Respect the 2021 Acura TLX for its many strengths, however do not dwell an excessive amount of on the numbers. As a result of after spending a while with Acura’s sporty-looking new premium sedan, we see its worth, even when not a lot of it reveals up on the monitor.
The TLX makes first impression—it is priced nearer to the BMW Three Sequence and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, however its wheelbase and size put it a lot nearer to the BMW 5 Sequence and Mercedes E-Class. That makes it a little bit of a tweener in our e book. Does it ship on its message?
A few of our check group discovered the TLX’s dealing with splendid, however others felt the racy sheet metallic was writing checks that its chassis could not money.
Vehicles competing within the compact luxurious sport sedan worth class are requested to fulfill a near-impossible problem: ship sporty dynamics, really feel extra premium than your neighbor’s Camry, not experience too harshly, and speed up fairly rapidly. Then once more, contemplating the TLX’s dimensions, it seems Acura is enjoying Cadillac’s sport, delivering a bigger automobile than the competitors, and maybe hoping for client consideration throughout two segments.
2021 Acura TLX 2.0T: Energy in Numbers
On paper, it appears just like the 2021 TLX has significantly upped its sport. With a 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making much more energy than the outgoing automobile’s 206-hp base engine, patrons are clearly getting a severe improve. Though we discovered the sound of the engine too guttural in our First Drive evaluate, I type of prefer it. Possibly it is the 12 months I spent with a 2019 RDX, which used the identical engine. Regardless, the TLX was outperformed on the monitor.
Acceleration to 60 mph took 7.Zero seconds for our intensely blue TLX A-Spec all-wheel-drive check automobile, which is off the tempo of a rear-drive Genesis G70 2.0T (6.2 seconds), all-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0T (5.2 seconds), and all-wheel-drive BMW 330i (5.5 seconds). Shifting up a phase in measurement, our rear-drive 2017 BMW 530i long-term automobile reached 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The reality is that many drivers will discover the TLX’s acceleration completely ample. The difficulty comes when you recognize others are faster in a category with many choices.
The identical is true with 60-Zero mph braking. The Acura got here to a cease in 127 ft, effectively off the efficiency of the G70 (106 ft), 330i (114 ft), and 530i (103 ft), however about even with the Giulia (130 ft). Higher brakes would possibly assist, however as affiliate highway check editor Erick Ayapana instructed, a tire improve would possibly, too. Fashions with all-wheel drive and 19-inch wheels experience on 255-mm vast Michelin Primacy all-season tires. Testing director Kim Reynolds echoed Ayapana’s remark: “I simply want it had just a little extra grip and brakes to take this up a notch.”
Such an improve may need benefitted the TLX A-Spec’s efficiency on the figure-eight course, a MotorTrend check that evaluates braking, cornering, acceleration, and the transitions in between. As it’s, our check automobile accomplished the course in 26.9 seconds at a median 0.64 g. That is a tad off the all-wheel-drive Giulia and 330i (26.7 and 26.6 seconds, respectively, each at 0.66 g common), 530i (25.9 seconds at 0.69 g common), and rear-drive G70 (25.2 seconds at 0.72 g common).
On the road, the TLX 2.0T continues to really feel like a automobile with potential. A few editors who drove our Southern California check automobile wished the 10-speed automated transmission was extra responsive. Reynolds described the A-Spec’s experience as “agency however not harsh.” He additionally famous a delightfully fast turn-in high quality to the steering.
We hope future TLXs are extra environment friendly. The 2021 TLX in front-drive kind returns 22/31 mpg metropolis/freeway (or 30 mpg as an A-Spec mannequin), whereas all-wheel-drive fashions are good for 21/29 mpg. That is off the tempo of the 2021 Giulia (23-24/31-33 mpg), 2021 330i (25-26/34-36 mpg), and 2020 530i (24-25/31-33), however consistent with the much less environment friendly G70 (20-22/27-30 mpg). In case your eyes glazed over on the sight of all these numbers, here is one other manner to consider it: As a result of these automobiles all have about the identical measurement gasoline tank, you will cease for fuel barely extra typically within the Acura and Genesis than you’ll within the Alfa Romeo and BMWs.
2021 Acura TLX 2.0T: The Inside Story
The remainder of the bundle impresses, as long as you do not take passengers; the rear seat is cozy in case you are an optimist, tight in case you are a pessimist. These in entrance are confronted with an inside design that might solely come from Acura. A silver drive-mode disc sits on the middle of the sprint, under a 10.2-inch infotainment display screen that is managed by a dual-action touchpad. Higher than the touchpad supplied on some Lexus automobiles, the Acura model takes a while to study however is respectable to make use of when you grasp it. Is it higher than the touchscreen and scroll-wheel interfaces on different luxurious automobiles? Is determined by your private choice—our employees was break up on the love-hate equation. Nevertheless, all of us agreed that the 17-speaker sound system on A-Spec and Advance fashions is magnificent.
There’s an actual sense of high quality with sure inside particulars, from the silver begin button to the aluminum trim and the A-Spec’s thick leather-wrapped steering wheel. Then once more, we would wish to see future TLX and RDX fashions welcome redesigned instrument clusters. One editor discovered the pink backlighting of our A-Spec check automobile washed out in direct daylight, whereas a few others are able to see Acura experiment with a totally digital show.
Possibly all this speak of screens and touchpads makes you wish to escape our screen-obsessed world and drive. If that’s the case, the Acura could be for you, however the TLX already has a couple of factors we would wish to see improved. Even so, the features-per-dollar worth stays an Acura robust level. Aside from the Genesis G70 and one or two others, most rivals will price hundreds extra when equally outfitted. That may be a game-changer whenever you enter the true world and begin crunching numbers. And whereas its stopwatch efficiency cannot fairly measure as much as the competitors, pricing could also be one quantity comparability the place the TLX actually excels.
|2021 Acura TLX
|Entrance-engine, FWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
|2.0L/272 hp/280 lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
|3,700-4,050 lb (mfr)
|L x W x H
|194.6 x 75.2 x 56.Four in
|5.7-6.9 sec (MT est)
|EPA FUEL ECON
|Not but rated
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