Right-Sizing the Sedan 2015 | Acura TLX

April 2015 View more

2015 Acura TLX Exterior V6 SH-AWD

With apologies to Goldilocks, Acura seems to have gotten it just right with the all-new 2015 TLX. In a rare move, the company chose to replace a bigger sedan (the venerable TL) and a smaller sedan (the spry TSX) with one model that splits the difference. Wagon aficionados, you’re out of luck: The sleek TSX wagon did not morph into a TLX hauler.

Looking a bit more like a larger TSX than a smaller TL, the new TLX is a smooth, quiet, and composed front-wheel or all-wheel-drive sedan that buyers can load up with all manner of technology to improve its driving characteristics, its safety, and its comfort. One of the nicest optional features is the adaptive cruise control, which will keep a pre-set distance from the traffic in front of you and bring the car to a complete stop if necessary. A few short years ago, this was technology only on $100,000 cars.

2015 Acura TLX Interior L4While the TLX may replace two cars, which makes shopping at the Acura dealership easier, buyers still have a multiple choice exam facing them when they sit down with the order sheet. All-wheel drive or all-wheel steering? Four cylinders or six? Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, or nine speeds and a single clutch?

First, the engine. Buyers can opt for a 2.4-liter four cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6. The former is paired with the eight-speed automatic, while the latter gets the nine-speed. Both engines are known entities in the Acura/Honda universe, tuned for smooth and satisfying performance in this car. A version of the TLX’s four cylinder, for example, is found under Honda Accord hoods; the TLX’s variant produces more horsepower and, as befits a luxury marque, requires premium gas.

The base TLX, with either the four- or six-cylinder engine, comes standard with all-wheel steering which was a bit of technological gee-whizery that was a jaw dropper way back in the late 1980s when it popped up on Honda’s sporty Prelude. Applied here, the all-wheel steering will likely not be noticed by most drivers, even when it subtly improves their cornering abilities.

2015 Acura TLX with accessoriesAll-wheel drive is an option on the V6 models, although checking that box means deleting the all-wheel steering. For many buyers, especially in places like Naperville where winter packs a wallop, the known advantages of all-wheel drive will trump the sportier handling promised by all-wheel steer. The V6 with all-wheel drive, as tested, turns in a smart performance on wet and dry roads handling well when pushed a bit, and quite content to soak up bumps and smooth out the rough patches during everyday driving.

The TLX’s cabin does not depart from tried-and-true Acura styling. Comfortable seats, nice materials, and lots of light make it a pleasant place to pass a few hours. As in the smartly redesigned 2015 Honda CR-V, the TLX’s center console features upper and lower display screens that, truth be told, are not always intuitive.

Rear-seat passengers have plenty of leg, hip, and head room. And the TLX’s capacious trunk and an estimated 35 miles per gallon on the highway for the four-cylinder model means that it is just right for road trips.

The 2015 Acura TLX starts at $31,445 with front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine. Swapping in the V6 bumps the starting price to $35,320. The price list tops out before options at $44,800 for an all-wheel drive model with a V6 and the “Advance” package. In between there are lots of ways to fine-tune the spec sheet for comfort, safety, and sportiness. 

Photo courtesy of  ©2014 Acura