The Acura SLX is a mid-size SUV capable of seating five people. It is a front-engine SUV with rear-wheel drive standard and four-wheel-drive capabilities. A rebranded and slightly upgraded Isuzu Trooper, the Acura SLX is designed for those who want a tough-looking SUV with all the creature comforts they would expect from a luxury sedan. Ample cargo space in back, under-seat storage, and seating for five make this an excellent car for families on the go.
The 1996-1997 models of the Acura SLX featured a 3.2 liter, V6 engine capable of 190 horsepower output. In 1998, this was upgraded to a 3.5 liter, dual overhead cam V6 engine, upping the maximum horsepower output to 215. However, despite its admirable mid-range torque, drivers often report feeling a lag, flipping the overdrive button on the steering wheel when they needed an extra burst of power. The EPA estimated the SLX's fuel economy at 13 mpg/city and 17-18 mpg/highway, but this generally lacking fuel economy is offset by the smooth ride this 4,640 lb behemoth offers. The car was manufactured by Isuzu for Honda of America/Acura in Japan.
The SLX was manufactured between 1996 and 1999 for sale in the United States. Sales were generally poor, and Acura attempted to reinvent the model in 1998. However, in 1999, the Acura SLX was replaced by the MDX, which continues to be manufactured and sold. Sales were hurt primarily due to the hefty sticker price of$38,000 for a car that many viewed as a slightly upgraded Isuzu, but the 1996-1997 models also fell victim to a Consumer Reports study that rated their roll over tendency as not acceptable". However, it should be noted that the NHTSA did not open an investigation and a lawsuit brought by Isuzu against the parent company of the magazine found in favor of Isuzu. Overall, the NHTSA felt the Acura SLX adhered to highway safety standards.
Catering to those who love their creature comforts, the Acura SLX came standard with heated leather seats, CD player, power moonroof, wood trim, and anti-lock brakes. It boasts ample cargo capacity, both with the rear seats up and rolled forward, and other features that can be added on include underbody protection for off-road driving and foldable mirrors.
Although not a darling for car awards, its counterpart, the Isuzu Trooper, has proven itself in a wide variety of off-road competitions, including a prestigious win in the Marathon Class at the 1994 Paris-Dakar Rally. These off-road capabilities were carried over to the Acura SLX, creating an SUV that is not just luxurious, but tough as nails and able to hold up over time.
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