New & Used Acura TLX: In Depth
2015 Acura TLX 3.5 SH-AWDEnlarge Photo
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The Acura TLX is a new offering from Honda's luxury arm,joining the lineup as of the 2015 model year. A combined replacement for the TL and TSX mid-size sedans, the TLX puts Acura's four-door efforts on a more solid footing. The new car fits in well with a lineup that includes the ILX compact sedan and the larger RLX. (It also somewhat rationalizes the company's naming scheme, with all models now using three-letter titles ending in X.)
Competition for the TLX comes from cars like Buick's Regal and LaCrosse, the Lincoln MKZ, the Volvo S60, and the Lexus ES.
MORE: Read our 2015 Acura TLX review
The TLX’s overall length is around 190 inches, which is close to the former TSX's measurement; its 109.3-inch wheelbase is carried over from the TL. Styling is a handsome update on the themes from the latest Acura products, neither terribly exciting nor offensive, and no longer plagued by a beaky grille.
The TLX is offered with a choice of two engines. Base models come with a 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder making 206 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. For a little extra, buyers can choose a 3.5-liter V-6 good for 290 hp and mated to a ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic. V-6 versions also make use of Variable Cylinder Management, which can shut off three cylinders to save fuel under lighter loads, such as when cruising on the highway.
Front-wheel-drive versions of the TLX 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 turns the rear wheels slightly in a way that will either add to maneuverability at low speeds or aid stability at higher speeds. All-wheel drive is available on V-6 models, featuring a new, lighter version of the brand’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system with rear-axle torque vectoring.
Dedicated modes allow the driver to cater the driving experience to their desires. 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 control operation, and the calibration of the all-wheel drive or rear-wheel steering system.
Active Noise Control helps keep the cabin quiet, as do new body-sealing and sound-insulation measures. The TLX is just as roomy inside as the TL—in other words, still a bit roomier in back than the German sport sedans in this size class.
An array of accident-avoidance technologies, some of them previously offered on the RL (and now the RLX) and MDX, are baked into the TLX. Collision-mitigation braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a low-speed follow/blind-spot indicator (each with their acronyms), will all be available on top-of-the-line versions. The TLX has achieved a top five-star overall rating from the federal government, as well as Top Safety Pick+ status from the insurance industry-funded IIHS.