$18,124 - $23,328

2015 Acura TLX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Acura TLX was new.


Performance: 8.3

Test drivers say the base engine in the all-new 2015 Acura TLX provides strong acceleration, and its eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission provides gear changes that are exceptionally smooth and quick. A few critics think the TLX is less engaging than some of its rivals, but most are pleased with its balance of agile handling and a comfortable ride.

  • "If you enjoy being behind the wheel and if most of your driving does not involve spirited apex-bashing on challenging roads, this car will meet your needs." -- AutoWeek
  • "The 2015 Acura TLX does a nice job blending sport sedan prowess with everyday usability and comfort." -- Edmunds
  • "The 4-cylinder feels lighter and more nimble, with crisp turn-in thanks to the 4-wheel steering system. Previous TSX owners will more closely identify with the spirited nature of this model. The V6, thanks to its abundant power and active noise cancellation, is quieter and feels more substantial, with a driving experience closer to the previous TL." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We had a chance to drive all three flavors of TLX ranging from the 2.4- and 3.5-liter versions both equipped with P-AWS as well as the 3.5-liter with SH-AWD, and found each to be a worthy competitor to their targeted competition, including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS, Audi A4, and BMW 3-series." -- Left Lane News
  • "Not only is the base TLX 2.4L the lightest of the group, weighing in at roughly 100 pounds less than the V-6 and around 300 pounds less than the V-6 AWD with Tech Package, it's also the most fun to drive." -- Motor Trend

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Acura TLX comes standard with a 206-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine is available, which comes with a nine-speed automatic. According to the EPA, the base TLX gets 24/35 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. The front-wheel drive V6 model gets 21/34 mpg city/highway, which is better than many competing six-cylinder cars’ estimates. The TLX’s standard Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) adjusts throttle response, transmission shift points and power steering assistance for Normal, Economy, Sport and Sport+ driving modes.

Reviewers agree that the four-cylinder TLX’s quick acceleration will please most car buyers, and that its eight-speed transmission shifts with astounding speed and is quite smooth. The V6-powered TLX also earns praise for its quick acceleration and fluid gear changes.

  • "Sampling all three flavors of TLX, we found the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder mill offered brisk acceleration that will satisfy the bulk of shoppers considering the sedan. The eight-speed DCT transmission provided flawless shifting during our time in the car, and we were jazzed to find a double-step down paddle shift operation while hoofing it in Sport+ mode." -- Left Lane News
  • "The 8-speed dual clutch transmission, which has steering wheel-mounted paddles in addition to the conventional console mounted shift lever, is smooth, refined and quick in changing gears, further adding to the sporting flair of the 2.4-liter package, which has plenty of power for a car this size." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The eight-speed, in particular, proves that Honda engineers haven't lost their creativity. Unlike other dual-clutch automatics, Honda's transmission incorporates a torque converter to smooth out the launches. Once moving, it provides the blistering quick shifts that perfectly complement the quick-revving four-cylinder." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "TLX V6 models leap off the line with eagerness, the shifts are buttery smooth and both seems perfect content holding gears for more than a few moments, which is the polished performance customers in this segment expect." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Acura TLX comes standard with front-wheel drive and Acura’s P-AWS all-wheel steering system. V6 models are available with all-wheel drive, which cannot be paired with P-AWS. While a few reviewers say that competitors from Audi and BMW are more engaging to drive, most critics say that the TLX has unexpectedly composed handling, and that P-AWS subtly, but effectively, sharpens cornering responses. Many feel that the four-cylinder TLX is the most nimble because of its lighter weight. Critics are also impressed with the TLX’s comfortable ride. Test drivers think the TLX’s brakes could be stronger.

  • "Even the front-wheel-drive V-6 model has surprisingly neutral handling, despite its miserable 61/39 percent weight distribution." -- Automobile Magazine
  • The BMW or Audi competitors deliver a greater sense of driver control than the Acura and the Lexus IS. The TLX gave the feeling that the car was going to take care of all that control stuff at the limit for you and just don't you worry about it, pal." -- AutoWeek
  • "After a few hours of trying to expose a weakness in the ride, I gave up and simply enjoyed the serenity - the TLX will make its owners look forward to the daily commute, whether three miles or three hours." -- Autoblog
  • "In practice, the [P-AWS] system is virtually invisible to the driver, though in brisk back-roads driving, the Acura does feel plenty willing, with positive turn-in and not much body roll." -- Motor Trend
  • "The 4-cylinder model feels nimble, much like the previous TSX, thanks to its slightly lighter nose and the assist from the rear-steering system." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acura says it has improved the car's stopping ability, but we found the pedal to be a bit spongy and overall the braking power didn't impress us." -- Edmunds

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