The sedan is dead, so auto industry experts keep saying, and yet automakers continue to update their most traditional models nearly every year. That holds true for Acura’s mid-range TLX, which most notably gains an A-Spec appearance package for four-cylinder models, expanding that trim’s availability following what Acura calls a successful introduction last year on V6-powered cars.
As before, the TLX begins with a four-cylinder model powered by a 2.4L engine making 206 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque, which comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
The power upgrade gets you a 3.5L V6 good for a more impressive 290 hp and 267 lb-ft, which is matched with a nine-speed automatic and comes standard with AWD.
While V6 models fitted with the A-Spec package get quicker steering and a stiffer suspension, it’s strictly an appearance package on four-cylinder cars that includes trim-specific 19-inch wheels, dark headlight and tail light housings and other exterior cues, while interior touches include heavily bolstered front seats with contrast stitching and a thick-rimmed steering wheel.
As a mid-size luxury sedan, the TLX ostensibly competes with cars like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but in truth it can’t hold a candle to the wide range of powertrain options offered by those German juggernauts. Still, with its strong V6 and capable AWD system, the TLX is a fine car to drive in a wide variety of road and meteorological conditions.
Base models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with automatic high beams, sunroof, adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, passive keyless entry, multi-angle backup camera, seven-speaker stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 10-way power driver’s seat and four-way power front passenger seat (both heated and trimmed in leatherette).
The TLX Tech adds power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, navigation, 10-speaker stereo, heated steering wheel and rear seats and perforated leather-trimmed interior.
A-Spec models get 19-inch wheels and other trim-specific interior and exterior embellishments.
SH-AWD trim gets the V6 engine but otherwise builds on the base model, adding 18-inch wheels, headlight washers, engine idle stop-start, push-button gear selector and an eight-way power front passenger seat.
SH-AWD Tech trim echoes the four-cylinder Tech model but for its use of the V6 powertrain.
SH-AWD Elite tops the range with auto-dimming side mirrors, puddle lights, front and rear parking sensors, surround view exterior camera system, wireless smartphone charging and ventilated front seats.
Acura also allows you to add the full-on A-Spec treatment, complete with quicker steering and suspension, to SH-AWD Tech and Elite models.
Fuel consumption estimates are 10.0/7.1 for four-cylinder cars, 11.4/7.7 in standard V6 models and 12.0/8.2 for V6 A-Spec variants.