Nearly three decades have passed since Honda gave us the car we didn?t know we wanted: a fancified Accord called the Legend, which Honda sold under a newly created luxury brand called Acura. Acura, along with the Lexus and Infiniti brands that followed, proceeded to turn the luxury market on its nose. But since then, everyone from Hyundai to Bentley has stepped up its luxury game while Acura got a bit lost in ubiquity with a cadre of similar-looking products, all with confusing alphabet soup names like ILX, TSX, TL and RLX.

Enter the 2015 TLX. Yes, Acura has just christened yet another acronym, but the TLX actually replaces two of the aforementioned models, the TSX and the TL, with a single model that retains the long wheelbase (and passenger space) of the TL whilst shaving off some length from both ends. This affords the RLX some valuable breathing room to be more flagship-esque and allows the little ILX to evolve further into its own thing. It also lets Acura concentrate on making its middle child offering really good in and of itself, and that appears to be exactly what Acura has done.

While the TLX breaks little new ground on the outside ? it?s a pastiche of all current Acura sedans ? it appears more comfortable in its skin than its brethren, and sportier-looking, too. Acura?s controversial guillotine grille (Acura calls it a ?power plenum?) returns for duty, finally looking like a natural part of the car, and the TLX adopts the nifty LED headlamps that are becoming an Acura calling card. The hood features elegant creases, while the bodysides don a gently rising swage line and the same general window shape as the tidy ILX. The rear end is rather plain, other than LED taillamps that mimic the headlamp shapes. All told, however, the TLX appears pleasantly athletic, particularly with its largest available wheels.

It should feel rather athletic, too, thanks to stiffer body, lots of performance-enhancing technology, and an overall weight loss of up to 230 pounds compared to the outgoing TL. Power comes from a choice of two engines, starting with a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the TSX that now makes 206 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque. The four-pot comes mated to an innovative new eight-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive only. From the TL, the TLX inherits its optional 3.5-liter V-6, which now produces 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 10 hp and 13 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 also gets a new transmission: a conventional automatic with nine speeds operated by pushbuttons on the center console.

With the new transmissions, lower weight and optimized aerodynamics, fuel economy increases considerably. Acura expects that the four-cylinder TLX will earn 24 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway, which is up two mpg in the city and four mpg on the highway compared to the most frugal of the current TSX range. A TLX V-6 model with front-wheel drive should achieve 21 mpg city / 34 mpg highway (a rise of one and five mpg compared to the front-drive 2014 TL) and 21/31 mpg with all-wheel drive (up three and five mpg compared to the all-wheel-drive TL).

The V-6 models are available with the next generation of Acura?s all-wheel drive, which proved to be pretty awesome in its first iteration, though it really had to be put on a track to appreciate its advantages compared to a conventional system.

Of course, a luxury car wouldn?t be a luxury car without lots of great stuff inside, and here the TLX shouldn?t disappoint. As with the exterior, the TLX?s interior design doesn?t advance the state of the art terribly far, but it feels just as roomy in front and back as the outgoing TL while making a step-up in quality over both of the cars it replaces. With optional Milano leather, soft-touch materials everywhere, and real alloy and woodgrain trim, the TLX feels a lot like the fancier RLX but with a more youthful vibe. Available features include heated and ventilated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless access, navigation, real-time traffic, a seven-inch touch screen display, and the latest surround sound system designed by Grammy award-winning sound designer Eliot Scheiner, with 10 speakers and 455 watts of juice. The new TLX will also feature Acura?s cloud-based connectivity system, Siri Eyes-Free technology for iPhone users, available GPS-linked climate control, LED accent lighting, and more.

Acura remains tight-lipped about pricing for the 2015 TLX, but with the top-end 2014 ILX sedan priced at $32,495 and RLX prices starting at $49,345, we expect the TLX prices to start around $34,000 for a four-cylinder model and rise up as high as $47,000 or $48,000 when loaded with the V-6, all-wheel-drive and the Technology and Advance packages. Will this single model be enough to restore the Acura brand to its former glory? Probably not, but replacing the TL and TSX with a more clearly defined, attractively styled TLX certainly won?t hurt.

Now about that name?.