Sedans & Coupes

2021 Acura TLX Disappoints in MotorTrend Track Test

Is the 2021 Acura TLX’s hype officially dead? Until this point, the redesigned 2021 TLX has impressed as more details have emerged. However, a recent track test raises concerns about the luxury car’s performance.

Acura outfitted the 2021 TLX with a powerful new engine. However, MotorTrend put this new powertrain to the test, and the 2021 TLX failed to live up expectations. It registered a slower acceleration time, worse fuel economy, and took longer to reach a full stop when braking than its rivals. However, the publication noted the 2021 TLX performed better in its road test.

The stopwatch doesn’t lie 

Track numbers never tell the entire story, but the 2021 Acura TLX’s lackluster numbers might put a damper on the car to those looking for a thrill ride. The TLX clocked in a 0-60 MPH time of just seven seconds.

Meanwhile, the Alfa Romeo Guilia 2.0T AWD registered the fastest time among the cars tested in its class with a 0-60 MPH time of 5.2 seconds. The BMW 330i xDrive impressed as well, recording a time of 5.5 seconds. The Genesis G70 2.0 RWD lagged behind, but it still came ahead of the Acura TLX with a time of 6.2 seconds. 

The TLX’s results failed to show the type of get-up-and-go performance everyone wanted. Acura equipped the 2021 TLX with a 276-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This powerplant was expected to be a significant upgrade from the 2020 model’s 206-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. 

The 2021 Acura TLX also measured poorly when it came to the 60-0 MPH brake test. The TLX needed 127 feet to reach a full stop, which was 21 feet more than the Genesis G70 needed. The BMW 330i xDrive recorded a distance of 114, and the Alfa Romeo Giulia fell to the back of the pack with a distance of 130 feet.

The 2021 Acura TLX showed some positives as well

Acura brought about a host of welcome changes for the new 2021 TLX. The manufacturer reworked the sport sedan’s exterior, making it sleeker and more athletic. Meanwhile, the car features roomy front seats and quality materials throughout the cabin. Although, the TLX’s infotainment system is still problematic.

According to MotorTrend, the 2021 Acura TLX’s issues weren’t as noticeable while driving on the city streets. The publication said it didn’t offer spectacular fuel economy numbers, achieving 22/33 MPG city/highway. However, the 2021 TLX delivers plenty of value in interior quality with its starting MSRP of $38,525.

For instance, all models come standard with a suite of driver-assistance systems, featuring adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, and more. This package also includes some new standard features for 2021. These include traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, and a driver-awareness monitor.

Buyers can also add premium available interior options like an open-pore wood trim, Milano leather, and 16-way power-adjustable front seats.

Lukewarm performance doesn’t spell doom for the TLX

The 2021 Acura TLX Type S on display in front of a futuristic gray and silver background
2021 Acura TLX Type S on display | Photo via Acura

RELATED: You Haven’t Seen the 2021 Acura TLX Type S Like This Before

The 2021 Acura TLX won’t blow you away on the track. And it’s still up for debate if the upcoming 355-hp TLX Type S, which is slated for an early 2021 release, will impress. However, the 2021 TLX could be a top option for those seeking a luxurious sport sedan at an attainable price.

All things considered, the 2021 TLX has significant potential, despite its uninspiring performance on the track.