IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
TLX packs a classy interior, lots of desirable features, and peppy performance into a nicely sized package that costs less than comparably equipped European rivals.
Limited options mean that it’s not as customizable as most premium midsize-sedan competitors.
The TLX’s longer-hood/shorter-deck proportions give it the look of a rear-wheel-drive car, but it’s a front-wheel-drive-based vehicle.
WHAT IS IT?
The TLX is Acura’s midsize sedan, and it was completely redesigned for 2021. Base, Technology, sporty A-Spec, and Advance models are powered by a 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front-wheel drive or Acura’s “Super Handling All-Wheel Drive” (SH-AWD). The performance-focused Type S model is powered by a 355-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and gets standard SH-AWD, adaptive-damper suspension, 20-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, and unique trim inside and out.
Standard features on all TLXs include keyless entry and starting, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and a 10.2-inch infotainment screen with a console-mounted “True Touchpad” controller. Upscale features on higher-line TLXs include a multi-function head-up display, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, 17-speaker premium audio system, customizable ambient interior “light piping,” wireless charging pad, and a 360-degree Surround View camera system. Available safety equipment includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic alert.
After last year’s redesign, there are no significant changes in store for the 2022 TLX. The Type S version was a late-2021 addition to the model lineup.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway with front-wheel drive (22/30 in A-Spec trim) and 21/29 with all-wheel drive. The AWD-only Type S model is rated at 19/25, or 19/24 with the optional performance wheel and tire package. Both engines require premium-grade gas. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive Advance model averaged 21.9 mpg in 60-percent city driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
The TLX boasts striking styling, a classy interior, satisfying 4-cylinder and V6 engines, and competitive available features. The cabin isn’t particularly spacious—rear-seat space is a bit cramped for tall folks—and the True Touchpad infotainment interface can be tedious to use. The TLX might not offer the same level of prestige or high-performance thrills as some class rivals, but with pricing that tops out around $50K for mainline models and around $55K for the Type S, it remains one of the best bargains in its segment.