also unnecessary.

When is it on sale?

Expect the TLX in late summer. Deals should pop up for the TL and TSX — both of which are fun to drive, well-executed cars in their own right — so check them out before you grab the newest keys.

Clifford Atiyeh

Clifford Atiyeh

Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Based in Connecticut, he writes for BestRide, Car and Driver, The Boston Globe and other publications.