New & Used Acura TLX: In Depth
2015 Acura TLX 3.5 SH-AWDEnlarge Photo
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The Acura TLX is an important car for Honda's upscale brand. For the 2015 model year, the TLX replaces both the TSX compact and TL mid-size sedan, as Acura rationalizes its lineup around three four-doors, two crossovers, and the upcoming NSX exotic.
The TLX is larger than the compact ILX, smaller than the recently introduced RLX, but could well have the most impact on the lineup, since it will compete with cars ranging from the Lincoln MKZ and Buick Regal, all the way up to the BMW 5-Series and Cadillac CTS.
MORE: Read our 2015 Acura TLX review
The TLX’s overall length is around 190 inches, while its 109.3-inch wheelbase is carried over from the current TL. Styling is a handsome update on the themes from the latest Acura products.
Two different engines are offered on the TLX: a 206-horsepower, 2.4-liter direct-injection in-line four, with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 gets Variable Cylinder Management, which will allow it to run on just four cylinders during light-load conditions.
Front-wheel-drive versions of the TLX will get one noteworthy piece of technology handed down from the top-of-the-line RLX sedan: the Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system, which tucks the rear wheels in a way that will either add to maneuverability at low speeds or aid stability at higher speeds. All-wheel-drive versions will also be offered (with the V-6), and those will pack a new lighter version of the brand’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system with new torque vectoring.
Dedicated driving modes allow the driver to cater the driving experience to expectations. As part of a so-called Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), the TLX gets Econ, Normal, Sport, and Sport+ settings, with each one affecting power-steering calibration, throttle response, transmission shifts, Active Noise Control settings, climate controls, and the control logic for the all-wheel drive or rear-wheel steering.
Active Noise Control helps keep the cabin quiet; so do new body-sealing and sound-insulation measures. And inside, the TLX is just as roomy as the TL—in other words, still still a bit roomier in back than its German sport-sedan rivals.
An array of accident-avoidance technologies, some of them previously offered on the RL (or RLX), also now move down into the TLX. Collision-mitigation braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, and a low-speed follow/blind-spot inducator (each with their acronyms), will all be available on top-of-the-line versions. Acura is already anticipating a top five-star Overall rating from the federal government, as well as Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance-funded IIHS.