10 Things to Know Before You Test Drive the New Acura TLX
This summer Acura introduced the mid-size luxury sports sedan, the TLX, which replaces the outgoing TL, and is positioned in the Acura lineup between the entry-level ILX luxury sedan and the brand’s flagship sedan the RLX. Here’s what you know before you drive one:
1.) Designed under the theme “Red Carpet Athlete,” the TLX promotes the vision of blending the athleticism of a sports car with luxury refinement. That means tighter, sporty seating and not a lot of leg room for back seat passengers.
2.) Acura has taken extra steps to ensure a road noise-free ride with the TLX, adding acoustic, noise-dampening foam at ten strategic junctures around the passenger cabin. Also, the windshield is made of sound-absorbing acoustic glass and each door is triple-sealed. Foam barriers help seal the inner door panels around windows and door locks.
3.) Acura offers two engine and transmission combinations in the three TLX models. The base model features a 2.4-liter, 206 horsepower i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder engine mated with an 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with torque convertor. The next model features a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Both of these models are front wheel drive and feature four-wheel steering which Acura calls Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). The top of the line model is all-wheel drive and also features the 3.5-liter engine/9-speed automatic combination, but also includes Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) which not only transfers torque to front and rear axles as needed, but also from left to right rear wheels as needed.
4.) The TLX is almost four inches shorter overall than the TL it replaces, but retains the same wheelbase. This lends to the vehicle’s sporty appearance without sacrificing occupant comfort. Seating, however, was a relatively tight squeeze for anyone near 6’0″ tall or taller on the day we tried out the vehicle.
5.) Acura is particularly proud of the Jewel-Eye LED headlights standard throughout the TLX range. The row of LED’s creates a distinctive appearance echoed in the LED-accented side-view mirrors, LED taillights, and LED license plate illumination while enhancing down-the-road illumination.
6.) The new Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) allows TLX drivers not only enjoy an 8-speed dual-clutch or 9-speed automatic transmission, but four unique driving modes: Normal, Economy, Sport and Sport+. In automatic mode, the driver can choose between economical or sport shifting on an electronic gear selector which offers intuitive, one-touch gear engagement and increases access to the center stack and center console. Paddle shifters put full manual control right at your fingertips.
7.) The carmaker technically has made the TLX into a 5-person vehicle, however, in reality, only four people can comfortably sit in the sedan based on our experience.
8.) The TLX is the first Acura vehicle to deploy a new Road Departure Mitigation system, which is included with the Advance Package. Additional standard and available driver-assistive features include Blind Sport Information, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Expanded View Driver’s Side Mirror, Lane Keep Assist and new Cross Traffic Monitor.
9.) Seven-time Grammy Award winning recording engineer Elliot Scheiner engineered the TLX in Technology and Advance trims which come equipped with a 455-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System.
10.) The TLX features the next generation of AcuraLink®, Acura’s cloud-based connected car system, offering a broad range of cloud-based and embedded convenience, connectivity and available security features. All TLX models come equipped with Siri Eyes Free technology that when paired with a compatible iPhone, which allows the driver to use the features of Siri using familiar voice commands. Additional standard and available luxury features includes GPS-linked automatic climate control, color Multi-Information Display (MID) with turn-by-turn guidance, LED accent lighting, HD Radio®, Pandora® and Aha™ integration, and HDMI and USB connectivity.