The Car Connection Acura TLX Overview
The Acura TLX is a mid-size four-door luxury sedan. Slotted between the ILX and RLX sedans, it replaced the former TSX and TL four-doors.
With the TLX, Acura has a rival for sedans such as the Buick Regal, the Volvo S60, and the Lexus ES.
MORE: Read our 2020 Acura TLX review
With a more expressive sense of style, the Acura TLX comes across as a handsome update on the themes from the latest Acura products. It's neither offensive nor terribly exciting, though it looks much more balanced than former Acura four-doors that wore a beaky, pointed grille.
The TLX is offered with a choice of two engines. Base models come with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder making 206 horsepower and paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. For a little extra, buyers can choose a 3.5-liter V-6 good for 290 hp and mated to a 9-speed automatic. V-6 versions also use cylinder deactivation technology, which can shut off three cylinders to save fuel under lighter loads, such as 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: all-wheel steering, 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, and it has the ability to shift power across its rear axle for better traction.
Dedicated modes allow the driver to cater the driving experience to their desires. As part of a so-called Integrated Dynamics System, 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.
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. 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. Active Noise Control helps keep the cabin quiet, as do new body-sealing and sound-insulation measures.
An array of accident-avoidance technologies, some of them offered on the RLX and MDX, are baked into the TLX. Forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors are available on top-of-the-line versions. The TLX has achieved a top five-star overall rating from the federal government, and mostly top "Good" scores from the IIHS, except for an "Acceptable" rating on the small-overlap crash test.
Priced from the low $30,000 range, the TLX comes standard with power features; cruise control; Bluetooth; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
In 2018, Acura refreshed the TLX and gave the sedan a new grille, new infotainment system, and a new sporty A-Spec trim line for models equipped with a V-6.
In 2019, Acura gave the A-Spec treatment to inline-4 versions. The only change for 2020 was the addition of a new limited-edition model with special red paint that's hand-assembled at the Acura NSX plant in Ohio.