Acura TLX

Base TLX models come with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine making 206 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, which features a torque converter to smooth out any jerkiness in the drivetrain during low speed operation. The optional engine is a 3.5L V6 making 290 hp. Power is sent to either the front, or with Acura's SH-AWD system, all-four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Acura worked to improve the sports credibility of the TLX with the addition of the A-Spec package with a unique suspension and quick ratio steering setup paired with the 4-wheel steering system allowing the TLX to be both nimble and stable when carving up a twisty road.

Acura offers a choice of 4-cylinder or V6 engines and front-wheel or SH-AWD all-wheel drive, each of which can each be ordered with a Technology Package or Advanced Package. A-Spec is available with both V6 and Technology Package boxes checked.

Standard equipment levels are excellent. The base TLX comes equipped with LED headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM satellite radio, a rearview camera, keyless access, a multi-function display, Siri eyes free functionality and USB and iPod connectivity.

Buyers who opt for the Technology Package get a navigation system with real-time traffic updates, a premium audio system with HD radio, a colored display screen, a perforated leather trimmed interior, rain sensing wipers, lane assist and lane departure warning systems as well as blind spot and forward collision warning systems.

The all-new A-Spec package utilizing a quicker steering ratio, sporty suspension, and lower profile tires demonstrates excellent handling ability without compromise of comfort. The A-Spec is available with black or red Alcantara leather interior with contrasting stitching, exclusive Still Night Blue Pearl exterior paint, Shark Gray 19-inch wheels and unique round LED fog lamps.

The V6-powered TLX comes in both front and all-wheel drive configurations, though all-wheel drive versions always come equipped with either the Technology or the Advanced Package.

Safety systems across the TLX line include anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control. Front, side, side curtain and driver's knee airbags are all standard.

Editors' Review

It's a little strange to think that this otherwise ordinary Acura TLX will actually be one of the rarest cars I'll drive this year. Just 360 examples of this hand-built TLX PMC Edition will be sold, making it one of Acura's (and Honda's) smallest-volume cars yet. But beyond the inherent cool factor of driving something so exclusive, a few days behind the wheel of this small-batch sedan reminds me that Acura's aging TLX still has a lot to offer, with or without that fancy red paint.

If you paused at the phrase "hand-built," I promise, you read that correctly. While normal TLX models roll off the line at Honda's Marysville Auto Plant, this one heads to finishing school at the nearby Performance Manufacturing Center -- that's the PMC in PMC Edition. There, these special TLX sedans are hand-assembled on the same lines where skilled women and men bolt together the Acura NSX, and every one of the PMC Edition cars is painted in the supercar's formerly exclusive shade of Valencia red -- a complex finish that takes five days to fully apply.

My lousy photos do not do Valencia red justice; this is one of the richest, most beautiful reds you'll ever see on any car at any price. No matter if it's sunny, cloudy or rainy, this deep red hue is really striking. I've never seen so many people doing double takes as a TLX drives by.

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The Good ~ Smooth V6 performance ~ Solid roster of convenience and tech features ~ One of the prettiest paint jobs available anywhere

The Bad ~ Navigation system is showing its age ~ Sluggish transmission ~ Relatively poor fuel economy

The Bottom Line Despite its age, the 2020 Acura TLX is a solid midsize luxury offering, and the added features and exclusivity of this PMC Edition make it worth the extra coin.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 9.5
  • Design 8
  • Media 7

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