Test Drive: 2015 Acura TLX V6

Odometer (Legend):  531,389


Odometer (ILX):  91,150



Rain, in Phoenix?  I never thought the first feature I’d be experiencing on Acura’s most advanced vehicle ever would be its rain-sensing windshield wipers, but it was.  I’ve been watching for this car to hit the streets since I saw the cover pulled off the prototype in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

My local dealership, Acura of Tempe, currently has 3 TLX demo cars in stock.  All are V6, front-wheel-drive models with the Advance (top-line) trim package.  My friend Daniel, who you’ve already met and who drives a sweet Acura TL, met up with me for this rainy-day test drive of Acura’s all-new midsize sedan.  Most of my readers will already know that this car debuted as a replacement for the now-discontinued TL and TSX models, and it’s sized in between the two.

The TLX that I drove was powered by a 290-horsepower, 3.5 liter V6 engine and Acura’s signature “Precision All-Wheel Steering” (P-AWS)..  A few dealer add-ons (window tint, wheel locks, and side moldings) drove the price to just above $44,000.  The Crystal Black Pearl exterior was nicely complimented by an “Espresso” (fancy speak for “Brown”) interior.  I liked the combination, and as crazy as it would be to own a black car in Arizona, I think that’d be my top pic from the color palette. 


So how about that driving experience, eh?  Well, I wasn’t even in the car for more than 3 seconds when my right hand went down to reach for a shift a lever that wasn’t there.  That’s because the car I had was equipped with a push-button transmission.  A pull-back on the “R” button sent me into Reverse, but not before I cranked my ventilated seat to “high” setting via the touch-screen climate control.  In all, my drive route was no more than 5 or 6 miles, but it was enough to experience the driving dynamics in both surface street & freeway settings. 

I found the TLX eager to accelerate and ultra smooth in doing so.  Of the transmission’s 9 speeds, I think I only got it up to 5th.  Tire spin from a dead stop comes easily with the torquey V6, especially on wet pavement.  Fit and finish exceeds expectations, with tasteful woodgrain accents on the door panels and soft-touch materials throughout the cabin.  Daniel commented that the level of refinement exceeded that of his 2012 TL by quite a bit.  Wind & road noises were heavily muted in the cabin. Accelerating onto the Interstate 10 onramp, I dipped deeply into the throttle and loved the sound of the engine at 5,000 RPM, awakening from its refined state.

It’s tough to find fault with the TLX.  Adam, the sales representative who accompanied us, reported that it’s entirely possible for even the V6 engine to achieve MPG in the 40’s in “Economy” mode.  That kind of efficiency, coupled with the amenities that Acura is great at providing, make for a compelling package deal.  Adam encouraged Daniel to engage “Sport Plus” mode during his test drive, and even from the back seat I could readily feel the difference in engine performance, shift points, and suspension as the car transformed into a more raw driving experience:  higher revs, tighter handling, and more pronounced gear transitions.

If Acura were to offer a 6-speed manual transmission in the TLX I’d be pondering an upgrade from the ILX, but as for right now I’m content to row my own gears.  I’m looking forward to checking out the 2.4 liter 4 cylinder TLX as soon as it’s available, as well as the Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive version, but for now I stand impressed at what the TLX offers.  I’ll post a more detailed review as soon as I get access to the vehicle for more than just short test drive.

Huge thanks to Sales Consultant Adam Ferguson for taking the time to introduce us to the TLX.  He mentioned during my test drive, “It’s nice to be on a test drive with people who already know about the car!” 


Here we have the TLX in Crystal Black Pearl.


Rear perspective.


These gauges are familiar as the layout is similar to what I’m already used to in my ILX.


“Espresso” interior.  Nice color!


Passenger side interior.


Just getting back from our test drive.


Parked with the 2012 TL & 2013 ILX.


Three Acuras in a row.


Great looking car from this angle.


Side by side:  2012 TL, 2015 TLX


Daniel at the wheel for a test drive.


Man, those Jewel Eye headlights on the TLX sure make my ILX projector HID bulbs look dim!


For those local to the Phoenix, Arizona area, drop Adam an email at adam.ferguson@acuraoftempe.com and he’ll show you around the TLX.

Here’s a video review on the TLX posted today by Sofyan at 2theRedline.

17 Responses to “Test Drive: 2015 Acura TLX V6”

  1. Give me black every time! That Acura is TDF.

  2. I’m eagerly awaiting the TLX to be offered on Acura’s website to play around with what options they will offer for the exterior. And YES Crystal Black Pearl would be my choice as well !!!!

  3. we’re still waiting for our first one here in Boise. & it will go right thru PDI & into someones garage as its already a sold unit. guess I’ll have to wait until they’re in the loaner fleet…

    • Yeah it seems like supply is really limited. My dealership is still waiting on the 4 cyl models and the SH-AWD models, and the salespeople weren’t sure of an ETA. Hoping Lyle P gets some inventory soon and you can get some seat time. It’s a nice car.

  4. The TLX looks a lot better in person. I really like it. Hmmnn, My TSX replacement?

    Do you think the cashier was browsing on facebook or on drivetofive? HEHEHe

    • Thinking of an upgrade from the TSX eh? I hope that cashier was on Drive to Five! Little does she know that I’ve just made her famous on the Internet! Hahaha

  5. A lady further down the street from me, seems to work for an Acura dealer, I assume. I always see various Acura models sitting in her driveway when I pass by. If I see a TLX in her driveway, you can bet I’ll be pounding on her door in the middle of the night, begging to take a spin.

  6. Enjoyed the review! I’m looking forward to the 2.4 DCT more as well. –High talk about a Type-S coming with the Civic Type-R’s 2.0T. Lets hope a coupe comes along with it! 🙂

    Me and mom have decided White with Espresso is our color combo.

  7. Pretty nice car! I agree with you about the unfortunate lack of a six speed manual though. And the sales guy was doing the sales guy thing by saying the car could do MPGs in the 40s. Haha.

    I’ve truly enjoyed reading this blog. I first heard about you and your 500k Acura Legend story because of Sofyan Bey’s recent reviews of your cars. Your adventures have been making me want to take my Honda on a road trip!

    • Gotta love Sofyan! Haha, that’s awesome you found my blog thanks to his reviews. Thanks for stopping by, Brad. I’m glad you’re enjoying some of the stuff here. If you ever have any road trip ideas, send them my way. What do you drive, and where are you located?

      • Thanks, Tyson, and I’m looking forward to reading through more of the blog entries here. I’m glad there’s so much content.

        I’ve been thinking of taking a long drive from my Chicagoland home and heading west, maybe to Mount Rushmore and then looping down through the southwest. It would be like 4500 miles worth of really cool terrain changes.

        I have an ’04 Accord EX Coupe 5MT that I bought new. Only 72k miles! I guess that happens when work is very close by. Those K24 engines are amazing though. Runs as perfectly now as it did 10 years ago and never skipped a beat. And I average 35 MPG!

  8. Thanks for the preview of the TLX, Tyson. I’m tempted to go and drive one, but I’m afraid of being really disappointed. As Sofyan mentioned in his reviews, those wheels are tiny! Looks good in black though!

    • Black is definitely the most flattering color on the TLX. And I’ve yet to see the 19″ wheels in person yet but I think they are a must-have on this car.

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