Acura Will Kill Off The RLX In 2020: The Dead Sedans Are Really Piling Up

Don't worry - there's more exciting models coming from Honda's luxury brand

2018 Acura RLX brilliant red metallic
The Acura RLX was never a hot seller, but sales in April 2020 were absolutely dreadful. [Photos: Acura]

A refresh wasn’t enough to entice big sedan buyers to the Acura RLX. Granted, most folks aren’t looking to buy big sedans regardless of the brand, but at the end of this year they’ll have one fewer option. Automotive News reports that this is the end of the line for Acura’s flagship sedan, which started life back in 1996, when Bill Clinton was reelected as president, the Macarena was the most popular dance in the world, and people still cared about sedans.

Obviously, the world’s changed since then, and nobody really knows why Acura kept the RLX around so long. That’s not to say it’s a bad luxury car — especially with the automaker’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system — but it hasn’t been a hot seller for quite awhile. Even before the current sales slump, Acura sold about 150 RLXs every month. In April 2020, the company sold just 26 examples.

Consider the fact that the MDX crossover outsells the RLX by more than twenty to one, and it’s understandable why Acura’s finally showing its flagship sedan the door.

2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid in Brilliant Red Metallic
The Acura RLX is a good-looking sedan, but in a market where people aren’t buying big, luxury sedans it’s time for the RLX to go.

Don’t feel bad for Acura

Despite the RLX’s apparent departure, Acura has plenty of exciting cars up its sleeve. The RDX is the brand’s hottest sellers, and a new range-topping MDX is due this year. Of course, the company has its NSX halo car, and there’s even a new, much more exciting TLX sedan on its way as well. Not only that, but the Type S name is returning with that model. A big, comfy luxury sedan doesn’t exactly fit the bill for a brand that’s going for a more youthful character as of late, even with the RLX’s 2018 redesign. The brand’s not giving up on sedans entirely, as we should get a new ILX fairly soon as well.

So, take a moment of silence for the Acura RLX this year if you feel so inclined. It was time for Acura to kill it off, and we’ll just have to see what else lies in store in the coming months.