Launched in the fall of 2014 as a 2015 model, the then all-new Acura TLX replaced the slow-selling Acura TL and Acura TSX sedans. The gambit seems to have paid off, as the TLX easily exceeded sales of the two retired models in 2015.
Mind you, there are two powertrains that deliver different TLX driving experiences: one more like the former TSX and one closer to the TL (a little more on that later). Starting at a modest $35,490 (plus $2,045 freight) for the base four-cylinder TLX, our top-of-the-line V6 TLX SH-AWD Elite stickers at $47,990 plus freight and fees for a total of $50,156. However, at the time of this writing, Acura is offering a rebate/incentive of $3,500 that brings the current price of our fully loaded tester down to $46,656 including freight and fees.
This is a very competitive price for such a well-equipped, executive sedan, but before looking at features, it’s worth considering where the Acura TLX resides in relation to some obvious competitors. It’s not as big as a BMW 5 Series, but is larger than a 3 Series, so it sits midway between a luxury compact and intermediate-sized vehicle. It’s actually very close in size to a Lexus GS, although the similarly equipped TLX SH-AWD has a shorter wheelbase and is priced $5,000-$8,000 below the Lexus and considerably lower than equivalently optioned BMWs.
The list of standard and optional equipment is generous, and heavily oriented toward safety. In fact, the Acura TLX achieved the top available rating from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2015, scoring five stars in each of its nine vehicle test modes. It also received a Top Safety Pick + rating from the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Technology contributing to and/or relevant to these designations include multiple airbags, a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind spot information, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor and Mult-View Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines. The TLX is built on Honda/Acura’s latest Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) front body structure designed to protect occupants in the event of a collision.
Buyers receive all the above technologies in the SH-AWD Elite model.
Motive power is provided by a 3.5L, direct-injected V6 engine making 290 hp at 6,200 rpm, and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. Power is delivered through a nine-speed, paddle-shiftable automatic transmission and distributed through Acura’s excellent revised and enhanced Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. Fuel consumption is rated at 11.2/7.5 L/100km, city/highway (my average from both environments over 350 km was 10.2 L/100 km.
A Mid-sized Showdown: 2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD vs 2015 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD
An Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) permits changing from “Normal” to “Sport” mode to increase steering feel and quicken throttle response. When equipped with SH-AWD – as this car is — the system more aggressively distributes power (torque vectors) to outside rear wheels in a curve. The “Comfort” mode creates a lighter power steering feel while maintaining the normal settings for the other systems. The select button for the IDS is located behind the Drive button on the electronic shifter.