En route to this year’s Sundance Film Festival, we hopped into a 2015 Acura TLX, the brand’s latest mid-sized performance sedan, to drive from Salt Lake City to Park City, Utah. Acura has been a premier sponsor of the festival for five years now, and the 37-mile drive in the TLX proved to be a thoughtful introduction to an event built upon showcasing creativity. In fact, the auto-steering functionality new to the model let the mind wander a little more safely as the car climbed 8,000 feet into the mountains.
At least half the drive took place over moderately congested, primarily straight highways, amid attendees flocking to the festival. The other half was a hike up and into the mountain resort town, with snow and ice scattered on the roads. Across both portions of the drive, we employed the car’s road-sensing capabilities and felt its impact two-fold: first, the physical tension and direction the steering wheel delivers by way of an Agile Handling Assist and Road Departure Mitigation system; and second, in all that we were able to take in from our surroundings as the car supported our wandering eyes and minds.
The safety features of the TLX—which utilize a cooperative monocular camera and millimeter wave radar system—lend that double edge of sensory support to the trek. From ice-covered back roads to stunning vistas around most corners, the drive requires attention in all directions. And, despite distractions, the machine reads the road and continues along as expected. Rather than feel obtrusive, it feels like a casual reminder of the task at hand: driving. As the car drives with you, it acts as almost as if it were a secondary brain; aware that there is a destination that also might require thought and awareness.
On the outside, the TLX is a machine fit for arriving at a film premiere: stylish and luxuriant. It also sports a myriad of comfort-oriented functions inside. But altogether, it’s a car made for an easy drive, that doesn’t sacrifice safety when freeing up the mind to explore the full scope of the outside world.
The 2015 Acura TLX models are now available at Acura dealers nationwide.
Park City images by David Graver, interior image courtesy of Acura