Performance-Tested - How Does The V6 Compare to the Four-Cylinder? - 2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD Long-Term Road Test

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Acura TLX: Performance-Tested - How Does The V6 Compare to the Four-Cylinder?

April 30, 2015

2015 Acura TLX

Rising from the ashes of the TSX and TL is the new 2015 Acura TLX. It fits between the retired sedans in both size and price, and is powered by tweaked versions of the 4- and 6-cylinder engines from the TSX.

We had a choice to make when we ordered our long-termer. Even with a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, we were underwhelmed with the 4-cylinder model's performance. We opted instead for a configuration more suited to our tastes: V6, nine-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive.

With the car fully broken in, it was time to get numbers for our TLX. Scroll down to see how it compares to a TLX with the 4-cylinder engine and all-wheel steering.

Vehicle: 2015 Acura TLX 3.5 SH-AWD

Odometer: 2,265

Date: 4/14/2015

Driver: Josh Jacquot and Mike Monticello

Price: $45,720

Specifications:
Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Nine-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,471 / 212
Redline (rpm): 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 290 @ 6,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 267 @ 4,500
Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated disc with dual-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): One-piece solid disc with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut, antiroll bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, antiroll bar
Tire Size (front): 225/50R18 95H M+S
Tire Size (rear): 225/50R18 95H M+S
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle LS2
Tire Type: All-season
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,766

Test Results: 

Acceleration:
0-30 (sec): 2.3 (w/ TC on 2.4)
0-45 (sec): 3.9 (w/ TC on 4.0)
0-60 (sec): 6.1 (w/TC on 6.1)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.8 (w/TC on 5.7) 
0-75 (sec): 8.6 (w/TC on 8.6) 
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.3 @ 98.3 (w/TC on 14.2 @ 98.3)

Braking: 
30-0 (ft): 30
60-0 (ft): 120

Handling:
Slalom (mph): 64.5 (64.0 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.86 (0.87 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,500

Acceleration comments: There isn't much the driver can do here to make the TLX go quicker. Pretty much all of the runs were within a tenth of a second of each other, regardless of whether traction control was on (fairly meaningless, since it gets full traction thanks to all-wheel drive), whether we did or didn't use power-braking (overlapping throttle and brake prior to launch to bring the revs up) or whether the transmission was in Normal or Sport Plus.

The V6 is strong and revs hard and quickly. It sounds sporty, too. Upshifts come at the same point every time: 6,800 rpm. They are smooth, but not overly quick. Even in manual mode the transmission auto-upshifts at 6,800 rpm, but it does blip the throttle on downshifts. Manual shifting is via steering wheel paddles only.

Braking comments: Firm pedal initially, got softer on later runs and by the sixth stop we had major pedal fade (lengthening of the pedal travel). By the time we finished our acceleration runs, we were getting noticeable brake judder. The TLX also exhibited some side-to-side squirm with every run, enough that it required correction with the steering wheel.

The first stop was 122 feet, the second stop was the shortest at 120 feet, the fourth stop was the longest at 124 feet and the sixth and final stop was 123 feet. Although we experienced pedal fade, the distances barely changed.

Handling comments:
Slalom: Medium steering weight. Electronic stability control intervenes even when off. Even so, ESC still manages to be fairly effective by managing the throttle only marginally. Obvious body roll. Low-grip rubber. Overall good balance, but still a fairly big, heavy sedan.

Skidpad: Active rear differential very obvious in this test. Makes the car rotate very easily when steering is added. Still, the TLX is hampered by low-grip tires, which really set the limit. Constant adjustments require adaptation from the driver to maximize their effectiveness.

Here are the instrumented results for the V6 all-wheel-drive and inline-4 with all-wheel steer. Both cars wore Goodyear Eagle LS2 all-season tires. Tire size for the V6 was 225/50R18 95H all around, while the I4 had 225/55R17 97H tires.

 

2015 Acura TLX 3.5 SH-AWD

2015 Acura TLX 2.4 P-AWS

Curb weight as Tested (lbs.)

3,766

3,474

0-30 (sec.):

2.4

3.0

0-45 (sec.):

4.0

4.8

0-60 (sec.):

6.1

7.4

0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.):

5.7

7.1

0-75 (sec.):

8.6

10.8

¼-mile (sec @ mph):

14.2 @ 98.3

15.4 @ 87.6

Skid Pad Lateral Accel (g):

0.86 (0.87 w/ TC On)

0.84 (0.82 w/ TC On)

Slalom:

64.5 (64.0 w/ TC On)

65.6 w/ TC On

Braking 60-0 mph

120

129

Braking 30-0 mph

30

32

Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 2,265 miles


2015 Acura TLX

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