Overall, this is a very nice car. I like it but don't quite love it, at least yet. I cross shopped primarily the Mazda 6, Buick Regal turbo, and Honda Accord V6. I got the TLX with the 2.4L 4-cylinder with 8 speed dual clutch and tech package. It is a nice, quiet, comfortable, light on its feet 4 door sedan that has a hint of sport and a great audio system. The TLX won my spreadsheet analysis comparison but hasn't won my heart yet. I found the 6 and Regal to be sportier and more fun to drive, especially the Regal with the HiPer strut and AWD. The Accord v6 was a hoot with that sweet v6. The 6 lost due to aggressive head restraints, a bit more road noise, and it didn't have much top end power. The Regal lost due to poorer visibility and lower quality interior and switches. The Accord lost due to aggressive head restraints that gave my wife a headache and the audio system that wasn't up to my audio standards. For the TLX, my biggest complaint is the transmission mapping. By 25mph I?m in 5th gear. Oh my! I give the car a little gas and it doesn?t do anything. To do anything it needs to downshift a gear or two. I always feel like it?s in a gear too high. Granted, I am coming from a 2007 TSX 6 speed manual that I had for almost 10 years and loved. That was a nice driver?s car! Mat Hargett and Bryan Hourt of Acura say this is a red carpet athlete and it?s also like a horse you know well that won?t tire you out. Well, I do think they are right to a certain degree. It CAN be sporty if you put it in sport plus and corner carve a bunch of empty curvy streets and keep the revs high and the transmission in a lower gear. But I?m so far just commuting and I want it to feel more engaging. If I just relax and drive in a more relaxed manner, it?s more satisfying. The v6 and SH-AWD v6 version were faster but felt heavier and even less engaging. My expectations are maybe not in line with today?s auto practices. My old TSX is nearly 10 years old and things have changed a lot since then. The move from hydraulic to electric steering, going from double wishbone to strut front suspension, and gas mileage maximizing transmission mapping all take their toll on driving fun and engagement. In the end it was time for a new car and the TLX 4 cylinder was the overall best, I liked it, and it was in budget. I was just hoping to love it.
1) It's more comfort/quiet than sporty, more lexus ES then BMW 3 series. If you looking for a comfortable commuter car to make a few aggressive moves, this care will do the trick just fine. Plan for an extra lag time when you hit petal to the metal, unless you are in sport+ mode. Under all other modes pressing the petal will only accelerate the car slowly in the immediate second.
2) more car for the value. Car is almost the size of lexus ES (large midsize), not BMW 3 series (small midsize).
It is quiet, It seems to be tune to weed out outside human voice and not so much traffic noise. traffic noise is hush to a very comfortable whisper. You can only hear the wind if you travel faster than 70mph. But not as quiet as top of the line BMW 7 or lexus LS. You hardly tell the difference between going 50mph vs 100mph unti you look at speeddometer. Technology package really adds a lot of value even though it may not seem like it on paper. Lots of standard features even in the base model (LED headlights, rear view camera, heated seats, side mirrors automatically tilt down when in reverse). One of the best audio systems.
2) Inexpensive, easy to own, premium fuel is recommended but not required. Buy pre-certified, and get benefits of cheaper price but has full new car warranty + 1 additional year. Maintenance is also cheap thus should buy rather than lease, compared to BMW or Mercedes which basically forces you to lease or sell the car once maintenance warranty runs out.
3) Lots of technology and features at much cheaper prices compared to the Germans. standard rearview camera. I really like the 3 views camera (no need for parking sensors with a top down view, where you can see exactly how many inches before the bumper hits the other car). I disagree with some professional reviewers, I prefer the dual screen setup, where I can keep the nav map on top and audio/climate on the bottom screen. Blind spot warning lights are on the inside, not on side mirrors like other cars. The Best lane keeping assist system, though I prefer if it work at low speeds also. Love the automatic record all CDs while you place in the car. Insert a CD and by the time you listening to the 3rd track, it has recorded the entire CD, so you never have to re-insert the CD again. Back seats fold down. Great night time ambient lighting. Lots of interior storage places.
4) Interior is Not quite full luxury experience. Very 2010 luxury feel than 2015-2016. No panoramic sun roof. Clean look, but no contrasting color scheme. Not all panels are leather or wood-like. Some use of soft plastics, hard plastic for the door trays. Lumbar support doesn't have height adjustment. No sun shades, only highest trim has cooling seats, heated steering wheel, and puddle lights.
Overall TLX is a best value for the features and well rounded car with low maintenance cost. It not the best performance nor the best comfort luxury.
The Jewel Eye LED headlights are bright! I live in the country and have to drive dark roads and on my daily commute to work often times rainy highways where if you have mediocre headlights you cant see the freeway lanes. I have several cars, a couple have traditional halogens, HID and high end Xenons on my 911 Carrera S, these 2016 TLX headlights are bright! They penetrate good in fog and rain!
I have read posting that the Dashboard Controls are over complicated, I say otherwise as I got the brief from the dealer sales rep. I in my opinion that is very intinuative. It actually make it easier to set those vehicle systems that were so hard to set up in older cars to your personal preference a breeze to set up. For example, if you dont like to wear out your LED lights cause they keep turning on and off as you approach the vehicle or your door locks un locking when you put your gear in park, or your cabin lights staying on for 10, 150, 30 secs after you close ther door, that is now so easy to setup in that menu system. On older cars you have to unlock, lock door twice, turn on & off ignition, turn key on...etc etc just to reset these configurations, now its all in the menu and simple to setup.
In regards to engine power, I think the 2.4cc engine is just fine. The "Normal" and Sport IDS mode will pull the car just fine. Traffic light to traffic light, to highway entrance acceleration is well sufficient for what this car is designed for. I drive sports cars at the track so I know acceleration and turning and braking qualities you need for the condition its needed, and this TLX 2.4 is just fine. Not super pull you'd get from muscle cars or high performance sports sedans.
I just got the car couple of weeks ago and I will post another review after 6 months. I advise folks that are contemplating getting one is to read the Experts/Edmunds Engineers write ups. They have a section for it.
Test drove a Lexus ES-350, Mercedes C-300 and the Acura TLX V-6 Advance. The Acura was more spacious inside, it is wider and there is more headroom. Very quiet interior and the car seems to float over the road. No problems whatsoever with the 9 speed transmission. I understand it just took a software update. I was bothered by too much road noise in the Lexus and the height/head room is tight (plus no sunglass holder!). The Mercedes C-300 offers a high quality car. However I found it small inside, particularly the width. I really like the Acura's separate screen for the navigation and one for the sound system. The ELS 10 speaker system with surround is wonderful. I like to just sit in it and listen to my IPod. The car has very good acceleration and good gas mileage. There are more technology features than other similar luxury cars. Plus it is priced lower than the Lexus and Mercedes C-300. I highly recommend the Acura TLX, particularly the V-6 "Advance" (all the options). You get much more for the money. Test drive one, you'll be convinced like me.
This new TLX replaces my 2013 TSX SE. The TSX was a nice enough car with a great interior (tu-tone suede on the SE trim) and a very sporty demeanor. It's negatives outweighed is positives, though, in that it had too choppy of a ride and too much road noise to be truly enjoyable over the long haul. Those shortcomings have long been Acura and Honda traits, but no more! The TLX has a truly quiet and comfortable ride that is well controlled and never truly harsh in any way. The rear steering, or PAW-S, allows compensation for the softer ride in giving back a sharpness to the handling that is equally appreciated. The only weak link in the handling is the stock 17" touring tires that are stock on the 2.4L models. The V6 that I also drove handled slightly better with it's 18's without any appreciable difference in ride, so I'll likely swap up when the stock tires are worn.
Other than that and in spite of some weak areas in design, this car is proving to be everything that I could ever want in a sporty daily driver. The 2.4L has a nice snarl under hard acceleration, the 8 speed DCT is responsive and generally very smooth and decisive in its shifts. Again, the balance in ride and handling is superb and tech features like standard lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert is all above par and works quite well. The same can be said for the Tech package's ELS sound system that delivers crisp, clear sound. Lastly, the LED headlamps are truly impressive they are to headlights what Halogens were to sealed beams and Xenons were Halogens as they deliver brilliant light for good clarity and increased visibility.
The only glaring shortcomings come down to Honda's tech packaging. The dual screen setup doesn't bother me so much as the number of steps needed to complete even simple tasks. Case in point is the seat heaters. You touch the screen and then a second tab pops up to select the level heat that you want. It would be much simpler to touch the screen, default to highest setting and reduce levels and to off by repeating that touch. This repetitive nature is similar for just about everything that you'll do including audio, nav and bluetooth related functions. Lastly, I have noticed a pretty bad lag in responsiveness to inputs at times especially with bluetooth. Honda really needs to address this issue as having driven a number of cars before buying the TLX their system was truly the least user friendly that we encountered. Not a deal breaker, mind you, but still a glaring issue on an otherwise really nice car.
So, in closing, the TLX is a great sporty sedan for those that desire a middle of the road approach in a car that delivers equal parts of comfort and handling in a truly impressive package.