2021 Acura TLX vs BMW 3 Series: A Rundown of Each Sport Sedan

When it comes to the luxury sport sedan segment, the BMW 3 Series has always been considered the benchmark. However, the 2021 Acura TLX shows a lot of promise by bringing new engines, new tech, and the return of the Type S moniker to the table. Historically, Acura has only held a slight candle to its German rivals, but the redesigned TLX could be the ammunition it needs to make a bolder statement. Here is a quick rundown of both the 2021 TLX and the BMW 3 Series based on the information that has been released thus far.

The 2021 Acura TLX is a little bigger than the BMW 3 Series

When it comes to sedans, size does matter. For 2021, Acura made the TLX a little bigger than its predecessor and it’s also bigger than the current 3 Series. The TLX measures in at 194.6 inches while the BMW measures in at 185.7 inches, a nearly nine-inch difference. The TLX is also wider, coming in at 75.2 inches, and the BMW is 71.9 inches wide. We say that “size matters” mainly because the bigger the car, the more interior space it has. What is interesting, though, is that the BMW 3 Series has a little more passenger volume than the Acura (94 cu. ft vs 93.4 cu. ft), and it even has more trunk space (17 cu. ft vs 13.5 cu. ft). Hopefully, the Acura TLX makes up for what it lacks in room in other areas.

What’s under the hoods of the Acura TLX and the BMW 3 Series?

The new Acura TLX will come with a choice of engines, but we only know the specs on one of them so far. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque and the Type-S model will get a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, but we don’t know the specifications on that engine just yet. Both engines will be connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission and the brand’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive is available.

In contrast, the BMW 3 Series is powered by a turbo 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine as well. It produces 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s primarily a rear-drive platform as opposed to the TLX’s front-drive setup, and all-wheel drive is also available. The 3 Series also has a larger 3.0-liter, turbo V6 available in the M340i that pushes out 385 hp, so we’re guessing the TLX Type-S engine should produce around the same.

BMW 3 Series
BMW 3 Series | BMW

The Acura TLX brings more value to the segment

When it comes to value packaging, it’s hard to beat Acura. For example, the 2021 TLX will come standard with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and a head-up display will be available. The real kicker is the TLX will also come with AcuraWatch, which is the brand’s suite of driver-assist features (traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise control, etc.), as standard equipment. In order to get the same features in the BMW 3 Series, you would need to shell out an extra $2,200 for the Driver Assistance and Driver Assistance Professional packages.

Red 2021 Acura TLX Type S
2021 Acura TLX Type S | Acura

Why the BMW 3 Series Is the Best Entry-Level Sports Car

The Acura TLX will be priced less than the BMW

Acura is still tight-lipped on the exact pricing for the forthcoming TLX, however, they did say that it will start in the mid-$30,000 range. That sounds promising, especially considering the current BMW 3 Series starts at around $40,000 and goes up when you tick off the option boxes and step up in trim levels. While we don’t know everything about the TLX just yet, this little rundown definitely shows that could push the brand back up in the ranks and compete very well against German competitors like the BMW 3 Series.