2018 TLX: Three Things That Acura Changed To Make You Like It More

The rule of three suggests that when things come in threes, they are inherently more satisfying and effective. Apparently, Acura agrees. For the mid-cycle update of the TLX, the Japanese brand focused on refining three elements: styling, trims and tech.

Starting with the design, the 2018 TLX is the latest Acura to say goodbye to the much ridiculed chrome beak and in its place, comes a more conventional ‘diamond pentagon’ grille. It also gets new headlamps that maintain the ‘Jewel Eye’ units with LED turn signals, a new bumper, more sculpted hood, fenders, tweaked tail lamps, and different rear bumper fascia and exhaust finishers.

The second reason Acura thinks the refreshed TLX is worth it is the addition of a new sportier A-Spec edition that’s available exclusively with the 290hp 3.5-liter V6 in both two-wheel drive and SH-AWD configurations.

Replacing the outgoing model’s GT package, it gives the TLX a more aggressive appearance with a unique front fascia, round LED fog lights, side sills, rear diffuser, round dual-exhaust finishers and gloss black decklid spoiler. Dark finish 19-inch wheels with wider 245-series tires complement the sports-tuned suspension. If you get the AWD model, Acura adds a stiffer spring rate and rear stabilizer bar for improved body control.

Acura’s third and final update to the TLX is the redesigned infotainment system. It still uses a dual-screen layout but Acura says the new software improves the system response time by 30 percent and offers more intuitive menus and command structures, while supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Sirius XM 2.0.

A bunch of active safety come as standard for 2018, ranging from Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking to Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist.

Besides the 290hp 3.5-liter V6 that we mentioned earlier and which can be had with AWD, the 2018 TLX will continue to be offered with the same base, direct injection 2.4-liter four cylinder that churns out 204hp and 182 lb-ft of peak torque.

Pricing has not been announced yet, but the 2018 TLX should stay close to the 2017 version when it reaches showrooms in June.  We’ll see the new TLX in the flesh at this week’s New York Auto Show.

Photo Gallery

  • The Watcher

    Exterior looks good, but interior still looks like tricked up Focus’s interior.

  • Six_Tymes

    Trust me, they cant Make me like it more.

    Ever since they went with that beak of a grill, design influenced by the first and second Transformers movies, they blew it.

    • BGM

      Acura will never be able to outlive *the beak*. What I never understood is the insistence on the part of a company to continue with a design theme that is universally hated. I’d have fix it by the first mid life refresh but Acura stupidly stuck with it for years!

      • eb110americana

        Somebody get this man a pretzel!

      • Knotmyrealname

        Same story with Lexus and their ghastly front end.

  • KSegg


  • IFDU

    Acura should have went on a revealed the RLX facelift too. What was the point of just focusing on the TLX? the camos are running around..just show that too…

    • Eythan Aldrich

      save the rlx for la auto show

  • Kash

    Acura, stealing it’s grilles from Mercedes, shamelessly

    Edit: it does look better though and if i was shopping for value, this would probably make the running but I’d probably pick the Kia Cadenza over this simply for the price.

    • IFDU

      Ironically, the Kia will most likely be more reliable too. Reading consumer reviews of people who have the TLX, the transmission is a nightmare to some.

      • Kash

        can’t say i’m surprised, i think Honda bit off more than they could chew with that 9spd

  • Dennis Scipio

    The Interior is starting to show it’s age.

  • Yombrian

    what is up with that hideous grill, beak, buck tooth… UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • baofe

    Acura really needs a new beefier powertrain in their lineup. Heck even a kia is more interesting than this.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Not sure how I feel about the front end, but it’s a nice to Acura make it a little bit more sportier since the TLX has been a bit bland. However, I would still like to see something like a 3.0L twin turbo V6 powering it so that it could be competitive. And like some people pointed out, the interior could use some work as well.

    EDIT: I think there’s a conventional volume knob in the interior now, instead of the touch screen volume slider. Praise the lord.

    • SomeRandomCommenter

      A TLX Type-S would definitely be welcome

  • Tumbi Mtika

    The face probably wasn’t one of those things.

  • pcurve

    The grille looks better on this car than mdx for sure, but Honda just doesn’t know how to do proper luxury interior. It’s always been tarted up honda for the past 30 years, except early 90s Legend and 2003 TL which had competitive interior.

  • Mark S

    They should have saved the New design language for all new vehicles. This doesn’t do it for me.

  • b_digital

    Well Done. I like it Acura

  • klowik

    I think a Honda badge will fit better to this design. It’s more like a Honda Accord fitted with more leather inside and a bit of styling tweak over existing sheet metal . Consider it’s meant to be luxury car competing with Lexus or the Merc/BMW/Audi. The styling is still not on the luxury level yet..

  • Kagan

    Looks in the rigth direction but I don’t like the arrow bumpergrill.

  • SteersUright

    Interior on par with Toyota Corolla, Camry, Ford Focus, Hyundai Sonata…good job on selling yourself as a semi-premium luxury marque, Acura. Then you have to contend with old V6 tech hanging way out it front, understeer, goofy exterior, and nothing class-leading whatsoever regarding performance and handling. When your ultimate goal is mediocrity, your name must be Acura.

  • Matthijs

    First time I like that new grille on an Acura. The rest looks pretty dated..

  • john1168

    UGH…. please, put the beak back on. I hate this new pentagon grille. But THANK YOU for putting exhaust finishers on it. Those look great! I don’t like the chrome strips they put on the regular TLX but I do like the red and black interior. Needs more power.

  • trentbg

    Acura finally needs to put some Turbo engine in their line.

  • gshemant

    At least they brought back the dual exhaust tips.

  • dumblikeyou2

    Just threw up in my throat a tad.

  • antbee

    Drop the “X,” and go back to the “TL” name. No one, except those in the know, will remember, nor care, that you made two cars into one. That really irked me, and still does.
    I love the beaked TL! If I were looking to buy a mid-level luxury used car, I would look at those first. I just really like the design of the whole car. A ZDX would be on the list, too, if the prices become more reasonable.
    For the refresh of this model, please remove that awful chrome-coloured plastic from the rear bumper, it is ugly, and unnecessary.
    Who would buy the A-Spec without the SH-AWD, especially with that much power possibly going to the front wheels? I wouldn’t. Make SH-AWD standard, or go home.
    I like the red leather.
    Please, drop the “X,” for real.

  • Rick Alexander

    What happened to Acura. This new design is nice, but forgettable. The front doesn’t say premium to me. It says, “Generic”. As in boring. The last Acura that made me want to break out the checkbook, was the 1995 Legend Coupe. That car was gangster, and would never be confused for a Honda. It still looks great by today’s standards. Until Acura finds an identity, I don’t see them breaking into the big leagues (BMW, Cadillac, Audi, etc.).

  • Honda NSX-R

    Drove one of these, they actually feel kind of sporty.

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