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2018 Acura TLX Review

The 2018 Acura TLX finishes in the bottom third of our luxury midsize car rankings. Though the TLX has a great safety score, a roomy interior, and a comfortable ride, many rivals are more luxurious and earn better predicted reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, spacious interior
  • Comfortable ride and handling
  • Many standard safety features
  • Complicated infotainment system
  • Underwhelming four-cylinder engine
  • Poor predicted reliability rating

New for 2018

  • Refreshed exterior styling
  • AcuraWatch safety features became standard
  • Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto added as standard equipment
  • A-Spec trim




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 7.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.1
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Acura TLX Overview

Is the 2018 Acura TLX a Good Used Car?

The 2018 Acura TLX is an OK used luxury midsize car. Unfortunately, the positives outweigh the negatives for the TLX, resulting in its low ranking in this a competitive class.

The 2018 TLX has many highlights:

  • Spacious interior with five seats
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Fuel-efficient four- and six-cylinder engines
  • Great safety scores
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Low asking prices for used models

It also has several drawbacks:

  • Cabin materials aren’t very luxurious
  • Distracting dual-screen infotainment system
  • Engine performance and handling can't match rivals
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

Give rivals like the 2018 Lexus GS and 2018 BMW 5 Series a look if you want a luxury sedan with a ritzier interior and brawnier engines. Both models also have better predicted reliability ratings.

Compare the TLX, GS, and 5 Series »

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 44 Acura TLX reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Acura TLX?

Based on listings for the 2018 Acura TLX on our site, the average list price is $30,800. Prices range from $24,000 to $36,900 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Acura TLX Cost to Own?

The TLX’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $30,000, or $6,000 per year. That’s higher than average for a luxury midsize car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New TLX?

The 2019 Acura TLX starts at $33,000, but it can rise to $45,000 in its top trim levels. You could save thousands of dollars by purchasing a nearly identical 2018 TLX instead. The 2019 TLX saw only minor updates, including the A-Spec trim becoming available with a four-cylinder engine. It was previously available only with the V6.

Read about the new Acura TLX »

You can save even more money by shopping for a used 2015, 2016, or 2017 TLX.

These sedans are part of the same generation, and they have the same four-cylinder and V6 engine lineup. However, these models have different exterior styling, and they aren’t available with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

They also have different standard safety features. Acura equips all 2018-and-newer TLX sedans with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. These AcuraWatch safety features were previously optional from 2015 to 2017.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 TLX »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Acura TLX?

The TLX has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about TLX reliability »

2018 Acura TLX Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall for the 2018 Acura TLX:

  • The fuel pump may cause the engine to stall (V6 only)

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Acura TLX safety recalls »

Which Used Acura TLX Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Acura TLX is available in three trim levels: base, V6, and V6 A-Spec. The base model TLX has lots of standard tech and safety features, but it has uninspiring engine performance. For more power, consider upgrading to one of the V6 models.

  • Acura TLX: The entry-level TLX sedan has a 206-horsepower four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. Standard features include 7-and 8-inch infotainment screens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, seven speakers, a rearview camera, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, heated side mirrors, a moonroof, LED headlights, automatic high-beam headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The AcuraWatch safety suite is also standard. It includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.
  • Acura TLX V6: The midrange TLX V6 trim comes equipped with a 290-horsepower V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and 18-inch wheels. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available.
  • Acura TLX V6 A-Spec: The uplevel A-Spec trim has the V6 powertrain and adds a navigation system, HD Radio, a 10-speaker stereo, a wireless charging pad, remote start, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 19-inch wheels.

Many of the A-Spec features are optional in the base and V6 trim levels, as part of the Technology and Advance packages. Other available features include heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a surround-view parking camera.

See 2018 Acura TLX trims and specs »

What Does Acura's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Acura offers a certified pre-owned program for cars six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles get a limited warranty that is good for up to two years or 100,000 miles after the four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty has expired. Acura covers the powertrain for seven years or 100,000 miles. These CPO models must pass a 182-point inspection. Additional benefits are available, including roadside assistance and the first scheduled maintenance, so read Acura’s warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Acura’s CPO program is about average, according to our research. You’ll find better programs from Lexus, Tesla, and Infiniti.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the TLX?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 TLX an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The TLX received five stars in the rollover, side crash, and frontal crash tests as well.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the TLX a top rating of Good in four test areas: head restraints and seats, roof strength, side impact safety, and moderate overlap front crash safety. The TLX received the highest rating of Superior for its front crash prevention system. It earned the second-best rating of Acceptable in the driver-side small overlap front test and for the effectiveness of its headlights to illuminate the road ahead.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • automatic high-beam headlights

Available advanced safety features:

  • front and rear parking sensors
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • 360-degree parking camera

See TLX safety scores »

2018 Acura TLX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Acura TLX or 2018 Lexus ES?

The 2018 Lexus ES rates highly for predicted reliability, and it boasts a refined V6 engine and a smooth transmission. The Lexus also offers great cabin materials, a supple ride quality, and excellent fuel economy in its ES Hybrid configuration. It’s not a particularly sporty sedan, nor is it available with all-wheel drive like the TLX, but overall, the ES is a better option for most shoppers.

Which Is Better: 2018 Acura TLX or 2018 Audi A6?

The 2018 Audi A6 is another popular option. The A6 feels more athletic and fun to drive than the TLX, and it serves up punchier acceleration, courtesy of its turbocharged and supercharged engine options. The A6’s interior looks and feels more luxurious as well, and it’s highlighted with an easier-to-use infotainment system. Used A6 models are often priced higher than the comparable TLX. Then again, the A6 is a better luxury midsize car.

Compare the TLX, ES, and A6 »

2018 TLX Performance

How Does the 2018 Acura TLX Drive?

The Acura TLX has a pleasing ride. The sedan remains stable around turns, its suspension soaks up bumps and dips in the road comfortably, and its brakes offer fine stopping power. Acura enhances the TLX’s handling with two high-tech systems. Front-wheel-drive TLX models have all-wheel steering (P-AWS), which adjusts the angle of the rear wheels to provide better maneuverability. All-wheel-drive TLX models employ a technique known as torque vectoring to achieve this, which sends more power to the car’s outside wheels when turning.

Even with these features, the TLX’s driving experience doesn’t live up to its sport sedan image. The standard four-cylinder engine yields adequate acceleration around town but lacks confident passing power at higher speeds. The available V6 is peppier, though it’s tied to a nine-speed automatic transmission that has a tendency to upshift and downshift too often.

  • Base engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 206 horsepower
  • Available engine: 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmissions: standard eight-speed dual-clutch automatic (four-cylinder only); available nine-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Acura TLX Get Good Gas Mileage?

The TLX gets good fuel economy for a luxury midsize car.

  • Four-cylinder, FWD: 23/33 mpg city/highway
  • V6, FWD: 20/32 mpg
  • V6, AWD: 21/30 mpg
  • A-Spec V6, FWD: 20/30 mpg
  • A-Spec V6, AWD: 20/29 mpg

Read more about TLX performance »

2018 TLX Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 TLX Seat?

The Acura TLX is a four-door sedan with five seats. The front seats are comfortable and provide nice hip-hugging support. There’s ample head- and legroom up front, even for taller occupants. The rear seat cushions are similarly cozy, but rear headroom is a bit tight for adults.

The TLX's cabin is quiet and provides good outward visibility. On the other hand, its interior materials don’t look or feel particularly luxurious. They are even outshined by what you’ll find in the 2018 Honda Accord (Honda is the parent company of Acura).

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • heated and power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather upholstery
  • ventilated front seats
  • heated rear seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Acura TLX?

The TLX has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system its second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use because some of the anchors are set deeply in the seat cushions, and too much force is required to attach the straps to the anchors.

2018 Acura TLX Features

The TLX is outfitted with a dual-screen infotainment system. This includes a 7-inch touch screen on the lower portion of the dashboard, plus an 8-inch display on the upper portion, which is controlled using a knob and a few buttons. The lower touch screen responds quickly to inputs, and its menus are straightforward. But as a whole, the dual-screen layout feels very busy and distracting to use.

The TLX comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but these systems are only accessible on the upper display – not the touch screen – and they are controlled using the rotary knob. This detracts from the user-friendly interface of those apps.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, an 8-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, and seven speakers
  • Available infotainment features: a navigation system, HD Radio, a 10-speaker stereo, and a wireless charging pad
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, and a moonroof
  • Other available features: remote start

See 2018 Acura TLX specs »

Read more about TLX interior »

2018 Acura TLX Dimensions

Acura TLX Cargo Space

The TLX sedan has 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about average for a luxury midsize car and on par with the 2018 Audi A6. Rivals like the 2018 BMW 5 Series and 2018 Lexus GS offer more space.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Acura TLX Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet
  • Curb weight: 3,505 to 3,838 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Acura TLX Built?

Acura built the 2018 TLX in Ohio.

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Audi A6 2018 2018 Audi A6

#4 in 2018 Luxury Midsize Cars

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