2018 Acura TLX Review
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.
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.
trim levels & features
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.
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.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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