Should You Wait for the Acura TLX Type-S or Buy the A-Spec Trim Now?

If you are currently in the market for a luxury sport sedan, then you are likely well aware that the 2021 Acura TLX is currently available at a dealership near you. And if you have been following the production run of the all-new TLX, then you’re probably especially aware that the TLX Type-S will be coming out next year. In that case, you could be torn between buying a TLX now, perhaps the A-Spec trim, or waiting for the Type-S model to come out. So here some facts about each trim to help you decide.

The 2021 Acura TLX is quite the show-stopper

A blue 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec drives down the road
2021 Acura TLX A-Spec | Acura

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It’s important to stay relevant in the sports sedan, especially when you’re competing with the likes of the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Acura knows this all too well, which is why it focused on a multitude of parts when redesigning the TLX for the 2021 model year. While the brand’s tagline is “Precision Crafted Performance,” what lies under the hood is only part of the equation.

In that case, Acura went back to the drawing board and gave it’s mid-size sedan a bold exterior look filled with wavy accent lines, robust wheel arches, and enough curves and contours to make a funhouse mirror room jealous. On the inside, the TLX received the same sporty treatment as its RDX and NSX stablemates, complete with a grippy steering wheel, a cockpit-like wraparound center console, and well-formed sport leather seats that hug the driver and passenger in all the right places when going through the corners.

2021 Acura TLX Advance interior | Acura

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Acura TLX A-Spec trim

Fancy body lines and supportive seats only go so far when it comes to creating an engaging driving experience, so if you’re looking for a custom look, then you’ll have to opt for the A-Spec trim level. Like the other models in Acura’s line, the A-Spec trim level mainly adds a most aggressive look by including A-Spec specific front and rear bumpers and side skirts, a flat-bottom leather steering wheel, A-Spec badging, and the option for a two-toned red and black interior.

acura tlx a-spec
2021 Acura TLX A-Spec AWD rear | Acura

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Under the hood

If you pop open the hood on any TLX, then you’ll find a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s derived from the Civic Type R. Unfortunately, the TLX engine is detuned from the factory, but it’s still able to produce 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which is routed to either the front wheels or all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. With the brand’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system, Car and Driver reported that the TLX was able to scoot up to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. That’s pretty quick for a regular road-going luxury sedan, but if you want more power, you’ll have to wait until next year.

A red 2021 Acura TLX drives on a road over a body of water
2021 Acura TLX | Acura

Will the TLX Type-S be that much better?

Judging by what we already know about the forthcoming TLX Type-S, it looks like it’s going to be quite the performer. It will have a larger turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that will produce 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, some updated styling cues, a more aggressive suspension setup to complement it all. In some ways, it’s almost a different car altogether.

Is the Acura TLX Type-S worth the wait?

If you’re really itching to get your hands on a new 2021 Acura TLX, then we would suggest buying one now and opting for the A-Spec trim level as it will have the upgraded looks, sound system, and safety features. But if you’re really into performance and burning up the pavement on your next stop-light drag race, then you should wait for the Type-S model instead. Just remember that you’ll probably pay around $50,000 for that trim as opposed to being in the $40,000 range for the regular TLX models.