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AAA World Article

Car Review: Acura TLX

This car is sure to make your holidays extra-memorable this year.

By Alan Rider



It used to be that a comfortable car was synonymous with boring. Well, the second generation of the Acura TLX sedan is here to disavow you of that notion once and for all.

The most notable change to this, the brand’s best-selling car model, is the restyled front end. The previous generation’s prominent plow-shaped grill has been replaced by an pentagonal opening that blends harmoniously with the car’s other noteworthy design elements, including those slit-like LED daytime running lights.

While the entry-level TLX is offered with an adequate 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, we spent our time behind the wheel of the sporty A-Spec model. In addition to a more robust 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine and smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission, the A-Spec sports dark-gray 19-inch alloy wheels and unique bodywork, including side skirts and a rear spoiler, and it has a firmer suspension and quicker steering.

These changes make for noticeably sharper handling without the rough ride so common with sport-tuned suspensions. That said, if you’re looking for maximum comfort, you’ll probably be happier with one of the other TLX trim levels. 

Throw in a quiet, luxuriously appointed interior and standard advanced safety features, and you have a comfortable car that’s actually pretty exciting.

 

Strengths

  • A-Spec’s muscular styling
  • Silky smooth V6/nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Comfortable cabin done up in high-quality materials

Weaknesses

  • No tuning knob for audio system
  • Push-button shifter takes some getting used to.
  • Some desirable features not offered on A-Spec

Bottom Line

New styling and a posh interior make this a car that can hold its own against much more expensive German competitors.

Pricing

Base Price: $33,000

As Tested: $45,750

Safety

NHTSA: Overall: 5 Stars (out of 5); Front: 5 Stars; Side: 5 Stars

IIHS: Not tested

M.P.G. (city/highway)

23/33 (2.4L/8-speed automatic/front-wheel drive)

20/32 (3.5L/9-speed automatic/front-wheel drive)

20/30 (A-Spec: 3.5L/9-speed automatic/front-wheel drive)

20/29 (A-Spec: 3.5L/9-speed automatic/all-wheel drive)

Interesting Technology

Available Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) boosts dry pavement performance; front-wheel-drive models feature four-wheel steering; bright LED headlights

Also Consider

Audi A4, Genesis G80

 

 

This car review originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of AAA World.


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