2021 TLX New Car Test Drive
Vying for attention in a highly competitive category, the 2020 Acura TLX mid-size sedan seeks to blend luxury with sportiness, while it delivers plenty of driving pleasure.
Little has changed for the 2020 model year, except for a bright new blue body color for A-Spec versions. Only one trim level is offered, but the base car can add any of three option packages: Technology, sporty A-Spec, or top-rung Advance.
Two TLX engines are available: a 2.4-liter 206-horsepower inline-4 and a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 290 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available with the V-6.
Four-cylinder models get an impressive dual-clutch 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. V-6 models employ a 9-speed automatic, also with paddles.
Every TLX contains a welcome collection of active-safety collision-avoidance systems. Included are adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and active lane control. Blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors are available.
Crash-test ratings are mostly good. The 2020 Acura TLX earned a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, scoring five stars for both frontal and side-impact.
The IIHS was less impressed. In most of its crash tests, the 2019 TLX earned a top “Good” rating. It was rated “Acceptable” in the small-overlap frontal collision. The IIHS rated the standard automatic emergency braking system “Superior,” but considered child-seat anchors difficult to use..
Prices do not include $995 destination charge ($1,995 for PMC Edition).
The base 2020 TLX ($33,000) comes with heated power front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, keyless ignition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, automatic climate control, and collision-avoidance technology. The Technology Package ($36,700) includes leather upholstery, navigation, and blind-spot monitors.
A-Spec sedans ($39,400) get a navigation system and premium audio, tinted taillights and 4-inch exhaust tips.
The TLX V-6 ($36,200 with front-drive, $38,200 with all-wheel drive), Technology Package ($40,100 with front-drive, $42,100 with all-wheel drive) cars, and A-Spec cars ($42,800 with front-drive, $44,800 with all-wheel drive) are equipped similarly to inline-4 models.
The TLX V-6 with the Advance Package and all-wheel drive ($45,950) is upholstered with softer leather, adding heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, HD radio, and navigation..