We recently had the opportunity to sample Acura's latest sedan entry, the Acura TLX. As the name may imply, the TLX supplants two sedans in Acura's lineup: the TL and TSX. The merging of these two lines made a lot of sense; in fact, after the first time I drove a 2nd generation TSX a little over 6 years ago, my first thought was that it should have been badged as "2.4 TL", as it had grown to the point where it was essentially the same size as the 3rd generation TL.
Now we no longer need to ponder the whys and whatnots of that, as starting this month we have a stylish new Acura sedan model offering 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder options. It's your choice of a 206hp 2.4L DOHC i-VTEC i-4 coupled to a superb 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (8DCT), or a 290hp 3.5L SOHC i-VTEC V-6, which is connected to an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission (9AT). Both engines feature direct injection and are offered in a front-wheel-drive configuration with Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steering (P-AWS) system, while you can opt for a Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) option on V6 9AT models.
In typical Acura fashion, the TLX is offered in several trim levels (Base, Technology, and Advance), all of which are rich in features and value. The range starts at an enticing $30,995 for the base 4-cylinder and tops out at $44,700 for the top of the line V6 SH-AWD model with the Advance package. The 4-cylinder model tops out at the Technology trim level, while the front-wheel-drive V6 model offers all 3 levels, and the SH-AWD starts out at the Technology level. Fuel economy is listed at 24/35/28mpg (city/hwy/combined) for the 4-cylinder models, 21/34/25mpg for the V6 P-AWS model, and 21/31/25mpg for the V6 SH-AWD model.
As per the norm, the feature matrix is rather complicated, but basically the big step from the base to the Technology model includes Acura's Navigation System, Acura's incredible ELS Studio™ audio system, a bump from leatherette to a "milano leather-trimmed" interior, and a handful of active safety features (FCW, LKAS, LDW, BSI) . Stepping up to the Advance trim level buys a few more radar-based safety and convenience features (CMBS, ACC) along with ventilated seats, and some blingy items such as LED puddle lamps, LED fog lights, remote start, auto dimming exterior mirrors and a few other things. All trim levels get auto up/down windows at all four doors. The technology package hits the sweet spot in terms of value and content.
There really is a lot more to be said about what's new with the TLX, and we could literally go on and on for many paragraphs, but this is a "first drive", so continue on to the next page to read our driving impressions.