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Used 2021 Acura TLX Consumer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
25 reviews
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4 out of 5 stars

Expectations are Key!

E. Lin, 11/03/2020
updated 11/03/2022
2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/2.0T and A-Spec Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
121 of 127 people found this review helpful

Recently picked up a redesigned AWD TLX w/turbo 4 cyl. in A-Spec trim. Really wanted the Type S but decided that the eventual ramp up in cost and lower fuel economy probably would have been deal breakers. I am very glad the TLX is no longer based on the Accord platform as it looks great and can stand out more from its Honda brethren. Here are my initial impressions. Pros: - Engine has some zip and should be more than adequate for most people (enthusiasts can continue waiting for the Type S) - Looks like a sleek sports car (especially if you choose the red/black interior seating)! - Seats are super comfortable, even more so than the ones on the MDX I was driving. Good support and I can imagine long drives being pleasant. - Suspension has been upgraded to double-wishbone. I don't feel I miss the active-dampening of the Advance trim. - Trunk release button is handy for when your hands are full (just stand there with fob in proximity and push the button!) - Awesome ELS sound system - Wireless phone charging Cons: - There is no spare tire (for additional fuel economy). You'll deal with a compressor and sealant in the trunk. You can always ask roadside assistance to do it for you. - The touchpad takes some getting used to. Unfortunately the method to operate the tactile pad for Acura apps is not the same as for when you use Carplay. I can't comment on the Android version but it may be the same issue. I've gotten used to this but I can see this being a deal breaker for some folks. - Car is marketed to compete with the BMW 3 series, C-Class, etc. and is competitive in price, interior space, trunk space, but not in fuel economy. I believe the exterior being more like the 5-series or E-Class size and the weight has quite a bit to do with it. This oddball combination forces the TLX to be more of a direct competitor with the Kia Stinger GT-Line for these reasons (fuel economy is identical). Speaking of weight, the TLX is only about 250 lb less than the MDX I gave up. Luckily the engine is more than sufficient to power the car on the highway. I always hated how underpowered a 2012 C-Class I owned was similar in weight to this TLX but struggled to accelerate with its underpowered V6. In conclusion, I'll stop short of saying this car is for "Acura fans only" but it is definitely not for everyone. The looks may keep sales high but only time will tell how long-term owners feel. Either way, it is most definitely worth it to get a test drive if you are on the fence after this review! 2 Year update: I've turned in the car a year early as I got tired of the following issues: 1) Infotainment works about 90% of the time. It's also quite slow when compared to true luxury makes. 2) Braking on this car is very inconsistent. I always feel like I have to give quite a bit of room to the car in front of me. This car never let me forget how heavy it is. 3) I was hoping I could get closer to 30 mpg but it was really more b/w 23-24 mpg from mixed driving. 4) It's an adventure when driving through narrow streets. I always hated visiting NYC with this car, especially when looking for parking! You may get this car for the looks but make sure it checks a lot of other boxes before you do!

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
4 out of 5 stars
Value
3 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Fast Yet Practical

Ajpetro, 02/24/2022
2021 Acura TLX Type S 4dr Sedan AWD w/3.0T (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)
13 of 13 people found this review helpful

I've owned a number of fun to drive vehicles over the years including an Eclipse GSX, Integra Type R and a Mustang GT. Currently, along with TLX Type S, my wife and I drive a 2015 M4 Convertible and a 2012 Acura TL SHAWD with a manual transmission. While the Type S isn't quite as fast as our M4, it's much easier to live with on a daily basis. Good power, great handling and enough room to make it practical. Plans are to take it along with the M4 to a HPDE this Spring. It will be interesting to see which one is the most fun on the track.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

Feeling conflicted

Zoomnbyu, 09/30/2021
updated 04/01/2022
2021 Acura TLX 4dr Sedan w/2.0T and A-Spec Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
18 of 20 people found this review helpful

I am on my 4th three year Acura lease in a row now. It all started with a 2013 TSX Special Edition, followed by a 2016 TLX 2.4 Tech and then a 2019 TLX 2.4 A-Spec. I recently took delivery of a 2021 TLX A-Spec and while I am enjoying it, I find myself somewhat conflicted. Each of my cars was generally an improvement over the one previous to it. They offered enough changes to keep me interested enough to remain a loyal Acura customer. Enter the all-new 2021 TLX. It by all measures is one of the biggest leaps that Acura has made in a number of years. This leap, though, may leave some longtime customers slightly frustrated. Where evolution and constant improvement is key to continued loyalty, the new TLX has an Achilles heel. Where the past few cars have always been better than the last, this new car, while still better in most ways, also falls short in a few areas, but let's start with what is good. Performance is definitely at the head of that list. Acura has finally given the TLX the base engine that it deserves. It’s basically a detuned version of that which powers the mighty Civic Type R and it is a strong performer. While lacking the rev happiness and true aural pleasure that was a mainstay of the previous two engines offered, it makes up for it by offering a strong punch and it moves this car with absolute authority. Gas mileage, thankfully, has thus far been better than the EPA estimate getting 24-25 in and around town and 32 on the highway. Unfortunately, while the engine is eager, Honda's new 10 speed transmission is simply not quite the dance partner that my previous cars 8 speed DCT was to the 2.4L. That DCT was simply seamless and with the exception of the occasional lag when down-shifting was always what made those cars a blast to drive in spite of the 2.4's somewhat limited power. The new tranny just feels like there may be a bit of work left to do on the software to get rid of some clumsiness and sharpen up its smoothness of operation. And this is where everything that follows really starts to be a list of tradeoffs from the old car to the new. The Chassis is all new and is said to be presently exclusive to Acura. Gone is the front strut suspension in favor a double wishbone setup that harkens Acuras of yore. The steering feel and overall composure are finally deserving of this car. One slight downside, at least in the A-Spec trim, is ride. While generally well composed over smooth to moderate surfaces, it quickly loses that composure when the going gets rough. It simply runs out of compliance and behaves poorly over bigger bumps. Despite that shortcoming and likely because of this setup, the handing is quite impressive. Especially considering that Acura has now ditched its impressive PAWS all-wheel steering system. Another tradeoff, this one sacrificing turning radius which is fairly poor for a mid-sized sedan. Lastly, where the overall driving experience is much quieter, tire noise is much more intrusive. This is a strange tradeoff and may also the source of the handling's weakest point, its average at best Bridgestone touring tires. From the outside, the car is sharp. Everything is nicely improved and more aggressive yet balanced in its execution. The interior is a drastic change and mostly a better place to live, but some weaknesses quickly become apparent, primarily in the driver's seat. Its position and available adjustments are lacking. Adjusted to my frame as in my last three Acuras, I find myself sitting abnormally low in this car. While I can raise the seat base, I then lose support under my thighs. It's just awkward feeling. The next issue is Acura's new infotainment system. Both the interface and the sound system itself, while quite different is simply not really an actual improvement over their previous tech. There is simply very little that is intuitive in using their new touchpad. And on the new ELS 3D sound system, while the overall sound is impressive, it simply does not produce the flawless and incredibly deep bass response that the previous ELS system delivered. The deletion of the rear deck mounted subwoofer is largely to blame here. The front doors, now the new home for the subs, vibrate annoyingly under-arm when music with heavy bass is played. Lastly is a features issue. Missing is the auto-wipers that were standard on my last A-Spec. A simple deletion on Acura’s part, but an odd omission for a previous owner buying the same trim of a new model. The long and short is that this new TLX is a really nice, impressive handling and quick car to drive. If not for my previous Acura experience I may not even nit-pick some of the things that I do. One last thing, updating this 4/1/2022: while the car has been growing on me overall, make sure to get it with SH-AWD! The power in this car is useless in FWD form. You can't put the power down even in the dry and it's pretty nearly horrible in the wet so if you are a spirited driver make sure to step up to the AWD version.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
3 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

The Best TL/TLX Ever But With Inexcusable Flaws

Bluesboymark, 03/17/2021
2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/2.0T and Advance Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
35 of 41 people found this review helpful

This is my third Acura and it is by far the best. But a few annoying features prevent it from being what should be a "great car" for the money. For starters, I'm not a big fan of the "touch pad" for controlling vehicle navigation and functions. It lags and takes getting used to. Not user friendly vs. touch screen. Also, Acura should fire the graphic designer or engineer who decided on the fixed daytime map color scheme and use of small white text outlined in black on a light background. A real graphic design no-no. Furthermore, street route numbers are unreadable no matter how you adjust contrast and brightness. My 2010 Acura TL had five map color schemes that you could adjust to get the best viewing experience. The screen and text on my 2010 appeared larger and far more readable. But no worries - the 2021 Acura engineers give you many different colors to change your interior car accent lighting - but not the more important navigation map! Bad bad bad. I'm tempted to use the map's night color screen even during the day because it is more readable. Also, info text on the navigation screen is in smaller fonts than my 2010 TL. Text should be easily readable when driving.. Also, if you live in a region that gets snow, wet snow that collects on the Acura's front emblem where the camera is causes some safety features to be disabled. Living in the Chicago area, this happened several times. These flaws get in the way of a fabulous automobile. It looks great, rides and handles beautifully, is very comfortable, has plenty of pep for a heavy car with its four cylinder turbo and has an excellent sound system for the money. However, I expected the mileage to be better with the four cylinder and if I'd known, I'd have waited for the six cylinder turbo. Also, be prepared for smaller back seat space on this model. This is a great looking vehicle with a lot of bang for the buck versus the more expensive BMW and Lexus. I felt that shelling out another $5,000 was not in my budget. Acura...hope you have some updates to the navigation color choice schemes. It's sorely needed!

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Newly redesigned 2021 Acura TLX

sjh, 03/14/2021
2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD w/2.0T and Technology Package (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

A truly fun car to drive! I love the smooth glide of "Comfort" mode, switch to "Sport" mode and you get an aggressive fun drive.The AWD is awesome, all the latest technology with a HUD display that keeps your eyes on the road! One of my favorite cars....Acura hit this redesign out of the park!

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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