By on March 19, 2015

2015 acura tlx profile side

Some time ago the Acura brand has lost its ways. The recent regroup of the brand’s car lineup resulted in the small ILX, midsized TLX, and top-dog RLX in a tried and true same-sausage-in-three-lengths setup. I recently had a chance to sample both the entry-level 4-cylinder TLX, as well as the loaded V6 all-wheel-drive version.

Acura TLX headlight led

The TLX is a combination of the TSX and TL models, which only makes sense because those two cars were so similar. The new vehicle retains the wheelbase of the old TL but gets a few inches chopped off its front and rear overhangs. Increased use of high strength steel and aluminum results in a stiffer chassis and a slight reduction of weight. Style wise, the TLX adopts the brand’s design language seen in the ILX and the RLX, with the much disliked beaked slimmed and trimmed. The headlights, too, get the brand treatment first seen on the MDX, with five bright LEDs per side.

The displacement of each engine remains the same but both get upgraded to direct-injection for the TLX duty. The result is a very slight bump in power to 206hp and a flatter torque curve with a peak of 182 lb-ft at 4500rpm for the four-cylinder. The V6 gains power over the whole rev range but only a small peak gain of 10hp, for a total of 290hp at 6200rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4500rpm. Fuel economy ranges from 24mpg city/35mpg highway for the four-cylinder to 21mpg city/31mpg highway for the AWD V6.

Acura TLX shifter engine wheels

Honda seems to have gone all out on its new transmissions. The I4 is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch, which cleverly uses a torque-converter for smoother take offs and low speed maneuvering, with typical DCT action afterwards. In daily driving it works great, as all the side effects of a typical DCT are gone, but when the vehicle is really pushed the paddle-shifter requested shifts were not as fast as some of the competitors’ DCTs. This combination is available only in front-wheel-drive.

Often criticized by auto-journalists, and frankly no one else, for its lack of gears, the V6 ditches the 6-speed automatic now gets hooked up to a new 9-speed automatic, probably for no other reason than to shut those guys up. Honda says that the shifts are now five times faster and the gearbox is over sixty pounds lighter than the 6-speed it replaces. The V6 also gets start/stop and an odd, unnecessary in my opinion, push-button and toggle switch shifter which is somehow supposed to inspire performance as it will also be featured on the upcoming NSX. The V6 can be had in front-wheel-drive or in the torque-vectoring Super Handling all-wheel-drive configurations, last of which gets its share of updates.

2015 acura tlx side

Both cars feature adjustable driving modes; Econ, Normal, Sport, and Sport+ modes. The Econ mode must be evil so I didn’t even attempt to drive in it. The Normal mode is good for people who use cars as appliances and are never in the hurry. The Sport was my preferred street mode with liberal shift points and a quicker throttle response. The Sport+ turns each transmission into full manual mode. The four-cylinder is not much faster than my stock ’95 Integra GS-R but on the street I never found it to be really short on power. I would say that the four is more fun to drive than the V6 because it requires more focus from its driver. The V6 is smooth and quiet at highway speeds, but even with its flat torque curve, the 9-speed transmission is forced to kick down a few gears during passing maneuvers.

The front-wheel-drive TLX models feature a four-wheel-steering system cutely named P-AWS. The system supposedly provides better low speed agility and increased high speed stability. Between this and the fancy Super Handling AWD system, these new Acuras should out-handle anything with an M badge on it. But they don’t. The suspension is set for comfort and does a phenomenal job of absorbing road imperfections. Further, Honda took all this fantastic suspension and steering technology and innovation, and topped it off with highway touring tires that belong on a minivan.

2015 acura tlx dash interior

Acura played it safe with the interior, with a focus on function. Front and center are two gauges with a small display in between. On the center pod is a control wheel with function buttons around it, and four climate controls buttons with two toggle switches below the primary touch-screen button. Seats are comfortable, heated, heated and ventilated on the top model, and each occupant has plenty of head and leg room. There is a nifty cubby for cell phones, two cup-holders, big center and glove compartments, deep door pockets with space for bottles, and a sunglass holder. The rear seat has an armrest with cup-holders and the seat 60:40 split seat back folds down.

I have experienced Honda’s new two-screen infotainment center before and found it frustrating. This time I set aside thirty minutes to set everything up; radio presets, phone configuration, Pandora, “favorites”, and such. Then I took my time to learn the basic soft-key placement on the main screen and subsequent menu pop-ups. Even then, even when utilizing the steering wheel controls to the max, there were functions that required me to take eyes off the road for too long to look for something on one of the two screens. The system can also be controlled by voice commands, but I have not tried that. This is a system of great capabilities, but like the similar two-screen system in the Infiniti Q50, it is just too complicated and most buyers will only utilize a fraction of it.

2015 acura tlx interior details

The TLX is a better vehicle than both the TSX and the TL it replaces. It is roomy and comfortable but not big. It is very quiet and it has an amazing audio system. It is a vehicle full of wonderful technology that will never be appreciated. Both engines have good power and fuel economy. On the road the TLX is so reserved that deep thoughts will start going through your mind as if you are Matthew McConaughey, but it is nowhere as dreary as the Lexus ES. For those reasons, the TLX will keep the vast majority of returning TSX and TL buyers very happy. It is the people who are expecting a sport sedan that Acura says this is who will be disappointed.

Kamil Kaluski is the East Coast Editor for Hooniverse.com. His ramblings on Eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous automotive stuff can be found there. He owns a mint and rather original Acura Integra GS-R. He hauls his two kids around in an Acura MDX.

American Honda provided vehicles for the purpose of this review.

2015 acura tlx profile side rear

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139 Comments on “Review: 2015 Acura TLX...”


  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Those headlamps remind me of a pinball machine.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    Maybe it’s just me, but adding extra gears to a transmission while making it lighter doesn’t make me feel good about its durability.

  • avatar

    Years ago, I went shopping with my girl and got a TL fully- loaded.

    I drove the car a couple times on road trips.

    The TL had a smooth ride and decent handling, but the steering was dead and the tech systems were ridiculously convoluted. The tech system first of all was too expensive. They demanded close to $3600 premium for it (at the time) – and it was so ridiculously laid out just finding the odometer was a chore.

    The new TLX is smaller in front leg room than I’d imagined it would be. Acura really screwed up here – missing a perfect chance to build a middle model – like the AZERA is to the Sonata and Genesis.

    It’s definitely a good looking car, but feels completely generic. Not sure what trim offers leather now, but when I tested it, it didn’t have interior materials as high in quality as our TL did.

    Losing the 280 HP V6 was a huge mistake. Yet another soul-less econobox now…

    If I had to choose between the TLX and TL – I’d take the TL despite its shortcomings. They sure don’t build em like they used to.

    And the RLX is an even bigger FAIL.

  • avatar
    John R

    Aren’t performance tires an option?

    • 0 avatar

      No. At least I haven’t seen anything written on it in Acura’s info booklet or their customer site. TireRack does state that there is a 19″ option, I just haven’t seen it. From Acura’s media site:

      225/55R17 97H M+S Goodyear Eagle – 4-cylinder Base and Tech package

      225/50R18 95H M+S Bridgestone Potenza – V6 Base, Tech package and Advance package

      225/50R18 95H M+S Goodyear Eagle – V6 SH-AWD Tech package and Advance package

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Not anymore. They were on the TL until 2013.

      Unfortunately, that attractive TLX pricing is a bit less attractive when you add $1000 to replace the tires right off the bat.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        $1k? Tire rack suggests some Bridgestone Potenza RE970A Pole Positions for $474 (inc. rebate) or Continental DWS for $612. Minus what you sell the OEM tires for.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          I have continental DW on the tbird. They are the best tires I have ever owned. I imagine the DWS all seasons are good too.

          • 0 avatar
            racebeer

            Agree with you @nickoo. Have DWs on the Trans Am and they are absolutely the best tires out there.

          • 0 avatar
            sproc

            I sprung for the Conti DWS on our A3. Worth every penny. Best 3+ season tire I’ve ever driven.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Stock tires on my Miata are Potenzas, I’ve put most of the miles on a set of Conti DWS, they’ve been great tires so far.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Wow, 18s are sure cheaper than 19s. A set of reasonably good summer tires for my G8 is around $1000 and I assumed these would be the same. My choice would be the Pilot Super Sports for $576.

        • 0 avatar
          OM617

          I wish I could concur on the DWs. The first set I had were defective – not fully symmetrical and could not be balanced to proper tolerances on a Hunter Road Force balancer. The replacements under warranty are better but still not sufficiently correct to eliminate all vibration. MBs are very sensitive to slight imperfections in balancing, but still a disappointment.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            DW or DWS? In my experience the DWS is a decent tire for grip in it’s conditions, but it is not very smooth. As you say, Mercedes cas are very sensitive to the tires used, and exaggerate tire flaws.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I noticed the tires immediately, as they have a LOT of sidewall for this type of car in the year 2015. Also, the wheel design looks very dated to my eyes, like something from 2005.

    It’s also a very boring thing to look at from a side profile.

    And those LED headlamps remind me of the old single-use flash bulb strips I stuck on my little Polariod manual camera as a child. Any grocery store had ’em, and there would be three to five lights. Now I’m thinking about how those little bulbs were powered in those, because the camera had no batteries.

    • 0 avatar

      Hmm, maybe it was a little capacitor designed to store enough energy for a handful of flashes?

      The ’04-’07 TLs has 17″ wheels with 235/45 tires. People would bend those wheels all the time, so maybe this is why they are being conservative. Then again, wheel and tire technology has progressed over the last decade and everyone else seems to offer huge wheels with tires that lack any sidewall profile. That said, there are better tires in these sizes, but Acura probably went for a compromise and got a quiet ride, better MPG, and loner life. Those are not bad things.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I expect a camera expert will be around shortly to set us straight on this matter, ha.

        So when I think of that model TL, this is what comes to mind – with these wheels.

        http://l.yimg.com/dv/aic/acura_tl_sedan_w_6_spd_mt_and_navigation_system_2004

        It just looks so much better wheel-wise than this thing up above. Maybe the darkness of the wheel design is helping the tire look extra tall as well.

        • 0 avatar

          Yup, that’s the exact car with exact wheels that were on my mom’s TL. The car is currently on its third set of rims. I was going to go with after-market 16s but they looked so butt.

          • 0 avatar
            Car Ramrod

            I had that car too– mine was an 04 with the 6-speed, and it I loved it.

            Surprised to hear about the issues with the stock rims–I bent 1 rim in New York, and my remedy (once I moved south), was to put the 18-inch A-Spec rims on it.

            Oh, and the stock bridgestone tires were CRAP

    • 0 avatar
      EvilEdHarris

      I don’t know, I personally applaud Acura for going with “normal” sized wheels. A midsize sedan does not need 19″ or 20″ wheels… that just leads to excessive road noise, a bad ride, and unnecessary flat tires.

      I could be alone with this opinion…

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        @ EvilEdHarris – You’re not.

      • 0 avatar
        InterstateNomad

        I agree. As someone going for a softer ride, the suspension set-up and the smaller wheel size were a plus.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        So not alone with this opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        I agree!!! I hate the low profile tires and the noise. I guess I am not one of those that wants a sports sedan and intends upon cornering it like a hoon.
        I like these. A lot.

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        agree, why does a mid size, entry lux sedan need giant rims.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Agreed. Why are tire profiles getting smaller and smaller? In places like Michigan, it is the exact opposite of needs to happen. Today I worked on a guy’s GL. It came from the factory with 21″ wheels, and low profile tires. He had 18″ wheels on his vehicle. It was the quietest and best riding GL I have ever driven. The tire wear on his huge sidewall Michelins was also perfect. GLs are known for eating the inside edges of their tires, even with perfect alignment. His tires (about half worn at 5mm) where worn perfectly straight across from edge to edge.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      All of the whole-car photos in this review are of the four-cylinder version, which has 17″ wheels. I think the 18″ wheels on the V6 version look a bit more appropriate.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnnyangel

      The Polaroid cameras that used SX-70 film (the original SX-70, and then cheaper models such as The Button, etc.) employed batteries whether the user was aware of it or not. In an innovative but wasteful design, the batteries were actually in the film packs, so when you bought new film, you also got a new battery. This provided the power to fire the flash, eject the film, and so on.

      However those of us of a certain age will also remember Magicubes, the four-sided things that were a development of the earlier Flashcubes. The Magicubes didn’t require battery power at all, because they were fired mechanically. These things allowed flash to be offered on really cheap cameras for the first time, such as Pocket Instamatics, and they were apparently used on some Polaroid models too.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Excellent! I should have been clear that my camera was a Polaroid brand one, but was not an instant type. I would say it was 35mm but it had a weird film cartridge thing that had two spools at either end. I probably sound like an idiot but I have limited knowledge here.

        It was red, and a little rectangle shape, maybe somewhat larger than one of those old Nokia candybar phones.

        My first real auto camera was this:
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Polaroid_35mm_AF_camera.jpg

        Took pretty good pics.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      They didn’t need any power because they were not electric bulbs, they were chemical. The same reason a gun doesn’t need electricity. The inside of the bulb was filled with magnesium or zirconium wool (like steel wool) and oxygen and there was a primer that would get hit with a firing pin when you pressed the shutter. When the primer set it off, the magnesium would burn brightly for an instant.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Well, the Magicube flash system used mechanical activation of a fulminated rod detonator.

      But Polaroid strips weren’t that, nor were any of the other disposable flash units.

      Polaroid Flash Bars were electrically ignited – probably you’re just not remembering the battery in the camera?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yeah I had strip flashes, certainly not Magicubes. It could have had an AA in there. I’m sure that little camera is long gone.

        Back when I was a child and had a totally random Texan-style accent. It was very odd.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    I saw one at the dealer recently. I don’t get why the SatRad antenna is so large. It made me think of being in the surf and seeing a shark fin sticking out of the water. IOW, it looked awful.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I’d love to read a review of the SH-AWD model with some decent tires, maybe even a +1 setup. When I buy one, I’ll stick snow tires on the stock rims and get some +1 aftermarket wheels, maybe something from HFP, and put some better all-season or light summer-only tires on it.

  • avatar
    ATLOffroad

    I haven’t driven a 4 cyl TLX, but 200+HP is still a lot of power for a compact car. My wife’s Mazda6 just has a 4 cyl and it never seems to be low on power or speed. I often find myself exceeding 85mph on the highway without realizing it.

    There seems very little reason to purchase a V6 TLX unless you live in very mountainous terrain, or you have stock in a petroleum company.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I’ve seen a TLX in traffic a couple times, and it’s certainly not compact.

      It’s 15’10” long, and weighs 3492lbs with the 4-cyl.

      The Mazda6 is 15’11.5″, and weighs 3232 lbs.

      The ILX is compact though. Also, Acura has a more luxury mission than Mazda, and luxury means more engine.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        I also like the 4 as well in the 6. However, the issue is power at start and not at highway. This plus any weight in the car makes the low power more noticeable…especially in the mountains.
        Empty and around town isn’t a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      …or want AWD/don’t want FWD.

      My TSX isn’t necessarily UNDERpowered, but it lacks the oomph I want when I put my foot in it. The V6 doesn’t. Heck, the V6 in my wife’s RDX doesn’t. So I’ll be chosing the V6 next time around. And hey, I do have stock in a petroleum company ;)

  • avatar

    The only two things I don’t like about the design are the beltline and the fact that Acura no longer seems to like exhaust tips and has replaced them with geeky-looking reflectors.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Hey when you’re in an Acura, you NEED a lot of bumper. None of this “Let’s see where the exhaust comes out.” business.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      Yea, the only thing worse than the trapezoid exhaust is no exhaust.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Funny, Acura gets lots of grief over their hidden exhaust, but I never remember that same grief given to God’s Gift to sports sedans, the BMW E39….

        http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6004/5929864290_5cf2da24b9_b.jpg

        • 0 avatar

          That’s a fair point. But for one thing, the E39 was a handsome design that could get away with having its exhaust tucked away. This Acura may even be able to do that. But the chrome-framed reflectors are just tacky.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Denver

          I don’t understand the exhaust thing. Does having a visible exhaust make the car go faster? Look like it’s going faster? It is supposed to be some sort of traditional styling cue? Isn’t a cleaner design if you can hide it? Almost all modern cars have the intakes hidden and that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “Almost all modern cars have the intakes hidden and that doesn’t seem to be an issue.”

            Careful here. That’s not really true about hidden exhausts. You also said intakes when you meant exhausts.

          • 0 avatar

            Again, I’d take hidden exhaust pipes. I won’t take tacky red reflectors in place of exhaust tips. There’s nothing clean about that implementation.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Denver

            To Corey – no I really meant intakes. Why do you need to be able to see the exhaust but not the intake? “Sporty” cars used to have visible hood scoops, etc. but they are pretty rare now.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ah. I have no intakes opinion really. But ok!

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            If you’re being deliberately obtuse CoreyDL, it isn’t coming across.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            On the intakes bit, I really don’t have an opinion on exposed vs. covered intakes.

            I genuinely thought he meant to say exhaust on the previous comment.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          Its one thing to brag about dual poop holes. But now it has gotten dumb with the quads like the new corvette!
          I mean, really. 4 poop holes shooting out the back!
          Embarrassing, really.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    The critical point in assessing the TLX is that its value proposition is very different from the German and even Japanese luxury brands that people are inclined to compare it to. Plug the 4-cylinder base model into the price comparison tool on TrueDelta and, adjusted for features, it’s a lot closer to an Accord or a 200 than a 320i. At that price, it makes a lot of sense for someone who wants a comfortable midsize sedan with a nicer interior (and dealership experience) than you can get in the mass-market midsize segment.

    That said, the higher trim levels make less sense to me. The $9,000 price advantage the basic TLX enjoys over the 320i shrinks to $6,000 when measuring the AWD V6 against an AWD 335i (which is already overpriced), or $4,600 against the IS350 AWD. I could understand if the extra money bought you a more athletic ride – give the masses their comfy transportation, charge the enthusiasts an arm and a leg for a true sports sedan – but by all reports the V6 is _less_ sporting than the base car.

    In the last days of the old TL, the SH-AWD models were still selling for closer to sticker than the basic TL. Old TL-S models still go for thousands more than base TLs. I think Acura missed the boat by not pitching the SH-AWD model toward that market.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “That said, the higher trim levels make less sense to me. The $9,000 price advantage the basic TLX enjoys over the 320i shrinks to $6,000 when measuring the AWD V6 against an AWD 335i (which is already overpriced)”

      Show your work.

      The cheapest AWD TLX is $41.6k, but that includes the tech package (navigation).

      The BMW 335i starts at $43.7k (add $2k if you want AWD) BUT to compare apples to apples, you need to add the Premium pack ($2.2k) and Navigation ($3150) at bare minimum. So your $43.7k 335i costs $49k. That’s $7500 more than the TLX, and $9500 if you want your BMW with AWD.

      Plus the larger interior size of the TLX, and the reliability…

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        At the low end: http://www.truedelta.com/Acura-TLX/price-1286-2015/vs-3-Series-13-2015&body_1=4&pt_1=4490&body_2=4&pt_2=2488&price_feature=2&personal_feature=

        At the high end: http://www.truedelta.com/Acura-TLX/price-1286-2015/vs-3-Series-13-2015&body_1=4&pt_1=4492&body_2=4&pt_2=574&price_feature=2&personal_feature=

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Both of those are showing the 3.5L FWD TLX Advance compared to the 328i and the 335i. THe 335i is $9800 more. And the Advance has some stuff not available on the 335i, a better comparison would be the Tech.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            That’s odd – on my screen they show up as the TLX 2.4 vs. the 320i and the TLX 3.5 SH-AWD vs. the 335i AWD. Must be a cookie thing.

            Anyway, if you want to re-create, go to TrueDelta, select the TLX and 3-series, select the base model engines and “minimize shared features” for the first comparison; yields a feature-adjusted price difference of $9,045. Try again for the 3.5 liter AWD Acura and the 3 liter AWD BMW and you get a price difference of $6,155.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      Could someone explain the TrueDelta methodology to me?

      They have something they call “Total value of features” which they compile by assigning a value to each feature. It seems like almost every feature is assigned a value of $1,700, which seems pretty arbitrary to me. Then they sum these up and they will say Car A has a “total value” of say $70,000 and Car B’s value is $40,000. I am with them so far, although I don’t understand where $1,700 per feature comes from.

      But then they have another figure called “Value of Feature Adjustments” – this is some much smaller number than the difference between A and B – say $4,500. I have NO idea what this number means or what the relationship is between the “total value” and this number.

      You then take the “value of feature adjustments and subtract it from the sticker of the higher value car -that part I understand. So if car A has a sticker of $50,000 but has $4,500 worth of extra features then its adjusted price is $45,500 – I get that part. But how is “value of feature adjustments” derived?

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    An Acura brought up to Millennial standards with tacky Led headlights to invisible exhaust to high belt lines, video game toggle shifters and more technology than 90% of it’s owners will every use or understand. The push button and toggle shifter is just silly and Acura is subscribing to the “I have more gears than you do” club.
    In summary another cookie cutter generic sedan that will go unnoticed on the highways.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “the “I have more gears than you do” club.”

      “…generic sedan that will go unnoticed on the highways”

      I agree. No review yet of this car leaves the impression that it is very enjoyable or interesting to drive, and the few I’ve seen on the road were completely forgettable wallflowers. If I were considering an Avalon I’d cross-shop it, but I was hoping for something sportier from Acura. They need to put profitability above an internet commenter’s opinion, though.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Acura has been building some of the cheapest looking cars and trucks lately. And this tlx is no exception. Truthfully, Hyundai and KIA has been tooling Honda for the past few years.

  • avatar
    ghills

    I can’t understand how Acura can populate an X person committee, anywhere on Planet Earth, where X/2 +1 people on that committee think any version of the chrome beak is anything but a ridiculously terrible idea.

    I believe the problem starts there.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      It’s probably an old has-been Acura executive’s (who should have been out the door 10 years ago) baby and the designers were forced to incorporate it.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      I would almost consider this car, but the beak is a killer. It sounds like a stupid thing to reject a car over, but it’s my money. I understand that they wanted to have a “signature” grill for the brand the way BMW has the kidneys, but did they have to pick something so ugly to be stuck with for all time?

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Got ‘ya beat in the “silly” department — I wouldn’t drive a car with a goofy, clown-ish “smiley” mirror like the Gentexes found in the 6-bangers.

        Not that I’d want that POS ZF 9-speed tranny anyway! (Honda learned their lesson well enough from the past fiascoes, and the 6-speeder is pretty good. You mean they couldn’t design an 8-speed or the like in-house?! Mind you, the DCT couldn’t be used in the higher-torque V6 application, which is why the difference in the first place.)

        And no Michelin shoes on these? Goodyears on the top-line car? Seriously??!! (I consider Bridgestones for sportier applications anyway!)

        I’ll stick to Accords. (Now if I could only plug-‘n-play the audio components from this car and make it work with the head-unit in the Accord!)

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires are the 19″ option.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Ah, good!

            Would have liked those on my US Touring instead of the MXV4s, but Honda only mounts 18″ MXM4s in Canada. As it is, I won the Michelin lottery; Honda also fits Goodyear Assurances as OEM, no rhyme or reason — likely whatever Marysville has when your car comes down the line. (Both of these Michelin meats rate highly on TireRack, but the MXM4s which replaced the MXV4s on my 2006 Accord were just a touch better in handling, with a slight loss of wet grip.)

            Which is a shame overall — up until the last-gen Accords, all Accords came with Michelins as standard, at least on the high-end (EX and all V6) trims.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I wouldn’t have minded if the three TLXs I drove were minimally competent in the transmission department. Yes, the tires are squeally rubbish, but the car itself is a bit ponderous to begin with. Good ride and quiet are the two plus points.

    I got the now familiar box of neutrals on my test drive of the I4 DCT (now the subject of a lawsuit), the V6 9 speeds have response times measured in seconds if you want to get anywhere, ruining the usually very fine Honda V6 experience, and they’re a bit jerky as well.

    A car for Acura enthusiasts who gather on their forums to complain about the transmissions, rattles, weird heated seats, climate control, dashes lit up with every light at once, sticking PAWS, etc., but to nevertheless assure themselves how smart they were to choose a reliable Asian brand over an awful BMW.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Acura made 2 critical mistakes. That needlessly fussy infotainment interface, and the painfully anonymous slab sided looks. I love being able to turn up the volume or temperature with a knob. We will see how the market takes to it. Personally I would go for the ILX. It’s the pick of Acura’s range at the moment.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      ” I love being able to turn up the volume or temperature with a knob”

      Well, there’s still a volume knob, and there’s still the same rocker switch to adjust temp up or down that my 2011 TSX has…

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I remember seeing an ILX priced $1,000 more than the base TLX at the DC auto show a few months ago. And I think that was the manual version with the Civic SI engine, meaning no tech package. What a waste!

  • avatar
    smartascii

    I don’t get the value proposition of this car. The pricing suggests that Acura may be pulling a Cadillac here, and trying to persuade everyone that this is A Desirable Product by raising the price into luxury car territory. Some of the features (SH-AWD, P-AWS, double screens, etc.) might appeal to the techno-geek in some, but for most, Acura is simply not a luxury brand, and a loaded Accord, mid-range Avalon, or pretty much any Genesis represents a better value than this.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      What’s not to get? A base 4cyl TLX is down in the $30-$35k range, V6 upper $30s, V6 AWD with Tech $42k, and absolutely loaded with everything under the sun including stuff not even available on a 3-series is $45k.

      I also take issue with the “for most, Acura is simply not a luxury brand”; in my experience, in the real world most people put Acura on a higher pedestal than auto enthusiasts do. Certainly higher than a Hyundai, Honda, or Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        One can quite literally get everything this car offers in a Chrysler 200C for at least 6k less.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          But then you’ve got a Chrysler which statistically will be dead at 100k miles and worth the same as a pile of used tissues.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “But then you’ve got a Chrysler which statistically will be dead at 100k miles and worth the same as a pile of used tissues.”

            Oh you have stats for this? I’d be interested to see them.

            I’d hope that a car that cost significantly more up front would be worth more down the road. I guess it depends how much of your money you want locked up for the same experience.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “Oh you have stats for this? I’d be interested to see them.”

            hy·per·bo·le/hīˈpərbəlē/
            noun
            exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

            But really, which would you rather own for more than about 10 days? Put down the spec sheet and actually drive them.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “hy·per·bo·le/hīˈpərbəlē/
            noun
            exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.”

            Thanks. I’ll remember this when reading your arguments going forward.

            See below, I did drive them both.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Except the likelihood of reliability and even a minimally competent chassis.

          Seriously, I thought the new 200 would be an upgrade in the handling department over the Flexi-Flyer old 200. Then I drove one. Why does Chrysler think all midsize buyers want their cars to drive like a ’90 Cadillac Brougham?

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The new 200 is comparable to the TLX in the handling department. Nothing like a B-body Cadillac.

            I evaluated both cars too see how each company handled the implementation of the 9HP and was able to compare them directly.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I don’t know what 200s you’ve driven, but the one I drove (a basic rental) wallowed like a drunken rhinoceros, and was nothing near “competent.” My diagnosis was a combination of excess softness and horrendous underdamping. I haven’t driven a TLX yet, but even if the TLX handles just like your average FWD sedan it would be far better.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            It was a 200C AWD with the 19″ wheels.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Maybe if I see a 200S or 200C I’ll have to try it and see if it’s better than the stripper.

            For the record, I also don’t think the interior was nearly as nicely put together as those on Acura products I’ve driven in the past. It was par for the course for FCA-era Chrysler — decent materials and design, average fit and finish.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Ward’s thought the 200’s interior was better, but we’re all allowed to have our opinions. There is a pretty distinct difference between a base 21K LX and a 30K+ C model, however.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      But hasn’t that always been true. Even in the 1970s a loaded Impala was a better value than the Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      If Acura is not a luxury brand, what is it?

      A Genesis is not a fair comparison in that it is a much bigger car. Now you might say that’s right – a much bigger car for about the same $ (within $3K comparably equipped)- what’s not to like? But a 3 series shopper (TLX size) is not necessarily looking for a 5 series size vehicle (Genesis), nor vice versa.

  • avatar
    poggi

    How can this (“upgraded to direct-injection”) make sense when it means DI engines will require de-carbinizing at every other oil change to maintain OEM efficiencies?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      So far I haven’t seen any complaints of carbon buildup on Honda DI engines. This isn’t VW we’re talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ poggi – Just use top-tier gasoline! You’ll be fine!

      /sarcasm

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      New fuel standards coming online In the next couple of years “should” prevent the carbon build up. Gm uses an innovative cleaning method in their Lt v8s to keep the valves from building carbon, I’m sure more manufacturers who aren’t BMW will be doing the same once they move away from two sets of injectors.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      According to this article
      http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/01/is-carbon-buildup-a-problem-with-direct-injection-engines-.html

      the DI carbon problem appears to be limited to certain German makes and the Ford Ecoboost.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I haven’t heard of any true DI motors that are immune from heavy valve cover carbon build-up; it’s just a question of some fouling sooner than others (e.g. BMWs & some Audis that require walnut shell blasting at 40,000 miles, while other manufacturers’ DI motors can go to 60k or even 80k miles before serious soaking/cleaning is required).

      This is why Toyota was smart to go the dual multiport & DI route, and why other manufacturers should take a clue from that until the carbon issue on straight DI engines is technically resolved.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        It that’s true it could be considered a latent detect which could empower buyers to force repairs despite warranty restrictions.

        I trust that Honda waited so long to do DI because it wanted to do it right.

        btw, CR gave the ATS its black dot kiss of death.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          We thought Mercedes would have learned from everyone’s DI mistakes, but the new DI engines carbon up like the VWs in that AutoGuide article. The funny thing is, that in 3 years Im yet to see it cause a driveability concern. I know it’s right around the corner, but no sign of it yet.

  • avatar
    Fred

    On the TSX forum most of the folks like the TLX when they get it as a loaner. Still most are younger and like the sportier TSX, so not many takers.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Hnnng, that rear 3/4 shot. Acura is getting its mojo back with this and the new ilx. They even have sidewalls on the tires! Its a shame about the 8 speed dct not being standard across the lineup…I’ve heard too many complaints about the zf9.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “The suspension is set for comfort and does a phenomenal job of absorbing road imperfections.”

    How tragic…/sarcasm

    • 0 avatar

      I was being factual. My issue was, in case it wasn’t clear, that Acura is marketing the TLX as a sports sedan, but it isn’t. I’m fine with the comfortable suspension and highway tires, just call it what it is.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        What would you call it? Just because sport coat has the word sport in it doesn’t make it sporty. It’s just a name.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Ackshually…the term “sport coat” derives from the rougher, harder-wearing suits and/or jackets worn during “gentlemanly sports” like hunting, deer stalking, or fishing. Think Downton Abbey.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Preferred over the Infiniti Q50:
        http://www.autoguide.com/car-comparisons/2015-acura-tlx-vs-2015-infiniti-q50

        CR just gave the Q50 its black dot award, same as Cadillac ATS and XTS. Nissan Altima too. No wonder Nissan and Infiniti sales are on fire – fire sales.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I haven’t delved into Autoguide much. Are all their reviews that bland, vague, and cursory? The article gives the following points in the Q50’s favor:

          Powerful
          Sporty
          Engaging

          Considering Kamil was judging the ILX by “sports sedan” criteria, I think that seems relevant.

          The CR reliability score is worrisome, though. The G37 was the reliable alternative to German competitors. In which areas did it score poorly?

  • avatar
    InterstateNomad

    Ah, the TLX. It would be on the top of my list except that it lacks a standard transmission option. Even the crappy ILX lost the standard option. I kind of wish they kept the TSX or TL line going for just a few years longer. I would have bought those in a flash.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Lol, oh please. You had many years of opportunity to buy the TSX, up to and including last year. You could still get a nearly new one as CPO.

      So save it.

      • 0 avatar
        InterstateNomad

        I’m just getting my first job now. I’m not going to buy CPO.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Ahh. The cat picture made me think middle aged man.

          Never mind then, you were just born too late. Sort of like I wish they made the 66 Toronado for about 25 more years, then I could have had one CPO.

          • 0 avatar
            InterstateNomad

            haha I thought the cat picture would state “immature.” My brother drives a TSX so I know how nice it is!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I found the TSX okay, except for the falsely heavy steering, which had too strong an on-center feel for my taste. It was also a bit loud inside, needed more noise insulation.

            (Which I realize is common in Honda vehicles.)

    • 0 avatar
      badreligion702

      You can get a 6 speed as a no cost option in F30, F32, and F33 BMW’s. Good luck finding one on the lot though.

      • 0 avatar
        InterstateNomad

        I may have to consider a dealer trade or a special order if I am willing to wait and buy sight-unseen. Thanks for the suggestion, but I have definitely been considering those models as well as they are in the price range.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    That was a nice review,but the editorial staff let you down on that opening line. Either the edits got garbled or everyone just missed it. The rest is excellent.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    “I would say that the four is more fun to drive than the V6 because it requires more focus from its driver.”

    Like the review. Not sure I agree with the tire thoughts or the non sportiness, but what does the above really mean?
    The harder to drive means the more involved or fun? Kind of judge the exact opposite.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you ever driven a Miata? It’s a slow car but it’s damn fun to drive fast.
      Have you ever driven a GT-R or something similar? Press gas, waaahhh, scream “POOWWAAHHHH” like fat-footed ape and you can land in jail in less than ten seconds. Make sense?

  • avatar
    IllTakeAn8WithThatV

    Nice review! Concise yet thoroughly covers all of the objective and subjective categories (style, performance, technology, past product precedent, etc).

    I just can’t get over those tires. I’m sure there are more sporting wheel/tire options available, but the fact that they handed over two models, including a V6 top of the line SH-AWD with those thick touring tires makes me question Acura’s PR people.

    The I4 and V6 Acura mills are solid, smooth and refined, but they’ve basically stayed within the same performance realm for a decade. Years ago I drove a first gen TSX and was impressed with how smooth and peppy the 4-cyl was, and I suppose it is still semi competitive against something like the 320i or A4 2.0T, but it leaves me wanting more power. Step up to the V6 and you’re looking at numbers that were competitive in 2007 – they’re not bad, and for the average buyer the acceleration and passive performance will be more than adequate, but they just don’t jazz me up given what the competition offers. Though I suppose a TLX is going to ring in a lot cheaper than those higher output Germans.

    I’m starting to confuse myself, maybe it DOES make sense after all.

  • avatar
    tlccar

    What is up with the harsh negative comments on here? Give Acura a break, please! The new TLX is a fantastic road car, balancing luxury and sportiness in a perfect package. How many of you have actually driven one? And what is the BS about the four cylinder being sportier than the six? The six is FAST, rides like a dream and is so comfortable. Plus the TLX is really well put together and you know it will last. I cannot understand the hate. And the journalists that have started this ridiculous negativity.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      In a world by itself, I’m sure it’s the greatest car on earth. The problem is that there is competition, and a lot of it at this price point. This car will be contrasted to them, no matter what.

  • avatar
    tlccar

    I am not saying it is the greatest car on earth. I am saying that the negative Acura bashing is out of hand. The TLX is a great driver’s car, handles sporty, provides a perfect level of luxury for its price point and is as comfortable as can be. And what is someone’s definiton of sporty, a Corvette beater? Give me a break! I mean, seriously, comparing a TLX to an Avalon is like comparing apples to oranges. The Avalon is a great car, too. Just a very different automobile for a very different demographic. So comparing them is just showing someone’s immaturity at best.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’m not seeing much if any unfair bashing. The negative comments are backed up with reasoning, which are fair to include in the discussion. Why should people overlook these things? Are you saying they’re wrong that the tires might not be very good, or the transmissions might be funky, or that other cars offer similar equipment and driving experience for thousands less? Do you actually want people to just overlook those things and join you in praise of it for the sake of it?

  • avatar
    tlccar

    I think your overall attitude about Acura is exactly what I am talking about. You are comparing an Acura TLX to a Chrysler 200. Acura is a luxury brand, Chrysler is not. We can keep making comparisons all day long. Acura is, was and always will be a luxury brand whether you want to believe it or not. People buy luxury brands all day long, don’t they? Aren’t Infinitis gussied up Nissans? Lexus’s gussied up Toyotas? Sometimes people don’t want to drive a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, or Chrysler 200. And believe me, Acuras are not perfect by any means. They have flaws just like every other brand does. But people are willing to spend extra money to be different and have some individuality. And Acura builds a solid, reliable car that I feel is a good value in today’s world.

    As far as tires are concerned, if someone is that much of an enthusiast then by all means upgrade tires. But for most drivers the TLX comes with rubber that is well-suited to the vehicle and does not need to be changed.

  • avatar
    jrasero23

    Holy side walls. While for practicality reasons I am never a huge fan of huge rims and low profile tires, these tires look exactly like my brothers Accord. I do agree Acura has been struggling with with interior styling. While Acura’s uses more soft touch material the interior lacks depth, detail, or ultra premium material like real metal or precious woods. Overall not a bad car but it just screams Accord and it seems like Acura made the mistake to a degree like they did withe 1st gen ILX, too similar to its Honda sister.

    No doubt a second gen is needed to fully capture what the TLX can do, but if you don’t mind not getting perforated foreign leather and luxury console inserts the TLX like all Acura’s can be a good value since a 2015 Acura TLX
    SH-AWD V6 Advance lists for about $45k but can be had for about $40k.


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