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best farms to visit in the GTA

The best farms to visit in the GTA

Image via Springridge Farm. 

Autumn in Ontario is an exciting time. Those last-ditch cottage weekends, the back-to-school scramble, the glorious natural showing that is the foliage changing and, of course, the harvest.

OK, so most of us aren’t that involved in the harvest these days, but that’s not to say we couldn’t be. In fact, the GTA has some amazing farms that offer tours, events and all sorts of family fun in the fall. Here are some of the best farms to visit in the GTA.

Andrews Scenic Acres

These two-generation Ontario farmers offer events to bring people together like live music and get-togethers on the weekends, but it’s the you-pick that’s really worth the trip. Their fall you-pick harvests include raspberries, apples, pears, squash, pumpkin and more–get out and get your fingers sticky.

Stop by the farm to check out our weekend festivities such as pony rides and live music!

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Riverdale is a little rural oasis and historic working farm nestled in Cabbagetown and managed by Toronto Parks. Head there on the weekend of Sept 10-11 for the corn roast, contests and fun of the annual Fall Festival.

Day 222 • Hanging out with our beautiful niece in Toronto today! #photoaday2017 #summer #family #countryinthecity A post shared by Beverley Anne (@beverley.bunker) on

Brooks Farms

There’s so much more to do than farm at this Mount Albert operation that has been family-owned since 1875. During their annual Fall Fun Festival (every weekend from Sept 9 to Nov 5, including holidays), you and the fam can experience the corn maze, farm market, train rides, duck races, zip lines and more. Be warned: the kids will not want to leave.


Springridge Farm

Springridge Farm in Milton is as much a destination for the food as it is for the good times. Their on-site bakery, weekend BBQ and seasonal pies are each worth the trip. Their Harvest Festival runs weekends from Sept 23 to Oct 29.

Firing up the grill this weekend? We got you covered! What’s your favourite sauce from the farm? A post shared by Springridge Farm (@springridgefarm) on

Applewood Farm Winery

Stouffville knows how to farm, and, lately, they’ve been learning about fruit wine, too. That’s right, wine. So, while the kids are tearing around the straw bale mountain or riding on the tractor wagon, you can shop for some of their unique fruit wines.


Chudleighs’ orchards are as lively as ever in fall. Explore them with the family, pick some apples, grab a lunch at the farm kitchen or pantry and eat it in the picnic area. Pure autumnal bliss.

We think it’s good to get a little lost sometimes. Wave your hands in the air if you love losing your way in our hay maze.

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Whittamores Farm

If your objective is to exhaust your children so they sleep all the way home and right through the night, you can’t go wrong with Markham’s Whittamores Farm, which has a 2-storey tree fort, corn maze and farm bouncer. Pumpkinland also looks pretty legit–know how heavy those things are?!


How to detail your car like a pro

Some people insist on doing it all themselves. You know the type. Maybe you are the type. If there’s a way to DIY the job, that’s what they’re doing. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but they’re always hands-on.

Now, our trained technicians would be more than happy to detail your Acura for you down at the dealership, but we also fully encourage the DIY spirit. And when it comes to washing your car, the truth is that it can actually be pretty enjoyable and not all that difficult if you’ve got the know how and the right tools.

From the gear you need, to what to clean with what and how, here’s how to detail your own car so it’ll shine like it was meant to.

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Gear Up

Putting together a detailing kit of your own with some of the essentials. Get yourself a couple of buckets, a microfiber pad, several clean cloths, wash-mitt, an ultra-soft chamois, some canned air and Q-tips, and some multi-glass cleaner, auto-glass cleaner, vehicle shampoo, leather conditioner, engine degreaser and tire dressing, as well as instructions on how to use each. You can also buy pre-packaged kits, but just make sure they’re right for your Acura.

Inside Out

Don’t track inside detritus onto a clean exterior of your car–start inside and work your way out.

- Empty out everything! All the change in the center console. All the floor mats! All the Kleenex boxes! Anything that isn’t bolted down.

- Next, vacuum all the surfaces including the seat, carpets, under the seat by moving them forward and backwards to access as much area as possible, and inside the trunk. When cleaning the dash or any surface that may scratch, make sure to use the appropriate soft vacuum attachment.

- Use canned air or Q-tips to remove any stuck materials from hard-to-reach areas such as vents and grills.

- Wipe the doors, dash, console, center console, making sure to use the appropriate cleaner for each surface, or just a damp chamois or cloth. Do not use tire or vinyl shine products on the dash as it can cause glare that may affect your vision, and may leave a film on the interior of the front windshield.

- When cleaning the windows, ensure you use an appropriate window cleaner and two cloths; one to spread the cleaner around and remove the dirt, and the second to dry it.

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With the inside spick and span, head outside and tackle the wheels.

For the least struggle, make sure you use a designated wheel cleaner solution and allow it a few moments to do work on the surface.

- Use a stiff brush or pressure hose to dislodge any gunk.

- Make sure the tires shine bright by applying some tire dressing after they’re clean, rinsed and dry.


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Then the Fun Part!

Go ahead and get wet!

- Park in the shade, especially if you’re going to wax.

- Rinse the vehicle thoroughly to ensure you remove as much dirt as possible before washing. Use a bucket of warm soapy water and a clean wash mitt to wipe the car’s exterior from top to bottom.

- Make sure to wash the bottom last as there is more dirt lower on the vehicle which you don’t want to drag around and scratch the paint. If there is heavy dirt on the vehicle, rinse your wash mitt frequently during use.

- Have a separate bucket of clean water to wash particles out of the rags and/or mitt as you clean.

- Try to wash, rinse and dry section by section to avoid soapy water drying on the surface.

- Dry with microfiber towel or chamois.

- If you’re going to wax, this is when to do it.

- With a separate cloth and either warm water with a mild dilution of soap or a multi-purpose cleaner, wipe inside the door jambs, doors frames, trunk channels and inside the fuel door area.

Pop the Hood

Didn’t your mother teach you never to cut corners? In the interest of being thorough, be sure to pop the hood and clean in the engine bay.

- Depending on how much build-up there is on the hardware, some engine degreaser may be in order. Apply and allow to work.

- Wash with a hose, making sure not to saturate areas with electrical components as it could cause electrical problems.

- Use a cloth to wipe the engine covers and inside the hood channels.

- Apply approved vinyl/plastic dressing to the engine covers if preferred.

 Get Perspective

With the scrubbing done but before you put your supplies away, check your work.

- You can also take the opportunity to cut down on interior clutter by limiting and re-organizing the items you put back in.

Show It Off

Now that your Acura is glistening like new, time to show it off. Take a victory lap while you plan your next DIY project.

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dog in car

8 things you need to know before taking your dog for a drive

Picture your dog is sitting in the back seat, its head out window, fur blowing luxuriously in the wind, tongue flapping. That is the expression of pure doggy happiness. Your pup might even enjoy going for a ride in your Acura even more than you do. But when it comes to riding around with your fluffy friend, there are a few things you need to know to make it a smooth and safe ride for the both of you.

Take a carrier for your pet’s first trip

If it’s the first time your pooch is going for a ride, it’s a good idea to keep them in a carrier or cage until they get used to it and get a handle for the rules of the road, so to speak. This isn’t just because Fido might panic, it’s also because Fido might get too excited and unintentionally do something dangerous, like jump in your lap while you’re trying to drive. Be sure to strap the carrier into the seat so your dog doesn’t get hurt if you need to make a sudden stop.


Even a seasoned pro should be strapped in

A great safety option once you trust your dog to wander a little more is to keep it on a leash and attach the leash to a fastened seatbelt. This way they can lie down in the back or poke their head between the front seats to say hi comfortably, but they can’t go jumping out the window to chase a squirrel. There are even doggie car seats for those owners who are a little more cautious. via GIPHY

Puppy needs pit stops, too

You might be tempted to get a long drive over in one go, but keep in mind that us humans have a little more self control than dogs do…sometimes. When dogs need to go to for a walk, they need to go for a walk. Factoring in a few stops will make the ride more tolerable for both of you, as well as keep you from having to deal with any unpleasant messes in the backseat. 

Don’t leave your pet alone in the car for an extended period of time

With all the stories of people mistreating their animals by leaving them in hot cars, this one seems like a no brainer, but it still needs to be said. Even if you’re only planning on leaving the vehicle for a few minutes, make sure your dogs are at a comfortable temperature, crack a window, and give them some food and water, just in case something ends up keeping you longer than expected. The luxury dog bed and stuffed animal are optional.


Know the laws in the place you’re driving

In Ontario, the laws about insecure loads and careless driving can apply to pets. For example, driving with an unsecured dog in the flatbed of a truck would violate both. The laws might change depending on how far your doggie road trip takes you, so make sure you’re also familiar with the law in every destination along the way.

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Put down a blanket

Once you’ve got the safety precautions down, you can worry about other stuff, like how the heck you’re going to clean up all that hair. Covering the seats your dog occupies makes this much less of a hassle, and will make your dog more comfy in the process. It’ll also help if your dog goes for a quick swim, or if you encounter some bad weather during a pit stop, or, heaven forbid, the little rascal finds something putrid to roll in.

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Travelling with cats is a very different experience

Unlike dogs, most cats aren’t too fond of travelling around in a big capsule of metal and pleather. Because of their size and agility, cats are a lot harder to contain too, so it’s best o keep them in a carrier throughout the journey so they don’t end up somewhere they shouldn’t be.

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Every stop is a photo op

The adorable pupperinos on this list are proof that doggie road trips are excellent opportunities for pet-based photo shoots, even before they even leave the vehicle. Enjoy the journey just as much as the destination, and give back to the world by spreading the cuteness.

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How are Honda and Acura related?

How are Honda and Acura related?

Everything You Need to Know about Acura’s Relationship with Honda.

If you ever overheard car guys or gals talking amongst themselves, you might have been confused when somebody said that some luxury automakers shared some parts with more affordable brands. They will mention that the Infiniti G35′s engine comes out of a Nissan 350Z, or that the older Acura EL was basically a Honda Civic with a leather interior and a slightly different engine. So what gives? Are these one-off collaborations, or is there some deeper connections here?

If you answered with the latter, you would be right. Let us explain.

All three big Japanese automakers—Toyota, Nissan, and Honda—have their own luxury brands (Lexus, Infiniti and Acura, respectively). There are many reasons why it is not only profitable but also essential for them to do this.

Let’s take Honda-Acura as an example. How are Honda and Acura related? In March of 1986, Honda realized they needed a way to reach upmarket. Their small and fuel-efficient vehicles were hugely popular in North America, but they couldn’t simply go against Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac with their reputation as a small and affordable automaker. They needed a new identity.

Acura badge

Their first push into the North-American luxury market was with the four-door Legend and the Integra compact. Both of them were huge successes (so much so that Honda’s competitor launched their own luxury brand), and Acura suddenly had its own reputation as an affordable luxury carmaker. In the 90′s, they surprised the world with the NSX, a car offering supercar-like performances with Honda-like reliability. Over the subsequent years, SUVs like the RDX and MDX frequently were among the best-sellers in hotly contested segments.

Today, Acura is not only building very comfortable and luxurious cars and crossovers, but they are also working on engines, chassis and technologies. And since Acura and Honda are very closely linked, most of these technologies are used for both brands. For example, the Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX share the same platform and engine (as well as the nine-speed transmission on the Pilot Touring). The 3.5-litre Earth Dream V6 is a staple of the Acura lineup, but is also used in the Honda Odyssey, Accord, Ridgeline…. Same thing goes for both brand’s infotainment systems; having a luxury feel is beneficial to Honda products, and the cost-cutting associated with mass-production helps Acura focus on other parts of their car’s interiors.

For the average consumer, there might not be a lot of things linking Honda to Acura, but take a look under the surface and you will find how closely-related these two related companies are. Dealerships are usually not too far away (and owned by the same groups, more often than not), both brands share numerous parts and you can even sometimes get some fidelity rebates if you switch from one brand to another.

So if you daily-drive a Honda and are curious what its take on luxury looks like, come on in and let us show you.


Marc Miceli

Employee Profile: Marc Miceli, 15 years at Policaro Acura and going strong

 Marc Miceli, perhaps our most specialized Product Specialist, has been with Policaro Acura for 15 years.

He’s a lifelong car person and his first car was…wait for it…an Acura. (We even have a digital clipping of the newspaper ad below.)

If you haven’t met Marc yet, it’s about time.

Marc, where are you from? 

I was born in Toronto.

When were you first introduced to cars?

I’ve loved cars ever since I was a kid.

What is the most important aspect of your role at Policaro Acura and how is it important to customers?

With changing technology and new features, it’s important our guests know how to use all of the features and controls on their new Acura. I take the education process very seriously. It gives our guests a level of comfort and confidence with all of the functions on their new high-tech vehicle.

What was your first car? 

A 1995 Acura Integra RSX.

The newspaper clipping advertising Marc's Integra.

The newspaper clipping advertising Marc’s Integra.

What do you want people to know about Policaro Acura? 

No other dealership goes as far above and beyond as we do. This is one of the reasons why we have so many repeat and referral buyers.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Keeping our clients happy and knowing that our hard work encourages them, their family and their friends to come back year after year.

Any hobbies outside the workplace?

I have two children and love to take them ice skating.




The Pros and Cons of Leasing and Financing

It’s an age-old dilemma that’s been weighed by many a car shopper. To lease or not to lease, that is the question. OK, so we’re borrowing that line, but seriously, SO MANY people ask this!

Unfortunately, there’s no one-off answer. Depending on your situation, either could work. Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make the right choice for you and your car.  

Financing Pro: You own it.

One of the biggest benefits of financing is that you own the vehicle, and as long as there aren’t any issues with you paying off your loan, you can do whatever you want with it without having to wait. If you want to profess your love for kitty cats on the doors, there’s nothing stopping you. Except maybe common sense and concern for resale value.

Also, once that loan is paid off, that’s it. It’s yours! You don’t have to make any more monthly payments, ever…or until you want an upgrade, of course. Then you do it all over again.

  With leasing, you’re essentially renting the vehicle, and at the end of your term you can return it or fully purchase it, which might suit your needs more if you only need a car for a few years but don’t necessarily want to buy one. At the end of your lease, you also don’t have to worry about selling the vehicle, you can just hand the keys back to the dealership, and get a new lease agreement with a sick new ride.  

Leasing Pro: It can be cheaper over the short term

Compared to financing, leasing is a cheaper option because instead of paying for the entire vehicle in installments, you’re only paying for the depreciation on the vehicle during the timeframe you’re leasing it for. Lease agreements also tend to have lower down payments, leaving you with more cash for doing the fun stuff you’re driving to do. Financing will be a little pricier during the payment period because your payments go towards the full price of the vehicle. And yes, this is a picture of Monopoly money, because your finances aren’t a game, unless they are.


Leasing con: There may be distance restrictions

Leasing can come with a restriction on how much you can drive the vehicle per month. The number itself is usually negotiable when you decide the terms of the lease, and if you go over it you will have to pay extra, the same way you have to pay extra if you go over your data limit on your phone plan.

With financing, since the vehicle is yours, you can go from one end of the Trans Canada Highway to the other and back every month if you’ve got the gas money. Just keep an eye out for wildlife.


Financing con: depreciating vehicle value

The great thing about leasing is that once your lease is up, you can sign a new agreement with a brand-new vehicle, so you really don’t need to worry about the long-term value, unless you decide to buy it after all. Of course, if the vehicle’s value is depreciated too much by wear and tear, you will probably have to pay extra for it, but otherwise leasing means you don’t have to worry about what it’ll be worth years down the road. In the end you return the vehicle and don’t have to so much as think about selling it. Since with financing you own the car, you’ll have to keep the resale value in mind and know that the value of your vehicle is going to go down over time. You won’t have to pay any extra fees for wear and tear, unless you decide yourself that something needs fixing. Then there’s the process of selling of the vehicle. Alternatively, you could always keep your vehicle for years and years and hope that it will someday be considered a classic car, but that’s not the most dependable business plan.


Again, both ways of paying for a vehicle have their benefits and downsides. It really depends on your needs, specifically, whether or not you want to own the vehicle and what your plans are for its future. If you don’t want or need the responsibilities that come with owning a vehicle, leasing is a great way to make sure you can still get around. On the other hand, financing might be a little pricier, but in the end, you do own the vehicle and that gives you an autonomy you won’t get with leasing.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is the new head of the MDX family

People might be raving about the NSX’s hybrid powerplant and herald it as the next stage in automotive evolution, but the real-world applications for a two-seater vehicle that is designed for going very fast and effectively around a track, say, are sadly more limited. It is a special vehicle, and therefore not exactly suitable for the masses. But Acura hasn’t spent billions of dollars perfecting this hybrid system to simply use it in a limited-production supercar and then call it a day.

No, they were aiming at a larger segment all along and with the unveiling of the MDX Sport Hybrid, they have revealed their cards. This innovative piece of technology was intended for the very lucrative segment of full-size SUVs.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

First of all, to be fair, the hybrid-and-V6 drivetrain didn’t originate in the NSX. Its very first public outing was in the 2016 RLX Sport Hybrid, the loaded version of Acura’s flagship, which you may have spotted on the streets recently.

But let’s get back to the MDX Sport Hybrid, shall we? While the NSX uses its batteries and motors to chase lap times, the big SUV is after fuel economy and smoothness.

The heart of the MDX is a 3.0-litre V6 that integrates an electric motor between its flywheel and the dual-clutch seven-speed automatic gearbox. To provide all-wheel drive traction, a pair of electron-powered motors are fitted to the rear axle; they power each of the back wheels independently. This whole setup is good for 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, which makes it the most powerful member of the MDX family.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

The whole thing sounds pretty complex, but for the average buyer, you need only remember a few important parts: you get a very efficient torque vectoring system, you can pull away from stoplights using only the electric power, and the assistance of the electric system is pretty much seamless. You don’t need to press any button or lever. Simply accelerate, and the computers take care of everything.

“Hybrid” is now synonymous with “frugality,” and the Sport Hybrid is no exception. Capable of posting ratings of 12.6 liters per 100 km in city driving, 9.0 liters on the highway and a combined consumption of 11.0 liters per 100 km, this MDX is one of the most fuel-efficient of its segment.

The rest of the vehicle doesn’t differ too much from the regular MDX, and that is a very good thing. The Japanese SUV is comfortable, can seat seven people and does a wonderful job isolating you from the road thanks to a set of adaptive dampers.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

The MDX Sport Hybrid also has a few cool tricks up its mechanical sleeve. For example, the fact that the 1.3 kWh battery is packed underneath the floor means that the cargo capacity isn’t compromised compared to the regular MDX. And finally, the SUV has a final argument to convince you: with a starting MSRP of $69,990, the MDX Sport Hybrid is only $4,000 more than a fully-loaded 6-Passenger Elite model. With a 40 per cent improvement at the pump, it won’t take long for the additional investment to pay for itself.

And the best part? You will get a quiet, easy to use full-size SUV with a proven track record of reliability that shares its powertrain with a supercar. How cool is that?

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid


Employee Bio: Fixed Operations Manager Rob Rowse has racing in his blood

Some people seem to be born into the automotive industry. For Rob Rowse, Policaro Acura’s Fixed Operations Manager, a career in cars wasn’t so much a choice as a destiny. Rob is the third generation of car racers in his family. His father Bill Rowse Jr. raced professionally for four seasons in the ARCA Series in the 80s, and his grandfather put his skills to the track before him in the 60s.

Rob’s own career began in 1995 as a youth competing in the regional karting races. Soon he progressed into asphalt midget and quarter midget racing before going on to pilot full-body late models and some vintage modified cars in various races.

This proud racing heritage is just a part of what makes Rob such an asset to the Policaro Acura team. Here’s his story.


Rob's father Bill Rowse Jr. in  the Canadian Nascar Series at Autodrome St-Eustache in 2002.

Rob’s father Bill Rowse Jr. in the Canadian Nascar Series at Autodrome St-Eustache in 2002.

Q: Where are you from?

A: London, Ontario.

Q: When were you first introduced to cars?

A: I’ve been around cars since birth.

Q: Where did you go to school (if you did), and what did you take?

A: I went to Sarnia Collegiate Institute where I took Technical Studies.

Q: How long have you been working in the automotive industry?

A: It’s been 20 years!

Q: How long have you been at Policaro Acura?

A: Two years.

Q: What is the most important aspect of your role at Policaro Acura and how is it important to customers?

A: Leadership is the most important aspect of any management position. Good and positive leadership is contagious, and happy and positive employees lead to a positive experience for all our clients.

Q: Have you always been a car person?

A: Absolutely! From a family run small garage and auto body, to our family race team, cars have always been in my blood.

Q: What was your first car?

A: 1986 Ford Escort.

Q: What do you want people to know about Policaro Acura?

A: Policaro Acura and the Policaro Family put clients’ best interest first and ensure all our clients are completely satisfied.

Q: How has the dealership experience changed, and how is Policaro Acura leading that change?

A: The automotive industry as a whole has changed greatly over the past decade. Technology has changed the way we do business, and social media controls how people view all aspects of business. Policaro Acura does business outside the box and we stay ten steps ahead of the competition. That’s how we guarantee 100 per cent client satisfaction and treat all our clients as family.

Q: What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

A: It’s the people! Having a team assembled that fires on all cylinders daily, and having clients 100 per cent satisfied makes all the hard work worth it.

Q: What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of the workplace.

A: I’m a retired race car driver. I also enjoy hockey, golf, and most importantly, spending time with my family.

2018 Acura TLX

The 2018 Acura TLX Arrives Complete With Sporty Upgrades

The 2018 Acura TLX that recently debuted at the New York Auto Show is a testament to Acura’s commitment to achieving sport performance excellence. Just three years after the first TLX ever hit roads, this vehicle has come a long way.

The new TLX has had some major edits— “refreshed and significantly enhanced,” as the brand puts it. They’ve effectively ushered their mid-size luxury performance into the future that is the present, with some great base-model upgrades like the addition of AcuraWatch and a whole array of styling adjustments. They’ve also brought back the A-Spec handling package for 2018, which is cause for celebration.

Here’s what you need to know about the new model, including how it stacks up against its predecessor.

The 2018 Acura TLX is built on the same platform as the previous model with familiar hardware under the hood. Two engines are on offer: a 2.4 L 4-cylinder producing 206 hp and paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, or a 3.5L V6 making 290 hp and paired with a nine-speed automatic. Torque vectoring AWD comes optional on the V6. But close the hood and take a step back and you’ll start to notice the differences.

2018 Acura TLX V6 w/ Advance Package, San Marino Red

Photo from Acura

Some of the exterior style updates nod to the Acura Precision concept that debuted in 2016, like the diamond pentagon grille, the sizable air intakes below the front bumper, and the more punctuated wraparound LED headlights. The 2018 TLX also gets wider tires and exposed exhaust tips, adding even more aggression to its stance.

Within the car, there have been significant changes made to the infotainment system. It’s been gifted with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (the first time Acura has used these systems in any of their vehicles), as well as a restructuring of the touchscreen, graphics and overall electronics layout. There’s also a new wireless charging port in the centre console, because none of us is getting less connected these days.

2018 Acura TLX V6 w/ Advance Package, Espresso Interior

Photo from Acura

But perhaps the most noteworthy upgrade is the presence of AcuraWatch, which comes standard on the base model. The 2018 TLX is the only compact sports sedan to offer the protective tech suite that includes lane keep assist, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and more.

The A-Spec Package:

The real eye-catcher at Acura’s display at the show was the new A-Spec package, which marries a more aggressive and premium design with the TLX’s sportier driving abilities. The A-Spec comes with the six-cylinder V6 engine and driver’s choice of front wheel drive or Super Handling all-wheel-drive.

Visually, the A-Spec distinguishes itself with a distinct, modern front end, dual exhaust tips kicking out the back, blacked-out 19-inch wheels, circular LED fog lights and some fresh sills on the sides.

The interior is similarly ‘sportified’ with a sport steering wheel, further bolstered seats, and red or black leather features alongside a brushed aluminum details. The 2018 TLX A-Spec has a more precise power steering system as well as some tweaked suspension settings with stiffer springs and more responsive damper settings. All the better to feel the road with.

The 2018 Acura TLX is expected to hit Policaro Acura this summer.