2020 Acura TLX First Review

Source: Kelly Blue Book

  • 2020 TLX features four new exterior colour options
  • AcuraWatch safety technology standard on all trims
  • Two engines: 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6
  • Optional A-Spec package includes 19-inch wheels
  • Pricing starts at $37,490

Acura's midsize performance luxury sedan, the 2020 Acura TLX, arrives largely unchanged from the 2019 model, save for four new premium exterior color options. As before, the TLX will be offered with a choice of powertrains, either a 206-horsepower 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder, sending its power to the front wheels through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic, or a 290-horse 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 operated by a 9-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional on the V6.

What's the fuel economy on the 2020 Acura TLX?

The 4-cylinder earns EPA ratings of 23 mpg city, 33 highway and 27 combined, and the 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 20 city, 31 highway and 24 combined, although there are slight variations in each depending on the package and equipment.

While the 4-cylinder models are front-drive only, the V6 standard model with front drive tends to suffer a bit from torque steer. With that engine, we prefer Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, which shifts torque to the rear wheels as needed, and even from right to left, depending on which wheel has the most traction. We love the growl of the V6 engine, although some reviewers have found the 9-speed automatic less than seamless. Some reviewers prefer the 8-speed that's mated to the 4-cylinder engine. The TLX is plenty sporty to drive, but rivals like the BMW 3 Series or Infiniti Q50 come with rear-wheel drive with a sportier feel.

Technology and A-Spec Packages offered

As before, the TLX is offered with a number of packages, including the Technology and A-Spec, and exclusive to the V6 models, the Advance package. The Technology package adds such things as leather seating, navigation, a 10-speaker ELS premium audio system, and rain-sensing wipers. The A-Spec package adds to that dual exhaust pipes, ventilated front seats, a matte-black grille, 19-inch wheels, and special styling cues both inside and out. The Advance package adds such things as a surround-view camera, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. New for the 2020 TLX are four new premium color options: Performance Red Pearl, Majestic Black Pearl, Canyon Bronze Metallic and (exclusive to the A-Spec package) Apex Blue Pearl.

On the technology front, the TLX is well equipped, which only adds to its value proposition against such competitors as BMW, Audi and Lexus. Even the base models include a moonroof, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-speaker audio system, Bluetooth streaming, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. This is particularly noteworthy, as neither CarPlay nor Android Auto are available on its big brother, the RLX.


The 2019 Acura TLX earned the top rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and we see no reason that the 2020 TLX will falter. Standard across the Acura brand is AcuraWatch, the company's suite of advanced safety and driver-assist technology, including adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and automatic brake hold, which keeps the brake on at stoplights to give your foot a momentary rest.

What's the price of the 2020 Acura TLX?

Pricing for the 2020 Acura TLX ranges from $37,490 for the base model 4-cylinder up to a high of $49,290 for the V6-powered model with the Advance Package. That makes it very competitive against rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, although it lacks their badge appeal. In its class, other competitors include the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Volvo S60. Due to Acura's excellent reputation for both build quality and reliability, TLX resale values tend to hold up well, which we expect to carry over for the 2020 model year.

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