2021 Acura TLX First Look
2021 Acura TLX First Look By Car Critic Steve Hammes
Acura’s just an SUV brand, right?
Well, that’s not entirely accurate though the RDX and MDX do outsell Acura’s 4 cars combined by nearly 3-to-1. But Acura’s here to remind us that their cars are still worthy of the caliper badge and that begins with one of their many underrated models, the TLX.
The current car is a solid choice and a decent seller but Acura wants to make a bolder impression with this all-new 2021 redesign. Arriving this fall, Acura says this TLX will be the quickest, best-handling and most well-appointed sedan they’ve ever made, a title currently held by the surprisingly good, lame duck RLX Sport Hybrid.
With a considerably longer wheelbase, wider track and lower roofline the TLX presents itself as a more legit sports sedan.
And moving beyond the recent A-Spec Sport appearance package is the heralded return of the Type S badge…a specification last seen on sporty Acuras over a decade ago. The Type S arrives later next spring. While a 272 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 powers the standard TLX, the Type S utilizes a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with the engine’s output to be announced later.
Both will use a 10-speed automatic. Whereas Acura’s torque vectoring all-wheel drive system is currently only available on the V6 model, the new TLX will offer it across the board replete with quicker reactions and more rear-wheel drive intervention.
Brake by wire technology applied from the NSX supercar and an available adaptive damping suspension flesh out the new chassis which Acura claims is the most rigid they’ve ever offered with an infusion of lightweight materials. The TLX’s dual personal cockpit design creates a strongly delineated space for both front seat occupants while the wider body affords more hip and shoulder room for rear seat passengers.
The infotainment system incorporated from the RDX uses a touchpad interface.
A Japanese company but primarily an American brand, Acura is counting on the new TLX to diversify its SUV sales heavy product portfolio.