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Introduction:

To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD Advance

Vehicle Type: Midsize Gasoline
68
 overall score
Category Ranking: 7

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $48,300
Price as Tested: $49,825

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 15.8
EPA City mpg21
EPA Highway mpg29
EPA Combined mpg24

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:

Overall Observations

Acura isn’t the first automaker to come to mind when you’re considering midsize luxury vehicles. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll come across the TLX, all new for 2021. It may not have the cachet of German rivals, but there’s no denying that it’s a rewarding sports sedan. In the looks department, this longer, wider TLX’s sleek styling will definitely turn heads. The upgrades continue inside, with a handsomely designed cabin replete with upscale materials. The highly supportive sport seats are very comfortable, but rear passengers may find their quarters a bit tight. There’s an abundance of technology, too, but using the console-mounted trackpad to access the features on the center-mounted display requires a steep learning curve. Propulsion comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (272 hp) which, in the case of our test car, fed power to all 4 wheels via the automaker’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive setup. Acceleration is brisk, but the engine noise and vibration doesn’t befit a luxury car, and the car’s considerable weight restricts performance and reduces fuel economy. However, the sport-tuned suspension delivers a good balance between crisp handling and ride comfort
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Strong performance
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Spacious front seats

Weak Points

  • Engine noise andvibration
  • Tight rear seat
  • Infotainment track padcould be more userfriendly

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4040.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 194.6 / 75.2 / 56.4
Wheelbase (in): 113.0
Number of air bags: 10
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Michelin Primacy A/S
Front and rear tire size: 255/40 R19
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 10-speed
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 2.0L 4-Cyl. turbo VTEC
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 272 @ 6500

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:

7.40

Fuel Efficiency:

3.85

EPA Emissions Score:

7.00

Acceleration:

5.64

Braking:

5.32

Handling:

7.71

Ride Quality:

7.96

Interior Size:

3.09

Easy of Entry and Exit:

6.64

Visibility:

7.64

Interior Noise:

4.88

Cargo Capacity:

.88
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