Long Term Updates
Long Term Updates
Date: April 2021
Within just days of arriving as a new member of our long-term fleet, this 2021 Acura TLX pointed its newly-shaped nose west for a drive across the country.
The roundtrip added a quick 6,500-miles onto the odometer, and gave us some early impressions. It’s a very enjoyable long-distance cruiser; the control layout has good ergonomics, and seat comfort is great.
In A-spec trim with Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive, our TLX features a stout 272-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 turbo that works with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Current fuel economy average is a good 24.9 miles-per-gallon.
The TLX in A-Spec trim drives every bit as good as it looks, which is why it won a MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Award this year. This boosted four cylinder engine feels strong and the chassis responds nicely when driven enthusiastically. I have a feeling the drive mode will be set to “sport” for the better half of 2021.
We put the all-wheel-drive system to the test early during our trip West; driving through the heart of February’s epic winter storm in Texas. The TLX was surefooted, and gave us confidence to safely drive out of a worsening situation; which is what we expect an all-wheel-drive car to be able to do.
Date: June 2021
In our fleet for just 2–months, we’ve already managed to put 7,000-miles on this 2021 Acura TLX’s odometer. All of that highway time has shown us a few things.
The Adaptive Cruise Control works well; both following distance and speed are easy to adjust and the TLX maintains both consistently. While not advertised as a true “hands-free” driving assistant, it is designed to keep the vehicle in its lane when engaged. It will do that, but in sort of a ping-pong fashion.
As nice as the driving aids are on the highway, we appreciate the TLX’s chassis on twisty back roads even more. It’s constantly balancing sportiness and refinement without ever tipping too far in one direction. And with almost 300 horsepower, this turbo four packs a pretty decent punch.
Fuel mileage is off to a good start, with a 24.9 miles-per-gallon average; but we did have an appearance by the dreaded “check engine” light, necessitating a trip to the dealer. No harm, no foul; apparently it was triggered by a loose connection.
Date: July 2021
Still more highway time this go around with our 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec, adding another 2,400-miles onto the odometer; bringing our 3–month total to some 9,500-miles.
And that shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it’s hard to beat the TLX as a long-distance cruiser. Front seats are more than up to the task of full days behind the wheel; while the 2.0-liter turbo-4 puts out an impressive 272–horsepower.
Offering more torque than the previous gen’s V6, it has no problem keeping up with traffic; though you can tell it’s working hard at times, specifically when you’re going up long hills.
Fuel economy remains steady, at 24.8 miles-per-gallon, and no complaints as of yet in regards to the 10-speed automatic transmission.
We’ve worked the TLX hard in the little time it’s been with us, but the drivetrain has neither complained nor relented one bit. Power delivery is smooth for daily driving duties and when we’ve picked up the pace a little bit, it hasn’t skipped a beat. The exhaust note could stand to be a little more aggressive, but I guess that’s what the Type-S is for.
The touchpad interface is still not our favorite, but we’ve gotten somewhat used to it; and you don’t really need to use it for the basic tasks. Smartphones connect easily, and we’ve enjoyed rocking out with the 17-speaker ELS Studio 3D sound system.
Date: August 2021
Performance cars and economy cars all have their place, and we certainly understand the practicality aspects of SUVs. But sometimes, it’s great to just settle into the inviting comfort of a luxury sports sedan. Indeed while this 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec delivers more than enough comfort, it also delivers plenty of performance to keep things entertaining. And that extends to decent fuel economy of 24.8 miles-per-gallon, thanks to a 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4.
In the fleet for just 4-months now, the TLX rarely sits still; having racked up 11,000-miles already. This two-liter turbo and 10-speed automatic is a solid setup both around town and on the highway, but ultimately I’d say it’s slightly better suited for the later only because, like a lot of 8-,9-, and 10-speed transmissions it can get a little busy when you’re stopping and going. But, as long as you don’t mind the transmission holding onto a gear for a while and slightly less fuel economy, sport mode can help with that.
Date: October 2021
We still have quite a few months left to spend time behind the wheel of this 2021 Acura TLX, and that’s a good thing. Our A-Spec’s lower stance, slim headlights, 19-inch Shark Gray wheels, and black deck-lid spoiler all help the TLX turn some heads.
But, of course it’s the driving that matters most to us. When it comes to driving, this TLX is pretty versatile because of the way Acura has programmed its drive modes, or as they call them “Dynamic Modes.” There’s actually quite a bit of difference between each one. The softer suspension setting for Comfort mode is ideal for the highway, while the firmer setup mixed with the sharpened throttle response is perfect for when the road gets twisty.
And as we head into prime leaf peeping season here in the Mid-Atlantic, we’re 8-months and 16,000–miles into our test. We love the overall solid feel of the car and the 280-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 delivers exceptional power, with a decent 24.9 miles-per-gallon average as well.
Date: December 2021
After covering a lot of ground during its first 8–months with us, our 2021 Acura TLX luxury sport sedan has settled into more of a commuting role as of late, and that means sitting in traffic, during which time we’ve noticed how unique and stylish the TLX’s hood lines are from the driver’s seat; and appreciated the classy layout of the interior.
Materials are holding up well. The layered gauge panel still hits us as very high end and the ambient lighting does a great job of accenting the interior without being a distraction.
The TLX is a really great daily driver and sitting in the driver’s seat you get a fantastic mix of comfort, luxury, and sportiness. There’s also plenty of power under the hood for all of our daily commuting. Plus, you can still get up and go if you need to. There’s a reason why you don’t see it at the MotorWeek lot very often.
9-months into our TLX joyride, we’re averaging 25.0 miles-per-gallon. The 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo engine exhibits a little more vibration at idle compared to what we’re used to from Acura, but it continues to deliver plentiful power under throttle.
Date: January 2022
This is the time of year when we get ready to hand out our annual Drivers’ Choice Awards; and the last 10-months’ time in this 2021 Acura TLX has proven that we made a very good choice when we gave it our Best Luxury Sedan award last year.
This TLX is now one of the more tenured vehicles in our long term test lot, but we’re certainly not getting bored of it. And not even winter can slow this sedan because it’s equipped with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive System, which has proved highly effective not only in snow, but also in spirited driving on dry pavement.
Fuel economy from the 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo sits at 24.9 miles-per-gallon after 18,500 varied miles, a bit better than what the EPA says it should be.
Date: March 2022
This 2021 Acura TLX joined our long-term fleet one year ago, fresh off winning our 2021 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Luxury Sedan, as we felt it had an ideal mix of luxury, comfort, performance, and technology.
Well, it didn’t take many of the 22,116-miles that we drove to confirm that. Whether it was seeing us through an epic winter storm in Texas, providing driving pleasure during quick escapes through the countryside, or allowing us to eat up highway miles in exceptional comfort, the TLX has been the perfect companion.
There’s a lot to love about this TLX, which means there will be a lot to miss. Namely, the chassis, which is up for just about any type of driving. Whether it’s relaxed cruising or spirited cornering, the suspension responds accordingly, which is a good sign of proper tuning.
2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder engines have become the power unit of choice for most luxury carmakers and the TLX’s is a good one; delivering 272–horsepower very freely and averaging a good 24.6 miles-per-gallon. So, farewell TLX. It’s been great to know ya!
Engine: 2.0L I4 Turbo