The latest-generation Acura TLX is a solid value, with a chassis that’s quite underrated.
Car: 2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec
Location: Angeles National Forest, CA
Photog: Peter Nelson (Instagram + Twitter: @16vPete)
Camera: Canon 6D + EF 50mm 1.8II AF
I won’t focus too much on the value aspect; it undercuts the BMW 330i and Lexus IS 350 in luxury by a pretty substantial margin, that’s all you really need to know about it.
What’s most pertinent is how it drives. For weighing nearly 4,000 pounds and being dimensionally huge, its chassis is so friggin’ good. And it’s not even the top-performing, more performance-centric Type S.
The TLX A-Spec measures to be more BMW 5 Series-sized, yet it’s not big and wallowy. In fact and feels surprisingly knife-edged rather than disconnected, soft, and squishy. What makes this even more surprising is that it’s equipped with the worst all-season tires ever, Michelin Primacy HPs, and has pretty weak brakes.
But both the chassis and all-wheel drive system come together to make the best of it, and offer a high-grip experience, with excellent body control and steering feel.
The power output doesn’t quite match the chassis — 7 seconds to 60 isn’t quick enough for its segment. But the strength of its handling helps outweigh that by a decent margin, and for that, the TLX ought not to be ruled out for anyone after a good value in luxury mid-sizes.