Sedans & Coupes

Is the 2021 Acura TLX Faster than the Honda Accord?

While the 2021 TLX isn’t quite as sharp as Acura fans may want, it’s still a good sports sedan. But some might be wondering if it’s worth the upcharge over the Honda Accord. Especially since the 2.0T packs a version of the Civic Type R’s engine. So, can the Accord hang with the TLX? YouTube team Throttle House decided to find out.

2021 Acura TLX Advance Package vs. 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T: different chassis, different drive

A red 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T Sport by a rocky hill
2020 Honda Accord 2.0T Sport | Honda

Although the 2020 Honda Accord and 2021 Acura TLX are sometimes cross-shopped, they’re not actually related beyond being Honda products. The two sedans’ platforms have “exactly zero parts” in common, Autoweek reports. And, while they both have turbocharged four-cylinder engines, they’re not the same engines.

The 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 252 hp and 273 lb-ft. That power goes to the front wheels via a 10-speed automatic, now the only transmission available. With that, the Accord 2.0T goes 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and runs the ¼-mile in 14.1 seconds, Car and Driver reports.

A purple 2021 Acura TLX Advance Package
2021 Acura TLX Advance Package | Acura

The 2021 Acura TLX Advance Package SH-AWD, to give its full name, also has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 10-speed automatic. However, its engine is rated at 272 hp and 280 lb-ft. And, while the TLX comes standard with FWD, as its name implies, the model Throttle House tested has AWD.

Plus, in addition to the base car’s double-wishbone front suspension, the Advance Package adds adaptive dampers, MotorTrend reports. The Acura TLX even has its battery in the trunk for better weight distribution.

However, for all its chassis and suspension tuning, in a straight line, the 2021 Acura TLX Advance SH-AWD is actually slower than the Honda Accord. Likely, that’s due to the fact that it weighs about 600 pounds more, Car and Driver reports. As a result, it goes 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and runs the ¼-mile in 14.5 seconds.

Still, that’s on paper. What happens IRL?

How Throttle House tested these turbocharged sedans

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Throttle House ran the 2021 Acura TLX Advance Package SH-AWD and 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T in two ¼-mile drag races. The first race was from a standing start, while the second was a rolling race. The latter cuts traction out of the equation to focus solely on the drivetrain performance. But does the Acura TLX have any performance advantages over the Honda Accord?

AWD, especially with an automatic transmission, means more traction off the line. That’s important for a standing-start race. And the TLX has a 5-mph-higher top speed, Car and Driver reports. Plus, its top gear 30-50 mph and 50-70 mph times are only 0.3 seconds behind the Accord. So, with a good enough start, it might be possible to bridge the gap.

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Also, because of the cold conditions at Throttle House’s test track, the cars were running on their respective winter tires. So, that could further affect available traction.

Can the 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T keep up with the 2021 Acura TLX Advance Package?

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Unfortunately, that didn’t quite happen. In a repeat of the on-paper results, the 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T beat the 2021 Acura TLX Advance Package SH-AWD in both races.

Admittedly, though, neither of these cars is about straight-line speed. And if you’re after a more luxurious experience, the Acura TLX has a more premium-feeling interior, Autoblog reports. However, it seems the upcoming Type S will have to be the one to out-race the Honda Accord.

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