IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

TLX packs a classy interior, cutting-edge handling and safety features, and peppy performance into a nicely sized package.

BUT…

Limited options mean that it’s not as customizable as most premium midsize-sedan rivals.

WORTH NOTING:

Front-drive models have four-wheel steering for improved low-speed maneuverability and high-speed stability.

WHAT IS IT?

The TLX is Acura’s midsize sedan. When it debuted as a 2015 model, the TLX replaced both the smaller TSX and the larger TL in Acura’s lineup, coming in between those two cars in size (which puts it on the smaller side of the premium midsize-car class). Both 4-cylinder and V6 engines are available. The four comes with an 8-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission and Acura’s Performance All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system, and is available only with front-wheel drive. The V6 is mated with a 9-speed automatic and is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Standard features on all TLXs include two center-console display screens, heated front seats, rearview camera, and keyless entry and starting. Available safety equipment includes forward-collision warning, and mitigation, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, road-departure mitigation, blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic alert.

WHAT’S NEW?

The TLX receives a thorough refresh for 2018 that includes a styling facelift (featuring Acura’s new “Diamond Pentagon” grille design), Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, and the AcuraWatch suite of safety features as standard equipment. A new performance-focused A-Spec model includes sporty features such as 19-inch wheels, sport-tuned steering and suspension, sport front seats, and unique trim inside and out. Availability of all-wheel drive is now expanded to all V6 models, instead of just the top trim levels. Newly available on higher-line models are a power driver-seat thigh extension, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, dark burl wood trim, interior LED “light piping,” wireless cell-phone charging, and a 360-degree Surround View camera system.

FUEL ECONOMY

EPA estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway with the 4-cylinder, 21/30 with the front-drive V6, and 20/32 with the AWD V6. The sporty features of the V6-only A-Spec version drop its EPA ratings to 20/30 with FWD and 20/29 with AWD. Both engines require premium-grade gas. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive V6 averaged 27.6 mpg in 85-percent highway driving.

VALUE IN CLASS

Acura’s TLX is a compelling contender that astutely blends luxury, sport, economy, and everyday practicality, then tops off the package with an impressive selection of technology features. It’s a bit on the small side for the premium midsize class, but in many ways its relatively trim footprint is an asset—and it doesn’t give up that much in interior or cargo space. The TLX might not be quite as flashy as some class rivals, but with pricing that tops out well under $50K, it is one of the best bargains in its segment. And, the astute freshening for 2018 brings several desirable new available features and a sporty A-Spec model that should attract its share of enthusiast buyers.

BASE PRICE RANGE $33,000 – $44,800
BODY STYLES 4-Door Sedan
AVAILABLE ENGINES 206-HP, 2.4-Liter 4-Cyl.; 290-HP, 3.5-Liter V6
DRIVE WHEELS Front or All-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN USA
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 20-33 MPG

Other Best Buys in this Class