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2020 Acura TLX Overview

The TLX, Acura’s entry-level luxury sedan built on the same platform as the Honda Accord, gets four new exterior color choices for 2020. The new shades include Performance Red Pearl, Majestic Black Pearl, Canyon Bronze Metallic, and Apex Blue Pearl. That last one, Apex Blue Pearl, is limited to the TLX A-Spec package, which is available on all trims.

The 2020 Acura TLX is available with one of two engines and with front-wheel or all-wheel drive (AWD). Under the hood of a base TLX is the familiar 2.4-liter 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine, good for 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. It drives through the front wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Front-wheel-drive versions feature 4-wheel steering, which Acura calls P-AWS, standard. The premium engine is a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6, which makes 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft and drives through a 9-speed transmission. The TLX V6 comes with either FWD or AWD, which Acura calls Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). The system can transfer up to 70 percent of torque to the rear wheels, and up to 100 percent to either individual rear wheel. The base TLX with the 2.4-liter four will manage 23 mpg city, 33 highway, and 27 combined. And even though the A-Spec TLX doesn’t add any power, it loses a single mpg in its highway and combined ratings with either engine, thanks partly to its larger 19-inch wheels. The TLX V6 manages 20, 30, and 23 with FWD and 20, 29, and 23 mpg with AWD.

On the inside, standard comfort features for the 2020 TLX include a 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a dual-screen user interface with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An available Technology Package offers navigation, an upgraded stereo, and additional driver-assistance features like traffic rerouting. Heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and HD radio are other tempting options.

The A-Spec builds on the flashy appearance of the outside bodywork with sportier, more heavily bolstered front seats with contrast stitching and piping. The A-Spec adds a matte-black diamond pentagon grille with a dark chrome border, more aggressive front and rear fascias, LED fog lights, darker head- and taillights, a gloss-black decklid spoiler, and matte-black side window trim. Red ambient lighting, brushed aluminum-look instrument panel trim and pedals, and a beefier steering wheel with A-Spec badging complete the look.

In crash tests, the Acura TLX has gotten mostly top marks, with five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and top “Good” scores on all tests with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with the exception of an “Acceptable” rating for the tough small front overlap test and headlights. Standard safety features included with the AcuraWatch suite of features are adaptive cruise control, active-lane assist, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and a reversing camera. A 360-degree Surround View Camera is optional.

For those who want understated luxury at a solid value, the Acura TLX is worth considering.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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