KBB Logo Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

Editor's Overview

Attractively stylish, impeccably and thoughtfully detailed, loaded with useful technology, beautifully finished, the exquisite 2016 Acura TLX will be wonderful for buyers but perhaps not so amusing for the competition. Available with either of two distinct powertrains and with front- or all-wheel drive, the TLX is a formidable new entrant among midsize premium-luxury sports sedans.

You'll Like The 2016 Acura TLX If...

If you measure your automotive satisfaction not by the badge on the nose but by the return on investment in the driving experience, by the advanced technologies that make traveling easier, by the touch and sight and calming peace of impeccable execution, you should consider the exquisite Acura TLX.

You May Not Like The 2016 Acura TLX If...

What the 2016 Acura TLX does not offer is a storied European brand and accompanying image. If you absolutely must have the allegedly societally approved key fob to toss casually onto the conference room table, then that’s probably where you should go.

What's New

As the Acura TLX was introduced as a completely new model in the middle of the 2015 model year, nothing has been changed for 2016.

Interior Features

Historically, Acura interiors are precisely tailored, closely detailed and intuitively user-friendly, and the 2016 TLX maintains that appreciated tradition. In the center stack an 8-inch information screen is positioned where it’s easy to see; below that, a 7-inch touch screen is where it’s easy to operate. There are switches for the climate control and a big knob allows scrolling through the sound system or navigation. The 4-cylinder models have a conventional shift lever while the V6 versions shift with buttons. Seats are comfy and supportive both front and rear, and soft-touch materials and well-done wood and aluminum accents finish the detailing.

Exterior Features

Acura’s 2016 TLX might not stand out in a crowd but it is an elegant and handsome piece of work. In front is the satin-finished proboscis that’s become the face of Acura, flanked by detailed LED headlights. Flowing lines along the sides wrap into a nice conjunction of taillights and decklid. Visual differentiations between the 4-cylinder and V6 models are the latter’s optional fog lights and a small badge on the rear of SH-AWD models. Not on the cutting edge of design, the TLX also won’t go out of style in the next 13 minutes, and we like it.

Driving Impressions

The 2016 Acura TLX is available with three drivetrains. The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder has 206 horsepower, an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic and is available only with front-drive. The combination delivers quick performance and, with its ingenious 4-wheel steering (called P-AWS, for Precision All-Wheel Steer), has a light, nimble handling feel with crisp turn-in to corners. The 3.5-liter V6 has 290 horsepower, a 9-speed automatic and is available with either front-drive or Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). The V6 model is noticeably stronger and quieter and delivers a driving experience that feels somewhat more upscale. In all models there are four driving modes; Econ (which utilizes reduced climate-control system loads to reduce fuel consumption), Normal, Sport (which adds some weight to steering feel and shifts more aggressively), and Sport+ (which shifts even more aggressively and includes a pure manual mode for the paddle shifters). Any and all of the TLX models drive superbly.

Pricing Notes

The 2016 Acura TLX has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a little under $33,000 for the base 4-cylinder model; the front-drive V6 is over $36,000 and fully loaded will be around $43,500; and the V6 SH-AWD is around $42,500 and will be over $45,500 with the Advance Package. In its class, TLX prices are comparable to the Lexus IS, which runs in the low-$40,000 range, and the Audi A4. To get a better idea of what people are paying for the 2016 Acura TLX in your area, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price. Because the TLX is still new to the market its resale value might be a bit of a question, but it’s reasonable to assume the TLX would retain the same high level of values that have become typical for Acura vehicles.

Notable Equipment

In addition to the first use of LED headlights as standard equipment across the board, the well-equipped 2016 Acura TLX has a high level of standard features including keyless entry and start, heated power front seats, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, power moonroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel, high-gloss Zebra wood accents, tilt/telescope steering column, 355-watt 7-speaker sound system, 60/40-split folding rear seats, one-touch power windows, Bluetooth connectivity, electronic cruise control and automatic headlights.

Notable Options

There are two major option packages for the 2016 TLX. The Technology Package (about $4,000) includes navigation with real-time traffic, an upgraded 490-watt 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio sound system with hard-disk drive, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot information, rear cross-traffic monitor, leather-trimmed interior, rain-sensing wipers and a frameless rearview mirror. The Advance Package (a little over $3,000), available only on V6 models, includes collision-mitigation braking with head-up warning, adaptive cruise control with low-speed following, road-departure mitigation and heated/ventilated front seats. These packages are not inexpensive but we feel they deliver a lot of value for the money.

Favorite Features

DUAL-CLUTCH 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC

The industry’s first application of an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with a torque converter gives 4-cylinder TLX models an edge in performance and fuel economy while delivering super-smooth, quick shifts.

SUPER HANDLING All-WHEEL DRIVE

A top-line Acura TLX V6 model equipped with SH-AWD is the best of both worlds: the safety of all-wheel-drive traction on slippery roads and tremendous handling, featuring sharp turn-in when pushed to the limits on dry pavement.

Under the Hood

The 2016 Acura TLX is available with a choice of three distinct drivetrains: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder front-drive with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a 3.5-liter V6 with a 9-speed automatic and either front-drive or all-wheel drive. The 4-cylinder model feels light on its feet and has ample power for a car in this class. The V6 is even more muscular without a huge fuel-economy penalty and benefits from advanced gas-saving technologies such as cylinder deactivation and idle stop/start. The 4-cylinder offers plenty of performance and the V6 returns commendable fuel economy, so it’s a close call but, everything considered, unless you really need all-wheel drive to deal with bad weather, for most people we’d recommend the 4-cylinder version.

2.4-liter inline-4

206 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm

182 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg

3.5-liter V6

290 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm

267 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/34 mpg (FWD), 21/31 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

Attractively stylish, impeccably and thoughtfully detailed, loaded with useful technology, beautifully finished, the exquisite 2016 Acura TLX will be wonderful for buyers but perhaps not so amusing for the competition. Available with either of two powertrains, with front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD), the TLX is a formidable entrant among midsize premium-luxury sports sedans. With such competitors as the Audi A4, Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50, each superb in its own right, it’s a tough group, but the TLX more than holds its own in every way. It brings advanced technologies in the areas of fuel efficiency and safety, terrific driving dynamics, eager and smooth performance and wraps it in a textbook display of high-quality materials and flawless execution. Did we say we like it?

Road Test Video Reviews

2016 Acura TLX Owner Reviews

4.47
51 Reviews
67% 25% 4% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%
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A Great Car - Lots of upside, a few very minor probs

2016 Acura TLX V6 Tech

The car looks great and drives even better. From the automatic headlights and wipers to the V6 power that pushes the car as hard as you like. From the great automatic AC system to the user-specific power seats settings & external mirror settings, to the leather seats and stylish dash and interiors. This car has a great sounds system that does Satellite Radio, AM/FM, CDs, BlueTooth, DVDs and even songs stored on a built-in hard drive. The car also does hand-free phone control and built-in speakers/mic. Overall, this car is great. But nothing in perfect, some things I don't like include the largely bogus lane-keeping system and warnings, the really bullshitty and useless "brake" alert that goes off on overpasses and curvy roads. I feel like there should be some more comfortable spots for my arms when I'm driving. The trunk is great except for the not os obvious split back seat release levers. Even with those minor flaws (don't try any 201x self driving auto features imo)., the car is still worth more than I paid for it (approx $48k lease). Get one if you want a very, very nice car.

- Sorbe1

2016 Acura Is it a Good Buy?

2016 Acura TLX V6

Recently the engine light and parking light came on all at once stating there was some problem. Apparently this model has a recall on fuel injector sensor which effects other functions with the car. It is great in gas and is otherwise a great road car. I don't like the automatic shut off when the brake is pressed. It has to be disabled whenever you start the car. Sometimes when it's on the car will not automatically restart and you have to put it in park and re-crank it.

- Jane W

Decently reliable car'for people who need an affordable option

2016 Acura TLX Base

For my purposes, the car is convenient and comfortable enough, though it is not exactly a great or ideal car. Doesn't run out of gas too frequently, is a decently smooth ride, and easy to control/maneuver. It's reliable for a starting driver or someone who simply doesn't have the budget to get a nice car. I like it because it helps me get to work and places I need without worrying too much.

- Mel R

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