AcuraWatch safety tech makes the 2016 RLX Sport Hybrid the ultimate backseat driver

With its complex all-wheel drive system, the 2016 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid already boasts a considerable amount of tech, but for the new model year, it’s getting a bit more.

As part of a mild refresh of its flagship sedan, Honda’s luxury division is equipping the 2016 RLX Sport Hybrid with the AcuraWatch bundle of electronic safety features already available on other models. This car may not be able to drive itself, but it comes fairly close.

AcuraWatch includes features that are essentially obligatory on modern luxury cars, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and a rearview camera.

On top of that, the RLX gets Acura’s Road Departure Mitigation system. It uses a camera mounted on the windshield to track lane markings, and can intervene if it determines that the driver is swaying from the correct path.

The system can steer a car back onto the road, or use a combination of steering and braking if simply turning the wheel proves inefficient. It also alerts the driver with an audible warning and a “lane departure” warning on the display screen. It can also vibrate the steering wheel to get a driver’s attention.

Another new safety feature is the Cross Traffic Monitor, which appears similar to the rear cross-traffic alert systems offered by other manufacturers. It uses radar sensors mounted in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles crossing behind the car.

When a vehicle is detected, arrows indicating its direction of travel appear on the rearview camera display, and some form of audible warning sounds.

Rounding out the roster of safety equipment is a new “Surround View” camera system, which provides a 360-degree view of the area around the car. It uses four cameras to look ahead, behind, and to either side, and can also combine the images into a composite bird’s eye view.

Other than the influx of safety tech, the RLX Sport Hybrid remains largely unchanged for 2016. It still uses a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 3.5-liter V6 and three electric motors, which send a combined 377 horsepower and 341 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels using Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

All of that comes at a starting price of $60,870, including destination. That’s the same price as the 2015 model.

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