2018 TLX New Car Test Drive
The Acura TLX was launched as a 2015 model, a near-luxury sedan that slots between the ILX and RLX. The TLX is high on technology and moderate on starting price. Nothing has changed for the 2017 Acura TLX from the 2016 model except for three new body-color choices.
Compact in overall dimensions, the Acura TLX ranks closer to a midsize sedan in terms of passenger space. Despite falling short of true luxury status, it competes against several premium German-brand sedans of comparable size, including the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, as well as the latter's smaller CLA.
At 106.5 cubic feet, total passenger space doesn't quite match the 3 Series or C-Class, making the TLX a better choice for four occupants than five.
Two engines are available. In base trim, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 206 horsepower gives the TLX a nimble, nicely balanced character. Performance doesn't get much of a boost with the more expensive 3.5-liter V6, which develops 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Furthermore, while the 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in the four-cylinder model behaves admirably, the V6 sedan switches to a less impressive 9-speed unit.
Front-wheel drive is standard, but the V6 model also is available with Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).
Not everyone has high praise for the appearance of the TLX. Many consider it to be average, at best. Rather than fall in line with the latest design directions emanating from Honda's luxury division, the TLX sticks with styling themes that are closer to the past.
Crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration brought a five-star overall rating. In one of the tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for small-overlap frontal impact, the TLX ranked only Marginal. Other IIHS tests yielded Good scores (the highest rating). When fitted with optional safety features, the TLX was rated Superior for frontal-crash prevention.
Even the base model is impressively equipped. LED daytime running lights and a rearview camera are standard. Every TLX has a moonroof, power seats, keyless start, and Bluetooth connectivity. Only a single trim level is offered, but Technology and Advance packages add luxury amenities, as well as a group of active-safety features.
The 2017 Acura TLX offers a choice of powertrains and option packages:
TLX 2.4L ($31,900) comes with the four-cylinder engine, moonroof, seven-speaker audio with satellite radio, hill start assist. TLX 2.4L with Technology Package ($35,950) adds navigation, AcuraLink infotainment, perforated leather upholstery, and a premium 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio audio system. Safety features include forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring.
TLX 3.5L ($35,350) gets the V6 engine, with equipment similar to the TLX 2.4L, with 18-inch wheels. It's available with the Technology Package ($39,400). TLX 3.5L with Advance Package ($42,600) adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, front/rear parking sensors; and heated/ventilated front seats.
TLX 3.5L SH-AWD with Technology Package ($41,600) features Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.