By on October 10, 2014

2015 Acura TLXOn October 1, after we asked TTAC readers late last month if the TLX could restore Acura’s car business, Acura reported 3884 TLX sales for the month of September 2014. This was a strong follow-up to the TLX’s 2286-unit performance during the latest Acura’s first month on sale.

3884 is a figure which, like most premium (or semi-premium?) monthly car sales totals, pales in comparison to the numbers put up by BMW’s vast 3-Series/4-Series range. 12,814 of those BMWs were sold in September, a 51% year-over-year increase. Mercedes-Benz C-Class sales slid 2% to 6285 units, the best C-Class month since December. (The C has been undergoing a transition into new W205 form.) Lexus ES sales jumped 18% to 5722 units. Mercedes-Benz E-Class volume fell 14% to 4883 units.

Yet among premium brand passenger cars, nothing else sold more often than the TLX in September 2014, not the Lexus IS, Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Mercedes-Benz CLA, Audi A3, or the Cadillac CTS.

(Buick sold 3913 Veranos in September. In the eyes of many, Buick, like Acura and perhaps Volvo, treads middle ground between the Mazdas and Mercedes-Benzes of the world. Speaking of Volvo, the TLX outsold Volvo’s whole passenger car division by nearly 1000 units in September.)

If we exclude those nameplates from the equation to concentrate on Acura’s recent TL and TSX history, we then see the true signs of early success for the TLX. Not since March of last year has the TL topped the 3000-unit mark. Not since March of 2011 had the TL achieved a monthly total (3995) in excess of the TLX’s September result.

Acura hadn’t sold more than 3000 TSXs in a single month since April 2012. December 2010 marks the last occasion in which the TSX put up a figure (4393) better than the TLX’s 3884-unit achievement in September.

Even at 3900 units/month, the TLX isn’t going to bring back the kind of annual numbers the TL used to achieve, of course. Acura averaged 71,500 annual TL sales in the United States between 2004 and 2007, a period in which the brand was also selling 34,000 TSXs per year.

We no longer expect cars to be the major driving force for premium automakers, however. In 2005, for example, Acura relied on cars for nearly seven out of every ten sales. Only 63,285 MDXs and RDXs were sold. That same year, passenger cars accounted for 79% of all BMW sales. At BMW, that figure stands at just 66% in 2014.

Through the first seven months of this year, only 30% of the Acuras sold were passenger cars. That figure rose to 32% in August and then 41% in September, a month in which ILX sales actually increased, as well: 7% to 1464 units. Acura sold 187 RLXs last month, a 40% drop. The TL and TSX leftovers, 200 units, accounted for 3.5% of Acura’s passenger car total in September. Already this year, Acura has sold 81,472 utility vehicles.

If the TLX sells like the TL of a decade ago, we’d be shocked. If it continues to outsell increasingly popular cars like the Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, and Audi A3, we might just have to call it a hit.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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145 Comments on “Early Results: The TLX Might Be A Hit, By Acura Standards...”


  • avatar

    Someone tell me if I’m mistaken that this car is supposed to supplant both the TSX and TL.

    So…shouldn’t it sell as well as both combined?

    • 0 avatar
      cammark

      I had the same thought, though I feel that it’s fair to combine TLX and ILX sales numbers in that respect. Although the TLX is said to replace the two, I would suspect that the ILX is the smaller sedan former TSX shoppers were looking for.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Theoretically the TLX/ILX combination should sell like the TSX/TL combination. The TLX/ILX are not exactly the same as the TSX/TL, but they cover about the same spread in the market (~$26k-45k). Acura won’t get there without major tweaks to the ILX, which supposedly are coming. We’ll see.

      • 0 avatar

        Theoretically. The TLX does a good job of picking up where the previous TL left off, but the ILX is hardly alluring to the previous or prospective TSX customer.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          As a 2-time TSX customer, I agree.

          Honestly, if I were to have to replace my TSX tomorrow, I don’t know what I’d buy. I could go up to ~$40k, and as I look at what the buys me, I’m not thrilled with any of the sedans in the segment. It’s either a near-stripper German, or an unappealing Japanese, and the American entry (ATS) is too small for me. I could go down to the Camry/Accord/Fusion range, but….blah. At this point I’d probably go buy a Grand Cherokee.

          • 0 avatar
            an innocent man

            @S2k Chris

            That’s funny. Because I feel exactly the same. As much as I love my 2004 and as great of a car that it’s been, the main reason I plan on keeping it a good while longer is that I really don’t know what I’d replace it with. For the last few months I think I’ve cross-shopped everything from a RAV4 to a Civic to a Ram. And if I HAD to buy today, I’d get a JGC, almost by default. I am intrigued by the TLX, though.

          • 0 avatar

            The closest two cars to the TSX *might* be the Volvo S60 and Buick Regal. But neither one has quite the magic recipe that TSX drivers love.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “The closest two cars to the TSX *might* be the Volvo S60 and Buick Regal. But neither one has quite the magic recipe that TSX drivers love.”

            I’m 32. I’ll probably replace my car when I’m around 35-37. I’m not buying a Buick, and Volvo=China.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @S2k Chris

            The Volvo S60 Kyree refers to is not being made in China… yet. If you must, buy used, with a Volvo it makes more sense anyway due to their resale problems.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Volvo is still Chinese-owned, I’m not buying one.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        What tweaks are those?

        I am really liking the ILX. I ran the numbers and I might even be able to afford one. I am kind of hoping they bring that 2.0T from the new Civic Type R to it, with SH-AWD. But we will see.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Rumored are things like the “jewel eye” headlights, and better alignment of engine and options packages (ie, be able to get an automatic, like the DSG, on the top engine, and pair it with the tech package if desired).

          • 0 avatar
            calgarytek

            Scrap that and put front double wishbones on it…

            That 8/9 speed combo wouldn’t hurt either.
            Naww, who am I kidding. 6/7 speed manual or DSG.

            MMM, one can only dream of a commercial for the ILX Type R. “With the handling precision of front double wishbones and 240 HP VTEC Earthdreams engine, {cliché goes here}”

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Front double wishbones are entirely unnecessary in this day and age. They were more a benefit to packaging than performance. You can’t have super-low cowls anymore because of safety requirements, so the packaging benefit is gone.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Like dude said, it’s a different market now. CUVs are the breadwinners and sales drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Perhaps, or perhaps the TLX/ILX should sell as well as the TL/TSX did. For the record, the TLX’s September volume was 3884 units, up 58% from the 2465 units from the combined TL/TSX in September 2013, but combined TLX/TL/TSX sales were down 17% compared with the TL/TSX total from September 2012.

      • 0 avatar

        I wonder if part of Acura’s sales problem is the names of their cars. I honestly can’t keep the cars straight–ILX, TSX, TL, TLX–will they revive the RSX or create a CSX? Oh wait, now I’m thinking of the Shelby CSX, based on the old Dodge Shadow…

        The other part of their struggle is price–why pay $40K for a TLX/TL/TSX when you can buy a loaded Accord, which is 98% of the car, for $10K less?

        At least the TLX won’t be DOA like the previous RLX, but I still think Acura is SOL.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Yeah, they should follow Cadillac, X/C/ATS, CT6, ELR or Lincoln MKT/X/C/Z. That would make it so much easier

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Why Cadillac doesn’t just name their cars after different kinds of waterfowl astonishes me.

            The Widgeon, the Loon, the Lesser Scaup… memorable, right?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Cadillac Dodo (an extinct flightless bird )

          • 0 avatar

            Cadillac Gooney Bird, Albatross, Mollymawk…

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            IDK, a Cadillac Booby might sell.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            They’ve already done it…

            http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/files/1957_cadillac_eldorado_brougham_front__800x600_.jpg

            Have you ever seen a pair like that on a car?

          • 0 avatar

            For those that can remember the Jurassic age, there was the ‘Legend’ Which lived up to its name. Sounds so much better than TLX. Is because the Germans insist on putting numbers and letters together that premium sedans live in a world of alphabet soup?

          • 0 avatar

            For those that can remember the Jurassic age, there was the ‘Legend’ Which lived up to its name. Sounds so much better than TLX. Is it because the Germans insist on putting numbers and letters together that premium sedans live in a world of alphabet soup?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Honda really GMed (kill a good brand) the Legend. That car was a hit from day one, just like the LS400. GM isn’t the only car company that knows how to screw-up a good thing

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “Why pay $40K for a TLX when you can buy a loaded Accord?”

          Compare the two feature for feature and the TLX ends up looking like a decent deal. To spend $40K on a TLX you’re buying a V6, either the FWD Advance Package or the SH-AWD Tech package. Compare that with the Accord Touring at $34K, focusing on what’s missing from the Accord, and it starts to make sense. It’s even clearer when you compare the base TLX to the four-cylinder Accord EX-L.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Acura appeared in MY’86 as a premium brand…4 years before the likes of Lexus and Infiniti. It created the Japanese premium brand idea. Therefore, it IS a premium brand…not a wannabe like Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Disagree, it WAS a premium brand now it is simply USDM Honda in nicer clothes. So it is the equivalent of Buick or Lincoln today.

      • 0 avatar
        EX35

        except even Lincoln is now building a rwd platform.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>Disagree, it WAS a premium brand now it is simply USDM Honda in nicer clothes. So it is the equivalent of Buick or Lincoln today.
        <<

        ALG doesn't agree. According to their 2014 "awards" , Acura is the #! premium brand for retaining value. Merc is #5 and BMW is #6.

        ALG relegates Buick to #13 in the non-premium brand category.
        https://www.alg.com/alg-announces-14th-annual-residual-value-awards/

    • 0 avatar

      LOL Buick was a premium brand since like 1955.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        … until like 1980 give or take

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          All GM brands (living and dead) were something to somebody until the pursuit of almighty volume became the driving force.

          • 0 avatar
            Mullholland

            “All GM brands (living and dead) were something to somebody until the pursuit of almighty volume became the driving force.”

            And gas prices soared
            And Japanese premium brands and vehicles arrived
            And European brands increased their marketing budgets
            And GM management required bailouts to continue their operations
            And Korean vehicles built on the gains of Japanese vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Roger Smith was the malignant cancer that killed GM and still haunts it even post-BK.

            It’s nothing less than “a pure Roger Smith move” to now plan on slating an even smaller Cadillac than the already non-competitive ATS, to share its chassis with the upcoming Chevy Cruze, and create a Cadillac Cruze sedan and CUV from this.

            Really galactically idiotic, and worthy of Roger Bonham Smith.

            They should name it the Cadillac RBS in his honor.

            Throw an instrument panel/gauge cluster in it from a Daewoo Lacetti while you’re at it.

            Great job, GM. Good going Mrs. Barra. Job well done, Johan.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            “Throw an instrument panel/gauge cluster in it from a Daewoo Lacetti while you’re at it.”

            Hey now, it would be pretty ridiculous for the base Cadaewoo to have a nicer set of gauges than the ATS and CTS!

          • 0 avatar
            turboprius

            What about Wagoner? He was a pretty bad CEO. GM went bankrupt with him in power.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Buick has never been a truly premium brand in the half-century I’ve been alive. Most of that time it was plush Chevy for old people and cars for the dealerships that primarily sell GMC brand trucks. Now it’s Opel for China and the US. I like the Opel offerings better than Chevy with more chrome and velour, but neither is going to impress the neighbors.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          From the ’30s to the ’70s Buick was a respected premium brand. A conservative Cadillac more then a tarted-up Chevy, think names like Roadmaster, Century, Riviera, Wildcat, Electra 225. Buick was a close 2nd to Cadillac in the GM hierarchy at one time even dubbed the “Dr’s Car”

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            +1, Lie2me. A great-uncle of mine had a very successful career: partner in his firm, author of a fairly well known textbook in his field, professor at a top-15 professional school. His first car was a ’26 Cadillac handed down from his father-in-law; his last was a W123 Mercedes. In between, it was three-plus decades of Buicks. Buick owners were people wanted a nice car but didn’t want their clients, patients, or colleagues questioning their income and their spending habits.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      It is a premium brand. Go to the ALG site. Acura won the ALG 2014 award, premium brand. Merc and BMW came in 5 and 6.

      Buick was #13, non-premium.

    • 0 avatar
      stottpie

      You cannot be a premium brand if your cars are all FWD. Just no.

  • avatar
    EX35

    Lol, Acura is done here.

    How many times must it be said, either build a competent sedan based on a rwd platform, or stick to your crappy but profitable cuvs.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Not everyone wants a CUV, and spinning up a more attractive/expensive Accord was most likely profitable from a cost/benefit standpoint.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Except the TLX seems like an afterthought, “Hey we we already have the wildly popular Accord/Pilot/MDX/RDX/Ridgeline(so,so) on this platform so let’s squeeze a little more profit out with the TLX”

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Probably was when it debuted, now I suspect it is a planned entry when the Honda D platform is developed. Now the Acura Cimmaron, that is a half-assed afterthought.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          For an afterthought it has already garnered better reviews and numbers than the new Infiniti models.

          As for sales, from the articles I’ve read, sales have been reduced by limited supply. Acura expects sales will go up w/ availability.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Around here, the lack of AWD availability is a real killer. The unknown availability of the AWD RLX is what ended up knocking it out of consideration for me. (Admittedly, it wasn’t at the top of the list to start with.)

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Not everyone wants the packaging disadvantages of a RWD platform. The TLX is roomier inside but smaller outside than a 3-Series.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      It’s funny how interneters think RWD matters.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        >>It’s funny how interneters think RWD matters.

        That was my question too. How does RWD make a car premium? Leather seats, yes. A quiet cabin, I get it. A powerful, graceful, effortless engine… absolutely.

        RWD? Yes, it is necessary and appreciated by the enthusiast driver, but is it a requirement for a luxury buyer?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Since the advent of lower cost mass produced transverse engined FWD vehicles, RWD has become a premium option for those that wish to pay for it’s virtues. The added costs are more palatable when packaged with luxury options, so they often go hand in hand.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s as good an explanation as I’ve ever seen. Another one that I like, and sort of believe, though I really can’t verify it was that, BMW at the time simply didn’t have the money to make the transition. At the same time it was growing and becoming “the” yuppy car, most especially in America. Then it was up to their marketing that did a fine job of extolling and selling the virtues of what in essence, at the time, a weak point and a failing.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          Leather seats and a quiet cabin? A Malibu has that.

          Luxury is having something that other people don’t. It matters not at all which wheels actually turn, see Audi, but longitudinal proportions to differentiate from lessers and cheapers are an absolute must.

        • 0 avatar
          oldgeek

          RWD apparently is a defining characteristic by some car reviewers.

          FWD makes a difference in snow because of the weight distribution and some might argue that is a premium feature.

          Placing the trans axial up front not only eliminated some weight but also eliminated the transmission hump making the back seat more roomy.

          Perhaps I am just ordinary and not very sophisticated but driving around town or on the highway I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between RWD, FWD or AWD. I also have no idea what some define as understeer! but then I have only been driving for 47 years. If you have a car with power everything, the features of a smart phone and leather interior, power to spare and quiet as a church mouse,I think you can call it a premium car.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>How many times must it be said, either build a competent sedan based on a rwd platform, or stick to your crappy but profitable cuvs.<<

    LOL? I guess you should tell that to Audi. The A8 is a front wheel drive design. Same w A4 and A6.

    As for Lincoln, rear wheel drive or not, it will never be more than Mercury was. Even Ford knew that when they executed its demise w/ PAG.

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      isn’t the Audi AWD system RWD-biased? I guess I should amend my comment. Build a competent sedan based on a RWD OR RWD-biased AWD platform. I for one am not spending $35K+ on a FWD biased econocar.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Hey thorn,

      All Audi’s from the A4 up have longitudinally mounted engines. While its true that the base A4 comes with FWD, the addition of quattro turns it into a rear biased AWD setup through a Torsen center diff. I believe this sets Audi apart from Acura.

      It is noteworthy though that even with their rear biased quattro, Audi cars tend to be very noseheavy.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        If you’re just talking about the design of the AWD system, the Acura SH-AWD system could also be considered rear-biased to an extent. It starts with a 60/40 front split, but then overdrives the rear outside wheel in corners.

        The fact is that neither Audi nor Acura builds their vehicles on a typical front-mid-engine/RWD platform, and both have better interior space as a result.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        In Europe the Audi sedans come in front drive or AWD. No rear drive only.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Yes, but the longitudinal engine mounting in the A4 upwards allows quattro to be tuned with a rear power bias. And the physical layout resembles an RWD car once quattro is added.

          The transverse engine Haldex AWD A3 or TT is certainly front drive biased, but not the bigger sedans once quattro is added.

          • 0 avatar
            PJmacgee

            But like Subaru, those engines are hanging way out in the nose (in front of the front axle). No amount of rear wheel bias will save that unfortunate packaging and resulting nose-plow handling.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “But like Subaru, those engines are hanging way out in the nose (in front of the front axle).”

            True of some Audis, but not the current longitudinal ones. The B8 manual transmission 2.0T Audi A4 has a weight distribution of 54/46, according to Car and Driver measurements.

            http://media.caranddriver.com/files/2009-audi-a4-20t-audi-a4-test-car-and-driver2009-audi-a4-20t-quattro-1.pdf

            That’s as good as or better than many RWD vehicles of the past 50 years. If the mechanicals driving the front wheels were removed, it would probably be 53/47 or less. I haven’t looked under the hood of one with the 2.0T, but I suspect the center of the engine is behind the front axle, cons*dering the supercharged V6 in the S4 is pretty much centered over the front axle. The S4 has a 55/45 weight distribution.

            http://media.caranddriver.com/files/2010-audi-s4-vs-2009-bmw-335i2010-audi-s4-quattro-vs-2009-bmw-335i-vehicle.pdf

            The A6 and A8 are in the 55/45 to 56/44 range.

            Compare that to something like a Volvo S60 T6 AWD, at 62/38, or the Acura TL SH-AWD, at 59/41.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            rpn452, you are correct. I have a B8 A4 and the engine is not “hanging way out in the nose,” as evidenced by the 55/45 weight distribution, which is right in between perfect 50/50 and the 60/40 of transverse FWD cars like the TL. Some people seem to be missing the distinction between tranverse and longitudinal platforms.

          • 0 avatar
            PJmacgee

            Weight distribution (front/rear) is not the final answer to “is this car fundamentally dynamic/fun?”. Take an A4 (or TL) with 55/45, throw 300lbs in the trunk and voila, perfect 50/50 distribution! wellll, sure, but that weight is still poorly placed.

            Anyway, who doesn’t love some naked car chassis porn??

            http://pictures.dealer.com/s/stanleysubarusne/1470/2a8ccadb0a0d02b700b6f7f5fdde5deb.jpg

            Witness the entire freaking engine block and half the transmission in front of the axle, yikes.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    Is there a healthy brand that you guys like that will flourish in the years to come? I like the B&B but you all seem convinced that every car manufacturer is on a path to financial ruin.

    I’ve been seeing quite a few ILXes on the road around here. I’m not sure what about them looks cheap, but it’s something. From a purely aesthetic level there’s something about the design that seems less “premium” than Lexus or Infiniti, but I can’t put my finger on exactly what this is. The RSX never seemed like a premium vehicle either, just a very nice sporty economy car.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Lexus is well liked and will continue to do well. Tesla despite all financial logic will continue to flourish, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’d bet on Honda (ironically, since Acuras are essentially the same vehicles), Lexus (due to their rejection of the 4 cylinder ‘premium’ vehicle trend) and FCA.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Site won’t let me edit, but FCA due to strength of RAM, Jeep & Dodge sales, and –

        – I’d bet on continuing strength of Subaru, which has stars lining up for it –

        – and Audi, which is on a Yuppie tear, robbing sales from Volvo, (now BK Saab), BMW & MB.

        • 0 avatar
          EX35

          Subaru needs a competitive 3-row crossover though.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            The Subaru Tribeca was a failure

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Not because it had 3 rows, though.

            Despite so.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            …and not because it was a bad car, just not Subaru’s niche

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “…and not because it was a bad car, just not Subaru’s niche”

            Subaru’s sales the past five years have shown that family CUV is exactly their niche.

            The Tribeca wasn’t in the wrong niche, it was the wrong car. Cramped in all three rows, inexplicably heavy with real SUV sticker mileage to match, a wholly unsuited powertrain that took premium gas, bizarre styling, uncompetitive pricing, even Toyota dealers couldn’t have moved that one.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @Dan

            Subaru’s niche is all-purpose, economical, compact starter kit SUV/CUVs for young people who would rather haul camping equipment and dogs then a boat-load of kids and there stuff. For them there’s the CR-V, Traverse, Tahoe, MDX, RS and the QX-something. Subaru tried and failed at the step-up mommy-cars and have gone back to doing what they do best

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            They’re going to be trying again at the 3-row game within a couple of years.

            Depending on whether my wife and I choose to have another kid I might take a look at replacing the Forester XT with it when the time comes, provided that it’s a more competitive product than the Tribeca.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            … and if Subaru fails to delivery the kind of “family crossover” you need you’re going to buy one of the above referenced family haulers

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Probably a used late-model MDX or Durango. I’d try a Q7 but it’s a bit big/heavy and I’m too focused on reliability to look at a used German.

            We ski and hike, with lots of poor-traction driving in the mountains, so AWD means something. I don’t have time for crappy on-demand AWD systems that only give the rear axle power a second or two *after* you actually need it. I also don’t want to put up with the poor space utilization, exterior size, or handling of a BOF truck. So that leaves only a few options, and a Subaru addition to them would be welcome. For now, with just one kid, the Forester XT is nearly perfect for what we use it for.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            MDXs are designed and tailored for families with all the reliability of Honda. They also look good in the carpool lines

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Hey DeadWeight,

          I know we have discussed a bit lately the premium I4 question, and had something to add.

          From inside, the 2.0T in the Verano is almost inaudible and its power delivery is excellent.

          But from the outside, its beset with clicks, ticks, whines and whirs from the Direct Injection and various accessories. Its loud and comes across decidedly low rent.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I didn’t spend as much time with the 2.0T in the ATS as I did in the base model, but I completely agree.

            It is not befitting a “premium” brand vehicle in terms of NVH, especially one that costs approx 40k.

            The ATS is going to have to be a firesale lease special (as it already has started to be) if Cadillac Dealers are to keep their inventory of it less than 140 days at any given time.

            $0 due at signing, $249/month, everyone with a pulse should do it. They can even put the KIA dealer right next door like they did 12 miles from my house so that people can cross shop their Cadillacs and KIAs and deal with the same lease department.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Hey DW,

        You and I have gone back a bit on the premium I4 discussion a bit of late, I wanted to add something.

        The 2.0T in the Verano is whisper quiet from the inside, and its power delivery cannot be faulted.

        But from the outside, the DI clatter/ticking, and various accessories running (loudest cooling fan EVAR) it sounds distinctly low rent.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If you regard the TLX as a higher trim level of the Accord, then it doesn’t have to sell that well in order to justify its existence. The cost of developing the car must have been relatively modest.

    As for a “hit,” it seems to be doing OK, but it’s a bit early to know whether it’s sustainable. This could reflect pent-up demand from Acura fans who were waiting to make a move. If you could get data on conquest sales, then that might be more revealing.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Grrr, I just had 3 comments eaten!

    Gold they were, too!

    EDITED BECAUSE I CANT GET THIS COMMENT TO POST::

    Hey DeadWeight,

    I know we have discussed a bit lately the premium I4 question, and had something to add.

    From inside, the 2.0T in the Verano is almost inaudible and its power delivery is excellent.

    But from the outside, its beset with clicks, ticks, whines and whirs from the Direct Injection and various accessories. Its loud and comes across decidedly low rent.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I tried posting this in the appropirate reply spot but it keeps getting eaten

      Hey DeadWeight,

      I know we have discussed a bit lately the premium I4 question, and had something to add.

      From inside, the 2.0T in the Verano is almost inaudible and its power delivery is excellent.

      But from the outside, its beset with clicks, ticks, whines and whirs from the Direct Injection and various accessories. Its loud and comes across decidedly low rent.

  • avatar
    hf_auto

    I really like what Acura’s done with the TLX, it’s really a goldilocks car for us. The TLX may not blow the competition away in any single category, but I find the balance of it’s attributes commendable:
    – Great value (no need to look beyond the base $31k model)
    – Finally has modern transmissions, and doesn’t use a CVT
    – Likely more reliable and cheaper to own than the Germans
    – Apparently fun-ish to drive (I can’t say the same about the F30)
    – Good fuel economy

    I also find this car easy to justify over the Accord sedan lineup, None of the trim levels package a good stereo, an acceptable transmission, and a sunroof.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    creativity in car nomenclature has bottomed out when you still name your cars after 3 catchy letters. I agree upgrading to 4 letters is a mistake because i can only thing of curse words.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I really can’t see buying a TLX. It looks small (compared to an old TL or the RLX), and the interior is only a marginal step above the material quality of an Accord. It’s nothing more than a good enough product for the current crop of Acura owners’ next lease.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnnyFirebird

      I think we could make a good business for designing replacement name badges for these alphanumeric models.

      Your TLX could become an Acura… Gladius! Mjollnir? Excalibur?

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    (I tried posting this as a reply to DW but it keeps getting eaten)

    Hey DeadWeight,

    I know we have discussed a bit lately the premium I4 question, and had something to add.

    From inside, the 2.0T in the Verano is almost inaudible and its power delivery is excellent.

    But from the outside, its beset with clicks, ticks, whines and whirs from the Direct Injection and various accessories. Its loud and comes across decidedly low rent.

  • avatar
    Trick Fall

    I think it’s a nice looking ride and I wouldn’t mind owning one, but I also just bought an Accord. I don’t think of Accura as being in quite the same league as MB, BMW, or Audi, but I do think there’s a market for near luxury cars that don’t penalize you with exorbitant maintenance and repair costs.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    HOOOLY crap,

    Sorry about all of the posts! I communicated with Derek and sure enough, the spam filter is still going haywire!

    If the powers that be feel so inclined, I would appreciate them deleting my repeat posts.

    Just goes to show how dedicated I am to providing DW with thoughtful inline 4 NVH debate!

  • avatar
    frozenman

    This is going to be a sweet used buy in a few years, something the old TL was not. No need to try and look past fugly styling anymore, imho.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    My thought on the TLX is it will be a hit for the following reasons:

    -Corrected the horrible styling on the UA8/9 Acura TL.
    -A real V6 is being offered.
    -Available AWD
    -A clone of Accord, it will offer generous front and rear passenger room.
    -Again since it is an Accord, buyers will not be afraid to own it (vs lease).

    Toss in a name and a timing chain vs belt on V6, and it would genuinely pique my interest.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It will eventually FAIL because of those reasons

      -Corrected the horrible styling on the UA8/9 Acura TL. That’s like saying she’s the prettiest one at the all woman’s prison

      -A real V6 is being offered: It needs a Turbo V6

      -Available AWD: like your mom’s CR-V

      -A clone of Accord, it will offer generous front and rear passenger room: Like your grandma’s Camry

      -Again since it is an Accord, buyers will not be afraid to own it (vs lease): Stop right there, it’s an Accord, so buy an Accord

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Is this supposed to be B&B satire?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “It’s an Accord, so buy an Accord”

        But I can’t get an Accord with a DCT, a quiet interior, or a good sound system. A four-cylinder TLX has all three.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          How many people who want a DCT, or even know what that is, also want a heavy FWD car with a 4 cylinder and an automatic?

          I’ll give you the quiet with a nice stereo. But for $36,000 so will anyone else that isn’t Honda or Mazda.

          The TLX seems to strike the usual Honda balance of being good at almost everything, an Accord is already pleasant and this is more and better at all of the Accord things except value. But for $35-40 it’s not the left brain no-brainer that the Accord is at $25. Where is it great to make the right brain come out and want it? I’m drawing blanks.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Lost another one to the spambot.

      • 0 avatar

        I think Lie2Me, has hit the nail on the head. It is a variant of the Accord. Pure and simple. For a long time now Acura’s have been extensions of the Honda line, with a different badge and a butt ugly grill. I also believe most see it as this. I believe that Toyota and Nissan put more effort into differentiating their premium marques than Honda does. You could argue that the LS350 is a glorified Camry, however riding in one is a much different experience, one that I do not find with Acura’s. Honda would do itself a favor and bite the bullet and merge the two lines. The premium image of Acuras is so diluted as to be of little value nowadays

    • 0 avatar
      oldgeek

      The TLX will be successful, an excellent car at a competitive price helps. Acura (Honda) decided not to take any style design risks, gave the TL a much needed nose job and took some junk from the trunk. Acura will have a stream of buyers whose lease are expiring on the TL and TSX who may find the TLX fits their needs. The TLX is a more refined drive than the TSX (in a better way IMO) but there are some who like the rough edges and equate that to performance

      You raise an interesting question regarding afraid to own vs lease. We have now shied away from buying any car and have turned to leasing!! The strong integration of electronics with mechanical systems has elevated the risk of ownership and its cost down the road. The cost to own once any car is out of warranty is huge and that is with all cars (not an Acura issue)

      If Acura fine tunes its advertising and gets floor traffic the car will sell well. Frankly I don’t believe that Joe or Jan public care about 4 vs 6 cyl or FWD vs RWD. If you look at the sheer numbers, 4 cyl FWD cars sell in large numbers and the masses don’t care.

      If Acura pitches its reputation for quality and affordable luxury the car will sell well.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Well, at least it does have bright window reveal instead of ugly all flat-black window frames. What could possibly be wrong with this car, and how can it NOT be a hit?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Is it fair to compare the TLX to a 3-series? The older Euro-Accord/TSX was definitely bigger than a 3-series, and the TLX is even larger (on the inside at least)?
    I’m guessing Honda/Acura was expecting the ILX and TLX to also share the previous TSX part of the market, as the ILX is not much smaller on the inside than the old TSX , so the sales of both the ILX and TLX should be combined and compared to TSX and TL sales to be ‘accurate’. But as you said crossovers are getting a bigger market share anyway. (so many apples and oranges to choose from here)
    I disagree with everyone saying they should do an rwd sedan though. There is no market for a non-German premium rwd sedan anywhere in the world that is not already occupied by Cadillac (or cheap Korean knockoffs), and Honda/Acura has almost as much heritage with fwd as Audi and Citroen. The S2000 and NSX’s were deviants.

  • avatar
    tced2

    I bought a TLX to replace my 10-year old TSX with 6-speed manual shift. I loved the TSX and it’s only major fault was the (bad) noise level. The TLX fixed that problem. I looked at the ILX and it was not quieter than the TSX and the engine/transmissions were basically from the Civic. The automatic transmission in the ILX was the competent but a fairly old 5-speed. I judged the 4-cylinder/8-speed DCT power train to be very satisfactory and modern. I don’t get too hung up on the “luxury” badge…the hardware is all very-good quality and should be reliable. The Acura gets me the top of the Honda family engineering and features at a much better price than the “luxury” brands.

  • avatar
    George B

    I like the Acura TLX in FWD 4-cylinder 8-speed DCT form. Yes it’s basically a fancy Accord, but with a much more desirable transmission. Adding a lock-up torque converter in front of the automated manual allows smoother launch in stop-and-go traffic while retaining the direct connection between wheels and engine and fast gear changes at speed. If I were Acura I’d get rid of the rear wheel steering to save cost and weight in the base model. I would guess that less weight/better acceleration/lower price would be more helpful in converting test drives into sales than slightly better handling. They have SH-AWD available for customers who want less understeer.

    • 0 avatar

      “I like the Acura TLX in FWD 4-cylinder 8-speed DCT”

      That seems to be the consensus. Most reviewers (including those not necessarily in the enthusiast set) have found it to be crisp delightful, while by contrast, the V6/9-speed combo is unsure of itself and ill-matched.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Which is unfortunate, because my two main gripes about my current TSX is 1) slow and 2) FWD. So naturally I’d want the V6 SH-AWD. Which is $40k+. Which means I’d be paying A LOT more for something apparently not that great.

        If Acura had a ~250hp 2.XT SH-AWD available for $35-37k, I’d buy it tomorrow.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        I have driven all 3 versions of the TLX. Trying to replace my 08 Legacy GT.

        The reviewers do indeed like the 4 cylinder DCT combo. Personally, I could not stand the yippy engine and transmission, the ridiculously over- sensitive FCW, and pedestrian alerts. My Legacy runs away from this thing with one arm tied behind its back. Had less than a two miles total drive before heading back to the dealership. Couldn’t stand it. There, the throttle went dead for a full two seconds, when from a full stop I goosed it to cross two lanes of oncoming traffic to get in the driveway. Panic, me pushing the throttle to get something, anything, to happen, when it finally decided to do something. Then it proceeded to lug the engine so low in revs going up the hill to Acura’s glass palace that the engine was shuddering as if it had a novice driver forgetting to push the clutch in coming to a stop. Half-baked.

        You didn’t read that in a published “review”. 50 years of driving, and I’ve never experienced silliness like that. The V6 they got me to drive after that has the nasty ZF 9 speed. Paddles don’t help since the tranny takes all day to shift down, as could be predicted from that great article TTAC had on it earlier this year. Also, wheelspin from a stop happens anytime you’re in a moderate hurry. Buy the Accord 6 speed auto and be happy.

        The SH-AWD is better, no wheelspin, but howls the tires on sporty driving around suburban 90 degree corners. It’s a weighty beast and comes with cheap tires. A bit ponderous. The ZF is just as bad here (and as in the V6 Chrysler 200 AWD), just too many gears. Plus it has the silliest layout of pushbuttons to control it. Their position washed out in sunlight. The Reverse button is a secret.

        Then I drove an Audi A3 2.0t AWD right after the TLX AWD. The engine / 6 speed DSG combo goes like crazy. Shifts up or down are right now, and it, you know, actually corners with little lean and no complaint.

        The V6 TLXs are cruisers with weird transmissions and not particularly sharp handling. Bought no doubt by the faithful who don’t get around to driving the competition. Sporty only in the mind of an Acura marketer.

        Highly disappointing to me. Pluses are only a great ride and yes, they are quiet. They’re tentative, not overly confident feeling.

        As always, YMMV, but it was a relief to hop back in the LGT and scamper away. Now I’m fending off texts from the salesman to drive it again.

  • avatar

    I don’t see the TLX gaining Acura a lot of new market share, but it’s a solid motor and a competent entry at its price-point. I’d certainly buy it over most other things in its price-point, including the 3-Series. Also, unlike every other redesign, it doesn’t seem to draw ire from enthusiasts for being decidedly worse than its predecessor (except for the fact that there’s no SH-AWD on the manual-gearbox model).

  • avatar
    philadlj

    So BMW is going to bundle its 3-Series and 4-Series (including 3 Gran Turismo and 4 Gran Coupe) into one sales figure. That’s pretty dang shameless. You go out of your way to differentiate the two models with different names (or rather, numbers), but when it comes to reporting sales, all of a sudden they’re the same again? What’s with that. That’s almost as silly as Corolla/Matrix or Genesis Sedan/Coupe.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Ya gotta love the commercial though!

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I used to love Acura. Still kinda do.

    But why can’t they f*ckn put proper wheels on their cars???

    The wheels on the TLX look like sh*t. It’s such an easy thing to get right.

    Honda as a whole is one of the worst offenders when it comes to equipping their cars with proper wheels with a few exceptions in the past decade, those being:
    – Current Accord Sport wheels
    – Last gen MDX anthracite wheels
    – 2004-2006 Acura TL launch wheels
    – 2001-2002 Acural CL Type S Wheels

    Generally though, Honda shoots themselves in the foot with their wheel selections… on the other end, BMW gets it right

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      This is so true, but I don’t agree that the TLX wheels are among the worst at all.
      Honda must have some deal going with some aftermarket wheel company, because this is one steady gripe I have with them. As you said there are some exceptions, but too few and too far between.
      Add to it that all Hondas since, forever, has always had slightly small wheels or just a bit too large wheelarches, and need at least 1 inch of lowering to look ‘right’ ( I guess they look better when loaded, going down the road though)

  • avatar
    oldgeek

    First Acura is conflicted and undecided how it wants to market the car and who is their target consumer. The current campaign is like a shotgun cute approach that does not focus on the car. If Acura wants to compete with the other luxury brands it has to decide to do that.

    The car be highly successful by word of mouth or if it racks up the car of the year award, I purchased the car and glad I did. I don’t know what to make of the current sales numbers since Acura had former owners whose leases were expiring and also used some weak and lame incentives. Former TL owners should like the TLX, it is the same size in the interior and it has a nicely improved ride and feel.

    I thought the Acura was a better (for me) than the Mercedes and BMW and I am a prior owner. For those who are Brand or Badge influenced Acura lost that cache, if they can regain that remains to be seen. Mercedes, BMW and Audi have decided to de-content their brands with less expensive and cheaper cars and how that affects their attraction remains to be seen. Driving any of those is no longer restricted to the elite.

    Acura has come to the market with a very refined and excellent product that should sell but how long that will take to catch on, is anyones guess.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    The TLX is finally the smart-looking unoffensive car with great features, and priced and sized well. It took Acura 5 long years to fix the TL, having only the never-got-around-to-messing-that-one-up-too MDX basically propping up the brand’s sales.

    This is what Acura should be doing–now if their interior designs were just a bit more innovative, all my desires for a daily driver would be satisfied. Japanese cars usually aren’t the paragons of exterior or interior style, but Lexus really upped the game with their current crop of lounge/bar/shelf style dash layout. The ILX is particularly a problem here, with so-so NVH isolation and interior materials comparable to the Accord’s.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Dammit, another flushed comment. Why do our complaints about flushed comments not get flushed?

  • avatar
    baconpope

    Breaking news! Acura did not close in 1996 when it decided it did not want to sell vehicles. In fact, Acura is still choosing not to sell vehicles even today.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I’m just going to add one more thing.

    I actually really liked the 2012-2014 Acura TL design.
    In many ways, it looks more modern then many new cars today including the TLX. The lines, the bulbous fenders, the shape of the lower trunk lid, the interior… All are damn near perfect to me.

    2012 SH-AWD 6MT will be in my driveway one day hopefully soon. All it needs:
    –> +1 wheels in an aggressive offset
    –> 1.5 inch ride height drop
    –> decklid spoiler delete
    –> ATLP J pipe

    Can’t wait.

  • avatar
    deboy80

    Only Americans care about rwd is the main reasons y audi is the best selling premium brand global

    • 0 avatar
      oldgeek

      If you look at auto sales in the US for the past several years it appears most Americans are not insistent on RWD. Of course the higher MPG of front wheel drive cars may have a strong influence but the bottom line is most drivers do not believe FWD to be inferior to RWD. I am amused when I read the knock on Acura that it is a glorified Honda as if Audi does not share VW DNA nor Lexis, Toyota, etc.

      Acura,is more than Honda plastic surgery, it is evident that the design and engineering is unique to Acura and I believe the same is true for all the upmarket brands.

      I enjoy reading the comments.


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