In a rare weather occurrence, Western Washington got a white Christmas. As snow fell on the land, we ventured out in the 2018 Acura TLX V6 AWD A-Spec. So, on Christmas we headed out onto the gift of the open roads, like kids eager for gifts we yearned for miles.
At first, we headed east towards and off our Island. The towering trees and rolling hills covered in patches of fog and patches of ice larger than the sedan. Nothing stirred in the frozen world around us, at first not even a mouse – though a plow had to have been through the main road recently.
There wasn’t really a destination in mind, we started on ice and continued on ice for many miles, the Acura TLX’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) taking the stretches of ice skating in stride.
After much ado about there being a lack of destination, I turned northward down new roads to visit the town of La Conner (with the full realization that the town would be absolutely shut down for Christmas. Though, like usual, we made plenty of stops along the way.
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For the moment, we stayed in the cozy interior – enjoying the frigid scenery while experiencing none of the temperatures. It was filled with modern necessities like heated seats (they were ventilated, too, but we did not use this as it was barely breaching 30 degrees outside) and dual-zone climate controls to prevent arguing over interior conditions.
The power moon roof let us (well, Rob) gaze up at the snow-covered trees towering overhead and the blue skies beyond that. Underneath us were power (12-way for drivers and 8-way for front passengers) sport seats.
At first, the audio stayed off as we (the husband and I) enjoyed each-others company for the holiday. Well… at least for part of the day. We’ve been married for 10 years, there’s only so much we have to talk about again.
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So after a while, it was into some car-aoke. Bad car-aoke. Michael Jackson car-aoke. It was truly awful on our part, though I’d like to think that MJ wasn’t rolling around in his grave as we butchered his legacy. His high-pitched “hee-hee”s belting out over the ELS Premium audio system’s 16 speakers in crystal clear tones.
We tested it with Android Auto, but it also comes with Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth streaming from the various popular music streaming apps. Acura has given it HD Radio for available FM and AM channels, and Sirius XM radio for 3 months.
As we tootled around with cheesy music filling the environs around us, the 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood was pumping out 290 horsepower at my foot’s behest. It doesn’t have a manual transmission, but it has a swift 8-speed automatic transmission and flappy paddles to play with during the fun bits.
After getting mesmerized by a flock of geese, we found an bird-watching park with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the nearby Sound. It’s potholes challenging a suspension tuned for performance driving, not off-road-inspired Fish and Wildlife roads.
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The SH-AWD handled the roads spectacularly, even well into the night when the world refroze. However, for those wishing to donut and ice skate with the best of them, the traction control can be turned off and the engine put into the much-loved Sport+ mode. Do we suggest this, no. Do we know you’ll do it anyways, yes. Such is life. Those wanting to drive politely can keep the traction control systems on and in Normal or Eco mode, and the Acura TLX is tamed.
And for when driver’s want nothing more than the ultimate tame and easy-driving experience, the 2018 Acura TLX V6 comes with AcuraWatch. This slew of driver assistive aids designed to ease the burden of commuting and traffic.
I could easily converse while the Acura TLX’s Adaptive Cruise Control did it’s thing during the long straight stretches between curvy bits. But, the TLX’s system didn’t like braking down a few steep hills on our island while ACC was active. By the time I hit the bottom, we’d be doing 60 mph when we intended to be at 50. This journey didn’t have many hills though – a steep bridge, yes, but steep hills were minimal.
This journey was nothing if not stylish. The A-Spec packaging includes upgrades to the aesthetics, both inside and out. It comes with sport seats with Alcantara inserts, great for keeping occupants solidly in place during aggressive cornering. The aforementioned ventilated seats were also part of the A-Spec package, along with the black headliner, parking sensors, wireless phone charger and 19-inch exclusive alloy wheels.
The drive took us all over the hills and valleys of northern Snohomish and Skagit counties, ending at the quaint town of La Conner. A Christmas tree lighting our way to our destination and giving a conveniently festive holiday backdrop for snazzy looking 2018 Acura TLX V6 AWD A-Spec. And, it won’t even break the bank, coming in with all those good looks under $50K (as driven, $45,750 MSRP).