2018 Acura TLX Sedan

#88
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

$33,000 - $45,750

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Overview

The Japanese automaker, Acura launched its performance luxury sedan, the 2018 Acura TLX with a few tweaks to the styling and a new trim option. The car might not have the best engine in its class but it sure is a steal deal with its cheap pricing and availability of abundant features.

Carrying a starting price tag of $33,000, the car is available in two engine options, a 4-cylinder 2.4L engine and a more powerful 6-cylinder 3.5L engine. The 2.4L engines are only available in FWD, whereas with the 3.5L engine you have an option of upgrading to AWD. The standard transmission for the 4-cylinder engine is 8-speed automatic and it's 9-speed automatic for the V6 engine.

The Acura TLX comes in 4 trims with a variety of engine and drivetrain combinations to choose from. TLX competes head on with the Infiniti Q60, Lincoln MKZ, and Audi A4

See detailed review »

Pros

Low priced

Equipped with a variety of features

Quiet cabin

Cozy seating

Cons

Below average performance of the base engine

Unsatisfactory boot volume

What's New?

2 colors added to the lineup

No significant Change



Styles

 2018 Acura TLX Sedan in Bellanova White Pearl color  2018 Acura TLX Sedan in Lunar Silver Metallic color  2018 Acura TLX Sedan in Modern Steel Metallic color  2018 Acura TLX Sedan in Fathom Blue Pearl color  2018 Acura TLX Sedan in Black Copper Pearl color
Bellanova White Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.1

Engine

6.4

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

6.5

Exterior

7.3

Safety

8.5

Driving

7.2

7.3

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Acura TLX Sedan 4dr Sedan

4dr Sedan

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$33,000 - $36,200

Configurations
4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 8AM
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (23/27/33)
HP: 206-hp @ 6,800 rpm Torque: 182 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (20/24/32)
HP: 290-hp @ 6,200 rpm Torque: 267 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

 2018 Acura TLX Sedan Technology Package

Technology Package

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$36,700 - $39,900

Configurations
Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 8AM
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (23/27/33)
HP: 206 hp @ 6800 rpm Torque: 182 lbs.'ft. @ 4,500 rpm
Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (20/24/32)
HP: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm Torque: 267 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

 2018 Acura TLX Sedan SH-AWD

SH-AWD

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$38,200 - $45,750

Configurations
SH-AWD 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (21/24/30)
HP: 290-hp @ 6,200 rpm Torque: 267 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
SH-AWD w/Technology Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (21/24/30)
HP: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm Torque: 267 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
SH-AWD A-Spec 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/23/29)
HP: 290-hp @ 6,200 rpm Torque: 267 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (21/24/30)
HP: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm Torque: 267 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

 2018 Acura TLX Sedan A-Spec Package

A-Spec Package

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$42,800

Configurations
A-Spec 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (20/23/30)
HP: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm Torque: 267 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm

 2018 Acura TLX Sedan Advance Package

Advance Package

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$43,750

Configurations
Advance Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (20/24/32)
HP: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm Torque: 267 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 27, 2018

7.3

Overall Rating


8.1/10
Features

 

6.4/10
Engine

 

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.5/10
Interior

 

7.3/10
Exterior

 

8.5/10
Safety

 
 
 

Carrying a starting price tag of $33,000, the car is available in two engine options, a 4-cylinder 2.4L engine and a more powerful 6-cylinder 3.5L engine. The 2.4L engines are only available in FWD, whereas with the 3.5L engine you have an option of upgrading to AWD. The standard transmission for the 4-cylinder engine is 8-speed automatic and it’s 9-speed automatic for the V6 engine.

Features

8.1/10

The TLX is available in 4 trim levels, Standard, Technology Package, Advanced Package and A-Spec. The prices vary according to the engine and drivetrain combinations. The price for the top trim with FWD is $42,800 and for upgrading the drivetrain to AWD, you have to shed an extra $2000.

Trims Standard Technology Package Advance package A-Spec
MSRP (Inline-4 FWD with P-AWS) $33,000 $36,700 N/A N/A
MSRP (V-6 FWD with P-AWS) $36,200 $39,900 $43,750 $42,800
MSRP (V-6 SH-AWD) $38,200 $41,900 $45,750 $44,800
Features
  • LED headlights
  • 17-inch wheels
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Dual-zone automatic Climate control Simulated leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats
  • Keyless entry for the rear doors
  • Leather upholstery Automatic wipers
  • Climate control system that compensates for sun direction
  • Navigation
  • 10-speaker premium audio system
  • Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
  • Parking sensors
  • Remote engine start ventilated front seats Heated outboard rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel wireless device charging
  • Auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors
  • Surround-view camera system and a heated windshield
  • It has the features of the Technology package and some of the features of the Advance package, plus:

Sport-tuned suspension 19-inch wheels

Quicker steering

Sport front seats and some cosmetic tweaks.

The Standard and Technology Package trims come mated to a 206hp 4-cylinder 2.4L engine. Upgrading to a 3.5L V6 engine would cost $3,200. The Standard trim comes with basic features like ESC and satellite radio and moving up to the Technology Package would get you additional features like leather upholstery and a navigation system.

We recommend

One of the biggest USP of the TLX is its price. We’d suggest you go for the Technology Package trim with the 2.4L engine. It costs $3,700 more than the base trim but comes loaded with premium features like automatic vipers and blind spot monitoring.

Engine

6.4/10

“The entry-level four-cylinder is surprisingly torquey. The optional V6 loves to rev and at full throttle it manages to sound like something you'd hear in a much more expensive car. It's no trick to beat 35mpg on the freeway with either one.” – Road and Track

Engine and Transmission

The company offers the TLX with two engine options to choose from. The 4-cylinder 2.4L engine churns out 206hp and 182lb-ft of torque, whereas the bigger and mightier, 6-cylinder 3.5L is able to generate a horsepower of 290hp and a torque of 267lb-ft.  The 2.4L engines are available only in FWD and come mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, while the V6 engines are available in both FWD and AWD with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Model Acura TLX Infiniti Q60 Lincoln MKZ Audi A4 Premium
MSRP $33,000 $38,950 $35,605 $36,000
Engine 2.4L DOHC 16-Valve VTEC 4-Cylinder 2.0L turbo I-4 2.0L Turbocharged I-4 2.0L TFSI I4 DOHC
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic 7-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 7-Speed Automatic
Power 206 hp 208 hp 245 hp 190 hp
Torque 182 lb-ft 258 lb-ft 275 lb-ft 236 lb-ft

The power seekers will get inclined to the 3.5L engine more because of it quicker acceleration and stronger power delivery. The base engine might feel like it is lacking power but is able to perform averagely in daily-use. The transmission system is unimpressive; especially, the 9-speed automatic is not quick to shift, thus, hindering the car’s performance.

Acceleration

The underperforming 206hp engine isn’t quick to accelerate. It takes the most time (7.2 sec) in the lot, to go from 0-60mph. In sheer contrast, the Infiniti Q60 has the fastest initial acceleration, hitting the 60mph mark in 6.9 seconds. The quarter-mile performance of the TLX is below average too, taking 15.6 seconds to complete a quarter mile. Audi A4 premium wins the quarter mile race with a split time of 13.8 seconds.

Models Acura TLX Infiniti Q60 Lincoln MKZ Audi A4 Premium
0-60 MPH 7.2 6.9 sec 7.0 sec 7.1 sec
Quarter mile 15.6 sec 17.3 sec 15.2 sec 13.8 sec
Engine 2.4L 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L

Emission

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

6.6 7 7.3 5.7

Ride and Handling

Acura gives the option of having its iconic all wheel steer system and super handling all-wheel-drive system for better ride experience. The car cruises smoothly at low speeds and good roads with the quiet interior adding to the comfortable driving experience but the car lacks a sporty handling and driving over uneven terrain might feel uneasy.

The steering is communicative and the suspension system provides a good balance to the car on highways. The sportier trim, A-Spec has an agile handling which it owes to its communicative steering and sporty suspension system. Overall, the TLX provides a satisfactory driving experience in day-to-day use.

Braking

The brakes of the TLX perform decently and are able to bring the car at a halt from 60 mph in 122 ft. The braking system’s performance is neither the best nor the worst amongst its rivals. The Infinity Q60 has the best brakes, taking just 113 ft to go from 60-0 mph.

Model Acura TLX Infiniti Q60 Lincoln MKZ Audi A4 Premium
Brake Front(in) 12.6 12.6 12.4 12.4
Brake Rear(in) 12.2 12.1 12.4 11.8
Curb weight(lbs) 3505 3727 3739 3450
60-0 MPH (ft.) 122 113 119 126

 

Fuel Economy

7.0/10

“Most versions of the 2018 Acura TLX will manage combined fuel economy in the mid-20s.” - TheCarConnection

Owing to its small engine, the car isn’t really fuel-hungry. The TLX’s base engine gets a rating of 23 MPG for the city, 33 MPG for highways and a combined rating of 27 MPG. Opting for the all-wheel-drive won’t be an issue as there is no mileage drop in the 2.4L engine.

Model Acura TLX Infiniti Q60 Lincoln MKZ Audi A4 Premium
MPG (city) 23 22 21 27
MPG (highway) 33 30 31 37
MPG (combined) 27 25 24 31

The bigger V6 engine combined with the FWD scores an economy rating of 20 MPG (city)/32 MPG (highway) for all trims except A-Spec. The 3.5L with AWD performs more economically in the city, getting a rating of 21 MPG for city and 30 MPG for the highway. A-Spec consumes more fuel and it’s rated at 20 MPG (city)/30 MPG (highway) for FWD and 20 MPG (city)/ 29 MPG (highway).

Interior

6.5/10

“The TLX's interior reflects close attention to detail, with fantastic fit and finish and appealing color choices. Acura has made the 2-screen infotainment system easier to use by streamlining menus and reducing the system's response time. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are operated in the top screen through a click wheel, which frees up the lower touch screen for other functions.” – Kelley Blue Book

Seating and Comfort

Though the interiors may not look luxurious when compared to the rivals, the insides of the car are made with quality materials. The car has a good visibility and the cabin is roomy and extremely quiet. The cabin space has a combination of convenient and practical features like dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless access system, pushbutton ignition, and cruise control.

Model Acura TLX Infiniti Q60 Lincoln MKZ Audi A4 Premium
Passenger capacity 5 4 5 5
Passenger Volume (ft cube) 93.3 85.4 96.6 100.1

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

37.2/57.5/42.6 37.9/54.6/43.1 37.9/57.7/44.3 38.9/55.9/41.3

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

36.7/57.5/34.5 34.5/52/32.4 36.6/55.3/37 37.4/54.5/35.7

The sedan comfortably seats five people. The car has ample legroom and headroom and the rear seating is spacious. Getting in and out of the car is easy but average for its class. The seats are leather upholstered and feel plush and also have proper contour support. Further, the driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable and has lumbar support for comfortable long drives.

Infotainment System

The car has an easy to use infotainment system and is equipped with dual displays. The infotainment system comes with all the modern connectivity features like Bluetooth, auxiliary input jack, USB port, and Apple CarPlay.

The base trim has a 7-speaker sound system while the other trims carry a 10-speaker audio system. Besides this, the car has an advanced navigation system with traffic rerouting and other features like HD radio and SVC. The infotainment system feels convenient with all the information being displayed on the dual screens.

Infotainment System Features

  • Satellite radio
  • HD radio
  • Navigation with voice recognition
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • USB audio interface
  • Bluetooth

Cargo Capacity

The cargo capacity of the Acura TLX is not the best but it is better than many of its rivals. The 14.3 ft cube of boot space feels sufficient for its segment. Infiniti Q60 has the poorest trunk volume of just 8.7 ft cube.

Model Acura TLX Infiniti Q60 Lincoln MKZ Audi A4 Premium
Volume (ft.cube) 14.3 8.7 15.4 13.0

Exterior

7.3/10

“The death of the TLX's controversial shield-nose grille is a welcomed change that dominates the rest of the exterior treatment. Situated high and splayed wide across the fascia, the new grille and the larger LED headlights are less visually heavy than the 2017 TLX, giving this sedan a clean, refined look.” - TheCarConnection

Dimension and Weight

The TLX won’t disappoint you on the styling end. The car has an aerodynamic and fresh looking design. The curvy lines combined with the chrome trim and the gorgeous new front grille gives the sedan a trendy appearance. The car runs on 17-inch wheels. The new A-Spec trim has a sporty and aggressive look due to a few tweaks like dark chrome trim and bigger 19-inch alloys.

Model Acura TLX Infiniti Q60 Lincoln MKZ Audi A4 Premium
curb weight(lbs) 3505 3727 3739 3450
Length(in) 191.7 184.4 193.9 186.1
Width(in) 73.0 72.8 75.1 72.5
Height(in) 57.0 54.9 58.1 56.2
Ground clearance(in) 5.8 4.9 5.0 5.0
Wheelbase(in) 109.3 112.2 112.2 110.0
Track width(in) F/R 62.8/63.1 61.2/61.2 62.3/62 61.9/61.2

The car has the largest ground clearance (5.8 inches) in its class and the shortest wheelbase (109.3 inches). Infiniti Q60 and Lincoln MKZ have the longest wheelbase of 112.2 inches. The TLX is equipped with a plethora of exciting features that comes as standard including power moon-roof, heated side mirrors and chrome window molding.

Exterior features

  • Jewel Eye LED headlights
  • Power Moonroof
  • LED fog lights
  • Rear decklid spoiler
  • Dual exhaust (available with V6 only)

Safety

8.5/10

The 2018 Acura TLX is a strong and safe car and it proved this by scoring an overall rating of 5 stars in the NHSTA ratings. The car got a “superior” rating in the front crash prevention section and “good” in the roof strength column of the IIHS ratings.

The car has a vehicle warranty of 4 years/50,000 miles and a drivetrain warranty of 6 years/70,000 miles.

NHTSA rating

Overall Rating 5 Star
Overall Frontal Crash Rating 5 Star
Frontal Crash Rating Driver Side 5 Star
Frontal Crash Rating Passenger Side 5 Star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 Star
Combined Side Barrier and Pole Rating Front Seat 5 Star
Side Barrier 5 Star
Side barrier Driver 5 Star
Side barrier Rear Passenger 5 Star
Overall Side Pole Star Rating 5 Star
Rollover Rating 5 Star

IIHS Rating

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Acceptable
Small overlap front passenger side N/A
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good
Crash Avoidance & Mitigation
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Marginal

Safety Features

The car has an abundance of safety features like ABS, VSA, agile handling assist, electric parking brake, CMBS and ACC.

  • Vehicle Stability Assist Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS and Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System Forward Collision
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Back-Up Camera

Competition

Acura TLX vs Infiniti Q60

The Q60 has a better performing engine with quicker acceleration and better brakes but has a very poor cargo space compared to the TLX. Further, the fuel economy of TLX is higher than that of the Q60. The Infiniti Q60 costs $5,950 more than the TLX. All this makes the TLX a more suitable option.

Acura TLX vs Lincoln MKZ

The MKZ has the best engine in its class and it outshines the TLX in terms of acceleration, braking and has a bigger cargo space. The TLX has a better fuel economy. The MKZ outweighs the TLX because of its better performance.

Acura TLX vs Audi A4 Premium

Audi A4 has the best in class fuel economy, braking, and quarter-mile acceleration figures. The TLX just has a slightly larger boot volume. Even though the A4 costs $3000 more, it is worth the better overall performance you’re getting.

Final Verdict

This sedan is spacious, comfortable, modern looking, loaded with features and the handling in city at normal speeds doesn’t hurt either. The 2018 Acura TLX is not an option for you if you are looking for a powerful car with an extremely athletic handling but if you are looking for a daily-purpose luxury sedan and don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket then this car is made for you.

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