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The RLX’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Ghibli doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The RLX has standard AcuraLink, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the RLX and the Ghibli have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RLX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 153 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Ghibli has not been fully tested, yet.
Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Maserati covers the Ghibli. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Ghibli ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The RLX’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Ghibli’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).
There are over 2 times as many Acura dealers as there are Maserati dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the RLX’s warranty.
The engines in the RLX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Ghibli have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RLX’s reliability 40 points higher than the Ghibli.
The RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 hybrid produces 32 more horsepower (377 vs. 345) than the Ghibli’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.
On the EPA test cycle the RLX Sport Hybrid SMG gets better fuel mileage than the Ghibli S Q4 (28 city/29 hwy vs. 16 city/24 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the RLX FWD V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Ghibli S RWD 3.0 twin-turbo V6 (424 HP) (20 city/29 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the RLX’s fuel efficiency. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
Regenerative brakes improve the RLX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Ghibli requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RLX higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Maserati Ghibli (1). This means the RLX produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ghibli every 15,000 miles.
A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Ghibli.
The RLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Ghibli doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
The RLX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ghibli’s standard 45 series front tires.
To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the RLX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Ghibli uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.
The RLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Ghibli doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The RLX has 4.6 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, 5.6 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ghibli.
With its sedan body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the RLX offers cargo security. The Ghibli’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
The RLX Sport Hybrid has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and tachometer readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the RLX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Ghibli can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Consumer Reports rated the RLX’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Ghibli’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RLX has standard extendable sun visors. The Ghibli doesn’t offer extendable visors.
A power rear sunshade and manual rear side window sunshades are standard in the RLX Sport Hybrid to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Ghibli doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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