2021 Acura TLX is more expensive than before but still undercuts competitors

The standard TLX starts at $38,525 and the upcoming Type S will be priced above $50,000.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
2 min read
2021 Acura TLX
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2021 Acura TLX

Let's talk about the TLX's awesome new Phantom Violet Pearl color.


swanky new hits dealerships in late September, boasting more power, more tech and a whole lot more style than its predecessor. Because of that, the 2021 TLX is also going to cost you more money: $38,525 including $1,025 for destination, Acura confirmed Thursday.

Yes, that's a $4,500 increase over the base price of a 2020 TLX, but it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. The new TLX has a much more powerful base engine -- a 2.0-liter turbo I4 with 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque -- which is actually closer to the old TLX's optional V6. In that case, the new TLX is priced $1,300 higher than a 2020 V6 model, which doesn't seem like that bad of a hike considering how much prettier and better-equipped this midsize sedan is overall.

Acura TLX Pricing: 2020 vs. 2021

Price (incl. destination)
2020 Acura TLX 2.4L $34,025
2020 Acura TLX V6 $37,225
2020 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD $39,225
2021 Acura TLX 2.0T $38,525
2021 Acura TLX 2.0T SH-AWD $40,525

The TLX 2.0T will be offered in base, Technology, A-Spec and Advance trim levels, all of which are available with the company's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive for an additional $2,000. In its most expensive form, the 2021 TLX 2.0T Advance SH-AWD costs $49,325 including destination.

Next spring, Acura will launch the 355-horsepower TLX Type S. Pricing for this hotter variant isn't available just yet. For now, Acura says the Type S will start in the "low to mid $50,000s."

2021 Acura TLX
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2021 Acura TLX

Even the non-Type S TLX looks great.


The TLX is the second part of Acura's strategy to move more upmarket, following the launch of the third-gen crossover, which went on sale in summer 2018. Acura says the new RDX's average transaction price is a little more than $3,000 higher than the old version, and with the TLX's big upgrade in design and technology, the company believes it can make a similar step up.

Yet at the same time, the TLX is still priced below its main competitors, namely the , and Mercedes-Benz C-Class . (See how they all stack up in our spec comparison.) The TLX is also slightly larger than those German rivals, but offers similar levels of luxury and more standard equipment. To wit: While most driver-assistance technologies are optional on the Germans, every TLX comes standard with the AcuraWatch suite, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition and the company's Traffic Jam Assist, which makes highway commutes a breeze.

2021 Acura TLX vs. Competitors

2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD2020 Audi A4 45 Quattro2020 BMW 330i xDrive2020 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic
Engine 2.0-liter turbo I42.0-liter turbo I42.0-liter turbo I42.0-liter turbo I4
Power 272 hp248 hp255 hp255 hp
Torque 280 lb-ft273 lb-ft294 lb-ft273 lb-ft
Transmission 10-speed auto7-speed DCT8-speed auto9-speed auto
Price (incl. dest.) $40,525$41,895$43,745$44,395

Indeed, the TLX is better poised than ever to take on these rivals, but it's all about getting people into an Acura showroom in the first place. That's where the car's strong design really comes into play -- "that seven-second knockout," as Acura VP Jon Ikdea put it during an interview. "A car that's really designed well kind of sells itself."

The TLX certainly looks great and seems solid on paper, and we recently had the chance to check out its ELS premium audio system. All that's left to do is drive the TLX, which we'll be able to do ahead of its on-sale date late next month. Stay tuned.

2021 Acura TLX packs an ear-pleasing ELS audio system

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Watch this: 2021 Acura TLX: The Type S returns with turbo power