2015 Acura TLX

Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 auto trans

2015 acura tlx Reviews and News

Acura TLX GT Race Car Front Three Quarters
Automakers never invite ink-stained wretches like me to drive race cars without a good reason. Nevertheless, for the folks at Honda’s upmarket Acura division, the reason seemed like little more than an excuse to have fun.
As you’ll see from the accompanying video, Acura asked only that each car magazine or online outlet invited send their more experienced staffers, and that some of that experience should include track time in real race cars. We were asked to bring our helmet, fireproof suit, shoes, and gloves, though all but the shoes and gloves would be supplied for those of us without such accoutrements.
Acura TLX GT Race Car Rear Three Quarter 03
I have the gloves and the shoes (though I’m not sure the Pilotis, which I got as a gift from Chrysler when I attended the first drive of the Dodge Challenger fully met the spec). My race-car experience has heretofore been limited to 50-mph camera passes in a 1966 Ford GT Le Mans race car for a cover feature in Motor Trend Classic and laps at a short road course at Honda’s Twin Motegi racetrack in a Honda Side by Side open-wheel, motorcycle-powered racecar. Oh, and I used to compete in the Visteon and Panasonic Leagues at the Kart2Kart indoor track in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Acura TLX GT Race Car Front End Static
I borrow a suit from Ryan Eversley, who drives the number 43 RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT for team owner Peter Cunningham, who drives the number 42 car.
Eversley won a Pirelli World Challenge race from pole earlier this year at St. Petersburg, Florida. He’s fifth in the point standings, and the first four leading him will give you an idea of the challenges of campaigning an all-wheel-drive car against mostly rear-wheel-drive ones: 1.) Olivier Beretta in a Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia; 2.) Kevin Estre in a McLaren 650S GT3; 3.) Johnny O’Connell in a Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3, and 4.) Ryan Dalziel in a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The TLX GT benefits from an Acura-developed aero kit, has a race-oriented all-wheel-drive system and six-speed sequential racing gearbox, and a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 that retains the stock cylinder head and block, direct-injection, crankshaft, and throttle body, and adds racing connecting rods, pistons, camshafts, and dry sump lubrication. Loathe as I am to break any stock components on a street car while doing laps at GingerMan, I’d really hate to throw one of those expensive racing rods. Fortunately, the sequential manual won’t allow overrevs.
But first, Acura wants to show off its new TLX with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. The notion behind this is that Acura, which is having some decent sales success with its RDX and MDX crossovers, would like to sell more of its passenger sedans as lower-priced BMW alternatives. This brand figures that race on Sunday, sell on Monday works.
To wit: The TLX’s optional SH-AWD now uses the brakes to extend torque-vectoring in order to get you around the track with pretty neutral handling. The torque-vectoring is, in fact, designed to “push” you out of tight corners like the ones at the 1.88-mile GingerMan Raceway in Western Michigan, public relations emphasizes.
Mostly, I figure, laps first in a street Acura TLX (with racing brake pads, special tires, and accessory underbody spoilers) are designed to slow down an anxious group of race-driver wannabees, and so before I don my borrowed helmet and suit, I figure I’ll eat up most of my allotted time in the same kind of car you can buy at your local dealer and maybe ease into the race car later in the day and minimize my exposure.
Acura TLX GT Race Car Side In Motion 02
It doesn’t happen. Acura’s pit marshals wave me in after just three laps, including in and out laps, in order to open up GingerMan for the race cars. From my very limited time in the street car, I can say, yes, the new SH-AWD system does push you out of the corners nicely.
Acura TLX GT Race Car Front Three Quarters
And so, I spend the rest of the day getting in and out of the RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT racecar. Well, twice. There’s some waiting for one of the two cars, and just strapping in and out of the seat takes up a majority of the allotted time. Suffice it to say, none of us did anything in the morning session to make Peter Cunningham rescind his offer of an afternoon session, and after that was done, Saukville, Wisconsin’s RealTime still had two working cars ready for the next race at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin’s Road America.
2015 Acura TLX 35 Front Three Quarters In Motion 02
Middleburg, Virginia -- We're tearing up a ribbon of Virginia road in a 2015 Acura TLX, its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine zinging rapidly through the gears of an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Even as we enjoy this new Acura, we can't help but be distracted by all the old Acuras along our route. Integras, Legends, and RSXs. They're everywhere.
A brand spokesperson later admits this is no coincidence—we're near the largest Acura dealer in the country. Nevertheless, it drives home the fact that Acura was, at some point, a very popular brand. Emphasis on "was." Last year Acura sold fewer than 45,000 sedans; BMW sold about 120,000 3 and 4 Series in the same period. If it weren't for the success of its crossovers, the MDX and RDX, we might be discussing the end of the brand.
Instead, we're talking about a new beginning. The 2015 Acura TLX replaces both the TL and the TSX, which tripped over each other in the showroom. The TLX basically covers their territory in terms of pricing and powertrains. A 206-hp four-cylinder, a higher-compression version of the direct-injected engine we know and like from the Honda Accord, is standard. A 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6, also direct injected, is optional and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. The dimensions for the TLX, naturally, fall between the two old models, but there's strangely less interior room than in even the TSX.

From Battlestar Galactica to Leave It to Beaver

Although the model overlap certainly didn't help sales, something else hurt more. When we ask TLX project leader Mat Hargett why sales for the TL dropped off so precariously in the last generation, he answers with one word: "Styling." Acura introduced a robotic new design language with the 2009 TL. Gutsy move, but not a particularly smart one, as sedan buyers in this price range are a notoriously conservative bunch. Even Chris Bangle, at his flame-surfacing zenith, dared not fuss with the lines of the BMW 3 Series. Not only did the edgy design fail to attract a new audience, as Acura had hoped, but it also turned off brand loyalists, who either bought something else or held onto their old TLs.
The TLX, therefore, doesn't mess around with avant-garde. Sure, the designers talk about gaining inspiration from horses and "red carpet athletes," but the sheetmetal is as clean cut and conservative as Ward Cleaver. The nicely shaped, jeweled headlamps and toned-down grille suggest Acura is learning how to establish brand identity without clubbing people over the head. The aggressive stance and lean body sides announce the TLX's sporting intentions, although the long front overhang lets slip that it's front-wheel drive.
The interior similarly plays it safe. There aren't any experimental interior materials or wild colors, just nicely grained plastics, wood and silver trim, and muted leather (leatherette is standard). Acura did gamble a bit by replacing the shifter on six-cylinder models with buttons for park, reverse, neutral, and drive. Some common sense ergonomics—the button for drive is angled so you push forward, the one for reverse inset so you have to pull back -- make it a cinch to use.
We can't say the same for the TLX's infotainment system. Two large color screens dominate the center stack, along with a multifunction controller. They look like three different systems thrown into one car, and sometimes work like that, too. We spent a lot of time deciphering which control directs what function on what screen.

Honda engineers earning their lab coats

The 2.4-liter TLX pairs with Honda's all-new, eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. The 3.5-liter comes with a nine-speed automatic developed with ZF. Get your Kleenex out: no manual transmission will be offered. Hargett, who drives a TL SH-AWD with a stick shift, cries along with us but says there simply aren't enough buyers, pegging the take rate at about 2 percent for both the TL and TSX. It's hard to argue with numbers like those, but we protest nonetheless. The slick manuals in the TSX and TL were the last living links to the era when Acura offered some of the most engaging drivers' cars on the market.
That's not to take anything away from the new automatics. 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. Christopher Kipfer, the assistant large project leader in charge of powertrains for the TLX, says the torque converter takes the place of a dual-mass flywheel and thus doesn't add too much weight or complexity.
Why not offer it with both engines? Kipfer says a conventional nine-speed still offers more of the refinement that V-6 buyers want. Indeed, the nine-speed shifts with the creaminess we've come to expect of ZF transmissions. He also admits that the eight-speed dual-clutch, in its current form, won't stand up to the six-cylinder's torque. More problematic, it is not yet engineered to work with all-wheel drive. That means you'll have to opt for the V-6 if you want all-wheel traction, at a cost of $42,345, which is some ten grand more than the base model. To its credit, it's a very good system -- smaller, lighter, and even faster acting than what was offered on the TL SH-AWD. Dive into a corner too fast, add throttle, and you can actually feel the torque-vectoring rear differential tuck the car back into line.

A New Deal for front-wheel drive

Still, Acura once again brings what is essentially a front-wheel-drive car to a fight that's now dominated by rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive offerings like the Audi A4 2.0T Quattro, the BMW 320i xDrive, and the Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD. To compensate for this, the TLX comes loaded with driving aids: rear-wheel steering (Precision All-Wheel Steer, or P-AWS) and brake-based torque vectoring (Agile Handling Assist, or AHA). The acronyms would trip up the Roosevelt administration, but the technologies work really well. Even the front-wheel-drive V-6 model has surprisingly neutral handling, despite its miserable 61/39 percent weight distribution.
That said, the four-cylinder TLX may be the most engaging to drive in the twisties. With its brilliant transmission, excellent body control, and relatively low, 3492-lb curb weight, it reminds us that a front-wheel-drive car can dance if taught the proper steps. What the engine lacks in peak power compared with some turbocharged competitors, it makes up for in flexibility and sound. Acura did cheat a little on the latter -- some of the engine's growl is piped in through the speakers when the car is in its most aggressive, sport-plus mode (this mode also delivers heavier steering and more frequent downshifts). The rest of the time, active sound deadening and liberal amounts of conventional insulation make this one of the quietest Acuras we've driven.
Considering the effort and resources that went into high-tech suspension aids, Acura could have put a little more thought into the tires. The relatively tall all-seasons -- seventeens for the four-cylinder, eighteens with the V-6 -- start howling early and also sap steering feel, although the wheel is precise and nicely weighted. No summer tire package will be offered.

Conclusion: Back in the game without changing it

Despite the new name and some advanced features, the 2015 Acura TLX doesn't revolutionize anything. It's a nicely equipped, well-built, and conservatively styled front-/all-wheel-drive sedan -- just like the Legends, TLs, and TSXs we spotted tooling around Virginia's Loudoun County. Those waiting for Acura to "get serious" and develop a rear-wheel-drive sedan like Cadillac, Lexus, and Infiniti have will be kept waiting—perhaps indefinitely. However, we suspect many buyers will be just fine with an Acura that once again looks, feels, and drives like an Acura. It's also priced like a traditional Acura, offering tons of content at a discount compared with European competitors. The 2015 Acura TLX thus should have no problem finding its way into driveways here in Virginia and beyond.

2015 Acura TLX Specifications

Base price $31,890–$45,595
Engine 2.4L I-4; 3.5L V-6
Power 206 hp; 290 hp
Torque 182 lb-ft; 267 lb-ft
Transmission 8- or 9-speed automatic
Drive Front- or all-wheel
Fuel economy 24/35 mpg (city/highway, four-cylinder), 21/34 mpg (city/highway; V-6, FWD), 21/31 mpg (city/highway; V-6, AWD)
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2015 Acura TLX
2015 Acura TLX

New for 2015

The Acura TLX is an all-new model for the 2015 model year that replaces the now discontinued TSX and TL.

Vehicle Overview

The Acura TLX is a midsize luxury sedan that fits above the ILX and below the RLX in the automaker’s sedan lineup. The TLX replaces the outgoing TSX and TL models, which have been discontinued.


The 2015 Acura TLX's standard powerplant is a 206-hp 2.4-liter I-4 that makes 182 lb-ft of torque, gets paired with an 8-speed automatic, and is good for an EPA-estimated 24/35 mpg city/highway. An available 3.5-liter V-6 makes 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, uses a 9-speed automatic, and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. EPA-estimates for the V-6 are 21/31-34 mpg, with the three-mpg penalty going to the AWD-equipped models.
Notable features include a pair of color screens in the center console (7-inch infotainment, and 8-inch navigation), Acura’s Precision All-Wheel steering (P-AWS) for front-drive models, an improved Super Handling AWD system (SH-AWD), adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, collision mitigation braking system, and a road departure mitigation system.
The 2015 Acura TLX has not been rated by the NHTSA, but is considered a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

What We Think

The 2015 Acura TLX replaces the TSX and TL, eliminating the previous showroom overlap. Styling is conservative inside and out, which we think is a good thing after the controversial 2009 update of the TL. The TLX strives to strike a balance between sport (TSX) and luxury (TL), which we think it does admirably. The eight and nine-speed transmissions shift smoothly and are perfectly matched to their respective engines. The SH-AWD system, only on the V-6 models for now, is “smaller, lighter, and even faster acting than what was offered on the TL SH-AWD. Dive into a corner too fast, add throttle, and you can actually feel the torque-vectoring rear differential tuck the car back into line.” Handling is good, and we think the 4-cylinder model is the better balanced of the bunch when the going gets twisty. We faulted Acura’s tire choice, however, as the relatively tall all-seasons start to lose grip early and sap steering feel from what is otherwise a precise and nicely weighted system.
Despite the new name and some advanced features, the 2015 Acura TLX doesn't revolutionize anything. It's a nicely equipped, well-built, and conservatively styled front-/all-wheel-drive sedan … we suspect many buyers will be just fine with an Acura that once again looks, feels, and drives like an Acura. It's also priced like a traditional Acura, offering tons of content at a discount compared with European competitors.
You’ll Like
  • Excellent transmissions
  • Great exhaust note on V-6 models
  • AWD system and all-wheel steering
You Won’t Like
  • V-6 models are a bit nose-heavy
  • OEM all-season tires
  • Conservative styling might be too boring for some
Key Competitors
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Cadillac ATS
  • Audi A4
  • Mercedes Benz C-Class
  • Buick Regal


2015 Acura TLX 35 SH AWD Front Three Quarters 14
There’s no doubt that the 2015 Acura TLX is safe, considering the midsize sedan has already been named an IIHS Top Safety Pick +. Now, the TLX is also considered a top-rated car by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, having just passed the NHTSA’s battery of tests with flying colors and earning a five-star overall vehicle rating.
Acura TLX Crash Test 02
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety already recognizes three Honda-manufactured vehicles as Top Safety Pick winners, and an additional six as 2014 Top Safety Pick+ recipients. Now, following the latest round of testing, the IIHS now adds the 2015 Acura TLX to its list of vehicles rated with the Top Safety Pick+ designation.
2015 Acura TLX Galpin Auto Sports For 2014 SEMA Front Sketch
The 2015 Acura TLX sedan will be the star of the company’s SEMA stand this year, with multiple variants of the new luxury sedan set to make an appearance at the SEMA show this week.
2015 Acura Tlx Tv Ad Side
While Acura was once an enthusiast-favorite brand with sporty offerings likes the Integra R and RSX Type S, the brand lost some of its most impassioned fans when it shifted gears toward a more premium and technology-focused identity. A new and comprehensive ad campaign for the 2015 Acura TLX, claimed to be the largest marketing effort in Acura’s history, looks to revive that sense of passion and excitement with the tagline “It’s That Kind of Thrill.”

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2015 Acura TLX
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Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
24 MPG City | 35 MPG Hwy
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2015 Acura TLX Specifications

Quick Glance:
2.4L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
24 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
35 MPG
206 hp @ 6800rpm
182 ft lb of torque @ 4500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
70,000 miles / 72 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Recall Date
American Honda Motor Co. (Honda) is recalling certain model year 2015 Acura TLX V6 2WD vehicles manufactured July 14, 2014, to November 12, 2014, and certain 2015 TLX V6 SH-AWD vehicles manufactured August 26, 2014, to November 10, 2014. The automatic transmission parking pawl may become contaminated or the park rod may become dislodged or broken. This may prevent the transmission from shifting into the Park position.
If the shift indicator displays "Park" but the park lock does not engage, the vehicle may roll away increasing the risk of a crash.
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the transmission if necessary, free of charge. The recall began January 30, 2015. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-310-783-2000. Honda's number for this recall is JM8.
Potential Units Affected
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

Recall Date
American Honda Motor Co. (Honda) is recalling certain model year 2015 Acura TLX AWD vehicles manufactured August 26, 2014, to September 20, 2014. The affected vehicles may have incorrect values for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) front and rear printed on the safety certification label. As such, the vehicles do not conform to Part 567, "Certification."
If the vehicle is loaded to the specifications listed on the label, tire failure may result, increasing the risk of a crash.
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will install a corrected certification label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on October 21, 2014. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-800-382-2238. Honda's number for this recall is JK6.
Potential Units Affected
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2015 Acura TLX

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $37,712 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent