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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll show you around the TLX.
Here’s a video review on the TLX posted today by Sofyan at 2theRedline.