2015 Acura TLX Walk Around

We have not been fans of recent Acura sedan design. In the past several years, their body shapes have been invisibly bland while their faces have been dominated by big, overly aggressive bird-beak grilles. As compact and midsize sedans have become more stylishly appealing, Acura's luxury sedans have not. The TSX and TL looked much like each other, and the TL seemed not much different in size or appearance from the RLX. And their two- and three-letter names did little to distinguish them. Though with another three-letter name, the new TLX distinguishes itself from the TSX and TL it replaces.

The 2015 TLX is 3.7 inches shorter than the outgoing TL. Also, the new TLX has shorter overhangs than the outgoing TL, on the same 109.3-inch wheelbase, meaning there is less car sticking out in front of and behind the wheels and axles. Less overhang suggests better handling and reduces the chance of scraping in a severe driveway transition. The TLX benefits from an all-new, much-stiffer platform; a stiff structure is the key to sharp handling and a smooth ride. The size of the new midsize TLX allows it to fit neatly between the smaller, compact ILX and larger RLX.

The styling of the TLX is less polarizing than that of the outgoing TL and outgoing TSX. The Acura beak has been toned down a notch. The five-element LED headlamps on the TLX look sharp, and the finned front lower air intakes are nicely integrated into the lower fascia. Along the sides, nicely sculpted fenders and character creases work well with the pleasing proportions of a sports sedan.


Thanks to multiple sound isolation and absorption measures, the Acura TLX cabin is as quiet as it is nicely trimmed, and there's ample room and comfort for four or five adults. The seats in both the TLX 2.4L and TLX 3.5L gave fatigue-free comfort and support. The premium-look soft-touch instrument panel and door panels are complimented by tasteful, authentic-looking woodgrain and aluminum accents, while handsome leatherette trim is standard and Milano leather available. The manual steering column tilts and telescopes, which is good, but we were disappointed that it did not do so electrically with the press of a button.

Among the many standard and available features are heated and ventilated front seats, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, keyless access with Push Button Start, 3D Navigation and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting, GPS-linked automatic climate control, a color Multi-Information Display (MID) with turn-by-turn guidance, LED accent lighting, HD Radio, Pandora and Aha integration, and HDMI and USB connectivity and next-generation AcuraLink cloud-based connected car system, which enables a broad range of cloud-based and embedded convenience, connectivity and security features. Only one USB outlet, though.

A seven-inch touch-screen displays and controls these and other features, and, unlike in some recent Acura models, nearly all of them are easy to see and use. The available Multi-Information Display sits above the touch screen in a hooded recess. We found the big upper navigation screen and the touch-screen's controls below it intuitive and easy to use even while on the move. There are hard buttons for key climate and entertainment system functions and a much-appreciated volume knob, but unhappily not one for tuning. One of our favorite features on the TLX is the brilliant Acura/ELS 10-speaker Studio Premium Audio system (part of the Advance Package).

The rear seat is easy to access and a generally pleasant place to be. Cargo capacity, access and flexibility are much improved over previous models thanks to a larger, wider trunk opening, a flat cargo floor and new 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks.

All TLX models have an Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, which can retain brake pressure when stopped in heavy traffic or on hills. TLX 3.5L models debut a handy push-button Electronic Gear Selector (instead of a gear lever) that frees up center-console space.

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