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
2018 Acura TLX Features
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.
MSRP (Inline-4 FWD with P-AWS)
MSRP (V-6 FWD with P-AWS)
MSRP (V-6 SH-AWD)
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
10-speaker premium audio system
Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
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
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.
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.
2018 Acura TLX Engine
“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.
Audi A4 Premium
2.4L DOHC 16-Valve VTEC 4-Cylinder
2.0L turbo I-4
2.0L Turbocharged I-4
2.0L TFSI I4 DOHC
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.
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.
Audi A4 Premium
Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year
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.
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.
Audi A4 Premium
60-0 MPH (ft.)
2018 Acura TLX Fuel Economy
“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.
Audi A4 Premium
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).
2018 Acura TLX Interior
“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.
Audi A4 Premium
Passenger Volume (ft cube)
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.
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
Navigation with voice recognition
USB audio interface
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.
Audi A4 Premium
2018 Acura TLX Exterior
“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.
Audi A4 Premium
Track width(in) F/R
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.
Jewel Eye LED headlights
LED fog lights
Rear decklid spoiler
Dual exhaust (available with V6 only)
2018 Acura TLX Safety
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.
Overall Frontal Crash Rating
Frontal Crash Rating Driver Side
Frontal Crash Rating Passenger Side
Overall Side Crash Rating
Combined Side Barrier and Pole Rating Front Seat
Side barrier Driver
Side barrier Rear Passenger
Overall Side Pole Star Rating
Small overlap front driver side
Small overlap front passenger side
Moderate overlap front
Head restraints & seats
Crash Avoidance & Mitigation
Front Crash Prevention
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
2018 Acura TLX 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.
2018 Acura TLX 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.