Acura Brings its A-Spec Game to the L.A. Auto Show

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We headed straight on over to the Acura display at the L.A. Auto Show to get the low-down, and some photos.

While Porsche was grabbing headlines in the mainstream with its new 911 and Jeep had people scratching their heads at their truck, Acura brought their best and brightest and showed us what looks like their plan to A-Spec all the things. In fact, our photographer stood in one place for too long and gained a bump in performance and an A-Spec badge.

The RDX is a surprisingly great piece of kit in A-Spec form that can pretty much go to go toe-to-toe with a Jaguar E-Pace or BMW X3 in sportiness. Said A-Spec badge turns the RDX into a swift and direct people-mover when you want a change of pace from leisurely comfort and practicality.

It’s the same story with the TLX A-Spec, which we fell in love with for its sure-footedness and confidence inspiring performance that’s down to the beautifully tuned suspension with AWD drivetrain. It’s also helpful that the J-series V6 engine continues to be an absolute charmer, smooth and surly sounding, at the same time.

The ILX A-Spec also brings an edge that isn’t over the top, and maintains the ride quality along with standard options you’re paying for as extras on the German competitor’s models. The value in the A-Spec packages is in the fact they are accessible and easily enjoyed without compromising any of the basic values of a luxury sedan or SUV.

We love the fact Acura isn’t compromising the basics to compete by numbers on a piece of paper. It also helps that the 2019 model year refresh, especially with the A-Spec guise, really sharpens up the look.

Of course, the sportier A-Spec models do a good job of getting eyes on the brand. After all, that’s what gunmetal-colored wheels, flashy colors and appearance packages are intended to do.


ALSO SEE: 2019 Acura RDX vs. Lexus NX 300 vs. Infiniti QX50 Comparison Test


However, let’s also take a moment to enjoy just how paired-back and unpretentious the standard line-up can be, as well. The 2019 TLX is, still fresh off of its facelift, as is MDX and RLX.

While we think the MDX looks a bit too much like it’s smaller RDX sibling, that’s not exactly a bad thing. Both are slick, and thoroughly modern looking.

The standard TLX is, likewise, handsome. We suppose it helps that they all wear the same corporate face. It wasn’t that long ago that models like the old TL were festooned with the dastardly “power plenum” front end. Of course, you may not remember the name “power plenum,” but you couldn’t unsee the beak nose, no matter how hard you tried. Similarly, the rear end, and rear 3/4 view is simple, effective, and tightly proportioned.

We are actually very impressed by the refreshed RLX luxury sedan. RLX has struggled to gain traction in the United States, with initial models disappearing into the background. Over time, Acura tightened up the look, but the initial flop has proved to be tough to recover from. With this revised 2019 model, here’s hoping RLX catches on, because we actually really like the way it looks in person.

Add that to the quality, dependability, safety ratings and technology level through all the Acura models, we expect to see more and more of the TLX, RLX, and RDX on the road next year.

Of course, we couldn’t help but stop and check out the technological and performance wonder that is the NSX. It’s just not getting old. We wouldn’t complain if Acura decided to only make the NSX in orange either. This new-for-2019 color does the bodywork such justice. However, we also certainly wouldn’t complain if an NSX Type-R suddenly does show up, to remind the world how insanely good the NSX is and embarrass some more traditional supercar companies.

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