Acura TLX was first revealed as TLX prototype which was supposed to take over earlier models TL & TSX. Much like its brand image Acura TLX is a much refined and stylish sedan. Acura TLX comes with sharp look , sporty color options standard Acura Grille at the front. Acura TLX surpasses the features and looks of its earlier models TL & TSX .
Shoppers may be surprised to find that the four-cylinder TLX comes in only two trim levels, Base and Tech. Both are front-wheel drive and feature a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and common segment amenities like cruise control, speed-sensitive intermittent wipers, a leather steering wheel, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control. Selecting the Tech package allotted to our test car adds a suite of features. Highlights include leather seats and door trim, a navigation system with voice recognition, rain-sensing wipers, and a premium 10-speaker audio system with voice activation. There are also safety items such as Lane Keeping Assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring, and forward-collision mitigation.
The engine lineup for the TLX is going to look suspiciously familiar to anyone who’s configured a Honda Accord, but the Acura folks assure us that the 2.4-liter inline-four and 3.5-liter V6 are unique to the uplevel brand.
The base engine is a direct-injected DOHC 2.4-liter inline four. It’s good for 206 hp at 6,800 rpm and 182 lb-ft of torque at @ 4,500 rpm. If you want to verify Acura’s claims of uniqueness, you can look up the motor by its official model name: K24W7.
The beefier motor, a direct-injected SOHC 3.5-liter V6, puts out 290 at 6,200 rpm and 267 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. A member of the Honda J engine family, its designation is J35Y6.
To goose fuel economy, SH-AWD-equipped V6 cars get an idle-stop function; using active engine mounts, Acura says it can reduce the jarring start-stop jolts that plague similar systems. During testing, we scarcely noticed the system in operation — so we’ll mark that as a success on Acura’s part.
A sportier version of the TLX was repeatedly hinted at by Acura personnel, but there’s no saying what might be under the hood of that. Honda’s rekindled interest in forced induction raises some interesting possibilities, though. Hey, the racing version of the TLX uses a twin-turbo V6, so we can dream.
MODELS & PRICING
At 73.0 inches across and 190.3 inches from nose to tail, the TLX is longer and wider than the TSX, but an inch narrower and 3.7 inches shorter than the TL. Thankfully, that trim comes from the overhangs — the front is down 1.1 inches and the rear, 2.7. The top of the roof is also half an inch closer to the pavement.
Compared to the TL, the TLX achieves a smaller footprint without sacrificing any of the interior space of its predecessor. If you fit in that one, you’ll fit nicely in this one; we managed to fit three adult males (one 6 foot, one 6-5 and the last 6-8) in the car for the test drive. So long as your author, the 6-footer, sat in the back, everyone seemed to get along nicely.
The car is rather handsome in person, to boot. The visual bloat of the outgoing TL is gone along with the controversial Power Plenum (perhaps you know it as the Acura beak). It’s not exactly breathtaking, but it looks good — and, perhaps more importantly for the Acura brand, it is distinct from the Accord sedan, a dignified car in its own right.
Inside, you’ll find a center stack cleaner than the ones we’ve seen in recent Acuras. There are two screens: one displays audio and navigation functions (on navigation-equipped cars), and the other, a touch-sensitive unit, displays climate information and varying audio/navigation/car setup functions. Redundant physical buttons should satisfy those who prefer a more tactile experience.
Seats are comfortable; not as cushy as a Lexus, not as upright as something from the Germans. There are touches of wood on the center console, dashboard and door panels, but it’s certainly not the richest or trendiest veneer in the class — we’d probably give that one to the open-grain accents from Audi, whose interiors seem all-around better designed (even if you’ll have to pay to get features, like dual climate control, that come standard on the Acura).
There are a variety of trim levels available, and depending on how you option your TLX, you can tack nearly 50 percent in extras on to the base car’s price. Fortunately, in Honda/Acura fashion, comfort, technology and safety upgrades are all combined into a handful of trim packages.
A base 2.4-liter TLX starts at $31,890; for a base 3.5-liter car, you’re in $36,115. Though these cars get goodies like keyless entry, push-button ignition, dual climate zones and LED headlights, you’ll have to step up to the Technology package — $35,920 for the 2.4-liter cars, $40,141 for 3.5-liter cars — to enjoy a GPS navigation system, blind spot and forward collision warnings and lane-keeping features, rain-sensing wipers and a premium leather interior. At the top of the heap is the Advance package (not available on 2.4-liter cars), which adds parking sensors, puddle lights, active cruise control and more. On front-wheel drive 3.5-liter cars, the Advance package brings the total to $43,395.
We’d lean toward some varation of the V6-powered SH-AWD car. It is available with the Technology package for $42,345; stepping up to the Advance package pushes you to a lofty $45,595 sticker.
Two-wheel drive, four-cylinder: 24/35/28 mpg
Two-wheel drive, six-cylinder: 21/34/25 mpg
All-wheel drive, six-cylinder: 21/31/25 mpg