2021 Acura TLX

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2021 Acura TLX Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: October 9, 2020

Anant Vats's image
Anant Vats

Automotive Journalist

For the past couple of years, the TLX has been among the top-selling sport sedans in the hyper-competitive segment. The all-new TLX comes to reclaim its performance identity with a new sophisticated platform that enhances the ride and handling. The new TLX will be again offered in 4 different configurations and will come loaded with a long list of features as standard. The average starting price of the 2021 Acura TLX will be $37,500 and the range will go up to $48,300. The 2021 TLX offers a great value for money and gives its rivals a run for there money.

Competing with the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, and Mercedes Benz C-class, the Acura TLX never felt that alluring. Here’s our take on the 2021 Acura TLX that is soon going to be on sale in late September.

See detailed review »


Comfortable suspension setup

New turbocharged engine

All new list of gadgets on the inside


Cabin noise on the inside

Off setting handling

What's New?

The 2021 Acura TLX received a massive makeover and gets a more powerful engine and refreshed interiors.

Pictures & Videos

2021 Acura TLX Detailed Review video
2021 Acura TLX Interior video
2021 Acura TLX Exterior video


2021 Acura TLX in Apex Blue Pearl color 2021 Acura TLX in Modern Steel Metallic color 2021 Acura TLX in Performance Red Pearl color
Apex Blue Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.




Engine And Performance


Fuel Economy












Trims and Configurations


2021 Acura TLX Base


206 hp @ 6800 rpm
Premium unleaded (recommended)
27 combined


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 10A) Starting at $37,500 MSRP (23/27/33) 206 hp @ 6800 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Premium unleaded (recommended)
8-Speed Dual-Clutch front wheel drive 5

Expert Review


Overall Rating

The 2021 Acura TLX has gone through a makeover and has transformed quite impressively and now gets more grunt under the hood as well. The new TLX will be offered with a choice of a more efficient 2.0L Turbocharged Inline 4 cylinder and a more performance-oriented 3.0L Turbocharged V6. The interiors have also foregone a major makeover and the TLX gets even a larger list of toys to play on the inside. 

The 2021 Acura TLX is a direct rival to the likes of Mercedes Benz C Class, Audi A4, and BMW 3 Series. Read our in-depth review of the 2021 Acura TLX to get a clearer picture of how the TLX is strategically placed in the US market. 

2021 Acura TLX Front Third Quarter View
2021 Acura TLX Rear Third Quarter View


Engine and Performance

Fuel Economy





2021 Acura TLX Features


The 2021 Acura TLX is offered with a fairly simple line-up: Base and S. Acura equips all TLX models with the latest tech and features including front collision mitigation and stolen vehicle tracking. The 2021 Acura TLX starts at $37,500 for the Base trim with FWD and the S trim costs around $45,000 with AWD.



 Technology Package  A-Spec Package Advance Package



$41,500 $44,250 $46,300
MSRP (AWD) $39,500 $43,500 $46,250 $48,300

Key Features

10.2’’ Head-up display

19 x 8.5” Aluminum Alloy Wheels Exterior Sport Appearance Package Power Folding Mirrors with Puddle Light


18-inch alloy wheels

Smart Entry (All Doors) LED Fog Lights Surround View Camera System


2LTurbo Inline-4 Gas engine

Milano Leather-Trimmed Seating Surfaces Milano Leather-Trimmed Seating Surfaces with Ultrasuede® Inserts Rain-Sensing Wipers


Front-Wheel Drive

Acura Navigation System with 3D View Heated and Ventilated Front Seats Front Windshield Wiper De-Icer


10-way power driver seat

13-Speaker ELS STUDIO® Premium Audio 17-Speaker ELS STUDIO 3D® Premium Audio Acura Sport Seats with 16-way Power Adjustment and Driver-Position Memory


7-inch instrument cluster

Blind Spot Information (BSI) Front and Rear Parking Sensors Heated Steering Wheel

The Base trim, priced at $37,500 comes with plenty of features as standard with the highlights being the 10.2-inch HUD infotainment and the 7-inch Multi-Information Display in the center instrument cluster. It also gets a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat.

The Type S trim, priced at $45,000 gets an All-Wheel Drive system and a 290 horsepower V6 engine, unlike the Base trim. It comes with an ELS Premium audio system along with voice recognition and GPS Linked climate control. While it comes with a unique Type S badging, it also offers a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat and a 4-door smart entry.

2021 Acura TLX is the Japanese luxury brands mid-range offering

For an additional cost, the TLX can also opt with the A-Spec package. It includes features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-tone leather upholstery with Ultrasuede accents, and metallic paddle shifters and sport pedals in the interior. Exterior features include A-Spec badging, 19-inch alloy wheels, black window trim, and dark-tinted head and tail lamps.

2021 Acura TLX Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

Acura is known for the performance and luxury image brought by the popular marque Honda and the 2021 TLX is no exception. The Japanese brand is known for its top-class performance, reliability, and service among most other brands. Let’s look at the reliability, ownership costs, warranty, and costs per mile.

Reliability and Ownership Costs

The Acura TLX scores the highest in terms of quality and reliability among the rivals. Overall, the TLX was rated 79 out of 100 by J.D Power, which is quite an impressive number. In terms of quality and reliability, the TLX received a score of 83, which is exceptional for a vehicle in its class. For driving experience, it was rated 75, for resale 74, and for dealership experience 80, which are all considered great. The TLX has a robust body built from high-quality materials and features a high strength lightweight chassis with good aerodynamics. Even though Acura doesn’t offer complimentary scheduled maintenance, chances of your car needing a repair are quite less and even if it needed one, the cost is quite cheap. 

On average, the Acura TLX costs about $37,800. The true cost to own varies from $40,000 to around $50,000, which is calculated based on the five-year ownership costs and may vary in different regions.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5


Tax Credit




























Taxes and fees




























True cost to own







The true ownership cost for the Acura TLX, over a span of 5 years comes out to be about $42,077. Acura is renowned for making its vehicle reliable and easy to maintain. The maintenance cost of the TLX goes up to $4,668 and considering the fact that the TLX is a luxury sedan with good performance, the maintenance cost is very effective. 

The Acura TLX received a 4-star safety rating by NHTSA. That said, the TLX is safe to be considered a reliable travel companion since it hasn’t been recalled by the NHTSA. However, the 2019 model of the same vehicle has been recalled due to issues with the timing belt, where the nearest Honda dealerships replaced the timing belts of vehicles free of charge.


Acura offers one of the best warranties for powertrain in the market and offers a limited warranty coverage similar to most of the competition. The only demerit is that it does not offer any complimentary maintenance.



Limited warranty

4 years or 50,000 miles; whichever comes first

Powertrain warranty

6 years or 70,000 miles; whichever comes first

Roadside assistance

4 years and unlimited miles

The lack of complimentary maintenance makes the Acura TLX lag behind rivals like Audi A4, BMW 3-series, and Mercedes Benz C-class. However, its highest powertrain warranty makes up for it.

Miles per dollar

The miles per dollar for a vehicle is an estimated number, that is a derivative of miles driven during a certain time period and the maintenance costs it took during that time. The average maintenance cost for an Acura TLX comes out to be about $4,668 over a span of 5 years. The miles per dollar for the Acura TLX, therefore, comes out to be about 16.06 miles per $1. 

2021 Acura TLX Buying Advice

We recommend the top ‘S’ trim because apart from offering a powerful turbocharged engine, it offers an AWD system. Although it lagged behind the German rivals for quite some time, the new TLX gets a massive upgrade with better engines, an upscale interior, better exterior styling, and more tech features. Therefore, with a price tag under $50,000, the 2021 Acura TLX can prove to be quite an intuitive choice for a luxury sedan.

Is buying a used Acura TLX a good idea?

In case you want to go for a used Acura TLX, it can surely prove to be a good idea. Acura has a great image of being reliable and easy to maintain. On the other hand, the new TLX looks and feels way more stylish and refined. It also has many new added features, so the new model is worth the price and the wait.

According to the studies, a used 2017 Acura TLX provides the best value for a used vehicle. The net used value is based on factors like price decline percentage, the percentage of the original price paid, percentage left of reliable years, and the number of years left. With a 2017 TLX, you have to pay only 54.51% of the original price.

2021 Acura TLX Engine and Performance


Power for the 2021 Acura TLX comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 272 HP and 280 lb-ft. of torque in the Base trim and comes with a Front-Wheel-Drive configuration as standard. The ‘S’ trim will get a bigger and more performance-oriented 3.0L 24-valve DOHC Turbo-V6 that generates 290 HP and 267 lb-ft torque and is offered with an All-Wheel-Drive configuration. Both FWD and AWD models are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift with paddle shifters on both trims.

2021 Acura TLX gets a 2.0L turbocharged engine 

The new turbocharged engine packs significant power and better torque than the previous 2.4L Naturally Aspirated engine. The 10-speed automatic transmission is buttery smooth in itself and the Type S will receive a unique tuning for the same gearbox that makes it even sportier. The V6 powered models feel fun to drive since it features an all-wheel-drive system, making it more engaging.


2021 Acura TLX

2020 Audi A4

2020 BMW 3-Series

2020 Mercedes-Benz C Class







2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 / 3.0L Turbocharged V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 40 TFSI

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4


10-speed shiftable automatic

7-speed dual-clutch automatic

8-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed automatic


272 /290 hp

248 hp @ 4200 rpm

255 hp @ 5000 rpm

255 hp @ 5800 rpm


280 /267 lb-ft

273 lb-ft @ 1450 rpm

295 lb-ft @ 1550 rpm

273 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

The 2021 Acura TLX offers a decent horsepower and is the most affordable one among the rivals. However, the rivals offer better power and torque figures. The Type S offers the highest power of 290 hp compared to rivals that offer a comparatively less 188 hp and 255 hp. When it comes to torque, the BMW 3-series leads the bandwagon with an incredible 295 lb-ft torque. The Acura's 10-speed shiftable automatic transmission is the best among the competition.

2021 Acura TLX Acceleration And Braking Performance

Although the official numbers have not been revealed for a straight-line acceleration of the 2021 Acura TLX, however, the previous 2.4-liter NA engine allows the TLX to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds. However, it used to be the lowest among the competition. The 2021 model will offer better acceleration numbers thanks to its turbocharged engine.

2021 Acura TLX Accelerate 0-60 MPH Just in 6.1 Sec.

The 2021 Acura TLX sports 12.6-inch brake rotors up front and 12.2-inch brake rotors in the rear. The car feels sure-footed concerning its braking performance, where the brake pedal is precise and fairly responsive. The car comes with automatic emergency braking to avoid unprecedented collisions.


2021 Acura TLX

2020 Audi A4

2020 BMW 3-Series

2020 Mercedes-Benz C Class

0-60 MPH

6.1 sec*

5.1 sec

5.6 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec*

13.8 sec

13.6 sec

12.6 sec

Top Speed

164 MPH*

155 MPH

149 MPH

155 MPH

60-0 MPH

118 ft*

119 ft

114 ft

124 ft

*based on 2020 model

However, when it comes to braking distance, the Acura TLX does quite well with a 60-0 MPH distance of 118 feet. The rest of the German rivals, the Audi A4, Mercedes Benz C Class, and BMW 3 Series offer the acceleration numbers under 6 seconds. With a new turbocharged engine, the TLX 0-60 MPH acceleration is expected to improve massively.

Also Read:

What's so intriguing about the interiors of the Acura TLX?

Acura plans to unveil a new 650 hp Type-R Model for the 2021 NSX lineup


2021 Acura TLX Fuel Economy


The 2021 Acura TLX will have an approximate fuel efficiency of 23 mpg in the city and it does an amazing 33 mpg in the highway conditions. This gives the TLX a combined average efficiency of 27 mpg.

2021 Acura TLX gets a dedicated eco mode

The TLX also gets a big appetite of 17.2 gallons, which is the second largest in the segment, just coming in after the Mercedes Benz C Class. But since the engine isn't the most fuel-efficient, the real-life range is less than what's offered with the BMW and Mercedes.


2021 Acura TLX

2020 Audi A4

2020 BMW 3-Series

2020 Mercedes-Benz C Class

MPG (city)





MPG (highway)





MPG (combined)





Fuel tank capacity 

17.2 gallons*

15.3 gallons

15.6 gallons

17.4 gallons

Range (city/highway/combined) 

395.6 / 567 /464 miles*

367.2 / 489.6/ 413 miles

405.6 / 561.6/ 468 miles

417.6 / 609.0/ 487 miles

*based on the 2020 model

Looking at the rivals, Acura offers the lowest MPG numbers, however, it has a better driving range on offer. The BMW 3 Series offers the highest city/highway/combined fuel economy of 26/36/30 MPG, whereas the Mercedes C-class offers the highest city/highway range of 405/561 miles.

Also Read:

Is the Volvo S60 better than the Acura TLX? Click here to find out.

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming 2021 Acura TLX Type-S.


2021 Acura TLX Interior


The 2021 Acura TLX sedan is the most well-furnished luxury sedan from the brand, with a modern, hi-tech, and utilitarian cabin. The TLX seats up to five adults with generous head and legroom both in the front and rear, to even accommodate taller passengers comfortably. The TLX offers easy access to get in and out of the cabin and offers a good seating position thanks to the 16-way power-adjustable seats. 

2021 Acura TLX offers great lumbar support and comfort 

The seats are fairly supportive and are upholstered with high-quality materials. However, NVH levels are poor with rattling in the rear armrest and road and wind noise intruding the cabin at high speeds. For 2021, it gets a thorough makeover and features soft-touch materials, open-pore wood, and full-grain Milano leather giving the sedan a premium feel as well as sporty vibes.


2021 Acura TLX

2020 Audi A4

2020 BMW 3-Series

2020 Mercedes-Benz C Class

Passenger Capacity





Front row (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

37.2 / 57.5 / 42.6 inches*

37.3 / 55.9 / 41.3 inches

38.7 / 56.0 / 42.0 inches

37.1 / 55.3 / 41.7 inches

Second row (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

36.7 / 55.4 / 34.5 inches*

37.4 / 54.5 / 35.7 inches

37.6 / 54.6 / 35.2 inches

37.1 / 55.0 / 35.2 inches

Cargo Capacity

13.5 cubic feet

12 cubic feet

13 cubic feet

12.6 cubic feet

The exact dimensions aren’t yet announced by the company as the 2021 model is significantly longer and wider than the previous model. However, the overall interior volume of 2020 TLX is 93.4 cubic feet and the cargo capacity is 13.5 cubic feet. BMW offers the most room in the interior among the rivals.

How’s the 2021 Acura TLX’s infotainment system?

The 2021 Acura TLX comes with a 10.2’’ display above the dash replacing the previous dual 8’’ and 7’’ touchscreen infotainment display. The infotainment is now controlled by a trackpad, which is nice but it might be cumbersome to use. There are buttons to select from the four drive modes: Normal, Comfort, Sport, and Individual.

2021 Acura TLX gets an all-new Infotainment System

The TLX gets the latest generation of AcuraLink with in-car Wi-Fi and a range of available cloud-based services like emergency roadside assistance, remote ignition, remote lock and unlock, vehicle tracking, and so on.

Also Read:

The all-new 2021 Acura MDX is here and its better than ever. Click here to find out.

Click here to for a detailed Spec-sheet on the 2021 Acura TLX.


2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan cup holder
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan seating
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan center console
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan cockpit area
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan center console
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan instrument cluster

2021 Acura TLX Exterior


While Japanese cars are known mostly for their performance and fall on the lower side when it comes to style, the Acura doesn't follow the stereotype. It is a fairly stylish car with subtle designs. The 2021 Acura TLX gets a brand new look that is inspired by the Acura Precision Concept and Type S Concept

2021 Acura TLX Third Quarter View

The TLX now has a sharper and sportier look with the wide fender flares and the outward placement of the wheels. The car looks long, wide, and low giving the car an aggressive look. The LED strips in the head and tail lamps look stunning. The 2021 TLX is 2.9 inches longer and 2.2 inches wider than the previous model with the new head and tail lamps. 


2021 Acura TLX

2020 Audi A4

2020 BMW 3-Series

2020 Mercedes-Benz C Class

Curb Weight 


3627 lbs

3849 lbs

3825 lbs
















Ground Clearance 










The Acura TLX is the longest and widest car in the competition, while it also sports the longest wheelbase. The changed dimensions give the TLX an edge over its competitors in terms of practicality. The TLX now gets a new bolder look and although it might not look as poised as its competitors, the new TLX still looks decent and luxurious. 

Also Read:

The all-new 2021 Acura RDX is here and it's better than ever. Click here to find out.

Is the 2021 Acura TLX safe? Click here for the detailed safety review.

2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan right side view
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan top view
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan rear view
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan rear three quarter view
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan headlamp
2021 Acura TLX basic Sedan taillight

2021 Acura TLX Safety


The 2021 Acura TLX is quite a safe sedan with all the safety tech it comes with. The AcuraWatch is a standard package that offers a host of driver-assist features including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. New features like traffic-sign recognition and driver-awareness monitor are also offered in the sedan.

2021 Acura TLX Competition


2021 Acura TLX Vs Audi A4

The 2021 Audi A4 comes with a clean interior and offers a comfortable ride. It blends luxury with spicy performance and capability, unlike the Acura that is high only on performance.

2021 Audi A4

However, its small trunk and cumbersome touchscreen are the major demerits against the Acura TLX. Furthermore, some people might find the conservative exterior of the Audi A4 to be boring. That said, the Acura TLX looks quite good.

2021 Acura TLX Vs BMW 3-Series

The 2020 BMW 3-Series ranks among the top of the compact sport sedans with its impressive technology. Its dual-personality body is longer, wider, and stronger. However, it features an 8-speed automatic transmission only, unlike the Acura TLX that offers a smooth 10-speed shiftable automatic.

2021 BMW 3-Series

The BMW 3-series has gained significant size in terms of the overall dimensions, now, but it doesn’t affect the interior space much. Though the front row space is vast, the 3-series is inferior to the TLX, when it comes to rear interior space.

2021 Acura TLX Vs Mercedes Benz C-class

The Mercedes Benz C-class looks gorgeous everywhere and has a strong lineup of powertrain options. The C-class allows you to have your way of body style. The Acura might come across as a dull sedan compared to the C-class with respect to its stunning looks and various customization options.

2021 Mercedes Benz C-class

However, the C-class comes with a heftier price tag than the TLX. The unavailability of a manual transmission is another drawback since the Acura TLX offers a superior shiftable automatic transmission.

2021 Acura TLX Final Verdict

The 2021 Acura TLX satisfies drivers’ desires for utility and practicality without cutting corners for performance. The TLX tries hard to impress and shows what it can do in the crowded sport sedan segment. With a snazzier interior, it competes better against rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Moreover, the best-selling sedan of Acura is now more powerful and comes with an enhanced chassis. Although the infotainment is tricky to use and the interior isn’t much bigger, it features a sharper design and a sporty interior. That said, the Acura TLX now plants its flag among the competition with a racy design and higher power which makes it definitely worth the wait.

Also Read:

Click here for the best deals on used Acura cars in the United States.

Is the 2021 Acura TLX quick? Click here for the acceleration figures.


2021 Acura TLX FAQs

Is Acura TLX AWD?

Acura TLX comes with a standard FWD setup. Nevertheless, you can upgrade it to an AWD setup for an additional $2,000.

Is Acura TLX a reliable car?

Acura, the performance and luxury division of Honda, is one of the more reliable brands out there. With an annual repair cost of below $500, it has fairly low excellent ownership costs.

Is the Acura TLX expensive to maintain?

No, it is not expensive, as the average annual cost for repair and maintenance of the TLX amounts up to $440, which is way less than what other cars in the segment cost.






2021 Acura TLX Overall Reviews


Eddy B. Kinney

2020 Acura TLX

4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)


User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

Expensive TLX

Pros - Luxury interior, different drive modes, Apple carplay

Cons - Price, ground clearance, better front splitter

Overall Review

9 /10 Overall Rating

There are goods and bads about this car. I love the drive modes that lets you decide the kind of drive you're up for and then there is the ground clearance that never really makes me happy. It sits lower to the ground and easily brushes off with the road when going over potholes or droops

Deal Value
Dealer Review


David K. Chronister

2020 Acura TLX

A-Spec 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 8AM)


User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

Easy but not thrifty to drive

Pros - Easy going transmission, seats are comfortable, and nimble in handling.

Cons - Consumes more gasoline.

Overall Review

7 /10 Overall Rating

Transmission works like a dream, easy and smooth. Mileage is on the bad side. Handling is the best part especially felt in city where it just drifts through the traffic or in those back lanes

Deal Value
Dealer Review

Read all Reviews

Used Acura TLX for Sale

Car Name Deals Starting Price Number of Listings
2020 Acura TLX 1 Great Deals Out of 1390 $23,985 1390 Listings
2019 Acura TLX 24 Great Deals Out of 379 $19,500 379 Listings
2018 Acura TLX 19 Great Deals Out of 851 $17,498 851 Listings
2017 Acura TLX 41 Great Deals Out of 492 $14,900 492 Listings
2016 Acura TLX 14 Great Deals Out of 191 $13,398 191 Listings
2015 Acura TLX 9 Great Deals Out of 278 $11,995 278 Listings

Top User Reviews


User Overall Rating

Expensive TLX

There are goods and bads about this car. I love the drive modes that lets you decide the kind of drive you're up for and then there is the ground clearance that never really makes me happy. It sits lower to the ground and easily brushes off with the road when going over potholes or droops

by Eddy B. Kinney


User Overall Rating

Easy but not thrifty to drive

Transmission works like a dream, easy and smooth. Mileage is on the bad side. Handling is the best part especially felt in city where it just drifts through the traffic or in those back lanes

by David K. Chronister

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