For years now, Acura has been alluding to the rise of a performance-focused sedan to its product line. Their newest reveal holds promise to bring some of the sport performance and style back to the brand that made it so successful. The introduction of the 2021 Acura TLX has given many doubters a renewed interest in the Acura lineup. There is so much to talk about in terms of performance that we’ll begin here with new styling, infotainment, safety, and price.
At the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Acura offered more than a few subtle clues about the TLX. The concept then mirrored a pretty similar version of the Type S design we saw today. The TLX looks to be a strong competitor in the sport sedan segment, with its elongated wheelbase and low roofline.
The 2021 TLX’s exterior is sharp
A bold new, much more upright, diamond pentagon front grille is surrounded by signature, next-generation Acura lighting markers previewed by Acura in Type S Concept. These include new Jewel Eye LED headlights with four LED elements, and bright-white daytime “Chicane” LED running lights inspired by the championship-winning Acura ARX-05 Daytona race car.
The sleek and dynamic side profile of the sedan uses pure angled surfaces to create bright light-and-shadow contrasts and accentuate the sedan’s muscular rear wheel arches, pointing to a rear section with a shorter overhang, upswept rear decklid, “Chicane” LED taillights and exposed dual exhaust outlets.
The neatly designed cabin portion is set further back on the body and features steeper inward-sloping roof pillars to highlight further the low and full muscular position of the TLX. The roof itself was sculpted with a lower-set center portion, identified by two inward curving grooves, for a much more unique style expressing a feeling of movement and lower profile.
Acura will release its popular TLX A-Spec appearance package, per the automaker. It will feature 19-inch Shark Grey wheels, front-to-rear gloss black accents, darkened headlight, taillight treatment, and a pronounced rear decklid spoiler.
The company will launch the design in nine exterior finishes, including five premium colors. Entirely new for 2021, TLX is Phantom Violet Pearl. TLX Type S will also be offered in the exclusive, bold Tiger Eye Pearl. Apex Blue Pearl, previously only available in A-Spec models, will be added to Type S.
The 2021 TLX’s interior is a luxurious upgrade
The TLX cabin takes a big cue from the RDX, updated for the 2019 model year. Its upscale appointments and cockpit layout positions the car in line with the aspirations of sports car enthusiasts who may have switched to German brands to satisfy their speed needs. Although a high center separates the front of the car, it provides a dual-cockpit-like layout for driver and front passenger. Due to the next-gen model’s extended width, Acura doesn’t expect passengers to feel a lack of space. Sporty front seats have an adjustable 16-way driver and front passenger adjustability.
A total of seven color options will be offered on 2021 TLX. The standard TLX models will offer Ebony, Espresso, Graystone, and Parchment, depending on trim. TLX A-Spec and TLX Type S will feature Ebony or Red Leather, both with black Ultrasuede inserts. The TLX Type S also offers an exclusive Light Orchid leather interior option.
The car has real aluminum, open-pore wood, and Milano leather full-grain appointments. Leather wraps the steering wheel. It is flat-bottomed in both the A-Spec and Type S models.
Rounding out the interior, a 10.2-inch infotainment screen is at the center of the dashboard using the driver-oriented True Touchpad interface. It’s the same device configuration as RDX. Power, volume, and search buttons are placed next to the touchpad.
The driver will see a 7-inch multi-information display in the center gauge cluster. Like the Acura ELS Studio 3D premium audio system, a 10.5-inch full-color display is available.
2021 Acura TLX safety features and base price
The new TLX also features AcuraLink’s latest generation of in-vehicle 4 G LTE Wi-Fi with over-the-air software update abilities and a wide range of cloud-based services, including emergency roadside assistance, remote lock / unlock and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking, and Acura concierge services.
All models will be fitted with the new AcuraWatch safety and driver assistance technology.
Acura TLX Type S arrives in spring 2021. The new TLX will be assembled entirely at the Marysville, Ohio facility. The 2021 TLX will launch early this fall with MSRP beginning in the mid-$30,000 range.