Acura Thinks It Can Save the TLX by Saving You a Trip to Pep Boys

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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.

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Der_Kommissar Der_Kommissar on Oct 27, 2016

    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.

  • CaptainJon CaptainJon on Oct 27, 2016

    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.

    • See 5 previous
    • CaptainJon CaptainJon on Oct 27, 2016

      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.

  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂