- New Car Test Drive
With either engine, the TLX rides and handles better than average. Yet, the difference between the two is quite dramatic.
We found the four-cylinder model with front-wheel drive has crisper, sharper responses. Not only is the engine eager to rev, but the brilliantly refined 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is a gem. Its torque converter eliminates jerky shifts, so it feels like a conventional automatic.
The 3.5-liter V6 is bogged down by its transmission, a regular 9-speed automatic. Indecisive and hesitant, its shifts are sluggish and jerky. Downshifts, in particular, are lackluster. When shifting from Reverse to Drive, you can wait an agonizingly long time for anything to happen.
Partly because it weighs about 500 pounds less, the four-cylinder base model feels lighter overall. Superior suspension tuning complements taut, precise steering. A base TLX stays nicely composed over lumpy surfaces. Nimble low-speed behavior and on-highway stability are helped by Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer system, which is standard with the 2.4-liter model.
Wind and road sounds barely exist. You can expect a serene experience, which allows passengers to converse without shouting.
Fuel-efficiency is good on the highway, but not so thrifty in the city. The four-cylinder TLX is EPA-rated at 24/35 mpg City/Highway, or 28 mpg Combined. The front-drive V6 model is EPA-rated at 21/34 mpg City/Highway, or 25 mpg Combined. SH-AWD sinks the highway figure to 31 mpg.