Space for five, but best for four. The 2020 Acura TLX competes with the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but it isn’t as roomy inside as these two German competitors. The TLX’s front seats are thick and well bolstered, delivering all-day comfort. The rear compartment offers space for three, but two is the ideal. Even so, the rear seating compartment feels cramped for tall passengers.
The materials used and its fit and finish match the top competitors. As for storage space, the TLX falls short with just 14.3 cubic feet available.
Technology on the leading edge. Acura furnishes the TLX with many of the tech features we want for no extra cost. You’ll find Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto smartphone compatibility, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, and a seven-speaker sound system.
Add in such standard features as heated front seats, a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, a power front passenger seat, and a large color display, and the TLX brings much value for its just under $34,000 starting price.
Beyond the base technologies, Acura’s Technology Package ($3,700) is worth considering as it bundles upgraded wheels, a leather-trimmed interior, navigation, a 10-speaker audio package, and advanced-driver assist technologies.
Performance to satisfy most buyers. The Acura TLX gives buyers a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines. Most shoppers should be satisfied with the engine choices, but there are differences of note.
The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 205 horsepower and works with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter V6 delivers 290 hp and comes with a nine-speed automatic. The dual-clutch transmission is the better of the two as it changes gears quickly and crisply. However, the nine-speed seems comparatively lazy and slow.
Front-wheel drive is standard and only the V6 offers Acura’s available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. It supplies enhanced, high-performance cornering, which rivals some of the segment’s top models.
An impressive list of safety features. Acura supplies every TLX with collision-avoidance features. You’ll find lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking on all models. Also available is blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the TLX with its top five-star overall safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) wasn’t as generous, awarding the ILX top scores in most categories, except for acceptable in the driver's side small overlap front crash test.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Acura TLX may not have the performance panache of its chief rivals, but it doesn’t take second place in style, refinement, and tech appointments, either. Its price point comes in lower than the competition, as even a well-equipped model can be had for about $40,000.
In all, the TLX sedan brings much value to the segment. For Acura fans wanting more room, the RDX SUV is a logical alternative.