The Car Connection Acura TLX Overview
- #19 in Mid-Size Cars
The Acura TLX is a mid-size four-door sedan that joined the lineup in the 2015 model year.
Smaller than the RLX sedan, bigger than the compact ILX, the TLX replaced the former TL and TSX sedans in the Acura lineup.
With the TLX, Acura has a rival for sedans like the Buick Regal and LaCrosse, the Lincoln MKZ, the Volvo S60, and the Lexus ES.
Acura refreshed the TLX for 2018, replacing the controversial grille, updating the infotainment system, and adding a sporty A-Spec trim level for V-6-powered models.
MORE: Read our 2018 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 direct-injected 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: the Precision All-Wheel Steer 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 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, 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, lane-departure warnings, lane-keeping assist, 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 a "Marginal" rating on the small-overlap crash test.
Priced from the low $30,000 range, the TLX comes standard with power features; cruise control; Bluetooth; Apple's Siri Eyes Free; and a AM/FM/satellite radio sound system with seven speakers.
The car has stayed largely unchanged in its first two years on sale.