This subdued sedan offers both comfort and capability.
The mild-mannered TLX deserves recognition for its composed driving dynamics and comfortable interior. While its gaping grille and bejeweled headlights are undeniably distinct, the rest of its exterior design borders on the ho-hum. Under the hood is a standard 206-hp inline-four with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a 290-hp V-6 with a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive with supplemental rear-wheel steering that aids handling is standard; V-6 models are available with Acura’s all-wheel-drive system. The TLX’s tasteful interior offers cozy seating, attractive appointments, and choice standard features. A stable of driver assists including automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are also standard. The TLX isn’t thrilling, but its quiet competence and refined performance are underappreciated compared with flashier competitors that steal the spotlight.
What’s New for 2018?
The TLX receives a refresh that includes a much-needed facelift, updated technology, and new additions to option packages. Most notably, Acura ditched the bleak beak for a much handsomer pentagonal grille with a diamond-mesh insert. Acura also revised the TLX’s front bumper and fenders, hood, side sills, and rear styling. Along with reshuffling the base model’s standard features and packaged equipment, Acura fits every TLX with a redesigned infotainment system that features a simplified interface, quicker response times, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. All models now also have forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
The base price of a four-cylinder TLX is $33,950—among the lowest in its class. The V-6 starts at $37,150; all-wheel drive adds $2000. We’ll gladly grab the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive for the significantly quicker acceleration and all-weather motivation they provide. Too bad we can’t have the sporty A-Spec trim ($2900) without the Technology package, which adds upgraded infotainment and more driver assists for $3700. Together they skyrocket the sticker price to $44,800, which is similar to rivals we’d rather have, such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti and the Lexus IS350 F Sport. Instead, we’ll stick with the V-6 and all-wheel-drive system and add parking sensors ($634) and a heated steering wheel ($500). Those two options nicely complement several snazzy standard features, including:
- Dual-screen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Heated, power-adjustable front seats
- Leather-trimmed interior
In total, our TLX 3.5 SH-AWD costs $40,284—a reasonable price for a well-equipped entry-luxury sedan.