Sedans & Coupes

2021 Audi A6 vs. Acura TLX: It Comes Down to Price

If money weren’t an obstacle, buyers would be open to many more possibilities than those that are more realistic. But alas, most shoppers need to adhere to a pretty strict budget when it comes to car shopping, even when considering luxury-brand vehicles. This is why many automakers are in a tight race to keep prices competitive and value high. That’s the case with the 2021 Audi A6 and 2021 Acura TLX. However, these rivals seem to take different approaches.

Acura makes owning a sports sedan an achievable dream, setting the starting MSRP of the 2021 TLX at just $37,500. Meanwhile, Audi limits its market, as the 2021 A6 begins at an MSRP of $54,900. Both vehicles occupy the same space on the market, so why the massive price difference? Is the 2021 Audi A6 really that much better, or are you only paying for brand recognition? 

Let’s take a closer look at the 2021 Audi A6 and 2021 Acura TLX to see which sports sedan comes out on top and if you should be driving either one off the lot. 

The 2021 Audi A6 and the Acura TLX exude luxury with different price tags

A white 2021 Audi A6 on display at an auto show
The 2021 Audi A6 on display | Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

There’s no getting around it; the Audi A6 is expensive. If choosing between the two, many buyers would opt for the Acura TLX to save some money. Is there a blatant reason why there is such a disparity in cost between the two vehicles? Honestly, none that we can see other than the hood ornament and possibly some more luxurious finishes.  

The 2021 Audi A6 features high-quality materials, such as supple leather and wood trim, throughout the cabin. An 8.8-inch touchscreen display, a 10-speaker sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a navigation system come standard. However, shoppers can spend a little more on a mid-tier trim to get a 10.1-inch touchscreen display and a 16-speaker premium sound system.

Meanwhile, Acura redesigned the TLX for the 2021 model year, and the car offers more premium materials than before. Brushed aluminum trim and leatherette upholstery grace the base model’s interior, but shoppers can add available genuine leather seats and wood trim.

The A6 comes with more premium materials on its base model. However, the TLX closes the gap with its assortment of standard technology. The 2021 Acura TLX has a 10.2-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 10-speaker sound system. Buyers can enhance their driving experience by adding an available navigation system, a 17-speaker premium sound system, and a wireless charging pad.

Which sports sedan crosses the finish line first?

A red 2021 Acura TLX driving down a highway
The 2021 Acura TLX in action | Photo via Acura

RELATED: 2021 Acura TLX Disappoints in MotorTrend Track Test

Despite being more expensive, the 2021 Audi A6 lacks the raw power provided by the 2021 Acura TLX. The A6’s standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 248 hp, which should be enough to satisfy most drivers. Notably, Audi boosted the A6’s performance during a mid-model-year refresh, resulting in an extra 13 hp for a total of 261 hp. However, the TLX’s standard 272-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivers a little more excitement. 

2021 Audi A6 shoppers can add a more potent 335-hp 3.0-liter V6 for around an additional $5,000 over MSRP. The 2021 Acura TLX also offers a souped-up Type S trim level. It features a 3.0-liter V6 engine that kicks out 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. However, this model won’t be available until Spring 2021, and Acura has not yet released pricing information. However, Car and Driver speculates that the TLX Type S will cost around $50,000.

The A6 has a built-in advantage that partially explains its higher cost. It comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system, as opposed to the TLX’s front-wheel-drive system. AWD delivers better traction on slick driving surfaces, which enhances the safety and performance of the vehicle.

Which sports sedan reigns supreme?

RELATED: The 2021 Acura TLX Features the Same Clunky Infotainment System

When it comes to sports sedans, the 2021 Audi A6 and 2021 Acura TXL have a lot to offer. However, what really separates them from each other is simply their price. 

If you’re looking for the notoriety that comes with driving an Audi into the company parking lot, the A6 is the perfect choice for you. But if you’re looking for luxury for pennies on the dollar in comparison to the hefty price tag the 2021 Audi A6 comes with, then the Acura TXL is your best bet. Even if you add available features like leather seats and a premium sound system, the TLX will still be the more affordable option.