ACURA TLX Type-S test drive.

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The Acura TLX Type-S main event is the wonderful new 3.0 Liter V6 with 355HP.

Outside, it’s really not that different from the other TLX versions, especially the A-Spec trim. For 2024, Acura has slightly redesigned the front end. So slightly that only current owners will be able to tell. And a few car-obsessed nerds I guess.

While the Type comes with very nice 19-inch “Shark grey” wheels, my test car came with optional dealer-installed horrible gold 20-inch wheels. Not only are they the epitome of the word “ghastly”, they also cost around $2500 extra. In my book, this is a No Bueno situation either way.

The TLX came out a few years ago and still looks pretty nice as a conservative-looking sedan. (Although adding a spoiler and gold wheels really ruins the whole thing). But it’s also quite invisible and to most people, doesn’t really look fancier or more expensive than the Honda Accord.

Things haven’t changed much inside. My test car had the available red and black interior, which is also available in the A-Spec trim.

It is still a very nice interior. And much superior to anything you can get in the Accord. I really like the matte wood trim of the regular TLX, which of course isn’t available in the Type-S. Where it is replaced by a much more generic metallic finish. The sports seats are pretty narrow and also pretty hard…

As usual with the TLX, the back seat is surprisingly tight for taller humans. As legroom is seriously lacking compared to the Accord.

Also, as usual, the ALS sound system is fantastic. However, the dreaded trackpad is still there. It just got removed from the 2025 MDX, and will also be replaced in the 2025 RDX‘s new interior. I guess it was too late for the TLX…

The Acura TLX Type-S is a pleasure to drive. The engine is the same as in the MDX Type-S I drove a few weeks ago and it is just one of the best I’ve tested in a while. However, in the case of the MDX, it is a slight step pup from the other, cheaper versions 3.5 Liter V6. In the TLX, it’s a much bigger improvement since all other versions use Honda’s 2.0 Liter Turbo that used to be found in the Honda Accord.

This is truly a great engine, always powerful, super smooth, and quiet. The steering is excellent, although it can get a bit artificial in the “Sports” mode.

The TLX Type-S has plenty of modes to play with. And most of them create a fake sporty exhaust sound, which is the kind of stuff I absolutely hate. You can get rid of it by choosing the comfort more or creating your own settings in the “individual” mode. Although every time you get back in the car, the whole thing resets to the “Normal” mode…

I was also very surprised at how comfortable the car was in Comfort mode, even with these 20-inch wheels.

The Acura TLX Type-S is a great car. However, it is trying to be very special and falls a bit short.

There is nothing wrong with the powertrain or specs. Or the way it drives. But it just looks very generic and no matter how much gold you paint on the wheels or how large the rear spoiler is, it gets lost in the crowd.

On top of that, the base “Technology” trim is already excellent and starts at $ 45,000. If you kike the red interior and some sporty bits, the “A-Spec” AWD model is still just $50,000. Which is still $7000 cheaper than the Type-S.

In my opinion, no matter how fantastic the V6 is, it’s not really worth the $7000 extra over the A-pec trim. Personally, I would prefer the $45,000 model.

Also, after a few years on the market, you might be able to find a great used one for much less…

I also think the TLX Type-S deserves a much better design. Something striking that stands out, just like its fantastic V6.

Conversation 5 comments

  1. I like the idea of the TLX, but not this. It should be a sleeker car. This looks like the Bat-mobile. And the interiors are the real turn-off. High contrast interiors in red, white, black are a NO. What ever happened to two tone interiors. Or their aluminum/ special open pore wood grain panels?

    Who ever designed the center stack should be locked up. Its a useless area with that big button and trackpad. Why they didn’t just bite the bullet and modify this is beyond me. Finally, the instrument cluster and its surround look straight-up lifted from Honda. If they want to be better than Honda, more expensive than Honda, they should do better.

    Acura’s problem is that this got old real fast.

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