2018 Acura TLX

The 2018 Acura TLX is a luxury mid-size sedan that deserves more respect.  It’s a fun to drive, stylish four door that used to command a greater share of the market when it was called the TL. But, Acura designers went more than a little radical with the exterior design and loyal customers fled the brand.  Now, the TL is back as the TLX, and luxury car shoppers looking for an entry level car need to put this sedan on their shopping list.

Honda introduced its luxury Acura brand in the mid-eighties around the same time that Toyota brought out their luxury brand, Lexus.  Although both car makers initially did well with their competing upscale sedans, the Acura brand lost is way a bit about 15 years ago as Lexus grew to become a top selling luxury car maker.  The TL, in particular,  was a solid performance sedan with a conservative exterior design. Thankfully, Acura designers came to their senses and brought out the new TLX with an attractive shell that’s sure to help bring back some TL buyers.

The latest Acura TLX, with a starting MSRP of $33,000, is offered with two powertrains.  The base engine is a 206 hp, 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder that mated with an eight-speed dual clutch transmission delivering EPA estimated fuel economy numbers of 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.  The much more fun engine is the optional 290 hp, 3.5 liter V6 that’s matched to a nine-speed transmission getting the driver 20 mpg city and 32 mpg city.  One of the features that sets the TLX apart from the competition is Acura’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system that gives drivers more control and better feel of the road.

The new TLX exterior is a departure from the last model and shares design cues with the new Acura MDX SUV with a diamond pentagon grille, sculpted hood and front fenders.  It’s an aggressive look that’s distinctive and athletic.  The interior features a dual-screen navigation/information system that allows you to keep the nav system up while managing the audio.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

Acura really came to the table with a mid-size sedan that will get your attention when you see it and when you drive it.  Give it another chance, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.