$22,330 - $29,978

2017 Acura TLX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Acura TLX was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

According to reviewers, the 2017 Acura TLX offers decent overall performance. They think the standard four-cylinder engine is somewhat competent, but the optional V6 is much more formidable. The TLX has stable handling, and available all-wheel drive performs well on most surfaces.

  • “Accelerates sluggishly compared to others in the class; doesn't stop as quickly either; real-world fuel economy not as impressive as advertised." -- Edmunds
  • “The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder has 206 horsepower, an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic and is available only with front-drive. The combination delivers quick performance and, with its ingenious 4-wheel steering (called P-AWS, for Precision All-Wheel Steer), has a light, nimble handling feel with crisp turn-in to corners." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "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 (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The TLX comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that produces 206 horsepower. An optional 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission puts out 290 horsepower. A number of different driving modes are selectable that alter throttle response, transmission shift points, power steering assistance, and fuel economy: Normal, Econ, Sport, and Sport+. According to the EPA, the four-cylinder TLX gets fuel economy ratings of 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, which are somewhat numbers good for the class. The V6 engine returns 21 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway with front-wheel drive and 21/31 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive.

The standard four-cylinder engine should be adequate for most drivers and everyday situations, though many competitors’ four-cylinders are turbocharged and more powerful. The optional V6 engine provides more power for highway passing and moves the TLX more confidently.

  • The smaller four-cylinder is good for 206 horsepower. That's enough for typical driving. But for aggressive highway and the like, you might prefer the more authoritative power of many turbocharged competitors. The larger, smooth-revving V6 is more performance-oriented and is a better match for the TLX's character. This is our pick." -- Edmunds
  • "The V6 model is noticeably stronger and quieter and delivers a driving experience that feels somewhat more upscale." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "On the road, even the 2.4 provides adequate acceleration for the class. Furthermore, unlike in some competitors' turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, there's no turbo lag or surging when nailing the gas from a stop; instead, the car moves off with a decent jump and a linear increase in acceleration." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

Handling and Braking

The TLX has an overall composed ride on short trips or on the highway. It is also somewhat sporty, with little body roll and nimble, precise steering. The recommended all-wheel drive system not only provides obvious benefits on slippery pavement, but improves handling on dry roads as well.

  • "Around town and on the highway, you'll enjoy the 2017 TLX's comfortable and discernibly refined ride." -- Edmunds
  • "A top-line Acura TLX V6 model equipped with SH-AWD is the best of both worlds: the safety of all-wheel-drive traction on slippery roads and tremendous handling, featuring sharp turn-in when pushed to the limits on dry pavement." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "It's clear from behind the wheel that engineers tried to make the TLX a sporty sedan. The ride is on the firmer side for the premium sedan segment, and Acura's extensive work to increase torsional rigidity has paid off -- the TLX feels very taut, and body movement is well-controlled. The direct steering also contributes to the TLX's nimble, eager feel, and the car [generally] feels pretty neutral in the corners." -- Motor Trend (2015)

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