2018 Acura TLX and A-Spec Test Drive

Acura TLX A-Spec RSF

“2018 Acura TLX Advance and A-Spec”
Performance Luxury Sedan Refreshed
Acura TLX-Advance LSF

Louisville, KY – Acura, Honda’s luxury division has just introduced what they are referring to as a “refreshed” model 2018 Acura TLX in two forms. Both fall into the performance luxury sedan category. This latest iteration TLX is available in a base form as well as an all-new TLX A-Spec variant for V6 powered models. Both models seem to be much more than simply refreshed, displaying more dramatic styling and advanced technological enhancements.

Acura TLX Eng

There will continue to be two propulsion choices – a 2.4-liter inline four cylinder and a 3.5-liter , SOHC, 16-valve i-VTEC V6 engine with Direct Injection and Variable Cylinder Management. The V6 produces 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm along with 267 pound feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. The V6 mates to a 9-speed sequential SportShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters, a shift-by-wire gear selector, Grade Logic Control System and Shift Hold Control, while the 2.4-liter models mate to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Acura TLX Adv Nose
Acura TLX Adv Tail

In terms of trim levels, the new TLX is available as a base 2.4-liter; a 2.4-liter with the Tech Package; a 3.5-liter in base form or with the Tech Package, or with the Advance Package; and finally the 3.5-liter A-Spec version. All trims will be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ safety enhancement suite including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and Road Departure Mitigation.

The 2.4-liter TLX is available only in a FWD configuration, while all 3.5-liter powered models are available in either FWD or with SH-AWD. All FWD models are equipped with Precision All Wheel Steering (PAW-S). Steering is Electrically Powered Motion Adaptive. Pricing ranges from $33,000. to $43,750. Add $950 for Destination and Handling and another $2,000 for SH-AWD. The TLX is on sale in June.
Acura TLX AS RSD
During the product launch, only 3.5-liter powered TLX models were tested in both Advance and A-Spec trim levels. I was able to experience wheel and seat time in both the 2018 Acura 3.5-liter Advance with SH-AWD and the 2018 Acura 3.5-liter A-Spec with SH-AWD. My A-Spec TLX wore an exterior finish (exclusive to the A-Spec) of Still Night Blue Pearl metallic, with the interior was done in Black with Alcantara. The TLX Advance had a San Marino Red exterior finish and also had a Black interior with Alcantara.

Redesigned with significant enhancements, the new TLX displays a new face, with inspiration drawn from Acura’s Precision Concept show vehicle. The new TLX showcases a more boldly athletic and sporty persona that’s alluring and appealing from virtually every angle. The front end styling is completely new from the “A” pillar forward, inclusive of Acura’s new signature diamond pentagon grille, front bumper, lower fascia, lighting, strong sculpted hood design and sculpted fender treatment. In profile, the TLX depicts Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA. The side sills draw visual focus to the rear and one of three unique rear fascias, bumper and exhaust execution.
Acura TLX AS Nose
Acura TLX AS Tail
And that’s only the regular TLX – the A-Spec broadens the TLX’s appeal starting up front with a unique grille finished with a dark chrome surround and a an additional wide opening beneath the bumper. The redesigned Jewel-Eye™ headlights feature dark lenses and the fog lamps wear a dark chrome trim. A-Spec badging appears on the front fenders and the side window surround has a distinctive matte black finish. Garnish on the lower side sill serves up an aerodynamic shape and the split-spoke, 19-inch wheels are finished in Shark Gray paint. Out back, taillights are trimmed in dark chrome and the rear fascia appears in body color above a Black panel. The TLX finishes off with an A-Spec badge on the decklid with a gloss Black spoiler, 4-inch round bright exhaust tips and an exclusively styled aerodynamic diffuser. Rear air vents appear at the fascia corners with Black hexagonal grilles.
Acura TLX Int
Inside the cabin is a refined feeling of luxury that provides roomy comfort and support for five. The TLX’s two-screen center stack interface features a new
simplified menu structure for faster operation and enhanced ease of use. Gauges and switchgear are optimally arranged and user friendly. The cabin of the TLX V6 A-Spec features more aggressively bolstered front seats, an A-Spec badged
thick-rimmed steering wheel, red driver’s meter highlights, black headliner and pillar treatment, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, stainless steel driver’s footrest, and front and rear door sill trim.
Acura TLX RInt
A Multi-Angle Rearview Camera comes as standard fare, and a newly available Surround-View Camera System comes standard with the Advance Package. A-Spec and Advance Packages also include a wireless charging pad in the front console for charging compatible devices. The Smart Entry Keyless Access System with front door and trunk access is standard on all TLX models, and on the Technology Package and above, Smart Entry access is expanded to include the rear doors. The 2018 TLX with Advance Package also adds remote engine start that can be activated with a range of at least 300 feet from the vehicle, allowing the vehicle to be preheated or pre-cooled and defrosted/defogged based on the customer’s pre-selected settings.
Acura TLX Dsh
There’s also a host of technology and convenience features available for enhanced travel and driving enjoyment such as: a driver’s seat power thigh extension (V6 Technology Package and above); Walk Away Auto Lock®; Hill Start Assist; a
Capless fuel filler; and much more.
Acura TLX Trnk
SUMMARY: Both the 2018 Acura TLX Advance and TLX a-Spec share the same mechanicals, UMMARY:but the A-Spec delivers a sportier aura and ride with its Sport Tuning, with stiffer damping rate, larger stabilizer bars, quicker steering ratio and enhanced engine sound. The 3.5-liter Direct Injected V6 provides more than ample get up and go, while delivering smooth gear changes up and down.

The Motion Adaptive electric power steering was spot on through the “twisties” and back roads of Kentucky, always with a positive on-center feel and immediate responsiveness to driver input.
Acura TLX Adv Whl
Acura TLX AS Whl
Both Acura TLX versions serve up a comfortable, but planted and stable ride quality – especially with the SH-AWD and PAW-S. Piloting over narrow, curvy rural roads rendered a smoothness and preciseness that was literally ballet-like.

Acura’s Integrated Dynamic System provides four settings: ECON; Normal; Sport; and Sport+, allowing the driver to customize handling, powertrain and HVAC settings through two Shift Logic selections. Sport+ provides the most satisfying performance attributes.
Acura TLX Adv RSR
The racy styling and design enhancements of this latest TLX generate a sexy impression that is a cut above the Acura ILX and fits into a league of entry premium segment sedans including: Audi’s A4; the BMW 330i; Infiniti Q50; Lexus IS; and the Mercedes-Benz C-300.

Connectivity with CarPlay and Android Auto, is visible through an updated On Demand Multi-Use display and feel.

In a bottom line analysis, the 2018 Acura TLX Advance and TLX A-Spec with SH-AWD are both winning entries into the Luxury Sport sedan marketplace.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Acura TLX Advance and A-Spec

Base Price: $43,750. -Advance 2WD / $42,800. – A-Spec 2WD
Price as Tested: $46,700. -Advance SH-AWD/ $45,750. – A-Spec SH- AWD

Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, SOHC, 16-valve i-VTEC V6 with Direct Injection and Variable Cylinder Management.

Horsepower (bhp): 290 @ 6,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 267 @ 4,500 rpm

Transmission: 9-speed sequential SportShift automatic with paddle shifters, shift-by-wire gear selector and Grade Logic Control System.

Drive Train: Front transversely mounted engine / SH-AWD

Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with Amplitude Reactive Dampers and 26 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link with Amplitude Reactive Dampers
and 25.4 mm stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front), ABS, BA, CMBS, LKAS, AHA, TPMS and VSA w/ TC.

Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4 245/40 R19 94V mounted on 5-double –spoke aluminum alloy wheels (A-Spec) / Goodyear Eagle LS2 225/50 R18 mounted on 5-polished“V”-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with 5-painted separator spokes.

Wheelbase: 109.3 inches
Length Overall: 191.7 inches / 191.5-A-Spec
Width: 73.0 inches
Height: 57.0 inches
Curb Weight: 3,505 lbs.- 2.4L / 3,616-V
Turning Circle: 39.5 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 17.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: TBA mpg city / TBA mpg highway – 2017 figures =21 & 31 mpg city/hwy
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not Tested.

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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