The production version of the 2015 Acura TLX has been revealed at the 2014 New York auto show, and its looks hew closely to the prototype version of the car first shown in Detroit a few months ago. This new midsize luxury sport sedan will replace both the Acura TL and TSX models to give the brand a three-sedan lineup consisting of the compact ILX, the midsize TLX, and the full-size RLX.
Athletic proportions, updated powertrains
This production-spec TLX does tone down some styling aspects seen on the concept, such as that car’s body kit, oversized wheels, and exuberant use of chrome trim. But overall, the 2015 TLX—which goes on sale this fall—retains the show car’s prominent Acura shield grille, “Jewel Eye” LED headlights, rising character line, and stubby rear deck which makes for a relatively athletic stance. In fact, we like the look of the production model more than the TLX prototype due to its cleaner lines and less bulky profile.
With available Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive and two revised engines, we’re hopeful that this athleticism might extend to the Acura’s driving experience as well. The standard powertrain for the Acura TLX is a 2.4-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder that makes 206 hp and mates with a new, in-house-developed eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with a torque converter. It comes only with front-wheel drive. Opting for the 3.5-liter, 290-hp V-6 engine gives you the choice of adding SH-AWD, and all V-6 models come standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Sadly, there is no manual transmission option for the TLX—if you want an Acura sedan with three pedals, you’ll need to either snatch up one of the last outgoing TL SH-AWD six-speed models or settle for the smaller Acura ILX 2.4 with the manual transmission.
Smaller and lighter than the TL
The 2015 Acura TLX retains the same wheelbase as the TL, but is nearly four inches shorter, leading to shorter front and rear overhangs. It’s lighter than the TL, too, and Acura is billing this car as both more agile and more refined than its predecessor. The Precision All-Wheel Steer system from the larger RLX should help back up this claim, as it’s standard on all front-wheel-drive models to make for more neutral handling characteristics. The TLX is still larger than competitors like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Lexus IS, though, so it will likely provide a more spacious rear seat and trunk area.
With the TLX’s slightly lighter weight also comes an uptick in fuel economy. Acura anticipates EPA ratings of 24/35 mpg (city/highway) for the four-cylinder, 21/34 mpg for the front-wheel-drive V-6, and 21/31 mpg for the V-6 SH-AWD model. Each of these new estimated ratings represent an increase compared with the comparable versions of the outgoing Acura TSX and TL models.
Tons of tech
On the inside of the new TLX, we can see that this sedan closely follows the screen-heavy interior design of recent Acura models like the RLX and MDX. A two-screen infotainment setup is standard, with the lower screen providing a touchscreen interface that operates the larger upper screen in conjunction with the large control knob at the bottom of the center stack. The expected array of smartphone integration features and connectivity functions is included in the AcuraLink system, and available active safety technologies include forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, and a new road departure mitigation system that can use the steering and brakes to correct the vehicle’s line if it senses that the car is about to stray from its lane. Adding to the technologically advanced feel is a pushbutton gear selector for the nine-speed automatic transmission that’s standard on V-6 models.
The three Acura TLX trim levels—TLX, TLX V-6, and TLX V-6 SH-AWD—will be offered with two bundled option packages: the Technology package which is available on all models, and the Advance package which is available only for V-6 models. Expect to see specific pricing for these various trim levels closer to the on-sale date for the 2015 Acura TLX.
In the meantime, check out our photo gallery of the 2015 Acura TLX from its official debut at the 2014 New York auto show.