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2017 Acura TLX with Technology Package - Review By John Heilig

2017 Acura TLX Tech  (select to view enlarged photo)

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

ENGINE: 2.4-liter DOHC I-4
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 206 hp @ 6,800 rpm/183 lb.-ft. @ 44,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 109.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 190.3 x 73.0 x 57.0 in.
TIRES: P225/55R17
CARGO: 13.2 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway/20.6 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 17.2 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,483 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Audi A4, Buick Regal, Lexus CT
STICKER: $36,890 (includes $940 delivery)
BOTTOM LINE: The Acura TLX is a very nice package. It is quiet, powerful and has good ride quality.

Ever since its inception, Acura has offered sporty luxury cars and SUVs. The TLX is no different. A short time behind the wheel will convince you that the TLX offers quiet operation and sporty performance. Throw in entry-level luxury and you have a car that will serve you well in most circumstances.

One disagreement I have with Acura is in its definition of the TLX. Acura calls it a five-passenger sedan, while in fact the center passenger in the back will soon develop an intimate relationship with his or her knees, thanks to a fairly tall center bump. The two outside passengers will ride in comfort, though, even if legroom is slightly cramped.

The driver enjoys a 2.4-liter inline four that is rated at 206 horsepower, more than enough power to propel the 3,483-pound TLX to illegal speeds almost anywhere. Acceleration is good. I was impressed by how quiet the engine is, even under acceleration. The 2.4-liter engine is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission with sequential paddle shifters, while the optional 3.5-liter V6 uses a 9-speed automatic.

Handling is also good. The TLX is equipped with P-AWS - Precision All-Wheel Steer. P-AWS was incorporated into the early chassis design of the car and uses independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control to enhance overall handling precision. It isn’t true all-wheel steer, like the early Honda models that actually moved the rearm wheels during turning, but it does help handling. We drove t he TLX over some winding roads with no body lean. It’s a nice compliant ride. Also, there is virtually no wind noise, even at higher speeds.

A feature I like with the TLX is that then outside right mirror tilts down when you shift into reverse. This is very helpful if you’re trying to locate a curb in parallel parking.

Dominating the center stack are dual information and entertainment screens. The upper screen is a map most of the time, but switches to the screen for the back-up camera. The lower screen is primarily for audio, although the lower part of that screen displays HVAC info, such as temperature, fan speed and air direction. All this going on on the center stack is not distracting, which is good.

Instruments are white-on-black dials with a “three dimensional” effect. Two “toggle rotary” switches on the wheel help navigate through the information screen on the instrument panel. They toggle among fuel economy, vehicle settings, compass, average speed elapsed time and range. Gear, outside temperature and odometers are always on.

Front seats are comfortable but offer minimal side support. The outboard rear seats also offer some side support. Overall rear legroom is tight, reflecting the car’s classification. The EPA classifies the TLX as a compact.

The rear seats have a pull-down armrest with a pair of cupholders. There’s also a small cubby that would hold a cell phone. All four door pulls have bottoms, which is also convenient for cell phones, if you have an ancient one like mine.

For a compact car, the TLX has a good trunk, at 13.2 cubic feet. There are two areas on the right and left that are convenient for keeping grocery bags or objects you don’t want rolling around. In addition, there are small cargo compartments under the cargo floor. The rear seat back releases are located in the trunk compartment to fold the backs for increased cargo capacity.

Overall,, the Acura TLX is a vary nice car. It is a quiet, comfortable driver/rider with features like the back up camera and outside rear mirror dipping that make it easy to park.

(c) 2016 The Auto Page Syndicate

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