By on May 20, 2021

2021 Acura TLX Type S

Ford’s Lightning has stolen the spotlight this week, but another hotly anticipated vehicle is jumping around and waving its arms (metaphorically speaking, as cars don’t have arms) to remind buyers it exists and goes on sale soon. That vehicle is the 2021 Acura TLX Type S.

Pricing will start at $52,300, not including the $1,025 destination charge, when the sport sedan goes on sale on June 23. $800 more gets you a high-performance wheel and tire package.

2021 Acura TLX Type S

Only 2,000 of the cars, which have a 355-horsepower turbo V6, sport suspension with a double-wishbone front setup, Brembo brakes, 20-inch wheels, 10-speed automatic transmission, and Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, will be sold.

Update: That 2,000-unit limit is just for 2021. There will be a 2022 model year with unlimited sales. We apologize for the error.

2021 Acura TLX Type S

A build-and-price site is up for consumers, and interested buyers can plunk down a reservation.

It’s no electric truck, but it’s exciting in its own way, especially for those of us who still hold a flame for luxury sport-sedans in what’s become a crossover world.

2021 Acura TLX Type S

It’s also about the same base price as a Lightning XLT. And on sale a year sooner. What’s the better deal, huh?

[Images: Acura]

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45 Comments on “2021 Acura TLX Type S Pricing Revealed [UPDATED]...”


  • avatar
    Fred

    OK, maybe it’s no competition for the M3, but it is priced right and reliable. Bonus points for having a nice gold color option.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      More closely aligned with G70 3.3TT and CT5 3.0TT, the later having 400 lb-ft of torque.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I still think it should use the LT1, but the CT5-V kind of gets lost in the conversation even though it seems like a pretty decent offering. You get the magnetic shocks, performance traction management, summer tires, limited slip, and decent brakes all standard. The power isn’t mind-bending but it’s class-acceptable and its “Lightning Lap” time was only 1 second behind the faster (and more expensive) M340i.
        The Cadillac starts under $50K, but (at least for modern times) it is a true stripper spec at that level and nearly every option is nested with a package. So it seems like the “real” price is more like $55K, which still isn’t terrible.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Fred,

      tell me, when was Acura reliable? May be it was more reliable than Lincoln or Cadillac at some time, but reliable ion absolute meaning? I don’t think so.

  • avatar
    ajla

    This is priced right in my wheelhouse and I really like the exterior but the reviews I read today seemed quite tepid for a “first drive”.
    Especially considering these same journos cream their elastic-waist cargo shorts every time an Accord shows up.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Really? Both C/D and Motor Trend seemed quite enthusiastic. I’m not in the market, but if my Alfa were nearing end-of-life, I’d probably look long and hard at it, based on what I read today.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Motor Trend complained that it felt slower than its specs would indicate. I don’t know if that’s true. But, if it is that’s a kiss of death for me.

        Everywhere else I looked seemed to conclude “it’s fine” which comes off as very subdued from a first drive event.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’m just here to say I hate Honda’s gear selector.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “only 2000 will be sold”. Good luck with that, Acura.

  • avatar
    EX35

    That price seems insanely high for what you get. My frame of reference I guess is I paid far less for a new ‘19 C7 7M a year ago. Isn’t the IS500 only a little bit more? There you get a proper RWD drivetrain and V8 not some dumpy FWD designed (fine, AWD in this version) Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The price for the IS500 isn’t released yet. I’d like to think it will be in the $50s but who knows.

      And Corvettes are awesome but they don’t have back seats. Within the sporty sedan realm, if you don’t want a turbo-4 it’s basically a $50K price tag outside the Charger 392 and Stinger GT, which will be in the $40k range.

    • 0 avatar
      SilverCoupe

      An Audi S5 would start around $52,000 and go up from there also. Of course, there you have the option to buy used. And you can get a proper 2-door. I’ve got to say, though, this Acura doesn’t look bad for a 4-door.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      If there is an IS 500 priced in the $50s, it will be a mythical unicorn stripper version without some basic package that will be on every one shipped to a dealer in the real world. This Acura will be fully equipped at the quoted price. And it will have a usable back seat, unlike the IS.

      But while I’m dreaming of sedans I’d still much rather have the IS, despite all of that. Acura would have to put a stick in this car to change that.

    • 0 avatar

      Overpriced for a transverse setup, thanks…North/South engine at this point. Acura still thinks it can pull BMW pricing, and this car doesn’t come close to my c43 in any parameter…and the C wasn’t that much more….Acura smokes crack for this price point.

  • avatar
    AK

    Yeah if the IS500 is under $60k, this Acura is irrelevant. As is, I’d still favor a loaded sport rwd 3.3t G70 which undercuts this TLX by a few grand.

    The Acura looks nice and I really like that color but I have no desire for AWD in a sport sedan, no matter how trick it is. The curb weight being 4200lbs, having a 10 speed and the fact that Honda put it’s horrendous cylinder deactivation in it are just more strikes against.

    Cylinder deactivation in a performance variant is a new low.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “The curb weight being 4200lbs” Interesting, the Model 3 Performance is 4250lbs. Well, I guess EVs are now the same weight as their ICE equivalents. Just not in the way I hoped it would happen. I was hoping the EVs would get lighter. Of course, the performance of the Acura is closer to that of the standard range plus Model 3 which is 3648lbs. So, maybe this is a case where the EV is actually lighter than its ICE equivalent?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Correction, the Acura is AWD and the weight of the AWD Model 3 is 4250lbs. So basically the same weight.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “the standard range plus Model 3 which is 3648lbs.”
        “Interesting, the Model 3 Performance is 4250lbs”

        Dang, that AWD setup packs on the pounds.
        I’m *still* wishing for a company to take a crack an ~$50K RWD performance BEV. Tesla still apparently offers the Model 3 LR RWD, but you must be a Chinese citizen to get it.

    • 0 avatar
      andrewatacura

      Porsche uses cylinder deactivation on the 718 Cayman/Boxster GTS.

      • 0 avatar
        AK

        1- I did not know that
        2- That sucks
        But
        3- I can all but guarantee that Porsche’s cylinder deactivation works better than Honda’s. Honda’s is god awful.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    These are personal things, but the front end design and the dash inside look similar — a complete dog’s breakfast. Completely overwrought, overcomplicated and ugh.

    The previous TLX was a doddering blowsy heavy-feeling un-agile car with the V6, and the four had that totally useless DSG-type transmission that sometimes had no gear selected whatsoever at walking pace, which I found dangerous on a test drive. The first couple of years’ production was rife with problems, strange buffeting (I experienced this on a V6 FWD test drive), wheel shimmy problems, wacky stereo, you name it.

    Consequently, you have to wonder what this new version has been like with regards to teething troubles in the grandpa version. Adding a new turbo V6 to the S, well, that seems like something to avoid for a year or two, because Honda hasn’t been ace on engines these past few years — take the 1.5t as the example.

    I like AWD sedans as a breed, but except for paying through the nose for a German one and hoping for the best, I don’t think I’d enjoy either looking at that TLX scrunched-up dash, or facing the lack of an intermediate gear hold and super-crap pushbutton gear selector. Once Honda makes up its mind on something, a mountain can’t move ’em, so I tend to say, well keep ’em then. Who knows, in a couple of years I might test drive one and change my mind. I was not impressed by the Genesis G70 AWD at all on my test drive, and yet the basement experts said it was ace. Uh, no, not at all in my opinion. I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for, and that is a personal thing. I like someting with what seems a bit of life in it to me, a bit of joy. At least I got off my rear end and tried all these cars out in person, but Covid has really cut into my driving, barely at 20% of usual. So not much point looking for new when my Mazda6 turbo is hardly run in really, and I like it a lot. It’s a sneaky runner that gets you there a lot faster than you’d think, and friends, the manumatic is ace.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    WAY too heavy. No wonder Motor Trend said it felt slower than its specs (what a nice friendly vague way to put it, so as not to seriously offend Honda).

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I’m sure it will be a great car, even a fast and competently handling one, but 4000+lbs, is not “sport” anything roadgoing. Makes about as much sense as a 500lb Harley, or BMW, being an “off-road” bike.

      “Sports” something roadgoing, weighs < 3500lbs, and has a manual.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Can the styling be any more busy with creases, crevices and angles? Uglier than dog feces.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I think the price is high for a transverse setup. I’d probably resign myself to a nice A5 sportback with the sport package, those extra two cylinders be damned.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      2021 A5 sportback quattro premium plus S tronic, in striking turbo blue, with rear side airbags, sport suspension, bang and olufsen, and ventilated seats… 51,250. 0-60 in 5.4 seconds, and Audi turbos sound good enough and feel even stronger than the numbers suggest.

      If you MUST have the heavier v6 and tiptronic auto instead of S-tronic DSG, a smartly equipped S5 in that same striking turbo blue color runs to 55,695

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “If you MUST have the heavier v6”

        Yes, that is 100% a must for me.
        The issue with Audis is that to get the adaptive suspension and the rear differential requires buying the mid-level trim and if I didn’t get those options I’d spend the entire ownership period wondering if I’d be happier with them. The result is that the S4 I want is $60.5K and the S5 I’d want is $63K. Are the Audis worth $7K-$10K more? I can’t really say as I haven’t driven them or the Acura. However, that’s also smack into M340i territory.
        I also have concerns about how the Audis (or BMWs) would hold up after 3 years so then that’s getting into a leasing situation.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          fair enough ajla. i’d want the differential too, but i’m still young enough to be ok without the trick suspension. I think the short answer to your pricing question is no, they are not worth that much more, but the longer and more complicated answer is that a transverse setup is just not comparable. Perhaps this Acura is smartly priced if we looked at it as a “souped up” Honda – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    These are striking vehicles and demand attention on the road…S4 is a great comp…I guess you are paying for the Honda reliability here and the cutting edge design…

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      “Honda reliability”… ha-ha. Not even funny anymore although, it gained in 2020 in comparison to others.

      But Acura is not Honda and you shpuld know this. This an American company.
      Here us CR on Acura for 2020
      “CR did not have sufficient data to rank Acura. But the RDX remained below average with transmission computer issues and problems with freezing and blank display screens.”

      The 10 most reliable cars of 2021, according to Consumer Reports:

      1. Toyota Prius
      2. Lexus NX
      3. Buick Encore
      4. Lexus GX
      5. Honda HR-V
      6. Toyota Prius Prime
      7. Hyundai Kona
      8. Audi A5
      9. Audi A4
      10.Mazda CX-5

      Brand reliability score

      Mazda (83)
      Toyota (74)
      Lexus (71)
      Buick (70)
      Honda (63)
      Hyundai (62)
      Ram (58)
      Subaru (57)
      Porsche (55)
      Dodge (54)

      Note that between 1st place Mazda and Honda 20 points

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Its easy to get sucked into thinking that trick diffs can overcome the inherent balance issues fwd based sports sedan. This is coming from a former audi owner.Even the RWD based AWD sedans seemed pushy to me when pressed into a corner. I hooned a co workers Stinger GT AWD the steering felt numb and it was pushy in the corners. It wasn’t as fun as my old G37S 6m sedan, but much faster and refined.
    If I were in the market I think I’d be happier with a RWD Stinger-even the base 2.5t ,or a RWD G70 v6. I’m sure the CT5-V can be had at a discount putting it in range with KDM twins and this Acura. The 340I is pretty much an M car with the way it’s priced.But you would get what you pay for at least.
    These really are the best of times for sports sedan lovers, as long as you don’t mind driving an automatic.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    A bit more reflection on this and I realized that I feel more want for that $9k manual 2005 TL we discussed last week than this new $53k car. I think I’ve convinced myself that automatics are for EVs and beasts of burden, not sporty gas cars.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    And now there’s an even rarer manual Acura for sale in my neck of the woods, although the price is a bit out there and the factory body kit is an unfortunate addition.

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/ctd/d/lynnwood-2010-acura-tl-sh-awd-tech/7323293020.html

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agree on body kit but that’s fricking insane. Have your Pacific Northwest used cars always been relatively expensive?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Yes, partly because they tend to be in better condition than you find elsewhere, but that’s too much. I think $11k would be a fair price for it, mmmmaybe $12k at most given rarity and HPT option.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Its difficult for me to price something like this because as you point out, it is a rare trim. I’d also factor in the cost of a timing belt in any buyer’s extrapolation.

          Checking the tape, the lowest mile example w/auto in the country pulled 11 last week. With those miles, MMR suggests $7,625. Add a grand or two for manual transmission rarity. So typical dealer antics are simply all to see here.

          MY10 ACURA TL AWD 4D SEDAN 3.7L TECH PKG

          5/17/21 $11,115 66,309 2.7 6G/A Black Regular Northeast NY Metro Skyline
          5/13/21 $8,500 96,825 3.5 6G/A Black Regular Southwest Texas Hobby
          4/26/21 $9,200 110,385 – – 6CY/A – – Regular Midwest myCentralAuction
          4/30/21 $9,250 116,245 3.6 6G/A Silver Regular West Coast Nevada
          4/26/21 $8,100 117,106 – – NON/A – – Regular Northeast myCentralAuction
          5/14/21 $7,400 125,317 2.5 6G/A Silver Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
          4/27/21 $7,900 128,904 2.6 6G/A Black Lease Northeast Baltimore-Washington
          4/22/21 $7,500 145,345 – – 6G/- – Black Regular Midwest Chicago
          5/18/21 $4,200 211,627 3.1 6G/A Gray Regular Northeast Baltimore-Washington
          4/29/21 $4,100 232,318 2.8 6G/A Gray Regular Southeast Statesville
          5/18/21 $4,300* 256,019 3.8 6G/A Silver Regular Northeast Baltimore-Washington

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            That’s a very helpful baseline but in this case I think the combination of local market, rarity, configuration, and apparent good condition actually does add some value. Even after seeing your transactions I continue to think $11k+ would be fair assuming the mechanical condition corresponds to the cosmetic condition. And, yep, immediately budget timing belt, water pump, and (as with every single used car purchase) brakes.

            That dealer thinks they’re in the middle of a BAT auction, though. If they are really trying to get $16k the car is going to sit for a while.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There seems to have been a spike in wholesale sometime in the past sixty days which for all I know will continue into the summer. They could sit on it for 30 days and it actually increase in value. Normally the game is the opposite, don’t keep stale inventory too long unless its niche (which this kind of is, but could also be argued its not).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            MY12 Acura TL AWD for $9,800. For my money, a stick and Pac Northwest climate are not a $6K premium.

            https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/cto/d/pittsburgh-2012-acura-tl-sh-awd/7326388734.html

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