Skip to main content

The 2023 Acura TLX is the brand’s midsize offering, which is built to tote around families and their luggage comfortably. In its base form, the TLX seats five passengers and has plenty of trunk space. It is comfortable, but in true Acura form, it’s also very sporty. The base engine is a 272-hp turbocharged engine that pairs well with the car’s AWD setup.

However, the top-trim TLX Type S kicks things up a notch with a more potent drivetrain and an adaptive suspension. I had a chance to drive the 2023 Acura TLX Type S and was blown away by the way it moved. But at the end of the loan, I realized that it’s really fit for one type of driver.

A front view of the 2023 Acura TLX Type S
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Acura TLX Type S is great for drivers with a heavy right foot

The front interior view in the 2023 Acura TLX Type S
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Do you like taking freeway onramp turns at speed and rolling on the throttle on the straightaways? OK, Mario Andretti, I don’t blame you. I treat the world like my racetrack (within the legal speed limits, of course), and the 2023 Acura TLX Type S is perfect for this “performance” driving.

The TLX Type S is powered by a 355-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. There’s no option for a manual transmission, but frankly, it doesn’t need one. The paddles behind the steering wheel allow the driver to control the power band, and although they’re not as satisfying as rowing the gears yourself, they work.

Additionally, there are five different driving modes – Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport +, and individual. For normal driving, I left the car in Comfort, which softened up the suspension and loosened up the steering for an easy driving experience.

Putting the car into Sport + mode does the opposite. The throttle sharpens up, the transmission holds the gears longer, and the suspension gets very firm. This mode makes the Acura TLX Type S at bonafide street rocket, but I wouldn’t recommend driving it in this mode for long. It can be a little punishing.

The Acura TLX Type S has plenty of space

The rear seat in the 2023 Acura TLX Type S
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Performance driving aside, the Acura TLX Type S works well when you need to haul a family around. I was able to fit three adults and two kids comfortably and even impressed them with my driving skills.

The trunk is also large enough for a few carry-on bags and a backpack. I’m sure golf clubs could fit back there as well, but you may need to remove the driver. Once everything and everyone was loaded up, we all enjoyed the sweet sounds of the premium ELS sound system.

My main gripe, though, is the True Touchpad, which can be cumbersome to use while driving. I would much prefer a touchscreen function to control the 10-inch infotainment system, but it wasn’t too bad.

Speaking of the tech features, my only other gripe was the lack of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s 2023, Acura, the flagship TLX shouldn’t need wires.

Is the Acura TLX Type S worth the extra money over the base model?

There’s a $4,000 difference between the 2023 Acura TLX Type S and the A-Spec model. Keep in mind that the A-Spec doesn’t come with the potent powertrain, so that’s where the extra money is going.

That said, I think it’s worth shelling out the extra cash for the Type S model – provided you have a heavy right foot and treat the world like your racetrack.