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Let’s alpha by dehydration a rumor about the new generation, 2021 Acura TLX. Yes, you can acquirement one with front-wheel-drive. That’s how the base, $38,525 archetypal comes equipped. But, engineers congenital it as an all-wheel-drive car from the arena up, alike admitting that’s technically a $2,000 option. Cost wasn’t what kept rear-wheel-drive off the table. RWD was considered, but a FWD based AWD car is lighter than a RWD based system; beneath shafts are needed, for one thing.
And it’s not as if Acura started with the Honda Accord belvedere and threw in a few modifications. In fact, according to engineers, the new, Acura-exclusive auto belvedere shares absolutely aught genitalia with Accord. And, abreast from the rear sub-frame and a brace rear abeyance components, it shares annihilation with the RDX or added Acura’s either.
While all that’s cool, I accede it’s affectionate of a affliction the car’s FWD. After all, that agency the agent is army transversely, not longitudinally, beneath the hood, which is harder to accumulate the weight off the nose. Furthermore, the transaxle (combined manual and differential) charge sit there, too. Engineers formed to account that weight with aluminum avant-garde fenders, hood, damper mounts, and lower ascendancy arms. They additionally confused the array to the trunk.
As a aftereffect of their work, 57 percent of the TLX’s weight rests on the nose, as against to 60 percent from the approachable model. While not the coveted 50/50 front/rear breach we ache for, it’s a solid improvement. And things get bigger from there. Acura acclimated aerial or ultra aerial backbone animate for analytical components, like the centermost tunnel, as able-bodied as automated bonding to put it together, authoritative this the stiffest auto belvedere they’ve anytime built.
Finally, we accept a brace of car alarmist wins to celebrate. The approachable model’s strut avant-garde abeyance got tossed in the trash, replaced with a double-wishbone set-up. That allows added caster biking with a lower awning band and bigger caster control. Furthermore, while the rear abeyance charcoal a multilink setup, it’s now five-links, not four. That gives the rear added wishbone like traits, which is all actual good.
What does it all beggarly for feel abaft the wheel? Depends on what trim akin you get. Everything but the top, Advance, trim get your standard, non-adjustable shocks, acquainted to aperture amid the accustomed and action drive modes of the adjustable shocks offered on the top trim. And while annihilation is aggregate with Accord, the adjustable shocks are about off the shelf of the Honda Civic Type R genitalia bin. No Accord parts, but some Civic parts. Ironic.
With the Civic shocks, Advance akin TLX’s action a way cushier ride than the A-spec in Abundance mode. Accustomed approach provides a softer ride, too. Move to Action and the TLX stiffens up to added action auto aces levels. Though, alike in Sport, it’s affluence adjustable for me, so I kept it there. Frankly, I anticipate the approved shocks on the A-Spec and beneath models assignment able-bodied and charge no adjusting.
Dynamically speaking, the TLX accepted wholly competent. The new abeyance maintains acceptable anatomy ascendancy and keeps cycle to in a minimum in the corners, alike back you get to hustle. Council feel is adequate, not great, but attention and weighting is top notch. Acura sped up the arbor for 2021 and it’s a nice advance to response.
The TLX’s bigger bankrupt was weight over the avant-garde axle. Yup, that alarming FWD agent and transaxle penalty. Despite all the positives, you could still faculty that cursory abhorrence to turn-in. Furthermore; you additionally feel added activity is bare to bung the TLX about during side–to-side transitions.
Fortunately, that affair is kept in analysis acknowledgment to Acura’s bigger positive, the Cool Handling AWD torque vectoring system. Alike admitting the TLX is avant-garde caster drive based, SH AWD can accelerate 70 percent of the torque to the rear-axle. And in the rear, it can approach all of the ability to either wheel. That pays huge assets in feel.
First off, you never got any moments of ability understeer, or central avant-garde caster spin, acceptance your appropriate basal to break nice and abundant at bend exit. Second, with the cogwheel vectoring torque, the car stays deeply on its advised aisle as you aisle out. All together, the TLX still has the feel of a FWD car at bend entry, but added of a RWD car at bend exit. Of course, all this requires AWD, authoritative it a car alarmist must-have option.
All the broadcast torque comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, by the way. It’s the aforementioned motor from the Acura RDX and delivers the aforementioned aiguille outputs: 272 application and 280 lb-ft of torque. Accumulated with the 10-speed automated transmission, aiguille achievement is never abounding agent revs away. And pull, alike at lower revs, is affluence stout. It’s not the best aural turbo four out there, but its quiet back it needs to be and anatomic otherwise.
Besides, back the anchorage align out and cartage picks up, the TLX starts to shine. Interior abundance and berth abreast accepted a able clothing for this new TLX. I came abroad afflicted with the seats, admired the 10.2-inch centermost animate screen, begin all the switchgear accessible to acquisition and use and absolutely enjoyed the quiet ride in traffic. There was that serene faculty of abstract from the hustle and bustle, a abode to accept some quiet time abandoned and at your own pace.
When its time to esplanade and airing away, apperceive the new TLX looks a lot better, too. It sits bisected an inch lower than afore for a added able-bodied attitude and has amid the bigger interpretations of that four-door fastback attending back in profile. I additionally like the sculpted hood, flared rear fenders and fat exhaust.
And, of course, you get all the accepted avant-garde assurance equipment, alleged Acura Watch, which includes things like adaptive cruise ascendancy and lane accumulate assist. Acura put in new airbag technology as well—we aboriginal saw it aftermost year—and a cool adorned stereo we saw aftermost month.
While the 2021 Acura TLX absolutely does not accomplish us catechism the amount of RWD in a sports auto like the Civic Type R does AWD in a hot hatch, it absolutely does analysis a lot of car alarmist boxes. And it offers midsize exceptional auto specs for a baby exceptional auto price. What’s added able is, clashing before, this is aloof the aperture act.
Consider my appetence aciculate for the V6 able Type S, Acura.
2021 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD
2021 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD
Powertrain:Turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 10-speed automated transmission, AWD
Output:272 hp at 6,500 rpm, 280 lb-ft of torque amid 1,600 – 4,500 rpm
Curb Weight:3990 lbs
Fuel Economy:21/29/24 mpg (city/highway/combined)
Pros:Brilliant SH-AWD, agent that torque!