Expert Reviews

2024 Acura TLX Type S Review

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The Acura TLX was redesigned a few short years ago, reintroducing the Type S badge in the process after a 13-year hiatus.

Though it lacks the reputation enjoyed by rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, this sedan has long been something of a bargain. And with its new turbocharged V6, the 2024 Acura TLX Type S has some performance chops to go with it.

Power: 8/10

Accompanying the Type S badge is a 3.0L six-cylinder that uses a pair of turbos to produce 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine that’s in the MDX Type S, but it feels more potent in this smaller, lighter package. Acceleration is brisk, throttle response is now even sharper, and while it’s not quite as quick as its German rivals, there’s enough to shove you into your seat and pass slower traffic with ease. It also sounds good, although some crackles and pops would add some excitement to the experience. [Translation: the backfire bros. might be a bit disappointed. – Ed.]

Driving Feel: 8/10

One of the TLX Type S’s highlights is the way it feels from behind the wheel. There’s a clear distinction between its drive modes that range from comfort to sport+, the former of which soaks up lumps, bumps, and road undulations. Meanwhile, the suspension becomes stiffer in sport+, and even minor pedal pressure will cause the 10-speed automatic to drop a gear or two so the TLX can surge forward with what feels like more gusto than the numbers suggest. It can feel a bit manic during a typical commute and is best saved for a traffic-free backroad.

With its rear-biased all-wheel drive system and rear torque-vectoring, the system can send as much as 70 per cent of the available torque to the rear wheels – all of which can be sent to one side or the other. Systems like this allow a vehicle to corner faster by precisely metering the torque between the rear wheels, helping to reduce understeer. It’s technology that makes you feel like a better driver than you are.

The TLX has great steering, well controlled body motions, and a potent powertrain, but it can also be a great luxury cruiser, crushing kilometres on the highway with ease. In the context of a luxury sport sedan, the TLX Type S is very good at its job.

Styling: 8/10

With its most recent redesign, Acura’s designers lengthened the TLX’s hood and gave it a much longer dash-to-axle ratio than the previous generation. For 2024 there’s a revised front grille, new 20-inch wheels, and a tweaked fascia, although the changes are fairly subtle. The Type S separates itself from the garden-variety TLX with its Brembo brakes, rear spoiler, rear diffuser, and sizable exhaust tips.

Features: 10/10

The TLX gets a larger infotainment screen than before, now measuring 12.3 inches, while there’s a new digital instrument display of the same size that replaces the analogue gauges of old. There’s also a more powerful processor running the infotainment interface for a better user experience.

Rear occupants get USB-C ports, the surround-view cameras have a higher resolution, and a 10.5-inch head-up display can show speed, navigation information, driver-assist functions, and traffic sign information. There are no options offered with the TLX Type S apart from paint and a few accessories.

User-Friendliness: 7/10

The interior of the is ergonomically sound, with physical buttons for most major controls, and everything is within easy reach of the driver. The touchpad-based infotainment controller remains a challenge to use and mars an otherwise great user experience. Each section of the infotainment screen is mapped out into sections, with a tap of the touchpad corresponding to an input on the screen. It’s straightforward in theory, but it can be rather frustrating in practice. Adding a touchscreen would simplify the process considerably.

Comfort: 9/10

In comfort mode the TLX Type S is nearly as plush as the more luxury-oriented A-Spec trim, and the suspension remains compliant even in the sport+ setting that’s exclusive to this trim. The front seats are also very comfortable and supportive and have a very handy automatic heating and cooling function that can be set with the quick push of a button.

Practicality: 8/10

The TLX is similar in size to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, with interior dimensions that reflect its place in the market. Rear passengers get a generous amount of legroom, and the 382-L trunk is deep and features a wide opening.

Fuel Economy: 7/10

One of the downsides of specifying this car’s bigger engine is the extra fuel consumption that comes with it. Expect numbers that land in the 12–14.0 L/100 km range in the city and low 10s on the highway, placing it roughly mid-pack in its competitive set.

Safety: 10/10

The brand’s suite of driver-assist technology has been improved and made even more robust, with better cameras and updated sensors that provide a wider field of view. Acura says this allows the TLX to more easily recognize other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, road markings, curbs, and traffic signs. The TLX gets a five-star rating with the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the not-for-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – both the highest possible.

Value: 9/10

One of the TLX’s biggest advantages is the value it offers. The latest crop of Hondas and Acuras have seen sizable price jumps recently, and they aren’t as value-oriented as they once were, but the TLX remains a bargain – especially when compared to its European competitors.

The Verdict

The 2024 Acura TLX Type S doesn’t follow the classic sport sedan rule book and never has, and that makes it refreshing. Its turbocharged V6 is an excellent engine and provides plenty of power, and its rear-biased all-wheel drive system masks all hints that this is a front-wheel drive-based vehicle. It’s a fun car to drive, and is well worth consideration for those shopping in the segment.

Engine Displacement 3.0L
Engine Cylinders Turbo V6
Peak Horsepower 355 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Peak Torque 354 lb-ft @ 1,400–5,000 rpm
Fuel Economy 12.3 / 9.8 / 11.2 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 382 L
Model Tested 2024 Acura TLX Type S
Base Price $63,750
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $2,595
Price as Tested $66,945
Optional Equipment
$500 – Urban Grey Pearl paint, $500