New 2019 Acura TLX Sedan New 2019
Acura TLX Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2019 Acura TLX is among the standout vehicles in the crowded segment of compact-luxury sedans. It competes with well-regarded rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, not to mention lesser players like the Volvo S60, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE. Despite the stiff competition, the Acura TLX has managed to be among the best-sellers thanks to its impressive roster of standard features and the reliability and ease of use associated with vehicles from Honda’s luxury brand. The 2019 TLX has a choice of 4- or 6-cylinder engines, but only offers all-wheel drive on V6 models. Its front-wheel-drive setup won’t lure performance enthusiasts, but the majority of other buyers will find its roughly $34,000 starting price highly appealing.

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You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a smaller luxury sedan that packs big value, check out the 2019 Acura TLX. It undercuts rivals with a sub-$34,000 starting price yet also packs a long list of standard tech and safety features that includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and Apple CarPlay integration.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you put a priority on badge appeal, you’ll probably get more envious looks in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class, an Audi A4 or a BMW 3 Series. If you seek performance or just a fun-to-drive character, you’ll get more driving satisfaction in one of the Acura’s more playful, rear-wheel-drive rivals.

What's New for 2019

For 2019, the Acura TLX gains an A-Spec sport variant for the 4-cylinder model. Other updates are minor, including a new exterior color choice -- Platinum White Pearl -- and new 19-inch wheels for V6 models. To get a better idea of what it's like to own the V6 iteration of the TLX A-Spec as your daily driver, check out our 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec Ownership Review.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Most of our time in the TLX has been in this luxury sedan’s brawnier, V6 form, in both Advance and the sportier A-Spec models. The TLX’s steering is linear and nicely weighted in both models, but in the A-Spec the response is quicker. You won’t get a power advantage in the A-Spec models, but we’ve found the 290 ponies in the V6 gratifying, producing a nice growl when poked. Some found the 9-speed automatic transmission refined enough, but others cited hesitation and a lack of smoothness, especially in Normal drive mode (switching to Sport rectified some of this). If considering a V6 TLX, we suggest you take it on a longer test drive to see how you feel about the transmission. The 4-cylinder Acura escapes the controversy with a better-regarded 8-speed twin-clutch. The TLX is respectably agile, but in front-drive form just doesn’t have the inherent sporty feel of rear-drive rivals like a BMW 3 Series or an Infiniti Q50. The standard Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) does enable the car to feel agile in turns. In V6-powered front-drive form, the TLX can suffer torque steer when you floor it. A better pairing with that engine is Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive, an innovative system that instantly directs power to the wheels with the most grip. TLX V6 A-Spec models further enhance handling with a stiffer, sport-tuned suspension, but even this most sporty model isn’t as satisfying to drive hard as an Audi A4 or Infiniti Q50, a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class.

Favorite Features

SUPER HANDLING All-WHEEL DRIVE
While many cars are available with all-wheel drive, Acura’s SH-AWD is different. In addition to providing all-weather traction, SH-AWD is a torque-vectoring setup that constantly routes torque to all four wheels -- splitting power front and rear, and to the individual rear wheels -- improving cornering and stability.

APPLE CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO
Even in base form, the 2019 Acura TLX comes standard with CarPlay and Android Auto, which means the car will connect with your smartphone to seamlessly display functions for hands-free texting, access to your music library, and more.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Acura’s TLX certainly looks the part of a premium sedan. There’s a slick dual-screen infotainment setup, well-bolstered seats, and an overall sense of quality fit and finish. The interior comes covered in faux leather, and opting for the upgraded, perforated genuine leather won’t break the bank. Rear-seat legroom is a bit tight at just 34.5 inches, while at over 14 cubic feet, trunk room is better than expected. Four-cylinder TLX models use a traditional gear selector, but be aware that V6 models use a push-button system whereby you select Drive, Reverse, etc., via a button. It can take some getting used to if it’s the first time you’ve used such a gear selector. All models have the dual-screen system that relays pertinent info for audio, climate and navigation. The bottom screen is touch-based and unfortunately can require several inputs for what should be simple commands like changing climate settings or adjusting seat heat/ventilation.

Exterior

With last year’s significant update, the Acura TLX entry-level luxury sedan finally has the styling that gets it noticed. With a clean pentagon grille and sharper LED headlights, the front end draws the eye and makes the car look fresh and youthful. V6 models come with twin tailpipes and chrome accents in the front and rear, while Advance models receive LED fog lights and a rear spoiler. The A-Spec TLX fills the grille with matte-black diamond accents, adds A-Spec-specific styling cues in the front and rear, and rides on 19-inch Shark Gray wheels. Formerly reserved for V6 models, this year the TLX A-Spec can be had in the less expensive 4-cylinder form.

Notable Standard Equipment

One of the TLX’s best traits is its strong value proposition. Even in base form, it comes with a moonroof, heated and power-operated front seats (including 10-way adjust for the driver), dual-zone auto climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, and universal garage-door opener. The standard infotainment system includes a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD/Satellite radio with Bluetooth streaming and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. All new TLX models come with the robust AcuraWatch safety and driver-assist system that bundles adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, which helps keep the car in lanes should you drift. Another convenient feature is the automatic brake hold. When activated, it automatically applies the brake at stoplights so you can relax your foot.

Notable Optional Equipment

The TLX's optional engine is a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is available in V6-powered models. Other major options are tied to packages. The Technology Package adds leather seating, navigation with real-time traffic, 10-speaker ELS premium audio system with HD Radio, blind-spot monitoring and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Building on that, the A-Spec Package adds unique, darkened exterior and interior aesthetics, dual exhaust outlets, front and rear parking sensors, and ventilated front seats. The Advance Package, which requires a V6 and Technology Package, adds even more features like surround-view camera, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, wireless phone-charging cradle, puddle lights, and remote engine start.

Under the Hood

Two engines are available for the 2019 TLX sedan. Standard is a 206-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that is backed by an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Models powered with the 4-cylinder are front-wheel drive (FWD) only. Optional is a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive is optional with the V6; any TLX models that aren't equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) receive Precision All-Wheel Steering, which steers the rear wheels for enhanced performance in higher-speed driving and better maneuverability at slower speeds. The V6 is well-suited to this sedan, and thanks to cylinder deactivation, it offers a lot more power than the 4-cylinder without a huge fuel-economy penalty. SH-AWD models seek to further eke out fuel economy with an idle start/stop system that cuts engine power at stoplights. We find restarts abrupt, though, and tended to defeat the system with a press of a button. Note that premium unleaded gasoline is recommended for the Acura TLX.

2.4-liter inline-4
206 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
182 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 mpg, 23/32 mpg (A-Spec)

3.5-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
267 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/31 mpg (FWD), 20/30 mpg (FWD A-Spec), 20/29 mpg (AWD models)

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Pricing Notes

The 2019 Acura TLX has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $34,000 for the base 4-cylinder model. A V6 TLX starts just over $37,000. Optional packages can lift these prices by a few to several thousand dollars. The new 4-cylinder TLX 2.4 A-Spec model, for example, starts just over $40,000. Fully loaded, a 2019 TLX with V6 SH-AWD with all the bells and whistles tops out around $47,000. At these prices, the Acura represents a high value proposition among small-luxury sedans. It undercuts rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class by several thousand dollars. The TLX’s smart-money nature remains true for higher-end variants, too. To make sure you’re getting the best deal on your new Acura sedan, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. Over time, the TLX’s resale value has held up well.

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