“And more,” comes the sneering, snarling, slurring line from thoroughly dead punk rocker Sid Vicious, “Much more than this: I did it myyyy way.”

Cue Acura TLX carving up a mountain road, people laughing, and the tagline, “It’s that kind of thrill.” Thing is, Sid, I’m not so sure.


Oh right, sorry. The whole dead-for-three-and-a-half-decades things. My bad.

For those of you as confused about Acura’s naming structure as you are about what the South London–born lead singer of the Sex Pistols is actually mumbling, then here’s the liner notes. No more four-sedan lineup, now Acura claims to be selling three Accords and the truth: the four-cylinder ILX is the entry model, the Frankie-say-RLX is the luxury version, and the new TLX sits in the middle.

It’s an amalgamation of sorts, an attempt to smush together the TSX and the TL so that the entire Acura range now has three-letter acronyms and better positioning against conventional rivals like BMW. Let us take a brief moment to honour the fallen stick-shift TL SH-AWD, one of the best cars that nobody ever bought.

First impressions are pretty good. The TLX isn’t as cleanly handsome as the first generation TSX was, but in its unremarkable urbanity, there is appeal to be found. It’s my opinion that many Lexus buyers are choosing their cars in spite of the extreme styling rather than because of it, and with the Acura range there’s no such visual barrier to entry. It’s a long time since the people test driving these took the safety pins out of their ears, and from the exterior, the TLX is anything but punk rock.

This being the Elite version, there are multi-bulb LED headlights (these look a little less insectoid than the RLX or MDX), 18-inch alloys, LED foglights, standard puddle lights, etc, etc. How shall I put this? The TLX is to the Accord as Banana Republic is to the Gap. If you’re ready to graduate to something a little nicer without the flashiness, then here you go.

Take one look at the inside of any modern Acura, and you’ll get the impression that the entire team ditched their graphing calculators for iPad Minis at the exact same time. Gone is the button-fest of old, now replaced by a setup that includes twin-screens and touchpads. Much like the Honda versions, everything’s blue-backlit and high resolution. Actually, never mind the Apple references – Acura’s infotainment is nowehere near as intuitive.

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