Tom Crosby: Acura TLX adds spice to luxury sedan lineup
Adding spice to its luxury sedan line-up, Acura has introduced the all new 2015 TLX, a mid-size sports sedan on an all-new platform with a velvet smooth ride and the acceleration punch necessary for quick highway merges and passing.
The TLX is being promoted in the most aggressive media marketing campaign ever launched by Acura, including inundating Facebook and Twitter accounts. In the first two months on the market, August and September 2014, the TLX became Acura’s best-selling sedan, outpacing siblings Acura ILX and Acura RLX flagship.
Our tester had the top-of-the-line technology package for the 2.4-liter in-line engine manipulated by an 8-speed automatic transmission with first-ever torque converter. TLX also has a direct-injection 3.5-liter V-6 with an advanced package option. Even with truncated horsepower, the 2.4-liter was peppy and sporty, the front-wheel drive sedan handling flawlessly with Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer on sloping mountain curves, using steering wheel mounted manual paddles for extra oomph and engine braking.
Driving the TLX revealed why Acura discontinued the TL and TSX Acuras. Acura won the Best Retained Value® award for a luxury brand in 2014 from http://www.edmunds.com, a clue for potential TLX buyers. Honda, which owns Acura and shares technology, also has a solid reputation for reliability and resale value. Our TLX’s price was only marginally higher than Honda’s high-end EX-L V-6 and Touring Models with V-6 engines.
The profile of the five passenger sedan is typically sleek for today’s sedan designs, with a low beltline, door character lines and muscular flared rear fender arches. Trunk space is more than ample (rear seats fold 60/40) and seating space spacious and comfortable for all occupants.
A pleasing 34.9-mpg was achieved on a 1,200 mile, mostly highway trip with a compliant four-wheel independent suspension system. Inside were leather seats, wood grain accents, 7-inch touch screen below an 8-inch dashboard display screen, moon roof, a 10-speaker top-notch ELS sound system and enough technology tie-ins to please any tech junkie. It can link with Siri, Pandora, SMS texting, Bluetooth and other cloud-based functions.
The navigation system worked flawlessly with good voice recognition, timely turn guidance and the drive lane displayed. Disconcerting was a lane keeping assist feature that automatically applied slight steering corrections to keep the vehicle between the lines. Thankfully, it can be turned off. Better was the beeping alert when you crossed a white line. These and other safety features should garner top crash protection ratings.
Like: Handling, ride, price, luxury, tech features
Dislikes: Lane keeping assist
Bottom line: If early sales are any indication, the Acura TLX is a clear winner
Base price w/destination fee $35,920
Curb weight 3,492 lbs.
Wheelbase 109.3 inches
Length 190.3 inches
Width 73 inches
Engine specs 2.4-liter, 4 cylinder, DOHC, direct injection
Horsepower 206 hp at 6,800 rpm
Torque 182 ft.-lbs. at 4,500 rpm
Transmission 8-speed dual-clutch automatic w/sport shift
EPA Rating 24 city, 35 highway
Range 17.2-gallons, regular
Performance 0-60 in less than 8 seconds
Tom Crosby is a former journalist and communications director for AAA Carolinas. He has been reviewing cars since 1996, and has been active in traffic safety issues for more than 30 years.