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2024 Acura TLX Road Test and Review

Brady Holt
by Brady Holt
March 12, 2024
2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Some people like to gauge sports sedans by the numbers – which one wins an acceleration sprint or has the most lateral grip. But we test cars on the street, not on the racetrack, to reveal which ones are the most enjoyable to live with in the real world. And if you think we have the right idea, you won’t want to overlook the 2024 Acura TLX. 

Newly updated this year, the TLX straddles the compact and mid-size segments with a choice of turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 engines and pricing that starts at $45,000. Sharply styled and enjoyable to drive, the TLX is a compelling choice in a segment that offers a diversity of options. We just spent a week testing the updated 2024 TLX in its top Type S performance trim level. Keep reading to learn more about this Acura’s pros and cons to see if this luxury sports sedan belongs on your shopping list. 

Newly Updated This Year

The current-generation TLX debuted as a 2021 model and faces a mid-cycle update for 2024. You’d have to be an expert to notice the cosmetic changes – primarily, the grille loses last year’s chrome frame and the alloy wheels are redesigned. (There are also changes to the interior and model lineup that we’ll discuss later.) But to our eyes, the TLX’s style didn’t need much work. 

The TLX is bigger than many of its closest rivals, measuring 195 inches long, 75 inches wide, and 56 inches tall. That makes it slightly bigger than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, even though it’s less expensive than a one-size-smaller C-Class. The TLX’s extra size gives it presence on the road. What’s more, Acura made it low and wide with a long hood – perfect performance proportions. And the confidently angular headlights, five-pointed grille, and sculpted bumper make it look like it’s hugging the ground. The TLX uses a front-wheel-drive platform (with all-wheel drive on most trim levels), but it has the style of a rear-wheel-drive car. 

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Streamlined Model Lineup

This year, Acura dropped the least popular members of the TLX family to focus its lineup on three trim levels. The old base model is gone, so there’s no longer a chance to skip the genuine leather, blind-spot monitor, GPS navigation, or premium 13-speaker ELS stereo. Doing without these niceties had let you spend less than $40,000 on a TLX. The new base model, called Technology, includes those features along with a moonroof, 12-way adjustable front seats, heated seats, and adaptive cruise control. It costs $45,000 and is available only with front-wheel drive and a 272-horsepower four-cylinder engine. 

Next up is the A-Spec at $50,000. This four-cylinder sport-themed model is now sold exclusively with all-wheel drive, and it also adds some synthetic suede to the upholstery, a 17-speaker ELS stereo, a wireless smartphone charger, and ventilated front seats. At the top of the lineup is our Type S test vehicle, which has a 355-hp V6 engine and a stiffer suspension, along with adjustable adaptive suspension dampers, upgraded brakes, and 16-way seats. It costs $57,000 with AWD standard. This is a good value if you compare the TLX against a similarly sized sedan, though some smaller models like the Genesis G70 or Lexus IS cost less. 

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Choice of Engines

As we mentioned, the TLX comes with a choice of two turbocharged engines. The Technology and A-Spec have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. This engine is smooth and punchy, outgunning most rival four-cylinders. Yet it’s also decently economical, averaging 22 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined in EPA testing with front-wheel drive. The AWD A-Spec gets about 1 mpg less, and we matched that EPA figure when we tested the since-discontinued AWD Advance version a few years ago. 

The Type S dials things up with a 3.0-liter V6 making 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. Because the TLX is bigger and heavier than, say, a BMW M340i, it’s not quite as quick. But this is a big, throaty engine that can still whip the TLX forward without even working hard. Expect the 2.0-liter to need about 6 seconds to reach 60 mph, with the V6 needing about 5 seconds (and an M340i taking only about 4 seconds). The EPA projects that the TLX V6 gets 19 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined; we averaged 23 mpg in a weeklong test that included a long highway stretch. 

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Tautly Tuned Suspension

You don’t need a Type S or even an A-Spec to enjoy the TLX’s handling. This is a tautly tuned sports sedan with firm, precise, and responsive steering that inspires confidence as you tackle winding roads. The Type S dials this up a notch with its sport-tuned suspension for even tauter body control, which you can offset by choosing the “comfort” driving mode instead of the performance-focused Sport and Sport+. You can also create a customized Individual mode that lets you pick and choose among various steering, suspension, and powertrain settings. And all-wheel-drive models use Acura's "Super Handling" SH-AWD system, which redistributes torque among the four wheels to keep the car on track.

We’ve read some critics say the TLX is too heavy to be a perfect corner carver. To us, this depends on context – which vehicles you’re comparing it against – and how you drive. During our weeks in both the Type S and the four-cylinder TLX, this sedan proved agile, responsive, and quite fun to drive overall on a variety of public roads. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable unless you prefer the extra-cushy focus of a Lexus ES. 

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Comfortable Front Seats

The TLX is a wide sedan with a big-car feel from the driver’s seat. Drivers won’t bump elbows with their passengers on the center console. Yet it’s also a sporty car, with a low seating position and well-bolstered front seats. The Type S even lets you adjust the bolsters in and out – wider or narrower – to hug whatever body type you have (or give you space to spread out). 

Where the TLX doesn’t feel big is in the backseat. The cushion is comfortable, but legroom is tight unless the front seats move well forward. The TLX is a great choice for a driver who likes to spread out, and it’s more functional than a sports coupe. But it’s no Honda Accord when you install a rear-facing child safety seat or it’s your turn to drive the carpool. Trunk space is also more compact than mid-size at 13.5 cubic feet. 

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Meticulously Finished Interior

The TLX’s interior doesn’t look like a traditional luxury car. The dashboard bulges and pinches, then dips down to meet the center console. A big dial for changing the drive mode sits front and center, and the new 12.3-inch infotainment display (which we’ll discuss more shortly) is up near the windshield. A new reconfigurable digital gauge cluster sits behind the steering wheel. 

Whether you find the TLX’s interior style to be invigorating or off-putting, we don’t think you’ll have any complaints about its quality. Materials feel rich, and the moving parts operate with polished precision. We do miss the old TLX Advance trim level, which had a more opulent vibe with wood accents that softened the aggressively styled dashboard. Now, only the base front-wheel-drive-only Technology model serves folks who prefer rich tan upholstery over sporty black or red. 

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Bigger New Infotainment Screen

We mentioned that the updated 2024 TLX now comes standard with a 12.3-inch infotainment display at the top-center of the dashboard, replacing last year’s 10.2-inch unit. The bigger size is welcome, but the TLX – like most recent Acuras – continues to have a quirky infotainment system that could turn off some prospective buyers. 

Rather than a touchscreen that lets you tap the icon you want, Acura provides a touchpad like a laptop. You slide your finger around this pad to make selections or even use your finger to handwrite something like a command, radio station number, or street address. The touchpad lets Acura put the screen closer to the windshield – out of the driver’s reach, but more in the line of sight. Still, there’s a reason we don’t use laptops while driving. We consistently find it distracting to use the touchpad, especially for anything that takes more than one step (since you also have to navigate to the right part of the screen). We’re not surprised that the smaller Acura Integra uses a touchscreen, and the brand recently announced that other future Acuras will do the same. Lexus and Mitsubishi, which once offered similar touchpads, have also replaced them with touchscreens.  

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Diverse Competitors

Depending on what you’re interested in, the TLX could compete with a wide variety of diverse competitors. We’ve seen from Internet traffic that it’s frequently compared with two Lexus models, the compact IS sports sedan and the mid-size ES luxury sedan. We find the TLX more fun to drive than either Lexus, even the rear-wheel-drive IS. It’s also roomier and better finished than the IS, though more expensive – especially if you like the sound of a smooth V6. 

We’d also compare the TLX to the Genesis G70 and G80. The G70 is a performance bargain but, like the IS, feels cozier inside than the TLX. The G80 looks and feels like a much larger vehicle than the TLX, though their dimensions are surprisingly close, and the Acura costs less. On the budget side, the Infiniti Q50 and Cadillac CT5 are tempting performance bargains, packing potent V6s for less money than a four-cylinder TLX. But their interiors are more mainstream-grade, and the TLX’s steering and handling feel more natural to us. We’d also shop the TLX against the Volvo S60, which skews slightly toward comfort and quietness and the expense of some friskiness on a winding road.  

2023 Cadillac CT5 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 Cadillac CT5 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Final Thoughts

The 2024 Acura TLX is a luxury sports sedan that pairs enjoyable driving manners with a comfortable, well-finished interior, smartly aggressive styling, and the relative functionality of four doors. 

As we’ve highlighted earlier, though, it’s not the only car with these talents. And some rivals avoid the Acura’s quirky control layout and tight backseat, or offer more performance for the money. Still, if you value a poised driving experience and appreciate a roomy driver’s seat, the TLX’s balance of performance, comfort, luxury, and style has earned it a test drive. It can be easy to overlook this Acura, given how it straddles different size and price classes. Don’t let it slip through the cracks. 

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Acura TLX Type S ・ Photo by Brady Holt


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