2022 Acura TLX

By May 26, 2022

The Acura TLX is a mid-size sedan with the right priorities: handling, ride, styling, economy and power.

Power comes from one of two turbocharged engines, a 2.0-liter inline-4 or a 3.0-liter V-6. The standard turbo-4 makes a strong 272 horsepower, mated to a 10-speed automatic, with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The V-6 in the Type S makes a wonderful 355 horsepower, with all-wheel drive.

The exterior lines are sharp, and the cabin is stylish. The handling is great, slightly sporty even in the base model, more so with the optional sport seats. The ride is smooth, more so with available active dampers.

The gas mileage is good, especially for the horsepower, with an EPA rating of 22 mpg city, 31 highway, 25 combined for the front-drive turbo-4, only dropping about 1 mpg with all-wheel drive. The Type S gets 19/25/21 mpg, but the V-6 is worth it.

With five stars from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS, the safety can’t be beat. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights. Blind-spot monitors and parking sensors are optional.

Model Lineup

Made in Ohio, the TLX comes well equipped for $39,000, including synthetic leather upholstery and Apple CarPlay with Android Auto, even a sunroof. All-wheel drive adds $2,000.

Rather than having a lot of models, the upgrades come as option packages. The Technology package for $4,000 adds real leather, 19-inch wheels, a better sound system, parking sensors, and navigation. The Advance package for another couple thousand adds an adjustable suspension, heated steering wheel and rear seats, 16-way-adjustable front sports seats, and a surround-view camera system.

A 4-year/50,000-mile warranty adds to the value.

If you want more, there’s the Type S with 355 horsepower, for $54,000.

Exterior

The crisp angles make the TLX look low, while being balanced. It’s clean and crisp, without gratuitous swoops or scallops. Thin pillars and low window sills not only make the TLX look lighter, they improve rearward vision.

The Type S also avoids extremes, although quad exhaust tips and a rear spoiler make its statement.

Interior

The cabin is a pleasant place with the feel of luxury thanks to the synthetic leather that feels real, and excellent attention to detail. It’s not the most spacious mid-size sedan, but it’s roomy enough.

The infotainment screen sits up high, with controls that are well organized below it. However the touchpad and knob for the drive modes eat up space on the console, and the touchpad interface is distracting to operate.

The A-Spec and Type S versions have sportier trim and leather upholstery with tighter bolsters that aren’t needed for comfort, as the standard seats are fine. In the rear, there’s good leg room, with long seat cushions to support the thighs.

The trunk is smaller than rivals, at 13.5 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The acceleration is strong in the the 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 272 horsepower, and better-than-strong in the 3.0-liter turbo V-6 making 355 horsepower. Zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds is awesome for a small 4-cylinder engine, and 4.5 seconds feels spectacular and thrilling in the V-6, especially as it’s accompanied by a sweet, muffled roar. Both engines are mated to a snappy 10-speed automatic.

With its rigid structure, the ride is compliant. The optional adaptive dampers make a noticeable difference, and might be worth the money for buyers who have to deal with rough roads.

That stiff chassis also enables handling that’s responsive and precise; the steering is quick. The TLX can run winding roads with the best of mid-size sedans. It sometimes feels a bit nose-heavy, even with all-wheel drive, but it settles down. It doesn’t feel its weight, of 4,200 pounds.

The braking is good in the base TLX, while the Type S grabs much more quickly. That’s part of the balanced high performance that makes it feel like a sport sedan.

Final Word

Sized, outfitted, and powered like a mid-size luxury sedan but priced like a smaller one, the 2022 Acura TLX is a must-add to any shopping list. The TLX is at its best in Technology package form, though the Type S is an impressive performer.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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