2023 Acura TLX

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2023 Acura TLX Review: Sharp-Suited Sedan Revival

It takes guts to launch a brand-new mid-size sedan in the 2020s, seeing that most brands have migrated to SUVs. Ford has abandoned cars of all sizes in favor of high-riding crossovers and SUVs, with the Mustang the only traditional car in their lineup. Acura USA also offers a line of crossovers, but it's hedging its bets with the new TLX and hoping to capture the fans that bought the old one. To this end, the new one is a big improvement, and with pricing starting well below even the cheapest 3 Series, it's playing the value card as its USP. The fact that it's properly sporty and really good-looking doesn't hurt, either. The Acura TLX's competitors are the smaller BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes C-Class on price, but the 5 Series, A6, and E-Class in exterior size, if not interior space. Engine choices include a 272-horsepower turbo-four or a 355-hp turbo-V6, and together with an attractive price tag, make for an interesting alternative to the standard fare in the segment.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
8.2
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2023 Acura TLX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 TLX?

The second-generation Acura TLX debuted as a completely redesigned car for the 2021 model year and went almost unchanged last year. Not much changes for the new 2023 TLX sedan either, but there is some value added in terms of services: all TLXs now get three years of free access to AcuraLink and free complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first two years of ownership.

The bigger news is the limited-run PMC Edition, which is based on the TLX Type S. It is hand-built at the Performance Manufacturing Center - the NSX factory. Its unique PMC Edition rear diffuser, decklid spoiler, and interior trim are all made from genuine carbon fiber, and it runs on copper-colored NSX-inspired 20-inch alloy wheels. The roof, door handles, exhaust tips, and antenna are all rendered in Berlina Black. The Type S PMC Edition comes only in 130R White, Curva Red, or Long Beach Blue.

Pros and Cons

Striking styling

Lots of on-board technology

Well-built cabin

Attractive pricing

Good ride and handling

Not quite as fast as the competition

Infotainment system can be difficult to use

Tight rear-seat space

Uncompetitive fuel consumption

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2023 Acura TLX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$39,650
Technology Package
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$43,650
A-Spec Package
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$46,400
Advance Package
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$50,850
Type S
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$55,350
See All 2023 Acura TLX Trims and Specs

2023 Acura TLX Handling and Driving Impressions

The new 2023 Acura TLX sedan demonstrates that Acura hasn't lost its sporting touch, going as far as to develop a brand-new platform with sophisticated suspension for this model specifically. Expert chassis tuning makes for handling that cashes the checks written by the dynamic exterior styling, and makes the TLX very entertaining to throw around a mountain pass. The Type S has a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque and comes not only with Acura's all-wheel drive, but also sportier suspension settings that make the most of the chassis. This is aided by a snappy and responsive ten-speed automatic transmission. Body control cannot be faulted, and the brakes hold up well, despite the 4,221-pound curb weight in Type S guise. Lesser models are less portly. Either way, the tradeoff is a firm ride that stops short of being harsh and in this regard, Audi's S4 still strikes a finer ride/handling balance. The 2.0-liter turbocharged TLX's ride is a bit softer, but the fun is also watered down a little; while the 272 hp and 280 lb-ft outputs are strong, the four-pot has a coarser voice than the silky V6, and when fitted with AWD, the high weight saps a bit of the engine's verve.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Acura TLX A Good car?

Considering you're getting a car the size of a 5 Series at the price of a 3 Series, the TLX is stellar value, so it's disappointing that the TLX doesn't cash in on its bespoke chassis and size advantage to provide proper rear-seat space; the similarly sized outgoing Accord is far larger in the back, and its rear legroom is on par with a 3 Series, so that's a lost opportunity - some may argue that rear seat space doesn't matter in the premium sport sedan segment, however. Fair point.

We wouldn't normally complain about a 355-hp turbocharged V6, but the sharp end of this class offers even more power, so the heavy-set Acura is not a top performer, even if it's quick enough for most. More likely, you'll revel in the sure-footed AWD grip and surprising athletic ability, considering its size and weight. Whether this is enough to keep buyers interested in a traditional three-box sedan is up for debate because SUVs are taking over, regardless of how glowing road tests of modern sedans are. Our review of the Acura TLX finds that it will probably keep the faithful happy but is unlikely to revive a dying segment. Only the fittest contenders survive and, good as it is, the TLX may be too little, too late.

2023 Acura TLX Popular Comparisons

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