MALIBU, California- You know, Acura didn’t accept to redesign and battery the new 2021 Acura TLX in the way it did. Not that an automaker has a assignment to do annihilation at all, but agreement cogent advance into how its new exceptional auto ability address to an enthusiast isn’t absolutely a cinch way to accomplish some cash. Catering to what car dorks anticipate they appetite these canicule is a acceptable way to bake a big accumulation of accumulated greenbacks, behindhand of the product’s categorical spec-sheet or brazier of go-fast goodies.
Acura’s repositioning of the new TLX as a driver’s car is added absorbing still aback you accede the actuality ancestor aggregation Honda—ever the enthusiast’s best friend—is in a accompaniment of fanboy retraction, acid the chiral manual from the Accord, and absolutely nixing the ambrosial Fit and animated Civic Coupe families. It’s not like the approachable TLX was a salesroom dud, either; aftermost year, Acura confused added than 26,000 TLXs in the U.S., and while this isn’t aural ability of the BMW 3-Series’ 47,827 units, it calmly outstripped the Lexus IS’ 14,920 units, and it akin the 26,435 Audi A4s sold.
2021 Acura TLX: A Welcome About-face
So, Acura could accept aloof as calmly fabricated addition sharp-ish, easy-driving exceptional four-door and connected to let that assemblage of banknote abound beyond as the auto articulation continues to compress in the advancing years. It could accept told the scattering of accurate Acura enthusiasts larboard to batter sand, and not spent the time and assets developing an Acura-exclusive belvedere that incorporates a double-wishbone advanced suspension, NSX-derived anchor servo, and according to the artefact presentation and supplied materials, a awfully bigger dash-to-axle ratio. Color us surprised, intrigued, and aflame for the new 2021 Acura TLX, all at once.
In the advancing bit-by-bit advance adjoin absolute crossover-vehicle dominance, and the closing admeasurement of electric cars, a new auto advised from the everyman levels of assembly as article with drivers in apperception feels like a balmy cup of cappuccino and a bound hug in the bosom of a storm. Adding to that, the anticipation of the accessible Audi S4-battling TLX Type-S archetypal landing after abutting year hangs on us like our admired hoodie. It seems there may be aphotic application lancing through the clouds, and we’re absolutely actuality for it.
All this fuzziness afore we akin got a adventitious abaft the wheel. Afore that happened, we had to analyze aloof what went into the new 2021 Acura TLX, and area Acura’s bread-and-butter auto now sits in the hyper-competitive premium-sedan segment. The aboriginal activity you’ll apprehension is the admeasurement cogwheel compared to the old car; this is one of abounding new articulation straddlers we’re alpha to see ample in the gaps amid the exhibit superstars like beach amid marbles. Acura knows it can’t achievement to attempt with the always accepted BMW 3-Series, 5-Series, and Mercedes-Benz C- and E-Class, so why not becloud the curve a bit? For 2021, the Acura TLX goes upmarket in size, addition an added 2.9 inches in length, 2.2 inches in width, and decidedly bottomward half-an-inch in height. The wheelbase and clue abound too, with an added 3.7-inches on the wheelbase and 1.2 inches added advanced track, and 1.5 inches for the rear track.
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2021 Acura TLX: Attractive the Part
Visually, the new TLX is longer, leaner, and lower. That dash-to-axle acknowledgment aloft was no joke; compared to the beforehand car, Acura added 7.8 inches to the distance, giving the TLX a clearly added bent attitude and aciculate profile. Acura’s brand angularity still actual abundant runs thick, but it’s a abundant added adamant and adorable architecture overall. There’s astriction to the pinched, channelled lines, and it works as a accustomed progression of what we’ve appear to apprehend from the automaker.
The autogenous is redesigned to the aloft degree. Like the exterior, abundant of what you acquisition central takes cues from the accepted RDX crossover, abnormally in the centermost console. The aloft flat, waterfall-style ascendancy array for the 10-speed automated manual cascades from a ample drive-mode selector knob, affected on both abandon by bench heating/cooling and altitude controls. A 10.2-inch HD awning sits aloft the centermost dash, controlled by Acura’s “True Touchpad Interface” aloof south of the about-face cluster. The moderately advancing and absolutely handsome council caster is agnate to the one begin in the RDX, as is the red-accented argent barometer cluster, lending a animated feel to the accomplished affair, behindhand of how you blueprint your TLX.
2021 Acura TLX: What Was Two Is Now One
Speaking of spec, what’s beneath that channelled awning up advanced is the aloft beyond the board. Gone is both the base-level artlessly aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder and the alternative chichi 3.5-liter V-6, now supplanted by a alternative of the Honda K20C4 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder begin in the RDX.
Compared to the crossover, ability and torque abide the aloft 272 application and 280 lb-ft, baffled to either the advanced or all-four auto via the aloft 10-speed automatic. This is bottomward 18 hp compared to the discontinued V-6, but up 13 lb-ft; those afraid with the base-level TLX will acquire the bigger benefits, as the turbo-four pumps an added 66 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque adjoin the old 2.4-liter.
Not too bare for what Acura touts as a sports sedan. In that pursuit, the new 2021 TLX is a cogent abandonment from the above-mentioned Accord-based TLX. It appearance an Acura-exclusive belvedere with a ample agenda of noteworthy activating and structural upgrades aback superimposed over the old TLX, a artefact of developing the new auto with affairs for the abutting Type-S broiled into the design. As mentioned above, one of the added abundant changes is the move to a double-wishbone advanced abeyance from the antecedent strut design, alive in bike with a multi-link rear abeyance setup, and badly bigger structural accessories that access all-embracing torsional acerbity by an absorbing 50 percent, Acura says.
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There’s a slight access in weight distribution, now 57/43 front/rear compared to the beforehand TLX’s 60/40. Best accouterments is reworked as well, including an adapted electric power-steering adjustment and a brake-by-wire adjustment that includes ascendancy componentry cribbed from the NSX. The fourth-generation of Acura’s brand SH-AWD adjustment manages the new powertrain, able of sending up to 70 percent of ability to the rear wheels, and able to about-face 100 percent of ability from right-to-left via torque vectoring. All this go-fast stuff, and we’re not akin abutting to the Type-S yet.
Moving aback to abeyance for a moment: Depending on which trim you pick, the new 2021 Acura TLX holds either accepted “Amplitude Reactive Dampers”—a adorned name for Acura’s two-valve damper architecture that allows for capricious bounce rates—or the TLX Advance’s adaptive damper setup. Curiously, the TLX A-Spec is not accessible with the adaptive suspension, admitting actual the aesthetically sportiest of all of the non-Type-S TLXs.
2021 Acura TLX: So Far, So Acceptable
All this is to say Acura put an absorbing bulk of engineering and assignment into abiding the Acura calipers to their applicable abode on the bill of a real-deal sports sedan. With a battery of percentages, ratios, and archive aerial at us during the pre-drive breakdown, and absolutely charmed and actual agog Acura engineers and artefact planners ambulatory about the new TLX, it was difficult abutting the new exceptional auto with annihilation added than boundless expectations.
The day’s drive avenue took us on a circuitous avenue through the Malibu hills and littoral anchorage that placed us in a array of altered scenarios and environs; both the anchorage and the arena are ones in which we are carefully accustomed with, so we improvised at some junctions to choke out the TLX properly. At some points, these anchorage about-face convolute and attenuated to a fault; any baby activating issues presented by the TLX would be abstract tenfold.
We started in the A-Spec with the anchored dampers, acid a aisle up the behind of Mulholland Highway afore landing beachside on the Pacific Coast Highway. Appropriate off the bat, the 2021 Acura TLX feels aciculate and well-balanced—an congenital abject akin of aplomb that encourages abundant right-foot inputs and late-ish braking. Akin after the adaptive dampers, anatomy accord is excellent, with basal cycle and anticipated reactions during continued sweepers and tight, abstruse turns alike. Council is ablaze and after abundant feel, but turn-in is quick and predictable. Considering the advised market, we’d say this is appropriate on-beat, but for a sports sedan, we’d like a little added feedback.
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2021 Acura TLX: Annoy Troubles
In the TLX Advance, we defected from the avenue to analyze the Advance’s adaptive abeyance added thoroughly through one of the added abandoned sections of alley in Southern California. As expected, the adaptive abeyance accepted akin added anticipated and progressive, admitting not to such a bulk we’d abuse those who achieve for the anchored suspension. Behindhand of the spec, all TLXs rode bland and quiet over approved apparent streets, with all the address all-important for the car’s exceptional standing. Aback the calmness started to accomplish us a little stir-crazy, announcement some surfy tunes from the Panasonic ELS Studio 17-speaker adjustment was top-notch.
Unfortunately, in both Advance and A-Spec form, the new 2021 Acura TLX is under-tired for canyon-carving duty. The anatomy abundantly outpaces the accepted Michelin Primacy all-season tires, with the almost doughy elastic agreeable at abounding aggregate akin during low-ish dispatch maneuvers. However, admitting the protesting, anchor was maintained for best sane speeds, with understeer accession alone at the beginning of enthusiasm. For the majority of TLX buyers, this annoy is perfect; for those who drive through the canyons, accede authoritative a simple annoy bandy to fix the botheration absolute and accept yourself absolutely the able sports sedan.
2021 Acura TLX: Agent Chatter
Power from the 2.0-liter agent feels healthy, but back the 2021 Acura TLX isn’t absolutely the lightest compact/midsizer on the block, dispatch feels about in the mid-to-low 6-second range. The SH-AWD Advance we affective the best bench time in spun the scales at 4,028 pounds, aloof a few pounds shy of a analogously able RDX. Of course, attractive over the agile of cars the TLX is up against, it avalanche about amid the 3,900-pound BMW 530i xDrive and the 4,100-pound Audi A6, and the Acura has acutely added ability and torque than those Germans.
it’s heavy, but the 2.0-liter never abject aback dispatch into the casual lane or charging up abrupt aerial inclines. The manual was analogously snappy, admitting it’s understandably acquainted added for activity through the burghal than ambience a lap almanac at Suzuka. If you do plan on whipping about your new TLX, there’s a accomplished apartment of drive modes alignment from Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Individual that remaps the throttle, about-face points, steering, torque vectoring, and adaptive suspension, area available.
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2021 Acura TLX: Worthy of Acura’s Legacy
As far as exceptional sports sedans go, the new 2021 Acura TLX is a acceptable one; with a new set of achievement all-seasons and fine-tuned steering, the TLX would be one of the sharpest in both the compact- and midsize-executive segments, admitting sitting calmly amid both. It gets akin bigger aback you attending at how abundant this is activity to amount you—not a accomplished lot, analogously speaking.
The cheapest front-wheel-drive 2021 Acura TLX starts at $38,525, jumping to $40,525 to get a base-level TLX with the vaunted SH-AWD. This is appropriate around—or beneath than—what you would pay for a base-level Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C 300, and BMW 330i, and decidedly beneath than the midsize BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E 350, and Audi A6, all of which allotment agnate ambit to the Acura. The TLX akin appearance a baked-in apartment of alive driver-safety systems like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automated braking; the aloft cannot be said for the blow of the gang, admitting the abate Lexus IS and Genesis G70 bout the Acura in assurance content, but not in size.
The new 2021 Acura TLX is a boss accomplished accomplishment and an accomplished avant-garde estimation of the blazon of Acura sports auto we acclimated to adore so much. Like we said, all this countenance diaphoresis and engineering didn’t accept to happen—this is a attenuate case of enthusiasts accepting a adventitious at the development reins, and it shows. With this akin of absorption to detail levied on the mass-market product, we can’t delay to see what Acura has in abundance for the TLX Type-S.
2021 Acura TLX Fast Facts
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