All-new TLX premium luxury sport sedan

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016
2016 Acura TLX Interior V6.

2016 Acura TLX Interior V6.

2016 Acura TLX Exterior V6 SH-AWD.

2016 Acura TLX Exterior V6 SH-AWD.

By David Goodspeed
Special Contributor
autoworlddavid@yahoo.com

Last year Acura launched the all-new TLX premium luxury sport
sedan. The TL/TSX replacement was well received both by consumers and
automotive media alike.
We reviewed the base model last year and recently spent time in
a TLX with all the bells and whistles along with larger engine and
advanced technology.
During its freshman year the new TLX garnered a host of
accolades that included being named to several best buy or best value
honor rolls as well as best new / redesigned car. It arrives in the
compact sedan category for EPA purposes but seems right at home to
compete against some midsize entry luxury models as well.
Nearly everything we liked about the inaugural car last year
carries over here with added emphasis on this larger powertrain with
one more cog in the gearbox and a host of other
driving/safety/infotainment technologies.
We begin under the hood with the spirited 290hp 3.5-liter
direct-injected V-6 engine with variable cylinder management. There
was power on demand when needed but we also saw better than expected
fuel economy under lighter driving conditions thanks to three
cylinders not being used when they weren’t needed.
A nine-speed automatic transmission is paired with this engine
and features sequential sportshift and paddle shifters. A new
pushbutton shifter is utilized in this model TLX and we were not big
fans of it. Give me back my old-fashioned shift lever, please.
Our TLX tester arrived with the next-generation Super
Handling-All Wheel Drive that constantly overdrives the rear drive
unit by 2.7-percent to provide a torque-vectoring effect across a
broad spectrum of driving situations and enhance cornering capability
at lower speeds and tighter corners. This system works in tandem with
Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer and Agile Handling Assist for an
even more precise driving experience.
Rounding out the driving systems is the Integrated Dynamics
System that offers selectable drive modes including ECON, Normal,
Sport, and Sport+. IDS can impact a number of electronic driving
systems in the vehicle to allow the best response of that system for
the situation the driver is facing.
There are a number of safety systems in the new TLX as well and
these may even outnumber the driving technologies. Some of them
include collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, road
departure mitigation, blind spot information, lane departure warning,
forward collision warning, expanded view drivers side mirror, lane
keeping assist and rear cross traffic monitor.
All of the new technologies are wrapped in a tight, rigid
chassis that Acura engineers designed to incorporate these systems and
provide a safe yet fun driving experience…which TLX delivers in a
big way.
While the car provides a very comfortable ride under most normal
(boring) conditions, the TLX really shows its stuff when drivers find
some twists and turns. This car hugs each curve and embraces the road
surface as it holds occupants in their places comfortably.
The TLX we tested last year was at the entry end of the sales
spectrum in the Acura showroom. Fast forward a year and this 2016 TLX
3.5L with SH-AWD and Advanced Package rolls in with a final sticker of
$45,720. Fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway but
we found ourselves averaging 32.4 mpg on a weekend road trip with the
AC going full blast and the car in normal and sport IDS modes.
The TLX truly brings back not only the styling many have loved
with Acura over the years but the driving experience as well. It may
be the luxury brand for Honda but it proves there is just as much
sport delivered in this compact luxury sport sedan as well.

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