Sedans & Coupes

2021 Acura TLX Is Sneaky Good

In 2015, the Acura TL and the TSX, both models which enjoyed praise in their time, joined forces to make the Acura TLX. It turned out that little of the greatness of both individual models transferred to the first generation TLX. Fast-forward five years, and it would seem the 2021 Acura TLX will tell quite a different story. 

All this room but nowhere to go

Blue 2021 TLX A-Spec
2021 TLX A-Spec

According to Car and Driver, this the new TLX is shaping up to quite the car. The new Acura TLX is a much bigger car than was expected. Compared to many other similar sedans, Car and Driver called it “supercar wide.” The TLX is 3.3 inches wider and 8.9 inches longer. That stance not only gives the car a more aggressive look but also offers noticeably more space inside.

Along with its roomy interior, the TLX features wood accents and textured aluminum throughout the cabin. Despite the extra space up front, Car and Driver say the rear seats come off a little cramped. Although this could be seen as a mark against the TLX Acura has said the migration to Crossovers has left the room to sacrifice some space on midsized sedans for aesthetics. Fair play, Acura. 

Start from scratch

RELATED: Just How Much Horsepower Will the Acura TLX Type S Have?

To accommodate the more sport-focused Type S coming out in early 2021, Acura had to spend some serious time on the 2021 TLX chassis. The more advanced models are reported to have active dampening and multiple driving modes. The 2021 TLX chassis shares no parts with the Honda accord, says Car and Driver.

Acura wanted to shoot for a more a rear-drive proportion, so they lengthened the distance from the front axel to the dash. Acura claims the control arm front suspension will achieve 85 percent lateral stiffness than the previous model, as reported by Car and Driver. Lastly, with the four-cylinder models, there looks to be an ample amount of extra space, which clearly shows the car was designed with the Turbo V6 Type S model in mind. 

The list goes on

Acura didn’t stop with chassis. They also went the extra mile to make small weight distribution adjustments like moving the battery to the rear, as well as using aluminum to make the front fenders and shock towers. Seems small, but those changes result in an 81 lb shift toward better weight distribution. The all-wheel-drive model is reported to have a 57/43 percent front/rear weight distribution. 

The Acura TLX will come in two varieties at launch, the standard front-wheel drive comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 272 hp and 10-speed automatic transmission. The entry-level TLX clocks in a $38,525. Add $2,000 and you can get the all-wheel-drive TLX. 

The 2021 TLX should be a good car, but the 2.0-liter version likely won’t be powerful enough to really push the boundaries of this new chassis. We will have to wait until the TLX Type S with turbocharged V6 comes out before we really know how great it truly is.