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2015 Acura TLX 2.4 Long-Term Arrival

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/20/2015 Motor Trend Staff, Mike Royer

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image After a few fits and starts with other vehicles, our fleet managers decided it was time for me to make myself at home in another long-term vehicle.

This time our vehicle overlords decided to bump me up a level or two and seat me in the luxury segment in the form of a Bellanova White Pearl Acura TLX 2.4L Tech with Espresso interior fresh from Marysville, Ohio, with a price tag of $35,920. "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"

Our TLX is the just-above-base model with a 206-horsepower I-4 engine paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Despite being the smaller engine of the other trim levels, former Motor Trend editor Rory Jurnecka thinks it's the only choice.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image "For value-oriented as well as enthusiast shoppers, the car you want is the base four cylinder version," Jurnecka said in his First Drive story published in August 2014.

The TLX features multiple drive modes: Econ, Normal, Sport, and Sport+, the last requiring use of the paddle shifters. I'm curious enough to give each one of them a full tank trial and let you know if one makes my commute a little better than the others. I'm putting my money on Sport.

The EPA fuel estimates say to expect 24/35/28 mpg. In my first update I'll let you know what the guys at Emissions Analytics give the TLX for a Real MPG number. Later we'll try to see if the Econ drive setting has a significant impact on gas mileage.

This button is the gateway to four different driving modes. Punch it!© Provided by MotorTrend This button is the gateway to four different driving modes. Punch it! We chose a model with the Tech package, which includes both an upgrade to entertainment and safety options. The package includes a navigation/entertainment system with dual screens for when one screen is not enough. Spoiler alert — you can never have too many screens in my world. The tech package also adds a premium audio upgrade with multiple interface options and 10 speakers to blast HD radio, an iPod, a CD (a what?), streaming Bluetooth audio, and XM radio.

On the safety side we added blind-spot and forward collision warning systems along with a rear cross traffic monitor and a lane keep assist function.

Doubtless these features played a part in the TLX having been awarded a five-star safety rating by the NHTSA and named an IIHS top safety pick. Whew.

A weaker beak I've dubbed the tweak.© Provided by MotorTrend A weaker beak I've dubbed the tweak. On the outside Acura has toned down its design language from previous years minimizing the hated "beak." The new design is not nearly as polarizing, but that's still a long way from being loved. At Motor Trend's Car of the Year competition, editor-at-large Angus MacKenzie called its design "forgettable," and oddly that comments feels like Acura is moving in the right direction.

I'd call it "inoffensive," but isn't that word just a politer version of forgettable? I suspect sedan buyers are probably looking for something a little more conservative anyway. So I'm not really saddened by it's lack of verve.

If anyone comments on how the car looks, I'll pass it on, but I'll be surprised if anyone mentions its styling one way or another.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image The interior, however, is quite nice. The reddish leather seats (Espresso in marketing-speak) have just enough whiff of opulence to remind me I'm in the luxury segment without being gaudy. They really are quite attractive, and from the limited seat time I've had, they haven't skimped on function, because they are also very comfortable. The Acura's dash is a button lover's paradise but greatly reduced from previous years. Sadly, the screens and graphics have a dated look and will have a hard time competing with all the other HD, "Retina," and 4k gadgets that surround us in everyday life. Despite that lo-res shortcoming, I'll be looking to see if the myriad gadgets and features do their jobs and successfully integrate themselves into my everyday driving or if I ignore many of them and find a workaround.

In track testing, the TLX's 3,578-pound curb weight was propelled to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and through the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds, hitting a speed of 91.0 mph. So now the real-world testing begins. I'm excited to hit the road in mid-level style.

2015 Acura TLX 2.4 Long-Term Arrival MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image

2015 Acura TLX
BASE PRICE $32,365
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 2.4L/206-hp/182-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 8-speed twin-clutch auto.
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,578 lb (58/42%)
WHEELBASE 109.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 190.3 x 73.0 x 57.0 in
0-60 MPH 7.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.6 sec @ 91.0 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 123 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.7 sec @ 0.64 g (avg)
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 140/96 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.69 lb/mile


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