By on October 26, 2016

2017 Acura TLX with GT Package

If you’re looking to add a subtherapeutic dose of sex appeal to your TLX, Acura has a new GT package with your name on it. The automaker claims the race-inspired offering embodies track-proven performance and marks the company’s racing heritage.

To Acura, this package may embody, symbolize, exemplify, personify, and represent all sorts of great performance-related concepts. What it actually delivers to the consumer is another story.

There’s desperation lurking in this package.

Acura claims that it’s giving the TLX the “racing spirit” with the GT pack. That spirit includes a front spoiler, rear underbody spoiler, side sill garnishes, and a subtle trunk-mounted wing for $1,717. You can also get it with “diamond-cut” wheels for $4,810.

Apparently the aforementioned “racing spirit” is an appearance package — one that doesn’t include racy things like saving weight, improving the suspension, or adding power.

This aesthetics kit is inspired by and named after Acura’s TLX-GT racing car in the RealTime and Pirelli World Challenge series. But trying to catch even a whiff of that Ferrari fighting brute in this appearance bundle is a waste of your time. This is nothing more than an attempt by a company to draw much needed attention to a dull car in a dwindling segment. Sadder still is that hardly even changes the look of the sedan.

The TLX isn’t a terrible car but it is a vanilla one, and woefully overshadowed by its competition.

And, like the TLX, most of that competition has hard a hard time keeping buyers interested. Small and entry-level luxury car sales are down 16 percent this year. Acura had a particularly rough month in September, selling only 2,908 TLX sedans compared to the previous September’s 4,753.

2017 Acura TLX with GT Package

Any additional eyes the company can draw onto the practically invisible luxury sedan would be a boon during this prolonged beating. Despite not building one, Acura has continued to market the TLX as the sports sedan that replaced the TSX. This appearance package doubles down on that claim without bringing in a single element that might make it true.

Acura’s just-for-looks pack can already be added to any trim of the TLX from 2016 or 2017. It fits just as easily onto your 2.4-liter Acura (with the same 0 to 60 time as a Honda Civic) as it will the 3.5-liter V6 model with AWD. But it won’t make either of them better to drive.

If you to see this embodiment of the racing spirit for yourself, a TLX GT package vehicle will also be on display at Acura’s booth at the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas on November 1.

[Images: Acura]

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67 Comments on “Acura Thinks It Can Save the TLX by Saving You a Trip to Pep Boys...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    It needs blurry, blueish, unfocused fake LED-HID-poseur headlights.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    For 2016, Acura is likely to be down 10% from 2015, after several years of growth.

    Even though Acura isn’t going anywhere, glam kits like this remind me of the waning days of Pontiac.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I generally like Acura, but doing these tone deaf things makes it a hard brand to defend.

    That said, I’m still having a really hard time coming up with an alternative sedan at $40k I’d rather have given that I plan to own (not lease) the thing well past the warranty period.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yea, interior aside a TLX V6 is a great way to spend $40K in my opinion.

      For those not afraid of turning a wrench, much of its dynamic issues are easily rectifiable. Won’t be an M3 but so what?

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      Matt Posky, the TLX was intended to replace both the TL and TSX, not only the TSX. And the result was something that’s neither. The two versions of TSX were sweet performance sedans(I preferred the first one and drove several of them), and I suggest those folks that are even vaguely interested in TLX shop a preowned TSX instead because they’ll be happier with one and it’ll cost them less for very close to the same warranty period. No, the TLX GT is not going to be a M3 clone, not even a 3 or 4-Series clone. If you wanted one of those, you know where to look, and again, consider certified preowned in your search if new is your financial portfolio.

      • 0 avatar

        Now, to be fair, I wouldn’t call the previous TSX’ ‘sweet performance sedans.’ They were nice, well-balanced, decently-powered Honda Accords (recall that they were just imported from Europe where they were designed and marketed as the Honda Accord). Descriptors would include “nice” and “affordable entry-luxury” and “reliable” and “good quality”, it’s not like they lit your heart on fire either.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Now that’s tacky right there. Not like the Honda with delusions of grandeur was a treat for the eyes to start with.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Smells of desperation after the 2015 TLX ended up on the Consumer Reports “avoid” list.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I’m starting to think Consumer Reports is all wet. I don’t know if it’s their new ratings system or what, but as I was looking through I saw that they took the Volt off of their “recommended” list because of “declining reliability.” but go to the Volt’s table and every single individual rating is “Good,” “Very Good,” or “Excellent” yet they give it a “Much Worse Than Average” overall rating? WTF?

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        Look up 2015 TLX reliability on an alternative site such as http://www.truedelta.com and you’ll see they concur with CR.

        You’ll have to dig, but CR does make an effort to explain their methodology. They will take cars off and put cars back on their recommended list based on new data. Tesla and the Honda Civic had this happen to them recently.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Now we know what those retired guys from the Pontiac studio of GM styling are up to these days – consulting at Acura!

  • avatar
    brn

    $2K for a couple of spoilers and $5K for wheels doesn’t sound like desperation. It sounds like arrogance.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    The TLX is a good car to drive. But it’s held back by super bland styling. Acura really needs to recarve every body panel and add exposed dual exhaust.

    It’s sad that a $26000 Accord Sport looks the part better than a $36K 4 cyl TLX.

    I drive a V6 TLX a few. Knths back. I enjoyed it on the inside. The exterior was ho-hum.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Smells like clicks on mouses and eyes on Acura and cash in someone’s pocket! Whoo-hoo, go Acura!

  • avatar

    Yet another example of how Acura is Honda smothered by marketing weasels. Such a sad fate for a noble brand…just like BMW.

    I’m going to look at their euro catalog now and have a small cry.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      Save your tears.

      Honda’s range in the UK is:
      Fit
      HRV
      Civic
      CRV
      NSX

      Nothing bigger than a CRV. No Accord, no Pilot, no Odyssey, no Acura brand.

      All of the cars in the current range (apart from NSX) are powered by smaller and weaker engines than you folks get in North America.

      I am a big Honda fan, and have owned several, but it’s clear that Honda doesn’t care much about Europe. Our sales volumes are dwarfed by what Honda achieves in North America.

      • 0 avatar
        WallMeerkat

        There isn’t a European Honda of interest anymore.

        Indeed the old 8th gen Euro Accord was imported to the US as the Acura TSX.

        Ultimately it proved too big and expensive for European tastes and was axed recently.

        Like the US, sales of “mid size” / “D segment” saloon/sedan cars are falling, a combination of the Crossover SUV sales craze, and easy financing for the likes of German junior executive saloons (3 series /A4 / C class).

        The trend is for manufacturers in UK/European markets to withdraw their midsize sedan (such as Nissan Primera, Accord, UK market Renault Laguna and Citroen C5) and offer a crossover SUV instead.

        A shame, as the previous 7th gen Accord (previous Acura TSX) was a nice size, taut design, sold reasonably well.

        The Civic has increased in size, presumably to mop up some potential buyers who still want a non-SUV family-sized car.

        (Incidentally best car I owned was a Maryville built Accord coupe, didn’t sell well as it was heavy on fuel, they only imported the 6th gen version to the UK for 2 years).

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        Maybe after brexit, that may change

  • avatar
    raffi14

    They have some crazy 9-speed transmission now that’s been causing lots of problems so I’ve been steering clear of it.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      That’s basically the same ZF design that is unloved in FCA cars, although built by ZF themselves rather than FCA.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      When I drove it the only problem I had over a couple hundred miles was the hunting for a gear under light throttle. I see that True Delta says there are transmission problems but is it actual failures?

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        I drilled down on TrueDelta. Not all were failures, but some truly were. One reported dealer replacement, and another reported engine code P0174.

        Even if the majority were not failures, the complaints about the transmission not performing to expectations hurt Acura’s reputation.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    How much for some exposed exhaust tips? It’s an attractive car, but the rear end just screams “we’re not spending another dime designing this thing.”

  • avatar

    May be it is not a sports car but it is still Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      What a lot of people don’t seem to get is that “Honda with lots of features” is exactly what some of us WANT from Acura.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Why? Can’t Honda just offer you those features and clean up its styling?

        Why is Acura still a thing (outside of a pre-existing brick and mortar dealer network)?

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          I don’t want FWD. Price out a loaded Accord Touring and then check out the street price of a SH-AWD TLX Tech or Advance. It’s really not a big premium. And there are lots of things on the Acura you don’t get on the Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s not an argument for the existence of Acura, that’s an argument for why you personally want an Acura. There is zero reason Honda can’t offer all of those things through its core brand models. Acura is redundant, it could be a trim on a Honda model and very little would change for everyone but dealership employees.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            So? What’s your point?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Maybe the point is you’re in the percentage of buyers who is willing to pay about a 30% premium for a retooled Honda and I am in the percentage which is no longer impressed with such a thing and wonders why Honda faithful put up with it.

            “Acura Motorsports and Honda Performance Development (HPD) twin-turbocharged the V-6, pushing it to 600 horsepower, tweaked the chassis, added a massive pile of aerodynamic bits, and stamped the resultant race car the TLX GT. Indeed, the TLX GT has proved competitive, notching a couple of wins, but it will be replaced by the Acura NSX GT3 for 2017. Before that happens, though, Acura is looking to capitalize on the racing version with the new GT package for roadgoing models. Frustratingly, it amounts to little more than a body kit. The offering gives buyers a rear decklid spoiler, a front spoiler, new side skirts, and a rear underbody spoiler; 19-inch “diamond cut” wheels with unspecified tires also are available for an extra outlay. But, as mentioned, Acura didn’t do anything to the standard 206-hp 2.4-liter inline-four or available 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Or the suspension. Or the chassis.”

            http://blog.caranddriver.com/acura-debuts-race-inspired-tlx-gt-package-without-any-real-performance-upgrades/

            This stands out to me: “Frustratingly, it amounts to little more than a body kit.”

            That’s pretty much Acura these days.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            It’s not a 30% premium. It’s barely a 20% premium, Accord
            touring vs TLX SH-AWD. And I want the SH-AWD. Would I buy an Accord SH-AWD? Maybe, I dunno, but they don’t offer one so I’m not going to wank on about it. I don’t think the premium for a TLX is anything to cry about over an Accord if you’re intellectually honest and not trying to compare it to some $23k Accord stripper Sport.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The highest trim Touring V6 (34,8) vs V6 Advance Pkg AWD (44,8) is 25.01%. So we’re both a bit off on our spitballing.

            I don’t know enough to know the difference between the 31,9 base TLX and 23,1 auto Accord (which is a 32% premium incidentally). I would be curious to know what the differences between the two base models are though. My guess is they are superficial, and I’d laugh loudly if the mfg cost differential was about 7% (which would bring it in line with the 25% premium identified above).

            What I’d like to see out of the brand is something compelling, ironically such as an S2000. I’m not necessarily calling for a roadster, I’m just calling for something uniquely Acura that’s also realistic. The NSX is not gonna do it. Every other model is either slightly retooled Honda, or simply Honda parts bin in the case of things like the ILX.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Street price of an Advamce is around $40k, SH-AWD Tech (basically same as Accord Touring but with AWD) is ~$37k street price. Not sure what the street price of an Accord Touring is, but I’d pay the difference for the AWD, which to me is the defining key to the Acuras. I agree if you buy FWD, the TLX is much less compelling.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Acuras used to be so cool, Legend, Integra, first gen TSX, NSX.

    One of my favorite cars I’ve owned was a 1992 Integra GS-R.

    Super fun car and probably the most well made car I’ve ever had (I’ve had Hondas, Mazdas, Toyotas and a Lexus).

    Wish that Acura Civic looked a little better, curious to see if Acura does anything with the new Civic platform.

  • avatar
    Imagin

    I don’t get how in the 90s and 00s, Acuras looked fantastic.

    Then they discovered the beak and everything since is just bland

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the beak didn’t help, but it’s not what’s sinking Acura. Everyone (save Lexus) who has been trying to “out-German” the German car companies has faltered. Acura, Cadillac, Infiniti. They’re all trying to be BMW and Audi, without realizing that people buy BMWs and Audis because they’re BMWs and Audis. No amount of handling tricks and alphanumeric mish-mash model names is going to change that.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      This is Acura being Acura and Honda being Honda.

      Remember 2009, when The Beak debuted on the third generation TL? Everyone thought it was horrible. Honda also offered the Crosstour and the Acura ZDX because they thought people wanted unique styling. IMO Japanese companies have never gotten aggressive styling right (see Lexus, the latest entrant to super-aggro zigzag alien design).

      Back to the present day, The Beak has been toned down and Acura is back to making anonymous-looking cars with good feature sets and decent value. Just like the good old days.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    I can’t help but thinking of Patton Oswalt’s take on KFC: “failure pile in a sadness bowl.”

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    I gained some respect for big Acura sedans after watching a c. 2012 TL do work at an HPDE, with real tires and brakes.

    But, my only experience with the TLX was as passenger in a 2015 on the same track and ah, it had some trouble with what was being asked of it in extreme situations.

    I’m sure this is a very street capable and comfortable car, but I feel like the side skirts and spicy boy spoiler might be writing some checks it can’t really cash.

  • avatar
    George B

    The Acura TLX “Dad” sedan is simply too big to wear “race inspired” styling accessories. It’s trying too hard to be something it’s not. Too bad since Honda seems to have a pretty good handle on how to build a family sedan at Accord price points.

    I wonder what it would cost to put the 6 speed automatic from the Pilot into the Acura TLX instead of the annoying ZF 9 speed? Both more profit for Honda and fewer potential buyers scared off by dog clutch downshift delay during the test drive. In the Pilot, the 6 speed is the more desirable transmission. http://www.edmunds.com/honda/pilot/2016/long-term-road-test/2016-honda-pilot-ex-6-speed-transmission-vs-elite-9-speed.html

  • avatar
    05lgt

    This is like watching Joe Montana shill pizza. I haz a sad.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    All that comes to mind here is Corolla S. Meaningless eye candy to advertise, “Hey, I’m younger than the usual buyers of these things.” To use a tired but spot-on cliche, this is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It didn’t work with the 99-03 A-Spec, so I’m kind of vexed as to why it would work here.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    RE 2.4L 0-60 times

    “with the same 0 to 60 time as a Honda Civic”

    Worth noting that the time is 7.2 seconds. Definitely not fast, or ever “quick” in a modern setting (author correctly notes that a Civic can now match or beat that time). However the author’s implication seems to be that it’s somehow slow and that simply isn’t the case.

    Not sure, maybe I’m reading into it too much.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    I so wanted to like this car, but its so average that the only way to justify it is to choose it because it is average. Further, the tech package needs to be standard, and sold at the base price. Maybe take the nav out of it and sell that for another 1k upgrade. More body cladding is never the answer.

  • avatar
    CaptainJon

    As the completely satisfied owner of a 2015 TLX 4-cyl tech package, I’d have to say that the car has been completely mis-marketed from the go. Add that to the sorry state of sales in that segment, and you end up with a car that isn’t moving much metal off the lot. The pricing delta between it and a loaded 4-cyl Accord was not very much money, but you do get features and materials in the TLX that aren’t / weren’t available in the Accord.

    Had it been advertised as a comfortable, quiet, and efficient highway cruiser, which it most certainly is, I think that folks would have turned up to the dealership and had an honest feeling for what the car really is. It’s not a stand-out vehicle, but not everybody is looking for that. With the fun dual clutch transmission, all wheel steering, and typically enthusiastic 4-cyl n/a Honda engine, it’s really a decent set of tires away from being a lot more engaging on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Acura seems to be on some type of performance bender. Have you seen their recent commercials with an MDX drifting around an apex? Or the one when the driver of a TLX imagines it’s a race car?

      I don’t know why, but they’re trying to equate their entire line up with performance and it’s just not there.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        If you are buying a car based on a TV commercial I think you will be disappointed, no matter the brand.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          Yeah, I’m sure you’re right but that also goes for buying a car based on what someone else (magazine writer, friend, family member) thinks.

          Ultimately, you’ve got to be satisfied
          with the product. It’s your money and you’ll be the one spending time in it.

          Of course, a spouse gets proper consideration but cousin Charlie, not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      The latest commercials comparing it to a race car are ridiculous.

      “Ultra-responsive”

      “That kind of thrill”

      This has never been what Acuras and Hondas sold on, aside from the Type R models.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Remember this phrase from the commercial when the TLX came out?

        “They {Acura engineers} made the 2015 Acura TLX for them, but you can have one too.”

        The implication being that you too might be allowed to buy a TLX, if you’re good enough.

    • 0 avatar
      CaptainJon

      The one thing the car is exceptional at is eating highway miles in quiet and comfortable pseudo “luxury”. We’re averaging roughly 38mpg at 80mph up and down I5 between LA and Sacramento, and getting well over 500 miles to a tank of gas. The beauty of the car is that we’re getting this ride, quiet, range, comfort proposition without having to buy a huge barge of an automobile. No where in any of Acura’s advertising is this attribute celebrated. This car is typically used daily as my wife’s commuter, and it’s done a marvelous job. But, that’s a job that could have been equally well handled by and Accord, or the Mazda6 we nearly bought. Where this car really shines is the long open road.


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