A Performance Luxury Sports Sedan That Offers Exceptional Value


Summary

  • The Acura TLX Type S is a visually appealing sports sedan that offers exceptional handling and performance at an affordable price point.
  • With its powerful 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine, the TLX Type S delivers an exhilarating driving experience with 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.
  • Compared to its German rivals, the TLX Type S offers a bigger overall vehicle with comparable luxury features at a better value, making it a strong contender in the luxury sports sedan segment.



Acura, Honda’s luxury division, is renowned for crafting exceptional vehicles that combine performance and opulence within a distinctively crafted package. While the Acura lineup boasts iconic models like the Acura Legend, Integra, and NSX, it’s essential not to overlook the equally impressive SUVs and sedans that the Japanese automaker offers, including the Acura TLX.

Having been in production since 2014, the TLX has entered its second generation, marked by substantial enhancements in design, safety features, and overall performance compared to its predecessor. Offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, the Acura TLX is one of the few sports sedans that offers exceptional value for money at a starting price of $45,000.

Furthermore, consumers have the choice of two available engines, including an inline-four turbocharged and a twin-scroll V-6 turbocharged engine, allowing them to tailor their driving experience to their preferences.


UPDATE: 2024/02/20 15:52 EST BY MOSES KAROMO

The compact sports sedan segment featured many exceptional but expensive models from the world’s leading automakers. The Acura TLX Type S stands out from the rest with its affordable entry price and many standard luxury offerings. This update looks at the impact of the Type S’s mid-cycle refresh and compares the model with one of its main competitors.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources like Car And Driver.


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Acura TLX Powertrain And Performance

2021-2024 Acura TLX
Acura

The Acura TLX comes in three distinct packages: Technology, A-Spec, and Type S. Acura whittled down the number of TLX trims to three as part of the nameplate’s mid-cycle refresh.


The Type S Is The Most Potent TLX Trim

The first two trims – Technology and A-Spec – come standard with Acura’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing a respectable 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The Technology package only comes with front-wheel drive. A step-up to the A-Spec and Type S trims unlocks Acura Super Handling AWD capabilities.

The V-6 turbocharged engine is exclusively available in the Type S, delivering an exhilarating driving experience. With an impressive output of 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, the TLX Type S trim packs a formidable punch beneath its hood, as demonstrated by its remarkable 3:06 lap time at Virginia International Raceway. Powered by a 3.0-liter 24-valve aluminum engine, it supplies ample power to the SH-AWD system and, thanks to a uniquely tuned chassis, enables corner entry rotation.


Acura TLX Type S Performance Specifications

Engine

Turbocharged 3.0 Liter V-6

Horsepower

355 Horsepower

Torque

354 Pound-Feet of Torque

Transmission

10-Speed Automatic

Driveline

AWD

0-60 MPH

4.6 seconds

Top Speed

156 MPH

Fuel Economy (cmb/city/hwy)

21/19/25 MPG

(Specs: Acura)

Revised Sport+ Drive Mode Improved The Type S’s Straight Line Performance

A 10-speed automatic transmission comes standard on all trims. The Type S is equipped with rev-matching for downshifts, an integrated driver mode selector, and four-piston Brembo brakes for improved braking power over other trims. Exclusive to the Type S is a Sport+ drive mode that Acura improved as part of the 2024 model year refresh and is a bargain that has the potential to steal sales from German rivals.


The outlet attributed this to the Type S’s revised Sport+ drive mode that sharpened throttle response. By improving the Type S’s tech, Acura improved the vehicle’s efficiency, boosting its speed without drawing more power from the engine. Through innovation and clever engineering, the automaker made what was a very fast sports sedan go even faster.

The Type S isn’t a one trick pony; it’s also equipped to handle twisty roads with finesse. Thanks to the Type S’s exclusive adaptive damper system, drivers can calibrate the suspension to improve handling. The Acura also features high-performance chassis bracing and an intelligent AWD system that can send as much as 70 percent of power to the rear axle and direct 100 percent of that grunt to the outer wheel to improve traction.

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Sporty Design Inside Out

The Acura TLX Type S stands out from the rest of the pack in the midsize sport sedan segment with its sharp angular styling that takes clear inspiration from the Acura NSX sports car. Acura tweaked the Type S’s exterior slightly for 2024.

The 2024 Type S Features A Unique Diamond Grille Mesh

The front features an elegant and athletic fascia thanks to the sharp LED headlights and an open surface diamond pentagon grille design with large side air intakes feeding the massive V-6 engine up front. At the bottom of the front is a sharp front splitter for added downforce that also ties in neatly with the front grille for a distinctive look.

The side profile of the TLX is relatively simple with no major contour lines running through it. The rear of the sedan is equally impressive, with LED taillights that complement the front end’s design language. It features a gloss black rear diffuser flanked by quad exhaust outlets and a gloss black decklid spoiler.


Lightweight Wheels And Summer Tires Are Expensive Options

Riding on 20-inch wheels, the Acura TLX Type S has a wide and aggressive stance, which gives it a commanding presence on the road and contributes to its handling prowess. Wrapped aroung the black 5-spoke tires are all-season P7 Pirellis. You can have the dealer install lighter rollers and summer tires, but it will cost you a pretty penny.

Lightweight wheels and performance summer rubber were an $800 option with the 2023 Type S. With the 2024 car, they are a $3,360 dealership option. You can also opt for the copper tires that came with the limited 2023 PMC Edition, which cost $2,228 at a dealership. The prices quoted above do not include installation costs. It’s a shame that the trick copper tires are that costly, given they exponentially improve the Type S’s aesthetics.

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The 2024 Acura TLX Type S Features An Improved Infotainment System

Inside the cabin, the TLX continues to impress with its attention to detail and premium materials. For 2024, Acura improved the infotainment system and added safety features.

The Type S Features Exclusive Heads Up Display

Rising from the center of the TLX Type S’s dash is an enlarged and enhanced 12.3 inch infotainment system display. It is 20 percent larger than the unit on the previous model. Acura claims that its new sytem features a faster processor, though its still controlled by a touchpad installed on the center console. Physical buttons on the dash and steering wheel control augment the digital system.

The Type S trim also features an exclusive 10.5 inch heads-up display that, together with the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, relays important info to the driver. Tech improvements on the Type S include enhanced safety features that supplement that many standard safety features carried forward from the 2023 model.


2024 Acura TLX Type S Safety Improvements

  • New front sensor camera with a wider field of view
  • A new front radar with a wider fienld of view
  • Improved rear radar warning range that enables Lane Change Alert
  • A new rear seatbelt reminder system

Front Passengers Seat On 16-Way Power Thrones

The performance trim features sports seats with 16-way adjustment covered in perforated Milano premium leather and ultra-suede material with contrasting stitching. Front passengers have ample legroom and headroom, a luxury rear passengers can only dream of, as the TLX’s architecture limits rear headroom and legroom. It’s rather confounding that the subcompact Acura Integra has more rear legroom than the compact TLX type S.

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How The TLX Compares To The BMW M340i xDrive

2023 BMW M340i xDrive
Chris Okula


The Acura TLX Type S is tailor-made to compete with the likes of the BMW M330i/340i, Audi A4, and Cadillac CT4-V. Compared to a compatibly optioned BMW M340i xDrive the Acura TLX proves to offer strong value.

The Type S Is Slower Than The BMW But It Offers Higher Value For Money

For starters, the BMW M340i xDrive starts at $59,600 to the TLX Type S Performance price of $57,000. The TLX makes a strong argument for its case against the German rival as buyers get a bigger overall vehicle, with comparable luxury features at a better price.

Where the Acura falls short is in the engine performance, where the M340i xDrive takes the cake with an output of 382 horsepower and 369 pound feet of torque from an inline-six engine. The M340i engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission whereas the Acura TLX runs a 10-speed gearbox.


Performance Comparison

Model

Acura TLX Type S

BMW M340i xDrive

Starting MSRP

$57,000

$59,600

Engine

Turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6

Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six

Horsepower

355 horsepower

382 horsepower

Torque

354 pound-feet

369 pound-feet

Transmission

Ten-speed automatic

Eight-speed automatic

Driveline

AWD

AWD

0-60 MPH

4.6 seconds

4.5 seconds

Top Speed

156 MPH

156 MPH

Fuel Economy (cmb/city/hwy)

21/19/25 MPG

26/23/31 MPG

(Specs: Acura, BMW)

BMW also gets the better of the Acura in fuel efficiency, with the BMW M340i achieving a combined fuel economy of 26 MPG, which is significantly better than the TLX’s 21 MPG combined rating. It’s important to note that these two vehicles are not track monsters and instead are glorified pavement carvers with impressive performance at decent prices. With this perspective in mind, the Acura TLX comes out as the better value.


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Summing Up The Acura TLX

2024 Acura TLX Type S
Acura

The Acura TLX Type S is an attractively designed sports sedan that can provide a sporty drive and exceptional handling from its all-wheel-drive system, a fine-tuned suspension setup, and Honda-backed reliability. Its German counterparts are priced higher than the TLX Type S and are arguably less interesting in terms of design language.

In summary, the Acura TLX Type S is a blend of sophistication and sportiness courtesy of its powerful 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine, making it a standout choice in the luxury sedan segment for those seeking a visually appealing and performance-oriented vehicle at an exceptional price point.



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