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2015 Acura TLX Windy City Review By Larry Nutson

2015 Acura TLX (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX
Windy City Review

Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel

It’s accurate and appropriate to point out that there are no bad cars today. Consumers have it pretty good, as they should. Some cars are better than others. And, some cars tend to rise to the top of the ranks.

The 2015 Acura TLX is one of those. The TLX is not only all-new but it’s an all-new model from Acura. It replaces two outgoing models, the TSX and the TL.

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The 2015 Acura TLX is well placed in the category of entry-level luxury compact sport sedans. It’s designed to go head-to-head with other luxury brand performance sedans from Europe and Asia that are priced from around thirty to fifty thousand.

The five-passenger TLX offers two engine choices, a 4-cylinder or a 6-cylinder. The 6-cylinder can be had with all-wheel-drive. Prices start at $30,995 and run up to $44,700.

I had a week’s time to spend behind the wheel on a daily basis and drive the top of the line $44,700 TLX 3.5L SH-AWD model with the Advance Package. It’s got everything that Acura offers in the TLX with a bottom line that has only the $895 destination charge added on.

The Advance Package includes Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, ventilated front seats, exterior puddle lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, LED fog lights, Road Departure Mitigation System, and auto-dimming side mirrors.

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The 3.5-L V6 pumps out 290 HP and provides plenty of get up and go mated to the 9-speed automatic. EPA test fuel economy ratings on the AWD model I drove are 25 mpg combined, or 4.0 gallons per 100 miles, with 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway EPA test ratings.

The front-drive V6 has the same city and combined EPA test ratings, with the highway test rating up a bit to 34 mpg. I would be choosing one of the V6 engine models not only for the obvious more performance, but if I lived in hilly country or drove often with a contingent in the rear seat and a loaded trunk.

I didn’t drive the 206 HP 4-cylinder model. I would have liked to experience the new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Logic says this would be the choice for folks looking for the best overall fuel economy and also those living in relatively flat parts of the country and driving mostly with light loads.

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The 2015 Acura TLX utilizes a newly designed chassis that incorporates next-generation versions of two Acura super-handling technologies – Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) is standard on all two-wheel-drive TLX models and provides independent electronic control of rear-wheel toe angles that enhances turning, straight line, and emergency handing and confidence.

The TLX SH-AWD features a new hydraulically-controlled iteration of the Acura system which progressively distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. The benefits of the SH-AWD system are superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power.

More and more auto makers are offering all-wheel-drive on their car models especially to satisfy buyer demand in the snowy regions of the country like New England, the Midwest and the mountain states. Not everyone wants or needs an SUV just so they can have all-wheel-drive.

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I found the TLX’s interior quite comfortable and roomy. Ingress and egress is without difficulty; it’s very quiet; and, seats are supportive. Road manners on the highways, byways and city streets of Chicagoland did not disappoint. Rough roads, pavement joints and the inevitable city pothole all were managed by the docile TLX.

On the outside, the TLX’s design is tasteful, not overwhelming and with a hint of being Germanic, in my eye, from the rear. Niceties on the inside that I like include a heated steering wheel and the red color of the push-button ignition that makes for easy recognition. The automatic transmission does not have the typical, or once typical, selector lever rising up from the center console. Acura TLX features a push button to select drive and other push or pull-up buttons for park, reverse and neutral. I liked this set up for its clean design, ease of use and unobtrusiveness.

At a touch over 190 inches of overall length in-city maneuverability and parking is not too challenging. The multi-view rear camera and parking sensors help with the latter.

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All TLXs have a 60/40split-fold rear seat and a 13.2 cubic foot trunk capacity making for versatile cargo hauling. Additionally, a versatile trunk underfloor storage system provides convenient storage for such items as groceries, emergency tools and other small items. The flip-up floor covers a pair of storage bins, or a larger single bin with the Advance Package that increase trunk capacity to 14.3 cubic feet.

If you are shopping around, comparing the Acura TLX to other 4-door luxury sport sedans can be done right here on More information and detailed specifications as well as the standard features as well as options for all 8 2015 Acura TLX models they can be found a mouse click away at the bottom of my review.

At the start I mentioned that the TLX tends to rise to the top. In the field of very good all new cars, it made the short list for North American Car of the Year. The all-new 2015 Acura TLX has received the highest possible rating of 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2015 Acura TLX is a nimble sedan with a well balanced blend of luxury and sport.

2014 Larry Nutson, Chicago Car Guy

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