Question about 3.5 L V6 - Acura TLX Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-08-2017, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Question about 3.5 L V6

I do not yet own a TLX but it is on my short list of potential cars. One of the cars I am looking at is an unsold 2016. It has the 3.5L V6 which the EPA rates at 21 city/34 Highway. Honestly I prefer the 4 Cyl engine for reasons of MPG, cost and simplicity, but the salesman made a case for the 3.6L based on the very similar MPG rating, and there is a considerable price reduction on this car given that it left over from 2016.


My question is with the cylinder deactivation of the 3.5L, for those of you have this engine, do you get close to the 34 MPG mark under real world driving conditions?


If you are driving on the highway and assuming the cylinder deactivation is active, can you go up a hill with a modest grade without converting to full power? What I am getting at is the deactivation mechanism constantly kicking in and out at highway speed, say 75 -80 MPH. Is it annoying? Or do you put the car in a shift mode that keeps it at full power for the most part and just ignore the deactivation? I seem to recall there are several shift modes that can be summoned which change the driving dynamics.


Owners of the 4 Cyl engine please chime in if you feel there is something relevant to this discussion. I do consider MPG a factor in my car buying decision.


Thanks for your input.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-08-2017, 11:44 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

I can confirm that you will get the advertised MPG on the highway. I did a lot of highway driving with the TLX and the mileage was very impressive for a V6 AWD vehicle (in my case). You will obviously have a lower mpg in the city with the V6 than you will with the 4.

I found the VCM to be seamless. It will activate and deactivate as it needs to. Some people say they can feel it when it comes on and off. I could not feel it on the highway at all when going up hill for example. I did have a vibration between 60km/hr and 80km/hr but I do believe I had engine mount issues. You'll see some posts in that regard in the forum. Something to pay attention to when you test drive the car.

I recommend searching around the forum for VCM posts and you should find the information you need to make your decision.

Both are great cars. It just depends what you want. If you have no use for the V6, the 4 is an excellent alternative. Definitely drive them both to compare.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-08-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by forteatwo View Post
I do not yet own a TLX but it is on my short list of potential cars. One of the cars I am looking at is an unsold 2016. It has the 3.5L V6 which the EPA rates at 21 city/34 Highway. Honestly I prefer the 4 Cyl engine for reasons of MPG, cost and simplicity, but the salesman made a case for the 3.6L based on the very similar MPG rating, and there is a considerable price reduction on this car given that it left over from 2016.


My question is with the cylinder deactivation of the 3.5L, for those of you have this engine, do you get close to the 34 MPG mark under real world driving conditions?


If you are driving on the highway and assuming the cylinder deactivation is active, can you go up a hill with a modest grade without converting to full power? What I am getting at is the deactivation mechanism constantly kicking in and out at highway speed, say 75 -80 MPH. Is it annoying? Or do you put the car in a shift mode that keeps it at full power for the most part and just ignore the deactivation? I seem to recall there are several shift modes that can be summoned which change the driving dynamics.


Owners of the 4 Cyl engine please chime in if you feel there is something relevant to this discussion. I do consider MPG a factor in my car buying decision.


Thanks for your input.
To be honest, I don't really notice when the cylinder deactivation happens - it's very seamless. Regarding real-world fuel economy with the V6, I get consistently between 34-37MPG on the highway (70-80Mph) and mid to high 20's in city. I do about a 60/40 spit of hwy/city. Overall average has been right at 33mpg.

The 4 cylinder doesn't offer much more economy (on paper at least). I test drove both the 4 and the 6 before deciding the V6 offered way more power at the cost of a tiny dip in mpg compared to the 4. To me, the V6 had a smoother power delivery and MUCH better sound. I just couldn't go back to the 4. I could feel the 4cyl vibrate through the steering wheel when idling and it drove me crazy. Plus, I got a great deal on the 2016 V6...

Some may complain about the V6's 9 speed transmission. The good news is that the 2016's transmission has most of the issues worked out that plagued the 2015's. I've learned to actually like it; it does take some getting used to and using Sport+ with the paddle shifters makes it feel fun - but by far the best modification has been the addition of the SprintBooster to change the pedal response - which in turn, helps the transmission respond faster to your input - and create more responsive shifts.
If you do go with the V6, definitely check out the SprintBooster - it makes the car feel much nicer.

2016 Acura TLX 3.5L - Crystal Black Pearl
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-08-2017, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Andre and Ryan. With regard to the 9 speed transmission, my other car has an 8-speed transmission (BMW) and it gets into high gear as fast as it can to optimize MPG and I find myself using the manual shift mode in city driving so the engine is not lugging all the time. So I sort of know what you mean as it pertains to getting used to it. It does not bother me at all to manually shift the car.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-08-2017, 04:46 PM
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I drive V6 SH-AWD(stock wheels & tires), and I usually get 28.69 MPG on a commute that consists of 3/5 hwy and 2/5 city driving.
That number goes down to 25.57 MPG with medium traffic jams.

As for the transmission, you definitely need to test drive and see if you like it or not. It's different from how BMW's 8 speed auto transmission operates. I know because I used to drive one as well. What you should look out for is any hesitation when you try to pass on a hwy. (or merge into the hwy..)
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-09-2017, 08:39 AM
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As part of your focus seems to be cost I will throw out a negative factor with the V6. It uses a timing chain which the 4 cyl does not. This timing chain should be replaced at about 100,000km. When making the replacement the water pump is also changed. Expect a charge of at least $1,200 for this service. I am not sure how much the water pump replacement on the 4 cyl would cost or at what mileage it should be replaced, but it has to be much less..

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post #7 of 13 Old 05-09-2017, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TLX2014 View Post
As part of your focus seems to be cost I will throw out a negative factor with the V6. It uses a timing chain which the 4 cyl does not. This timing chain should be replaced at about 100,000km. When making the replacement the water pump is also changed. Expect a charge of at least $1,200 for this service. I am not sure how much the water pump replacement on the 4 cyl would cost or at what mileage it should be replaced, but it has to be much less..
Some one can correct me here but you don't replace a timing chain unless it fails. If the 4 cyl uses a belt (does it?) then the belt you replace at 100,000 miles (and the water pump is generally done at the same time... but not the chain. I've had cars with over 200,000 miles on a timing chain.

As far as mileage, I drive in heavy traffic I am getting about 21 in "city" if on the highway I'm getting around 32-33 (above 55 MPH) If you drive on the highway closer to the speed limit and its flat your mileage will be much better.

If you are concerned about MPG I would go with the 4.... if a small hit is OK I'll take the 6. As others have said the VCM doesn't bother me either.

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post #8 of 13 Old 05-09-2017, 03:55 PM
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3.5 l v6

I have the 3.5 L, I drive this in NYC and currently getting 20.8 MPG. Personally that is great mileage for me. On the highway I always check the MPG and tend to get anywhere between 25 and 33 MPG, depends on how I drive. I recomend you get the V6. The power and acceleration is truly great and is what I really wanted coming out of a 2.4 TSX. Overall, the car does great on MPG and you should consider buying it over the 2.4.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-10-2017, 08:48 AM
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Some one can correct me here but you don't replace a timing chain unless it fails.
I will correct you. The timing chain should be replace when indicated by the MM. If it fails while in use there will be massive engine damage. The service requirements for the belt with the 4 cyl is different, but I do not know the details.

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post #10 of 13 Old 05-10-2017, 10:03 AM
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I have the 3.5l V6 SH-AWD, and there have been times where I've hit 40mpg with high-octane summer gas and no wind at 82MPH on the interstate. Economy IDS and pretty much no slowing down/speeding up. I doubted it at first, but it's happened more than once. It has to be the VCM and the 9 speed tranny working at full efficiency in order to make that kind of milage.

Conversely, on winter gas, and when I am in a more aggressive driving mode (sport or sport+), I average low 20's in town.

I love the available power of the V6, I couldn't have bought the I4 and been happy.
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