- Lots of available technology
- Optional V-6 power
- Quiet cabin
- Bland-ish styling
- Handling could be better
- Four-cylinder power
Acura TLX Expert Review
New for 2017
After the model underwent a major redesign in 2015, changes on the 2017 Acura TLX sedan are limited to three new exterior color options: San Marino Red, Lunar Silver Metallic, and Modern Steel Metallic. An Ebony Black interior is now available with San Marino Red and Fathom Blue Pearl exterior colors.
Acura markets the midsize TLX as a luxury sports sedan, which slots between the compact ILX sports sedan and the full-size RLX flagship sedan. When the 2015 TLX arrived, it effectively replaced both the smaller TSX and the larger TL sedans.
The 2017 Acura TLX is available in several trim levels with two distinct i-VTEC drivetrain options. The base engine is a 2.4-liter inline-four making 206 hp and 182 lb-ft. An eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with torque converter sends power to the front wheels. This drivetrain is EPA-rated at 24/35 mpg city/highway.
A more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 with 290 hp and 267 lb-ft is also available. Both four-cylinder and six-cylinder front-drive models feature Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), but the six-cylinder is available with the automaker's Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system. All V-6 engines are backed by a nine-speed automatic. Front-drive models with the V-6 are EPA-rated 21/34 mpg, while SH-AWD models are rated 21/31 mpg.
Standard features include Jewel Eye LED headlights, automatic climate control, premium audio system, multi-view camera, and smart entry.
The Technology Package adds navigation with real-time traffic and rerouting, color multi-function display, AcuraLink, 10-speaker ELS Studio premium audio system with HD radio, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Information systems, rear cross traffic monitor, a perforated Milano premium leather interior, GPS-linked climate control, and rain sensing wipers.
The Advance Package adds Collision Mitigation Braking System with head-up warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with low-speed follow, Road Departure Mitigation system, remote engine start, auto-dimming side mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, LED fog lights and puddle lights, and heated and cooled front seats.
The 2017 Acura TLX sedan has a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). While the TLX earned a Good rating in the moderate overlap front, side, and roof strength tests and for its head restraints and seats from the IIHS, it only earned a Marginal rating in the small overlap front test. The optional Collision Mitigation Braking System (part of the optional Advance Package) received a Superior rating for reducing vehicle speed by 10 mph in the low-speed 12-mph autobrake test and for avoiding a collision in the high-speed 25-mph autobrake test.
What We Think
Overall, we were impressed with the TLX 2.4 in our First Test. We concluded: "As a complete package, the TLX feels like a good compromise between the TL and TSX and is vastly improved over both of those cars in terms of driving dynamics, interior aesthetics and quality, and available technology. That said, the TLX 2.4 can't quite keep up with its turbocharged competition."
We concluded in our 2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD First Test: "The new TLX, in total, is a solid midsize luxury sedan. It's a strong improvement on the TSX and gives up very little to the TL. What's more, it's more competitive in its class than ever before. On the other hand, the missed potential in this new car, both in terms of handling and design, gives us pause. While we don't see it putting the competition on notice, we can't deny that Acura customers will find a lot to like in this car."
The Jewel Eye headlights focus three outside LEDs into one beam. The two inner lenses turn on when the high beams are activated.