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2015 Acura TLX Road Test | Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited August 2014 in Acura
image2015 Acura TLX Road Test |

Edmunds' Road Test of the completely redesigned 2015 Acura TLX midsize performance luxury sedan. Includes on-road driving impressions, specifications and photos.

Read the full story here


  • throwbackthrowback Member Posts: 445

    Honda engineering at it's finest with the TC dual clutch. However, when will Acura get their own platform? Every car is a derivative of a Civic or Accord.

  • engineer_mbaengineer_mba Member Posts: 11

    Beautiful car, both inside and out. I could be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that the front-wheel-drive versions would come standard with some type of four-wheel-steering. Also, I did not see any information on a manual transmission. Too bad....a 4-cylinder TLX with a manual transmission and four-wheel-steering could have been a "sleeper". Very nice car none the less.

  • joflewbyu2joflewbyu2 Member Posts: 3

    Acura's 3rd generation MDX is on its' own platform. It is not shared with the Honda Pilot. Just check Acura's PERFECT iihs safety rating on small overlap front which the Honda Pilot failed miserably at. Also, just the floor stamping is the same on the TLX and Accord. The AWARD winning ELS 5.1 surround sound is unique to Acura as well as the transmissions for now.

  • importfreakimportfreak Member Posts: 1

    Lexus uses Camry/Avalon in several vehicles, Audi uses the same platforms as VW, Lincoln uses Ford, Cadillac uses other GM, Maserati uses Chrysler, and on and on......It happens

  • piredonpiredon Member Posts: 50

    Glad to see Honda back on the innovating end of the spectrum. I feel like they've been missing for the past decade, maybe 2. They basically haven't dramatically changed their engines in 20 years. VTEC I4 and VTEC V6. Increases in power, but not much else. This dual clutch-torque converter sounds like a great solution to the transition problems associated with dual clutch transmissions, while maintaining the directness and speed. And they've got more than 6 speeds in their transmission. Their best transmission is still probably the 6 speed manual...

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021

    No mention of the Q50 (I think that's what Infiniti calls the G37 these days) as a competitor?

  • zoomzoomnzoomzoomn Member Posts: 143

    ^^^ Hey, throwback, almost every car out there is based on some other platform within manufacturers. The good news is that Honda builds a pretty good platform. The bad news is that their execution is not always spot on for Acura. Case in point is the ILX. I drove one when they came out. The 2.0l car was rough, noisey and SLOW! With the exception of the 2.4l model, the car drives like a glorified Civic. As a current TSX owner (liked the TL's drive, but couldn't get past even the watered down horrible styling let alone the big feel of the car), I'm excited about the TLX and can't wait to drive one!

  • throwbackthrowback Member Posts: 445

    @importfreak said:
    Lexus uses Camry/Avalon in several vehicles, Audi uses the same platforms as VW, Lincoln uses Ford, Cadillac uses other GM, Maserati uses Chrysler, and on and on......It happens

    True, but ALL of those brands also have unique platforms, except Audi. Lincoln has a similar problem to Acura. Maserati only, or will only, use the Jeep platform.

  • ab348ab348 Member Posts: 18,700

    Nice enough car and seems improved over the outgoing models, but man, that design inside and out is sure conservative! It almost looks like a car from 5-7 years ago. That disappoints me.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • mrvtecskimrvtecski Member Posts: 46

    Looks like Acura is back on track. Reviews have been positive among the mags, and hopefully they will debut their next-gen turbo engines soon.

  • pjacobson958pjacobson958 Member Posts: 1

    Great to see that Acura has found its way out of the wilderness. Reviews are generally positive. Great news for the folks in Ohio who build this car.

  • 6mtguy6mtguy Member Posts: 1

    It's great that this car is getting such great reviews but the exterior styling is definetely not doing it for me. its way too conservative and boring. you can't even see the dual exaust tips for crying out loud. i was rooting for this car too but the styling is not up to par with the competitors. thats why most ppl like the german's automakers…they create the perfect blend of performance, luxury and styling!

  • joflewbyu2joflewbyu2 Member Posts: 3

    The TLX is built on an all-new platform (body and chassis) that was designed from the ground up to support and enhance the vehicle's outstanding driving dynamics, luxury-sedan refinement, class-leading fuel efficiency and high-level collision safety performance.

  • autosocautosoc Member Posts: 7

    Acura is making progress, but still not quite there yet! Why do all Acura cars look almost exactly alike in the front? Since that is the weakest part of the design, it seems odd that Acura would continually design cars that are so polarizing. (Let's face it, the ILX and RLX have not driven people en mass to Acura dealerships!) The bottom line is few people like the beak, but Acura seems to refuse the change it despite its unpopularity. The market is speaking, but Acura is not listening! The TLX has made huge strides with NVH, and is competitively priced; yet Acura is in a definitive catch-up position, so it needs cars that exceed expectations! How about a 400 hp rear drive TLX with a interiors/exteriors that are architecturally striking. If Kia, Cadillac, and Mazda can do it, why not Acura? (For the record, the exteriors of Lexus and Infiniti are not very attractive either.) Time to embarrass Lexus, Audi, Infiniti, a make BWM stand up a take notice.

  • tsa1tsa1 Member Posts: 15

    Underwhelming car. 13 years ago Honda had a 2.0L 4-cylinder that made nearly as much power as this car (with less torque) and this is what we get. We should be at 220HP and above like the K20A in the Integra and Civic Type-R, but I guess that's the sacrifice for fuel economy. I am happy to see them quiet the interior as this is something Honda fails at miserably and the brakes are still terrible like all of their products. Honda finally has their transmission tech in this decade, though, but that's not enough to put them in the top 5 of luxury automakers. BMW, Lexus, Audi, Mercedes, even Cadillac and Infiniti make higher quality vehicles.

  • tifosi2tifosi2 Member Posts: 1

    Leather seats are not standard. Cheap Leatherette. Shows cost cutting. Leather standard on $27K ILX but not more premium TLX. Bad move by Acura. Acura should have followed Audi and kept leather standard unlike MB and BMW.

  • engineer_mbaengineer_mba Member Posts: 11

    Correction.....I read on other websites that P-AWS (Precision All Wheel Steering) will be standard on all front-wheel-drive models (but no manual transmission). Still a very nice car though. I would try to skip the expensive option packages and get the most affordable iteration with the V-6 and SH-AWD. There are simply too many high-powered rear-wheel-drive competitors out there.

  • slender1slender1 Member Posts: 2

    The GT edition of this car has solved the problem of that heavy beak! The GT's is lighter and EXCITING! Could we have that one in 2015?

  • dlf50dlf50 Member Posts: 1

    I love the comments that every Acura looks the same. The same could be said about Audi, BMW, Lexus, ....the list goes on and on. For whatever reason automakers have decided to make size the main distinction between their various lines of cars.

  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606

    The exterior styling is smooth and organic but offers nothing distinctive except the Acura "beak". Glad to see they're bucking the trend of growing vehicles larger, as it's smaller than the TL it replaces. Now they just need to wake up their design team....

  • suziesivleradosuziesivlerado Member Posts: 3

    It looks good to me and the price is right, but Acura is sure making it hard for potential buyers to test drive the car. My two local dealers first told me that it would be in the showroom August 1 or 2 and now are not sure when it is arriving, although they say it is already "on the truck". If Acura wants all dealers to be able to roll it out at the same time, why don't they just let their dealers tell that to the customer. I also think I'm getting the run around about when the model I want will arrive, although they already accepted my deposit.

  • lions208487lions208487 Member Posts: 240

    Looks much better inside and out over the outgoing TL and TSX. However, I won't be able to get a good feel for how good or bad it is until I drive it back to back against the IS350, ATS, 328i, and new C-Class. So far the ATS has the best chassis of the class, and despite how much I hate it's looks, the IS350 F-Sport is probably the best drivers car in the compact luxury market. The new turbo 4 S60, and Q50 are additional options and come just as equip as Acura for the cost.

  • suziesivleradosuziesivlerado Member Posts: 3

    First two 2015 TLX sedans arrived at the local dealer August 7. Haven't been able to test drive it yet, but I think it looks beautiful. Very comfortable. Nice sound system.

  • joemarjoemar Member Posts: 3

    It mystifies me how so many negative comments can occur for a vehicle not driven yet by customers. Many car blogs and pundits seem to like a lot about it, after actually driving it. It just might be that Acura got a sedan right this time. Give it a chance, give it a spin, then crap on it if you wish. Thank you.

  • skinnygskinnyg Member Posts: 2

    Good to see Acura somewhat back to form. As the owner of a 2008 Acura TL, and before a 2000 Honda Accord V6 coupe, I lost hope with the 2009 TL. Got one as a loaner a couple of times, drives alright, but had lousy visibility out, felt bulky driving it around, and just could never get used to the awkward looks. The TLX, though nothing earth shattering in the styling department, is at least clean, uncluttered, well proportioned inside and out. May not be as good as a Caddy ATS, Lexus IS, BMW 3-series, but that's fine by me. I prefer Acura's hassle free pricing tier, reliability, and overall good balance of providing driving enjoyment and comfort.

  • houstonjoehoustonjoe Member Posts: 1

    The new TLX is on my shopping list to replace my Volvo S60...or I should say WAS until I discovered that there is no way to get front/rear parking assist on a loaded 2.4 version. A lot of the trade press is recommending the 2.4 as the better choice engine in this car...a good combo of performance, weight, and MPG. So it's pretty bone-headed of Acura to make a new-normal feature (front/rear parking assist) available only on the V-6 version, especially if the TLX is supposed to compete with the S60 and Regal, both of which offer it on their 'base' engine configurations.

  • gvbgvb Member Posts: 45

    @dlf50 said:
    I love the comments that every Acura looks the same. The same could be said about Audi, BMW, Lexus, ....the list goes on and on. For whatever reason automakers have decided to make size the main distinction between their various lines of cars.

    I think one difference could be that BMW and Lexus are attractive cars. That the others in their line up look similar is therefore not much of an issue. However in Acura's case, their cars while not ugly by any means is not all that exciting either. Hence the comment "they all look the same" which is really just a comment of disappointment they didn't build a better looking car.

  • karhill1karhill1 Member Posts: 165

    Saw three at the local Acura dealership. Nothing particularly enticing about the TLX. Exterior seems bland, a bit too much like the TSX, and underwhelming for a near luxury to luxury class vehicle. Interior was nice but, once again, nothing exciting.

    It is interesting none of the current TV spots for the TLX, I have seen, present a clear view of the vehicle. Is Acura trying to play down the blandness of the TLX?

    I will be quite surprised if the TLX is a big hit with buyers. I hope I am wrong, I really like Honda and Acura vehicles. Currently have one of each in my driveway.

  • bmwgrrrlbmwgrrrl Member Posts: 18
    edited August 2014

    I briefly test drove the TLX 4-cyl tech model recently and it rode pretty well. Nice acceleration (although a little more horsepower would have been nice); handled the few curves I encountered. The interior was nice (dash looks cool lit up but reminded me of Accord). Seats were very comfortable. Great sounding audio. More bells and whistles than I'm used to or need but nice to have. Not thrilled with the color choices or combinations. Absolutely hate, hate, HATE that beak!!! Car doesn't look bad at certain angles but I need to love the way it looks from every direction. For that reason, I'm not sold. When presented with an offer, the dealer just pointed to the one on the website so nothing seems negotiable at this early point on.

    I have to add that the Acura website doesn't offer 360 views of the car so it makes it really hard to look at the options up close. So annoying.

    I really wanted to love this car but I can't get past that beak or the generality of the car's design. Don't get me wrong, it's not an ugly car but it's nothing special either (and it looks a lot better in the commercial). All that said, I think the TLX has potential but it's not quite there... yet.

  • bern43bern43 Member Posts: 1

    Recently bought the TLX-6 cyl advanced model. Car rides smoothly and quiet, technology package works as advertised. Took test drives in BMW and Audi before making decision to buy TLX. Car has very good power and mileage is up to advertised numbers. Going on long trip and hope to see that TLX can perform as well on open/high speed road as in city. Don't like the small black strip on driver's outside mirror. The area magnifies traffic behind and there is also a reflection of the air conditioning vent in the mirror from sun. Very disconcerting and is a possible hazard while driving during the day. No glare when sun goes down. Like the idea that there is no gas gap. However, you have to manually change the mileage figures after fueling. On my 2010 TL this was done automatically. Like the small opening on bottom of trunk where you can stash flash lights and other small items. Still too new to give a complete review. But I like it during the first two weeks.

  • bb49bb49 Member Posts: 25

    I still can't understand why Acura continues to adorn its cars with that damn ugly eyesore--- the dreaded and universally despised Acura beak. I absolutely detest the beak and I will never ever buy an Acura until Acura hires a new design studio that actually has a clue as to how to design attractive cars. One has to wonder what's wrong with Acura when a much cheaper Mazda 6 looks like the more expensive and much more attractively styled car.

  • kiiwiikiiwii Member Posts: 318
    why downgrade the TL(x) with a 4 cylinder engine? Now the TL(x) is officially half a class below Lexus ES and Infiniti G (or Q something).
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    edited October 2014
    "On our skid pad the TLX only managed a pedestrian 0.85g ..." I remember when that would have been serious sports car G's, now it is simply "pedestrian". Just like with 0-60 times we are very spoiled today. I think the original V6 Legend was around 155 hp. Here we have a 204hp 4-cyl and people are criticizing because it is too weak.

    I also question the comments in the review about the 0-60 times being similar to competitors, The most entry level 320 will have a similar 0-60 as the TLX 2.4. But step up to the 328, which is only a couple grand more than the TLX and it is significantly faster.
  • lions208487lions208487 Member Posts: 240
    The Accord platform is a solid one, so why not build off of it? That being said, this car is a bit of a disappointment. Though it looks the part, and yes you do get quite a bit for the money, the out going TL and TSX delivered better performance. When I drove the TLX with both power-train options, I thought it was a solid car, but the Regal and Regal GS were more fun to drive and just as luxurious inside. I would say that even the Fusion based MKZ and it's 3.7 liter option have enough chops to edge this out.

    Perhaps there is a chance that Honda will provide the Sport Hybrid power-train that's available in the RLX as a higher end option for the TLX early next year, and make summer tires standard, or at least good TA rated tires.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    autosoc said:

    .... The bottom line is few people like the beak, but Acura seems to refuse the change it despite its unpopularity. The market is speaking, but Acura is not listening! ....

    I read an interview with their head guy and he even said that they knew a lot of people didn't like it but they were sticking with it. That seems to be Honda's weak point right now being so full of themselves that they build what they want the way they want and it is the customers fault if they don't like it.

  • cjasiscjasis Member Posts: 274
    Admittedly, I'm a bit of a Honda fanboy. I've owned an NSX, two S2000's, a GS-R Integra, a Legend Coupe LS 6-speed, a civic, a CRV and still have an Ody TE. I am happy to say that I think this car represents a small step in the right direction but disappointed to say that sub-par acceleration, sub-par grip, and that god awful shifter leave me cold. I wonder when Acura will drop the stupid, ugly beak all together but Honda/Acura used to lead the way... now they seem content to follow a step or two behind and pick up residuals.

    This car will likely sell fine to folks who aren't enthusiasts but the longer Honda/Acura go without catering to the enthusiasts,t the harder it will be to get us back in your showrooms.
  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433
    To someone like me who keeps their cars for 15-20 years, I'm actually appreciative of understated conservative designs, because in 10 years the car will still look nice. As opposed to trendy looking cars that will look dated or tacky in about 5 years...
  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433
    I really don't understand why people hate the beak so much. When it first appeared on the early 4th gen TLs, it was too big and ugly, but the new renditions on the MDX and TLX seem fine to me.
  • heeeeresjohnnyheeeeresjohnny Member Posts: 1
    Who proofreads this?
  • bruingirlbruingirl Member Posts: 2
    The last sentence in this paragraph is incorrect: What Kind of Fuel Economy Can You Expect?
    The EPA rates the four-cylinder TLX at 28 mpg combined (24 city/35 highway) and the V6 SH-AWD version at 25 combined (21 city/31 highway). Front-drive V6 models are in between at 34 mpg combined (21 city/25 highway)

  • spfoteyspfotey Member Posts: 131
    Our family has been Honda/Acura fans for many years. We had the 99 TL and then the 2006 TL as well as the 2003 MDX and then the 2009 MDX. Also, the 2001 Accord is still being driven by one daughter and had many Civics along the way, including a 1976 Civic, 1981 Civic, and 1984 Prelude and several others that i can't remember. However, i think they have lost their way. I loved the 06 TL but hated the styling on the newer one. I waited for something better to come along but was disappointed with this combo package. We still own the Accord and the MDX but i have moved over to a BMW 5 series (bought one with 5500 miles and paid $44k out the door with every option available and 100k full maintenance) and love it and when we went to buy a car for my daughter the Honda Civic came up last on the list - went with a Hyundai Elantra. For the daughter who is driving the 01 Accord as soon as she is done with law school it will either be a Mazda or Hyundai. Both offer better styling, equal MPG, and better interiors. My wife wants to swap the MDX for something smaller since the kids are all off to college - and at this point it will likely be a Mazda CX-5 or maybe one of the new small SUVs from Audi or someone else.

    bottom line - loved the Honda product but tired of waiting for them to figure it out. If Hyundai and Kia can hire designers from BMW and Audi - why can't they?
  • idunnouidunnou Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2014
    Everybody expected a home run with the TLX...instead we got a two-base hit. It's better than striking out but still a disapointment. Let's hope they bring the turbos soon.
  • manda907manda907 Member Posts: 1
    "In addition to the optional all-wheel-drive system, the TLX also offers Acura's Precision All-Wheel-Steering system on front-wheel-drive models. It's optional on the four-cylinder and standard with the V6."

    P-AWS is actually standard on every model, including all four-cylinders. This is per the website.
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