2018 Acura TLX Review
2018 Acura TLX Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Senior Vehicle Test Engineer
Jason joined Edmunds' testing team in 2006 as a vehicle testing engineer. Jason believes true appreciation of modern cars stems from owning really, really bad old ones.
- Cabin stays quiet at highway speeds
- Full suite of driver assistance aids is standard
- Back seat comfortably seats adult-size passengers
- Competent but bland driving experience
- Four-cylinder engine lacks oomph
The most obvious change to the 2018 Acura TLX is the sedan's face-lifted front end. More advanced driver safety aids are now standard across the board, the infotainment interface has been revised for quicker responses, and both transmissions have been retuned. There's also a new sporty A-Spec trim level this year.
Acura introduced the TLX in 2015 to replace its TSX and TL sedans, aiming to combine the appeal of both of those cars with a single model. Since then, we've found the TLX exhibits an agreeable demeanor. It's not particularly exciting, but it doesn't have any huge drawbacks either.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Acura TLX Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.07 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
TLX Technology Package
Avg. Midsize Car
This year's 2018 TLX is a little more dynamic. Though it's the same sedan under the skin (it continues to be based on the Honda Accord), Acura has freshened the TLX's styling to bring the sedan up to date with the company's current design themes. Changes elsewhere are relatively modest. Beyond the additional feature content, the TLX's updated two-screen infotainment system has quicker responses and more logical operation, and the retuned transmissions are said to improve shift refinement. There's also a new A-Spec trim level that gets a sport-tuned suspension and its own special styling elements.
Overall, though, the TLX is much like it has been. It's a smart choice if you want a lot of value from your luxury sedan but probably not the best if performance is a priority.
What it's like to live with?
Edmunds' editorial team acquired and lived with a 2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD for a full year, logging 20,000 miles. We found the TLX to be a well-appointed luxury sedan with a refined ride and ample motivation from the optional V6 engine. We weren't a fan of its nine-speed transmission, however, especially in the earlier generation models. Check out our long-term TLX test to learn more.
Note that the 2018 Acura TLX differs from our long-term TLX in that it has received a cosmetic face-lift inside and out and has a revised infotainment interface. It's the same generation, though, so most of our observations still apply.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.5 / 10
With a face-lift and more standard equipment, the 2018 Acura TLX reinforces its value appeal in the entry-level luxury sedan segment. It trades flash for substance and flies under the radar of a lot of shoppers. It's a smart pick but won't quicken your pulse.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Acura TLX 2.4L with Technology (2.4L inline-4 | 8-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current TLX has received some revisions, including a cosmetic face-lift inside and out, retuned transmissions, standard driver assistance features and a revised infotainment interface. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's TLX.
|Overall||7.5 / 10|
Overall performance is modest from the small-engine TLX. Handling is enhanced by four-wheel steering, but the front-drive TLX lacks the composure and speed of its V6-powered, AWD big brother.
With only 206 hp on tap, the four-cylinder TLX lacks the power to spin its tires off the line. Sixty mph arrives in 7.4 seconds, which is on the slow side for the segment. None of the drive modes will hold gears at redline.
Around town, these brakes are perfectly average. Easy to modulate and never grabby.
The steering response is good in most situations. Weight is appropriately tuned, but feel is lacking. Rear-wheel steering enhances performance in most normal situations, though it can be awkward in long, steady corners.
The TLX's chassis tuning and four-wheel steering generally enhance handling. However, the TLX's low-grip all-season tires hurt overall performance.
It's easy to drive and easy to live with both around town and on the freeway. Multiple drive modes allow tuning to suit your needs between Economy and Sport+. No obvious drivability problems.
The TLX has an appealing balance of ride and handling despite the lack of adjustable suspension dampers, which are available on many rivals. It's a comfortable sedan for both commuting and long road trips.
The well-padded driver seat gives enough support for moderate driving but also provides ample comfort for multi-hour trips. The rear seat provides generous legroom, but taller passengers will lack headroom.
The TLX manages to absorb road irregularities without being too floaty or bouncy on the highway. We could be comfortable here for hours.
Noise & vibration8.5
Active noise cancellation, an acoustic glass windshield and triple door seals are effective in keeping road and wind noise outside the TLX's plush cabin. The four-cylinder sounds good racing to redline, and it's never coarse.
Though the TLX's interior isn't groundbreaking, it is well built from quality materials. Infotainment controls aren't as practical or easy as some competitors, but they offer similar functionality. Space and visibility are TLX strengths.
Ease of use7.0
The dual-screen layout allows ample information display (e.g., maps and audio simultaneously), but single-knob control lacks functionality and intuitiveness of many rivals.
Getting in/getting out8.5
Nothing outstanding in this area. Easy entry and exit front and rear with large enough door apertures. The seat height is reasonable up front and doesn't stand out as either too high or too low. Average for the class in this regard.
Ample leg- and headroom in the front seats. Rear-seat legroom is impressive. Rear headroom, however, might be a problem for passengers taller than 6 feet. Overall, the TLX will be plenty comfortable for four average-size adults.
The TLX's front roof pillars aren't massive or at such an acute angle that they cause forward visibility problems. The rear pillars are bigger and can hide a vehicle if it's in the wrong place, but the optional blind-spot warning system helps.
Though it lacks the high-end luxury feel of some competitors, the TLX still offers a package that's well assembled and appealing inside and out. All knobs and buttons feel high-quality.
Small-item storage, as in most Acura products, is excellent.There are many cubbies of various sizes in the dash, console and door panels. Trunk size exceeds that of most competitors. It also has a 60/40-split folding rear seat that folds nearly flat.
Which TLX does Edmunds recommend?
Though you might be tempted by the A-Spec for 2018, this entry-level premium sedan is most compelling in its lower-priced trim levels. As such, we like the TLX 2.4L with Technology package. It enhances the TLX's value and feels lighter and more maneuverable than the more powerful V6 version when driving around turns. The four-cylinder TLX also has a more cooperative transmission than the V6 model. Stepping up to the Technology package gets you worthwhile amenities and convenience features.
2018 Acura TLX models
Picking a 2018 Acura TLX is straightforward. Acura offers the TLX with one of two engines, a four-cylinder or a V6, and a couple of option packages. Four-cylinder models are front-wheel drive only and are available as either TLX 2.4L or TLX 2.4L with Technology package. The base V6 model is the TLX 3.5L. You can also get the TLX 3.5L with Technology package, TLX 3.5L A-Spec and TLX 3.5L with Advance package. All-wheel drive is available for all TLXs with the V6.
The base TLX 2.4L comes with a 2.4-liter engine (206 hp, 182 lb-ft) and an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Standard feature highlights include LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats.
For 2018, all TLXs are equipped as standard with a suite of driver assistance features collectively labeled AcuraWatch. This includes lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam control.
You'll probably like getting the extra convenience features of the TLX 2.4L with Technology package. It adds keyless entry for the rear doors, leather upholstery, automatic wipers, a climate control system that compensates for sun direction, navigation, a 10-speaker premium audio system, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
TLX 3.5L models are, appropriately enough, powered by a 3.5-liter V6 (290 hp, 267 lb-ft) that's connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Beyond what comes with the base four-cylinder variant, the 3.5L gets 18-inch wheels and more power adjustments for the front passenger seat.
The TLX 3.5L with Technology package offers the same features as the Technology package on the four-cylinder version plus revised leather upholstery and a power-extending thigh support for the driver seat.
For people who want all the creature comforts, the TLX 3.5L with Advance package awaits. It has all of the Technology package items plus parking sensors, remote engine start, ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, a surround-view camera system and a heated windshield.
New for 2018 is the TLX 3.5L A-Spec, which has the features of the Technology package and some of the features of the Advance package, plus a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, quicker steering, sport front seats and some cosmetic tweaks.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Acura TLX.
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
This car is seriously underrated
2018 Acura TLX Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
Just leased the 2018 TLX 2.4 with tech package. No money down sign and drive $420.00 per mos. The base engine provides great acceleration in the lower gears and not so great in the higher gears but still plenty of oomph for me. Seats are better than my previous car which was a Volvo. Handling is good but the best part about how this car rides is the tight chassis. Cabin is very quiet … only if I am not blasting the ELS sound system which is fantastic. I went to Honda to lease a 2018 Accord and they wanted $550 a mos. For a Honda! I challenge anybody to find another car that will give you a luxury brand for this price and quality.
5 out of 5 stars
Back with Acura again
2018 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
my 04 TL has 208,000 original miles still kicking. traded in 13 accord sport with 88,000 that was a great car for the money. I wanted to go back to acura even though the accord was a newer car the fit and finish of the acura was way better. the honda felt lighter and not really solid. I loved all the standard features of the A-Spec, V6 power its not a 4 cylinder turbo which is the new … thing now. the solid feeling driving the car over bumps, sound of the engine exhaust , great red leather seats that feels like it will last more then 10yrs of use. excellent sound system, ambient lighting, beautiful LED lights with the yellow amber eyebrow lights, Navi system very easy to use. SH-awd around the curves or exit ramps very planted. The Cons gas mileage not very good, hate the automatic engine shut off have to this engage every time I start the car. or every time you open door while backing up for instance so i can see the curb while parking it automatically puts it in park, the ventilated seats are not super cold like the Lexus seats, There are so many things I need to read about this car. So the bottom line is I still love this car and happy to be with Acura again. So shop around and try to get a good price the AWD option is a must have even if you don't get an A-Spec model it changes the driving dynamics of the car for the good. Update 3 yrs later 68,000 miles zero problem love the V6 also no gas cap read 2019 unhappy Rdx 2.0 with electrical problems and transmission reviews so I’m a bit leery with 21 TLX I will wait for type-s V6 and wait for owners comment at edmunds.com
5 out of 5 stars
I love this TLX!
Ralph Lawrence, 05/27/2018
2018 Acura TLX Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
It's been said before: The TLX has been greatly under-rated by a lot of the reviewers. I suspect a certain bias by them in the direction of "snob appeal" as though that was a ultimate criteria for car ownership, as opposed to high quality, dependability, and general satisfaction. I would put the Acura TLX alongside any of the cars in its type and class. This is my second Acura, after … owning several Honda Accords earlier. The earlier Acura was a 3.5RL (2004), and I would say the TLX (and the TL before that) is a better choice for a whole lot of reasons. For one, the RL (now RLX) is a fine car but the new vehicle price of some $20,000 to $25,000 above a TLX does not deliver that much more value in proportion. The TLX has all the features, technology, choice of engines, etc. that anyone really needs. Feature for feature the TLX is a far greater value, overall. As a "sport sedan", it combines the best in top-of-the-line value, with ease of driving, snappy pickup on the freeway, and much more.
5 out of 5 stars
TLX Outstanding Value
2018 Acura TLX SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Advance Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
We’ve all heard / seen commercials urging comparison to competitive products “costing thousands of dollars more” .... well the TLX AWD V-6 w the Advance package truly offers a fully loaded car for thousands less than other mid-size premium cars. (In some cases for many, many thousands less.). Coupled w advanced safety and tech features, the car provides a smooth, comfortable and very … quiet ride ... almost no wind or road / tire noise. The seats are very comfortable and the Advance package offers a driver’s power seat extension feature. For a taller guy that’s a much appreciated feature. My only nicks per se are the back seat leg room is a bit tight, trunk springs could be a bit stronger and the 9-speed trans is not as silky smooth as my previous car ( Audi A6). That said, the V6 AWD provides plenty of power and confident handling. The car is tight and feels solid. At 75mph the engine / trans are only turning 1,500 rpm! And, Acura finally dumped the beak grill got a modern, attractive and premium looking grill for the car making it a great looking car. When considering the price ($43,200 after Acura rebate) advanced safety, tech features and build quality this car is an outstanding value.
2018 TLX Highlights
|Combined MPG||27 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$185/month|
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the TLX models:
- Lane Keeping Assist System
- Helps keep the car centered in the lane by providing alerts and steering assistance when the car approaches the edge of the lane.
- Collision Mitigation Braking System
- Applies brakes automatically to help reduce the severity of a crash if drivers don't take corrective action on their own.
- Forward Collision Warning
- Provides audible and visual alerts when it detects what it perceives as an impending collision.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.8%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestAcceptable
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
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More about the 2018 Acura TLX
Used 2018 Acura TLX Overview
The Used 2018 Acura TLX is offered in the following submodels: TLX Sedan. Available styles include Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM), Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A), A-Spec 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A), 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD A-Spec 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A), Advance Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/Advance Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A), A-Spec Red 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A), and SH-AWD A-Spec Red 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A). Pre-owned Acura TLX models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 290 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Acura TLX comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed automated manual, 9-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Acura TLX?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Acura TLX trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Acura TLX Base is priced between $20,000 and$29,999 with odometer readings between 25069 and81142 miles.
- The Used 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec is priced between $28,990 and$32,998 with odometer readings between 21101 and59504 miles.
- The Used 2018 Acura TLX SH-AWD is priced between $22,375 and$32,998 with odometer readings between 36690 and93407 miles.
- The Used 2018 Acura TLX Technology Package is priced between $25,590 and$27,990 with odometer readings between 32161 and50220 miles.
- The Used 2018 Acura TLX Advance Package is priced between $27,590 and$31,195 with odometer readings between 36158 and74015 miles.
- The Used 2018 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec Red is priced between $29,990 and$33,998 with odometer readings between 32268 and59410 miles.
- The Used 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec Red is priced between $24,998 and$24,998 with odometer readings between 102835 and102835 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2018 Acura TLXS are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Acura TLX for sale near. There are currently 32 used and CPO 2018 TLXS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $20,000 and mileage as low as 21101 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Acura TLX.
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Acura TLX?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Acura lease specials
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