The Acura TLX is an entry luxury sedan. that competes with the BMW 3-Series,. Audi A4 and the Mercedes Benz C-Class. among others. The Germans get a lot of. attention, but quietly the Acura TLX is a. strong seller. Why did I do this on a. hill?. Well, it’s connection to corporate parent. Honda doesn’t hurt. While some luxury. sedans have finicky reputations, the TLX. is the Honda Accord of luxury sedans, and. I mean literally the Honda Accord. The. TLX and Accord have similar. underpinnings. You might think that. commonality diminishes the TLX’s. premium image, but there are benefits. I. mean which would you bet is more. reliable a Honda or a Mercedes? The TLX’s.
Honda root also show in the simple. usability of its steering wheel and seat. controls. That said, not all elements are. instantly intuitive. Take the. infotainment system please! That’s good. shtick. With two displays there’s. more visual real estate, touch controls. are close at hand and critical. information is placed near the driver. sight line. On the other hand, some. functions require excess attention from. the driver, and it takes a little time to. figure out which screen does what. I’ll. also point out that while I love the. standard inclusion of Apple Carplay and. Android Auto putting it on the top. screen means I can’t touch the buttons. Instead I have to use this rotary knob. to make selections and then push this. button here instead of using the. interface that is expressly designed to. be touched. Amazingly, this imperfect solution does. get easier with time, so does the. push-button transmission included on V6. models. Even though you have to visually. confirm your selection rather than. relying on touch. In similar fashion the. position and shape of the drive mode.
selector makes it difficult to select by. feel alone. So, you’ll probably have to. take your eyes off the road if you want. to select between econ, norma,l Sport, and. Sport Plus modes. Incidentally, each. offers the steering and powertrain. behaviors you’d expect. Regardless of. mode, the TLX pleases with linear. steering, a compliant ride and an. insulated cabin that keeps the madness. of the world outside, at least the parts. you can hear. For the TLX, front-wheel. drive comes standard. No surprises there,. but so does Acura’s P-AWS or PAWS rear-. wheel steering system, which improves. both stability and agility, and you know. it’s true because it rhymes. Nonetheless,. front-drive TL X’s can’t top the. inherent sportiness found in the 3-Series. or Infiniti Q50. A base TLX runs. about $34,000 including destination. charges. It comes with a sunroof, heated. power front seats, dual zone automatic. climate control, keyless access with. push-button start,. LED lighting, and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder. engine. The four-cylinder is adequately. powerful and comes paired with an. eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Interestingly the four-cylinder is only. slightly more efficient than the. optional 3.5-liter V6. Credit for that. minor efficiency gap goes to the V6’s. ability to selectively deactivate. cylinders. In a world increasingly.
dominated by four cylinders, we like the. V6 its strong and sounds brawny-er than. the base engine. That’s nice. If the V6 has a downside. it’s the nine-speed automatic transmission. it’s partnered with. Some members of our. test team noted occasional hesitation. and a vexing tendency to select the. highest gear possible, improving fuel. economy but sapping fun from the driving. experience. For most drivers the nine-speed. is just fine, but it doesn’t hurt to try. before you buy. Buy the V6 and you can add Acura super. handling all-wheel drive for $2,000. Choose it and you’ll lose the all-wheel. steering found on front-drive versions,. but you’ll gain traction, and not dumb. traction, intelligent traction.
The. system’s torque vectoring abilities. allow it to overdrive the outside rear. tire for nimbler cornering. FYI. here’s the button to deactivate the. automatic engine start/stop system that. comes on the V6. You might need that. Fans of not crashing will love the. standard Acura Watch suite of safety and. convenience technologies. Whether talking. about adaptive cruise control, lane. keeping assist, or automatic emergency. braking, each system works in helpful. predictable fashion. In particular the. forward collision warning system uses. orange flashes in the gauge cluster and. reflected on the windscreen to alert you. to danger. The warnings are obvious but. not distracting, which is nice, so you. don’t turn a bad situation into a really. bad situation. See if I can get it to do it. Worked like a charm.
I meant to do that. When not skirting. disaster, take a moment to appreciate the. TLX’s cabin. In the entry-luxury space. there are more dazzling interiors. Oh,. look, the C-Class and that S60 is awfully. nice, but the TLX still exudes quality. Soft touch points, a commanding and yet. relaxed driving position, and welcoming. seats make this a lovely place to burn. through your commute. Rear seat legroom. could be more generous, but my. middle-of-the-road five-foot 10-inch frame. fits well enough.
Meanwhile trunk space. lands at 14.3-cubic feet, a healthy. number for the category. Adding. much-needed dynamism to the TLX. is the A-Spec package. Offered with. either the four-cylinder or V6, the A-Spec. package doesn’t add horsepower but. it does boast a sport-tuned suspension,. 19-inch wheels, and more assertive. styling inside and out. Raid the TL X’s. various option packages and you can add. leather seating, blind spot monitoring,. front and rear parking sensors, a. 360-degree camera system, navigation and. a 10-speaker ELS audio system. Spare no. expense and a loaded all-wheel-drive.
Acura TLX V6 Peaks around $46,000. With competitive prices, a generous. equipment list, and healthy residual. numbers, the Acura TLX represents a. strong value compared to its peers. Luxury goods tend to trade in flash and. emotion. They’re about dazzling the. senses, and who knows, maybe validating. one’s station in life. In the entry level. space there are plenty of recognizable. desirable cars that’ll get the job done,. but if practicality enters the equation. might be wise to expand your search. The Acura TLX is not the most emotional. luxury car you can buy, but it is. comfortable and competent. If you’re. willing to swap a little bit of emotion. for superior value and reliability the. is a smart buy.