2015 Acura TLX: Transmission Makes Abrupt Upshifts
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on September 8, 2015
My colleague Josh Sadlier recently drove our 2015 Acura TLX home for a night. The next day in the office, he remarked that he noticed some odd shifting behavior from the TLX's nine-speed automatic transmission. Now Josh is sort of odd himself (witness his website dedicated to his personal car), but having spent some time with our TLX as well, I have to agree with him: our TLX's tranny exhibits unusual shifting behavior in its lower gears.
What Josh and I have noticed is some overly firm or abrupt transmission upshifts. It can happen with the first-to-second gear upshift, but more often it's the second-to-third gear upshift. I wouldn't call it a rough shift, but it's not nearly as smooth as expected, either.
Sometimes it seems like the transmission holds second gear a split second longer than it should, then realizes it should have shifted and quickly ? and abruptly ? upshifts to third gear. I have no idea what the actual mechanical situation is, but that's what it seems like to the driver.
This situation is most noticeable when the engine is cold. But I've been paying close attention to our TLX's shifting the past couple days and the two-three upshift is never as smooth as other gear shifts, even when the powertrain is warmed up.
Having searched Edmunds.com consumer reviews for the 2015 TLX and some internet forums, it seems at least a few other TLX owners have also experienced this transmission issue.
I don't know if it's related or not, but I've also noticed that when using the TLX's paddle shifters for manual shifting, there is a significant delay for the two-three upshift. If you're accelerating briskly and click the paddle for the upshift, the V6 can rev almost another 1,000 rpm before third gear engages. It's not a rough shift, but the delay is obvious. No other upshift takes nearly as long.
Neither issue is pressing. But if this were my TLX, I'd probably mention this abrupt upshift to my dealer on the next service just to see what came of it.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,759 miles