Acura replaced two established models, the TSX and TL, with the TLX to streamline its lineup and move more upmarket.
The 2015 TLX is all-new. Sharing the same wheelbase as the larger TL, the TLX is closer in length to the compact TSX. Designed using the theme of ‘Red Carpet Athlete,’ the TLX intends to deliver a blend of sports-sedan performance with premium refinement.
Introducing two new engines, two new transmissions, available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, and coming standard with many high-tech features the Acura TLX competes with premium stalwarts such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Lexus IS.
The styling of the TLX is modern and distinctive, but it’s not overbearing. The most distinguishing feature is its chrome grille flanked by LED headlights.
Short front and rear overhangs hint at the TLX’s sporting potential. The profile lines give the cabin a teardrop appearance and reinforce both its athletic pretensions and its refinement.
The cabin of the TLX is modern and functional. Featuring soft-touch materials, wood, and aluminium accents it also offers an upscale feel. Seating is comfortable in both the front and rear.
Dominated by the stacked screens, the dash has a symmetrical layout. The eight-inch info screen is positioned high for quick visibility, while the seven-inch touchscreen controls most features and is located lower for easy reach. There are separate switches for the climate control and a large knob controls the sound system and optional navigation.
Offering many advanced tech features including AcuraLink, Acura’s cloud-based connected car system, the TLX is thoroughly modern. All models are equipped with Siri Eyes Free technology that pairs compatible iPhones for use of familiar voice commands.
Carrying cargo was made easier in the TLX by a new trunk design with a wider, deeper opening, a lower lift-over height, a fully flat cargo floor, and two optional underfloor storage compartments. The rear seat backs fold 60/40 to accommodate longer items.
The TLX is available in three models, a four-cylinder with FWD, a six-cylinder with FWD and a six with AWD. Two packages, TECH and ELITE, are also available to choose from.
The base engine is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder producing 206 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque thanks to direct injection. This engine is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. This is the industry’s first such gearbox with a torque converter and provides good performance and fuel economy while making smooth, quick shifts.
Four-cylinder models feel light and nimble. Acura’s four-wheel steering system, P-AWS, is standard on all front-wheel drive models and gives the TLX a spirited nature.
Moving up to the six-cylinder models brings a quieter, more refined ride. The 3.5-litre direct-injected V6 produces 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque.
All V6 models come matched to a nine-speed transmission with paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel.
Top-of-the-line TLX models are equipped with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. This offers the safety of added traction in bad weather and improved performance with sharper turn-in at the limit.
The new V6 uses Variable Cylinder Management, which is capable of deactivating three cylinders. This, partnered with the start-stop function on the TLX SH-AWD, further improves its fuel economy.
Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System is standard on all TLX models. This feature allows drivers to customize their driving experience with four selectable modes – ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Depending on the setting, steering effort, throttle response, shift timing, HVAC, and logic for the P-AWS or SH-AWD systems can all be altered. Sport is aggressive, yet still usable for everyday driving, and the TLX is the first Acura with a Sport+ setting.
TLX models with the 3.5-litre V6 utilize Acura’s advanced new Electronic Gear Selector, which has a push-button array instead of a traditional lever. Incorporated in this setup is an electronic parking brake with Automatic Brake Hold. This retains brake pressure when the vehicle is stopped, making driving in heavy traffic or up steep hills easier.
The technologically advanced TLX allows it to offer good performance and fuel economy. The dual-clutch eight-speed automatic, P-AWS and SH-AWD are standout features.
The 2015 Acura TLX defines smart luxury and is nice value for your money. Let us know in the comments if you agree, or if you think another deserves that title.