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Quirky TLX shows Acura's new chapter (pictures)

The new TLX models embodies a new era in Acura engineering and technology, displaying a few unique features while remaining a sensible and economical sedan.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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Acura introduced the TLX earlier this year, combining its previous  TSX and TL models.

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The TLX employs many new standard Acura features, such as LED headlights.

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The top trim version makes use of a direct-injection 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

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The TLX is designed to carry five passengers in comfort.

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The modern design lacks ostentation.

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This example includes Acura's SH-AWD all-wheel-drive system, which employs torque vectoring across the rear wheels to aid handling.

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In another recent Acura styling cue, the exhaust tips are hidden behind the rear fascia.

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Oddly, models equipped with Acura's Advance package get 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space, a full cubic foot more than models without.

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The cabin features premium sedan quality.

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As a midsize sedan, the rear-seat legroom is not particularly expansive.

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The navigation system comes in models with either the Technology or Advance packages.

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Electric power steering is tuned for a light, easy turning feel.

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The instrument cluster shows the car's four different Integrated Dynamics System modes.

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The collection of buttons controls the nine-speed automatic transmission.

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The rear-view camera includes trajectory lines.

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Acura has added a perspective view to its maps, and includes extensive live traffic coverage.

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There is odd duplication between the touchscreen and the jog-dial controls on the center stack.

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The upper LCD shows the destination menu options.

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The touchscreen can be programmed with a variety of shortcuts.

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The touchscreen shows the TLX's audio sources.

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Instead of a full music library screen, this touchscreen interface merely lets you select albums sequentially.

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The upper LCD, controllable with the jog-dial, also shows audio sources.

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The HD Radio screen is duplicated, in slightly different formats, on the upper and lower screens.

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The TLX comes with a Bluetooth hands-free phone system which syncs up with a paired phone's contact list.

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