2019 Acura TLX: Luxury in a Small Package

Known as Honda’s more luxurious half, Acura competes with quite a few brands when it comes to the compact sedan market. Ditching Honda’s love for plastics and cloth, the Acura lineup strives to blend fine leather seating and exquisite interior furnishings with a comfortable, sporty experience.

Acura looks to continue its high bar for quality with the new 2019 Acura TLX.

Trims and Packages

The Base Acura TLX model starts at $33,000 for the standard 24.-liter four-cylinder engine. Standard equipment includes heated faux-leather front seats, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, keyless entry, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. The model rides on 17-inch wheels and comes with a sunroof as well.

Spending an addition $2,700 to get the A-Spec Package on the 2.4-liter model means you’ll enjoy the different interior and exterior accents, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, and dual exhaust tips. The Technology Package, which costs an addition $3,700, features a 10-speaker sound system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. LED fog lights and 19-inch wheels also come as standard equipment.

Despite having similar base features as those found on the 2.4-liter models, the Acura TLX models powered by a V6 engine come with a beefier price tag of $36,200. The only differences between the two base models are that the V6 models ride on 18-inch wheels and all-wheel-drive is available only on these models.

Costing an additional $3,900 with the V6 engine, the Technology Package brings seat upgrades like contrast stitching and thigh support for the driver. Paying $3,850 for the Advance Package adds features such as remote start, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors, a heated windshield, and a surround-view camera system. The A-Spec Package is where the sportiness is at, with 19-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension set off by exclusive exterior accents.

Performance Specifications

The 2019 Acura TLX is powered by either a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Expect to see around 206 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque from the smaller 2.4-liter, while the larger V6 puts out 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Base 2.4-liter engines are paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and V6 engines mated to a nine-speed automatic.

Although the TLX comes standard with front-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive is an available option.

Fuel Efficiency

Many might find it interesting to know that the inline four-cylinder and the V6 engines powering the 2019 Acura TLX both make similar numbers when it comes to their mpg ratings.

For instance, base 2.4-liter models achieve 23 city and 33 highway EPA-estimated mpg, while A-Spec models with the same engine lose a point on the highway rating. The 3.5-liter V6 makes a respectable 20 city and 31 highway mpg in FWD configurations, while again, A-Spec models lose a point on the highway rating. AWD models achieve 20 city and 29 highway mpg.

Safety

Both the NHTSA and IIHS rated the 2019 Acura TLX highly when it comes to safety. The NHTSA gave the model a perfect five stars for the overall rating, while the IIHS awarded it a “Good” rating in most categories. The only “Acceptable” rating the TLX received from the IIHS was for the driver-side small overlap front test. The model has also not yet been rated for the passenger side testing component.

How the 2019 Acura TLX Compares

As Honda’s better half, Acura caters to many target markets focused on sportiness, reliability, safety, luxury, and overall above-average quality. Competing with brands such as BMW, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz set the bar high for Acura, but the TLX drives a hard bargain when it comes to available features.

Still part of the first generation, the 2019 TLX didn’t impress Edmunds’ experts when it came to speed. At the same time, reviewers named it “a smart choice if you seek a lot of value from a luxury sedan.” Many of the German and other foreign-made rivals competing against Acura’s TLX increased pricing with the so-called increase in value, but you’ll pay much less for repairs on an Acura than you would for most other luxury brands.

The experts at U.S. News & World Report did acknowledge that the above-mentioned competitors do offer more when it comes to handling, power, and finishing touches. And while the infotainment system requires a bit of a learning curve, the experts did name the TLX “practical and efficient.”

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reviewers noted that the model “can suffer torque steer when you floor it.” However, the abundance of standard features, the projected reliability, and the ease of using the Acura TLX daily earned the model high marks from KBB experts.

Pros

  • Highly customizable with a variety of options to choose from
  • Affordably priced luxury
  • Typically high resale value

Cons

  • No turbo or hybrid powertrain options
  • New updates on last year’s model don’t give the current one much of an advantage

Final Thoughts

The 2019 Acura TLX straddles the line between luxury and sporty. The model gives higher-priced competitors a run for their engineers, even though it’s basically a re-badged Honda Accord.

If you’re in the market for an above-average sedan, check out what Acura has to offer.

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