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2018 Acura TLX A-Spec

three.5-liter SOHC V6 (290 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm; 267 lb-ft @ Four,500 rpm)

9-speed computerized, all-wheel drive

21 metropolis / 30 freeway / 24 mixed (EPA Ranking, MPG)

12.zero metropolis / eight.2 freeway / 10.three mixed (NRCan Ranking, L/100km)

23.1 mpg [10.2 L/100 km] (Noticed)

Base Value: $33,950 (U.S) / $38,135 (Canada)

As Examined: $45,750 (U.S.) / $53,135 (Canada)

Costs embody $950 vacation spot cost in the USA and $2,145 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border tools variations, can’t be instantly in contrast.

Is it potential to maneuver this elephant out of the room?

Maybe not, however whether or not we attempt to transfer the elephant or permit him to remain, a assessment of the revamped 2018 Acura TLX, even on this top-spec V6 SH-AWD A-Spec trim, will without end be set in opposition to a backdrop that’s the all-new 2018 Honda Accord, a veritable wooly mammoth.

It might probably’t be helped. Acura is aware of the brand new 10th-generation Accord presents options unavailable within the Acura lineup. The TLX, in the meantime, options an inside that’s greater than a bit of paying homage to the ninth-generation Accord’s cabin. Fonts, buttons, switches, two-screen format — the upmarket/downmarket connections are too apparent to be dismissed as merely the necessary parts-bin sharing of a worldwide automaker with justifiable value considerations. The brand new 2018 Acura TLX and the previous Honda Accord are remarkably related automobiles.

However is that so unhealthy? The Honda Accord is, with good motive, constantly certainly one of America’s hottest sedans, and the refreshed 2018 Acura TLX is a very good interpretation of that automotive. Moreover which, the Acura TLX isn’t simply an Accord. It’s not merely an Accord. The TLX’s extra highly effective V6, a nine-speed computerized, and a really efficient all-wheel-drive system ensure that of that.

True, the elephant hasn’t exited the premises. However now that it’s standing out within the hallway, we will decide the 2018 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD A-Spec on benefit, relatively than merely distinguishing the diploma to which the TLX is or just isn’t a Honda.

2018 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD A-Spec San Marino - Image: © Timothy CainPackaging

For simply one other second, let that elephant alert us to the scale of his, umm, trunk. See, regardless of nearly equivalent dimensions, the outgoing Honda Accord (of which 1000’s stay on vendor tons throughout America) presents 4 additional inches of rear legroom, an additional inch of rear shoulder room, eight % extra passenger quantity, and greater than an additional cubic foot of cargo capability.

Neglect the Accord: the Acura TLX is by any normal a big automotive that doesn’t really feel like a big automotive inside. Although undeniably simpler to get out and in of than the Lexus IS350 we examined per week in the past, the 2018 TLX doesn’t reveal itself as a automotive with notable area benefits when in comparison with the Lexus, a sedan that’s eight inches shorter than the Acura, bumper to bumper.

So if the TLX doesn’t acquire a bonus over its smaller sports activities sedan brethren by way of area effectivity, does it make headway within the athletics division?


Amongst Acura’s updates for the 2018 TLX, powertrain adjustments are notably absent. The elective three.5-liter V6 — an improve from the usual 206-horsepower 2.Four-liter four-cylinder/eight-speed DCT combo — nonetheless produces 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque and remains to be linked to a nine-speed computerized that’s happiest in sportier drive modes and below heavier throttle inputs.

Admittedly fast when caned, the TLX’s three.5-liter is a distinctly naturally aspirated unit, an engine that should rev, an engine that likes to rev and sounds nice when doing so. But clients more and more acquainted with low-rpm turbo punch aren’t going to rapidly take a liking to the TLX’s off-the-line recalcitrance. There’s sufficient weight in a top-spec TLX, three,838 kilos, to barely degrade the affect of the TLX’s heady horsepower numbers.2018 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD A-Spec San Marino - Image: © Timothy Cain

Certainly, there’s a persistent sense of mass when piloting the 2018 TLX V6 SH-AWD, an element that stands in the best way of Acura’s midsize sedan feeling actually nimble. Happily, below strain, the TLX shows a nice dearth of physique roll, steering that weights up properly, minimal want for mid-corner correction, and a capability to place energy down earlier than, throughout, and when exiting a bend that mainstream sedan homeowners can solely dream of.

Though the 2018 TLX lacks the ultimate levels of chew that may make it a real sports activities sedan — and on Michelin Primacy MXM4s, it lacks the mandatory rubber, too — there are advantages reaped from Acura’s compromises. Trip high quality stays supreme even on the A-Spec’s 19-inch rims: agency sufficient to by no means be floaty, gentle sufficient to isolate brutal pavement. Noticed gasoline financial system of 23 miles per gallon simply topped the Lexus IS350’s 19-mpg outcome. The nine-speed transmission, in the meantime, was reprogrammed for 2018 and now permits the TLX to settle right into a serene and mature groove that does a good job of compressing the TLX V6 SH-AWD A-Spec onto a bridge that spans the Lexus IS350/ES350 hole.

2018 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD A-Spec San Marino - Image: © Timothy Cain


Alas, there’s no getting round the truth that at this lofty $45,750 as-tested value level, the 2018 Acura TLX lacks the specified cues of a luxurious automotive. Moreover the aforementioned Honda connections, of which there are too many to rely, the TLX cabin presents nothing to wow, nothing to remind you of the cash you’ve spent, nothing that shouts, “I’m particular!”

The Audi A4 has its Digital Cockpit gauge cluster. Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class, moreover a tacked-on fake iPad, has the form of inside design and supplies that make it worthy of an E-Class price ticket. Final week, the seats within the Lexus IS350 hugged so tight you needed to know one thing should be up.

The Acura TLX’s inside, loaded up with all of the tools Acura can throw at it, leaves the impression usually left by a feature-laden and barely cramped model of a standard midsize household sedan.


But a fast, naturally aspirated, comparatively reasonably priced and unpretentious household sedan is evidently what many customers are on the lookout for. The TLX is America’s eighth-best-selling premium model automotive, promoting extra usually than the Audi A4, Lincoln MKZ, and Lexus IS, amongst many others.

In reality, Acura believes this MY2018 refresh will show enough to drive TLX gross sales to the best ranges seen up to now.

2018 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD A-Spec interior - © Timothy Cain

On what grounds? The 2015-2017 TLX, tasked with changing the TSX and TL, was a wallflower. “Consumers who rejected TLX,” Acura spokesperson Matt Sloustcher informed TTAC, “usually did so on the idea of the design not being aggressive sufficient for a sport sedan.”

If the TLX bought in first rate numbers when it was scarcely noticeable, Acura figures, the wide-grilled 2018 TLX will certainly appeal to extra consideration.

After all, value stays a number one issue throughout a lot of the TLX vary, if not this particular tester. To get to $45,750, an Acura TLX purchaser should choose the V6, all-wheel drive, a $three,700 Know-how Package deal, after which the $2,900 A-Spec bundle.

However with V6 energy and AWD, the 2018 TLX is priced at a much more psychologically snug $39,150. Furthermore, TLX pricing kicks off at $33,950, a gorgeous entry level for an upmarket model. At that value level, a fundamental Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is embarrassed. We received’t actually understand how a $33,950 2018 TLX stacks up, after all, till we’ve examined a 2018 Honda Accord.

You possibly can’t preserve an elephant that enormous out of any room.

[Images: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Reality About Vehicles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.internet. Observe on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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