2016 TLX New Car Test Drive
Launched as a 2015 model, the Acura TLX was created out of the departed TL and TSX, taking the wheelbase and interior space of the TL while cutting four inches off its length. It takes design cues from the full-size RLX sedan, namely the distinctively cool LED headlamps and amber line on the sideview mirrors. The 2016 TLX offers many new technology features, with an available Tech package.
The TLX comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 206 horsepower, mated to an 8-speed twin-clutch transmission with a torque converter that tries to smooth out the snaps. It's front-wheel drive only and is the sportiest version. The TLX is EPA-rated at 28 miles per gallon Combined, or 24/35 City/Highway with the four-cylinder.
Two TLX models use a 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection and variable valve timing (same as the four-cylinder), making 290 horsepower. V6 models with front-wheel drive are EPA-rated at 25 mpg Combined. We find the V6 less sporty than the four-cylinder.
However, with the V6 you can get Acura's all-wheel drive, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) to be precise, using torque vectoring at the front wheels to sharpen cornering.
All front-wheel-drive TLX models use Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), a system that slightly turns the rear wheels, for stability and response in quick maneuvers.
Using a four-mode system that comes on all TLX models, the driver can adjust steering effort, throttle response, and transmission programming.
The four-cylinder TLX was by far sweeter for us, as we flung it through the curves and twists of our favorite two-lane roads. It's lighter and beautifully balanced, one of the best handling front-wheel-drive cars we've driven.
In crash tests, the TLX scores perfect with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, five stars in every category. However like every car, it seems, it misses the top score with the IIHS small-overlap frontal impact (telephone pole) test.
The 2016 Acura TLX ($31,695) comes standard with leatherette upholstery, Siri Eyes Free interface, Bluetooth, streaming audio with seven speakers, text and email. The Technology Package ($35,750) upgrades with leather, navigation and other features.
TLX V6 ($35,320) is similarly equipped and available with the Technology Package ($39,375), while the all-wheel-drive V6 only comes with the Tech Package ($41,575). There's also a fully loaded Advance Package ($44,800).