- Lots of standard features
- Sporty handling
- Efficient base engine
- Needs stickier tires
- Interior isn't as luxurious as some competitors
Acura TLX Expert Review
The 2019 Acura TLX is a compact premium sedan slotting below the larger luxurious RLX and above the smaller ILX. The TLX comes standard with front-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive on the available V-6.
TLX: The base TLX comes standard with keyless entry and start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Bluetooth, a seven-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, power-operated heated front seats, LED headlights, and ambient interior lighting.
TLX A-Spec: Moving up to the A-Spec trim gets you 19-inch alloy wheels, a gloss black rear spoiler, smoked LED headlights, dual round exhaust tips, wider tires and matte black window surrounds. V-6-powered TLX A-Spec variants get revised dampers and power steering systems while opting for all-wheel drive adds stiffer spring rates and rear stabilizer bar, and a quicker steering ratio.
Features on the Technology and Advance packages include navigation, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 10-speaker ELS audio system, a heated steering wheel, LED fog lights, and remote start.
The 2018 TLX's standard engine produces 206 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque, and is paired to an eight-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. Lead-footed drivers can upgrade to a 3.5-liter V-6 with 290 hp and 267 lb-ft coupled to a nine-speed automatic.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the base four-cylinder is 23/33 mpg city/highway in the standard car or 23/32 mpg for the A-Spec model. The V-6 engine is rated at 20/31 mpg in for front-wheel drive or 20/29 mpg for both all-wheel-drive ?models. The front-drive V-6-powered A-Spec model, like its front-drive four-cylinder counterpart, takes a slight hit in the fuel economy department at 20/30 mpg.
The 2019 Acura TLX received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). The 2019 TLX received a Good score on all crashworthiness tests except for the driver-side small front overlap test, where it received an Average score. It received an Average rating on the IIHS' headlights test.
In the IIHS' front crash prevention, the 2018 TLX received a Superior rating after it avoided collisions in 12- and 25-mph crash tests (Superior is the highest possible score). The AcuraWatch suite of active driver assistance features comes standard on all TLX models and includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and Road Departure Mitigation. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert come standard on the A-Spec models or as part of the Technology and Advance packages.
The 2019 TLX has a 14.3-cubic-foot trunk that can be expanded via the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
In a 2018 First Test, we said that the refreshed Acura TLX in V-6 A-Spec form proved fun to drive but its tires didn't offer much grip when driven hard. At the track, the TLX understeered too much despite crisp turn-in. The TLX's interior was also not as luxurious as it could be; the range-topping Honda Accord Touring feels more upscale.
The TLX's SH-AWD system can move torque side-to-side and to a single wheel to maximize traction.