Is the Base Acura TLX Worth the Extra $8,000 Over the Entry-Level Integra?
The two sedans in Acura’s lineup – the Integra and the TLX – offer plenty of driving fun and luxurious comfort. And while they both offer many of the same features, they are still two entirely different cars. For example, the TLX is larger and comes standard with a more potent drivetrain. But is its base model worth an extra $8,000 over the entry-level Integra?
What engine is in the 2023 Acura Integra and TLX?
Since we brought up the 2023 Acura TLX’s engine, we’ll first start under each car’s hood. The entry-level TLX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. This potent engine is mated solely to a 10-speed automatic transmission that transmits the power to the front wheels. However, the TLX is available with the brand’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.
On the other hand, the 2023 Acura Integra is not available with AWD. Instead, it has a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that powers the front wheels to the tune of 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the TLX, however, the Integra can be fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, but it’s only reserved for the top A-Spec trim. The base Integra trim level is only available with a CVT.
Regarding performance, the editors at Car and Driver were able to get the TLX moving up to 60 mph from a stop in 5.9 seconds. The Integra took 7.1 seconds to cover the same distance.
What does the Acura TLX have that the Integra doesn’t?
The 2023 Acura TLX has a few features that the base Integra lacks. The most notable features include a 12-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone auto climate control, active sound control, and a more robust 10-speaker audio system. However, the base model TLX and Integra have similar-sized 7-inch infotainment systems.
The Integra has a Smart Entry system with a Walk Away Auto lock feature and four more inches of rearseat legroom. It also has more passenger volume (95.8 cubic feet vs. 93.4) and more cargo volume (24.3 vs. 13.5), which is surprising.
Do those extra features and stronger drivetrain make the TLX worth the extra cash?
After comparing both of the car’s feature sets on paper, it doesn’t look like the Acura TLX is worth the extra money. However, it all comes down to the driving experience. We have driven both of these cars in the past year and can say that the TLX provides a sportier, more engaging drive right out of the box.
Acura did an amazing job when tuning its double-wishbone suspension, which soaks up road imperfections well while giving the car the agility some drivers want. The Integra was also engaging to drive, but we tested the one with the six-speed manual transmission, which surely helped.
Don’t get us wrong, the Integra had plenty of power and felt great in tight cornering situations. But we imagine that the CVT could bog things down in the base model. It’s worth noting that the base Integra is rated at 30 mpg city/37 mpg highway by the EPA, while the TLX is rated at 22/31, respectively.
Ultimately, if you want a fun little car to drive around while getting good fuel efficiency, the Acura Integra is a good pick. But if you want something with a more engaging drive and a powerful engine, the TLX is the better pick. In that case, we would say that the TLX is worth the extra money.