Offering excellent performance and above-average fuel economy, Acura's midsize luxury sedan is a blast to drive and filled with tech features both in the cockpit and under the hood.

Pricing and Equipment

The Acura TLX is powered either by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine. Four-cylinder models are equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with torque converter. V6 models send power to the front or all four wheels by way of a nine-speed automatic.

The TLX is available in seven trim levels:

  • TLX 2.4 8-DCT P-AWS: $31,695
  • TLX 2.4 8-DCT P-AWS w/ Technology Package: $35,750
  • TLX 3.5 V-6 9-AT P-AWS: $35, 320
  • TLX 3.5 v-6 9-AT P-AWS w/ Technology Package: $39,375
  • TLX 3.5 V-6 9-AT P-AWS with Advance Package: $42,600
  • TLX 3.5 V-6 9-AT SH-AWD with Technology Package: $41,575
  • TLX 3.5 V-6 9-AT SH-AWD with Advance Package: $44,800

Performance Pros

Acura TLX Side

Now in its second model year, Acura built the TLX to replace the TL and TSX sedans. Stealing the best features from both and mixing in some new Acura engineering, the TLX offers sophisticated styling, excellent fuel economy, and above-average performance without breaking the bank.

  • Depending on trim level, the TLX is powered either by a spirited 206-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder that earns 24 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined, or a surprisingly efficient 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 that is rated at 21 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.
  • Those looking for excellent all-weather performance and enhanced handling can opt for all-wheel drive, but the cost of admission also includes the V6. The combination of a larger engine and heavier drive system will also cost you three miles per gallon on the highway; city and combined mpg remain the same. Compared to other vehicles in the segment, the TLX offers an excellent performance-to-mileage ratio.
  • Four-cylinder models are equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and torque converter, designed for smoother shifts and faster acceleration.
  • V6 models get a nine-speed automatic transmission that also utilizes torque converters for smoother performance. Nine-speed models include utilize Acura’s nifty pushbutton electronic gear selector in place of a traditional cable-connected mechanical lever.
  • Acura’s precision all-wheel steer (P-AWS), found in front-wheel drive models, provides the TLX with a connected-to-the-road feeling rarely found in an entry level luxury sedan.
  • The V6 Super Handling All-Wheel Drive model (SH-AWD) enhances the TLX’s connection to the road even further. Pushing the AWD V6 around is exciting and rewarding.

Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), standard on all TLX models, allows the driver to select between Economy, Normal, Sport, and Sport+. Economy will help you save a little at the pump, but Sport+, and the stress-relieving fun that comes with it, may help save your sanity.

Interior Pros

Acura TLX Interior
  • The thoughtfully designed interior illustrates Acura’s signature restrained luxury. The fit and finish are excellent and the TLX’s seats are comfortable, yet provide excellent support and adjustability. The layout of the vehicles controls are purposefully driver-centric and attractive, but not flashy or gimmicky.
  • The snazzy red aluminum ignition start/stop button, which seems to exclaim "push me and drive," adds a nice bit of pizzazz to an otherwise sophisticated dashboard.
  • Most of the infotainment functions can be accessed through a touch-screen, but Acura has also included real knobs and buttons for frequently used functions like audio volume.

Interior Cons

The infotainment screen layout is a bit confusing. The large knob and buttons below the lower touchscreen control the features on the upper non-touch screen. I am not exactly sure why Acura has chosen to do this, but it seemed to mess me up every time!

The Most Pleasant Surprise

I am not sure if I have ever driven a sedan powered by 2.4-liter four-cylinder that felt so capable. The combination of the engineering and Acura’s precision all-wheel steering make the base TLX an absolute blast on back roads.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

I was a little disappointed that the dual-clutch transmission is only available on the four-cylinder models, and that all-wheel drive is limited to the V6.

The Bottom Line

Acura TLX

The midsize luxury sedan segment is packed with great vehicles and the TLX is one of them. While I cannot say it is for everyone, I think Acura’s sedan is worth a visit to the dealer for inspection. The top-trim V6 SH-AWD is my preferred trim, but you can’t go wrong with the base 2.4-liter. In either configuration, the TLX is a blast to drive.

I was less impressed with the front-wheel drive V6, though. Torque steer is often excessive and the small price and fuel cost savings do not seem to make up for what the front-wheel drive V6 loses over the all-wheel drive model.