Acura TLX V6 A-Spec
a mouthful: the 2018 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec.
The TLX marks
the merger between the TL and TSX several years ago. SH-AWD
represents Acura’s torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive
system. The A-Spec is new for 2018 and is Acura’s answer to those
seeking a sportier drive, one that can compete with the likes of
Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Infiniti Q50.
A-Spec, Acura is making positive strides toward those tough foes. It
gets a sharper look, is loaded with standard equipment, and receives
a more sophisticated infotainment system.
Gone is the
pointed beak, replaced by dark mesh grille and jewel-eye LED
headlamps. A-Spec models get a black bumper, charcoal-gray 19-inch
wheels, special badging and trim. At rear are dual exhausts and a
spotlight really is on performance. Kudos to engineers for the
retuned electric steering and suspension systems in the A-Spec. A
larger rear anti-roll bar helps stiffen the new ride and flatten the
TLX on twisty roads.
dives into corners and leaps out with cat-like reflexes while the
SH-AWD system sends power where it is needed most for peak traction.
Assisting road grip on both slick and dry roads are wider Michelin
Primacy MXM4 tires installed exclusively on the A-Spec.
steering wheel and "active sound control" give the A-Spec
its racy feel, but Acura added no extra power for the TLX lineup
this year. It gets the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine that’s good for
290 horses and 267 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers fall short of
the competition but it’ll get to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, says
Acura, and has a top speed of 134 mph.
The engine is
mated to a 9-speed transmission that sometimes is slow to respond
both on the upshift and the down. Paddle shifters can do a little
better. Best to keep it in Sport-Plus mode which improves steering
and throttle response. Other drive-select modes include Econ, Normal
fuel economy at 20 mpg around town, 29 on the open road, for a
combined figure of 23 mpg.
five-passenger sedan, available with black or red color schemes, are
multiple improvements. Leather sport seats are ventilated and heated
and adjust with 12-way power function. They are nicely bolstered but
not annoyingly so, and have cool Alcantara inserts and contrast
stitching. A black headliner adds a touch of elegance.
plenty of room up front for heads and legs, but the back seat is
tight for this segment. Trunk space is OK but an odd-shaped opening
may cause a couple of banged fingers.
infotainment system features Acura’s new touchscreen and many will
be glad to see it’s now compatible with Android Auto and Apple
CarPlay. They appear on the top of the dual-screen system, while
audio and climate functions are operated on the lower screen. An ELS
audio system with 10 speakers comes with the Tech package.
A bonus with
the TLX is that a host of features that often cost extra come
standard. The AcuraWatch safety package includes forward-collision
warning with emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and
lane-keep assist with mitigation. The A-Spec also gets blind-spot
monitoring and other goodies in the Tech package. Missing, though,
is a surround-view camera.
upgrades in technology and style plus more agility on the road, the
A-Spec is a worthy addition to the conversation. That is, if you can
recite the model name.
2018 Acura TLX
$45,750 (includes Tech and A-Spec packages)
the excitement about? Acura introduces an A-Spec for the 2018 TLX,
offering a bolder look and improved agility.
3.5-liter V-6 engine worthy of 290 hp; mated to 9-speed transmission
performance? Retuned steering and suspension and Super-Handling AWD
system make the A-Spec the best performer in the TLX lineup
fuel economy? EPA-rated at 23 mpg combined (20 city, 29 highway)