The 2015 Acura TLX is a full featured luxury sedan with two distinct driving styles defined by the engine, drivetrain and transmission combination. Since the Acura TLX replaces the TSX and the TL, the dual personality bridges the gap between the sportier TSX and the luxury sedan type TL.
ENGINE & DRIVE
The two choices of engine make the 2015 Acura TLX a completely different car when it comes to the driving experience. Choose between the entry level 2.4L four cylinder engine outputting 206hp paired with an 8 speed dual clutch automatic transmission and rear wheel drive or upgrade to the 3.5L six cylinder engine churning out 290hp paired to a 9 speed automatic transmission and Acura’s renowned Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.
Both transmissions are feats of engineering and both offer very different driving experiences. The 8 speed dual clutch transmission offers closely spaced gear ratios for more frequent gear changes, super fast gear changes for responsive driving and rev-matching downshifts for quicker and smoother acceleration bursts. All in all, a responsive yet smooth and seamless driving experience. The 9 speed automatic paired to the six cylinder engine, although class-exclusive is quite a different experience yielding choppier gear changes and a longer delay with downshifted accelerations.
Acura also outfits the base TLX models with its All Wheel Steer system which independently angles rear wheels for more precise handling, better manoeuvrability and enhanced stability. Upgraded TLX models benefit from the SH-AWD system which goes one step further and directs power to wheels with traction to ensure the best possible traction in slippery conditions and a more exhilarating sporty handling.
The 2015 Acura TLX offers its drivers four different driving modes through its Integrated Dynamic System (IDS). Choose from Eco, Normal, Sport or Sport+ for customized adjustments to power steering, throttle response, transmission shifting and All Wheel Steer or SH-AWD systems. My personal favorite is the Sport+ mode which keeps the engine revving around 3,000 RPM for responsive and peppy accelerations.
Fuel economies are impressive for the four cylinder TLX coming in at 9.6 L/100km in the city and 6.6 L/100km on the highway. As expected the six cylinder TLX reports a slightly higher 11.2 L/100km consumption in the city and 7.5 L/100km on the highway. We took a 2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD Elite for a 300km combined city and highway test drive and recorded a 13.2 L/100km fuel consumption. It should be noted that our driving was quite spirited and a portion of that driving was using the Sport+ mode!
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
The 2015 Acura TLX sports an athletic exterior appearance using a wide stance and the right amount of accent lines and curves. The new chromed out grille and Jewel Eye LED headlights add a modern look to the front end, while the hidden exhaust and wide rear haunches keep things classy in the back.
Remote entry is taken one step further allowing a more personalized key fob experience. Each key fob is linked to a driver’s seat memory and mirror preferences as well as climate control preferences for preheating or cooling with the remote engine starter.
The 2015 Acura TLX has a superbly quiet cabin with many systems in place to ensure a serene interior environment. Engine and mechanical noise are reduced through actively controlled engine mounts and Acura’s Active Sound Control feature which emits opposite frequencies to cancel out even the faintest rumble. Wind and road noise are minimized with triple sealed doors and sealing expanding foam.
The interior dash and center console have been mostly digitized to keep things looking clean and minimalist. The electronic gear selection minimizes clutter to the center console but unfortunately doesn’t add much usable space in its place. Although keeping things digital helps to clean up the look of the dash, I still prefer buttons and dials for certain things like the climate control.
The 2015 Acura TLX has a lot of technology built into its driver assistance systems but overall I felt they were a bit too touchy resulting in too many false alarms and warning beeps.
The price ranges from an entry level TLX at $34,990 to the fully equipped TLX SH-AWD Elite at $47,490, while the driving experience also varies between the four and six cylinder engine configurations. Buyers really need to test drive both configurations to make an informed decision. With a ton of built in technology, a whisper quiet interior and a quality build with a nice selection of materials, buyers can rest assured that they will get great value for their money no matter their choice!