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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2021 TLX with the i4 as a loaner while my 2018 V6 is being serviced, I just drove home. I am not impressed by the engine

Less power
Less smooth
I guess it doesn't sound that bad for a i4, but it doesn't compare to a V6
More complex
Turbo lag

You'd expect better mileage at least?
Wrong. The 2.0T i4 gets 1mpg less than the outgoing 3.5L V6 on the highway. What??
And the new car is also heavier...

I've got 32mpg real life on Boston to NY round trips with the 3.5 V6 ...

Only advantage (on paper, I haven't really felt it in real life), it makes its torque at lower RPMs ... though honestly with the faster transmission you'd get better results with the old TLX. Also the different gearing of the old V6 TLX means that I get a significantly bigger punch from it at nearly any RPM...

I can see the suspension improvements and transmission improvements in 2021 TLX but the powerplant is really disappointing...
I don't understand why they didn't just keep the V6 since it seems better in nearly every possible way ... Maybe even tune it to get a tiny bit more power on the high end, since the car is slightly heavier, and improve all the rest too.

But basically the 2021 just feels incredibly sluggish off the line, and from slow speed in general. I haven't taken it on the highway but I don't expect it to be much better.
I guess it might be a stronger powerplant than the old 2.4 - but you had the V6 as an option without needing to go Type S (which also means no advance features available, some super rigid 20 inch wheels, and 25mpg highway, ugh)

I did like the handling, it takes turns well and brakes well. But damn the engine. Downgrade.

Am I crazy or did Acura drop the ball on this engine?
 

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2021 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD
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It's definitely a bit raw. I've found that for me to be happy with the engine that the car needs to be set in sport mode (or the individual setting with the sport settings emphasized). The 2021 TLX is definitely not a car that you can run against other "sports sedans" and expect to win many races but at least it's more fun to drive when the settings are adjusted. I went for the car because I like how it looked and handled more than for the engine. The steering in particular is a huge step up from my BMW 5 series although I'd say that overall, there's a lot of reasons why the BMW's cost $20k more.

I found myself getting happier with my TLX every time I drove it, for whatever that is worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed, in sport mode the throttle response feels a less like my wife’s Prius and more like my own TLX. And the chassis is really nice. I guess it would grow on me if I was to buy one. But the engine is such a downgrade though...

I guess the answer really is the Type S, that has the new chassis AND a V6 ...
 

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Can’t say that I’ve driven the previous gen with the V6, but most tests have the new 4 cylinder at least as quick if not slightly quicker than the V6 (despite the extra weight of the new model).

Yes, it does need to be in sport or individual mode (with sport settings) to be responsive unfortunately. In my opinion the sport settings are what the “normal” mode should be, and sport should be a step above that. That said, I set the individual mode to all sport settings so that I just have to push the mode button after starting the car to get it to where I want it to be.

Honestly I did not pick this car based on the merits of the engine. I liked the looks, SH-AWD, and the killer stereo.
 

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Can’t say that I’ve driven the previous gen with the V6, but most tests have the new 4 cylinder at least as quick if not slightly quicker than the V6 (despite the extra weight of the new model).
Not really... just going by 1/4 mile trap speeds (which IMO are the easiest/clearest indicator of acceleration), the old V6 traps around 100MPH; the highest I've seen for the new 2.0T is around 95 with some tests as low as 92 MPH. Not far from an Accord 1.5T.

It's not the 2.0T either; same motor in the Accord traps in the 100-102 MPH range. The problem is the new TLX' weight... the 4 banger is like 500-600lb heavier than the Accord with the same motor and even a few hundred lb heavier than the old TLX V6. I don't know what was lost in translation but the new TLX takes a huge performance hit.
 

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2021 TLX 2.0T ADV/AWD Majestic Black Pearl/Ebony
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Use sport mode and apply the whip enthusiastically! Wind it up! You have to get the thing up on the cam to make it work.

But, you're right, it's not the tool you want for the stoplight drags and frankly, if you grew up on 'Murrican muscle cars then yes, the TLX 2.0T is definitely not going to feel "right". OTOH, If you grew up on European sports cars from the '60's like I did where 75 Hp was a lot, the blown 4 pot TLX will be a lot more satisfying because you learned early to get your foot into it and keep it there.

As you might be able to tell, I enjoy driving cars have responsive handling, but find themselves a little on the wrong side of the power to weight optima because you have to work to get the best out of them. If I'm willing to make the effort my '21 will respond. The chassis is soooo good (especially if you get some decent rubber under it) I can live with having to work the motor a bit. I know a couple of Civic Type R guys who run the same motor with about 1,200 lbs less weight and even they feel that anything below 3,500 on the tach is just idling, anyway.
 

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Not really... just going by 1/4 mile trap speeds (which IMO are the easiest/clearest indicator of acceleration), the old V6 traps around 100MPH; the highest I've seen for the new 2.0T is around 95 with some tests as low as 92 MPH. Not far from an Accord 1.5T.

It's not the 2.0T either; same motor in the Accord traps in the 100-102 MPH range. The problem is the new TLX' weight... the 4 banger is like 500-600lb heavier than the Accord with the same motor and even a few hundred lb heavier than the old TLX V6. I don't know what was lost in translation but the new TLX takes a huge performance hit.
My bad, not sure what I was looking at but you are correct the V6 traps a little faster. The 92 mph MT test you cited seems to be an outlier though. CD got 97 for the new TLX, compared to 100 for 2018 V6.

I’d argue though that nobody is buying an Acura to win drag races anyway. Outright straight line acceleration has never been what Acura is about.
 

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They aren't drag racers but they aren't minivans either. Performance is a factor in this class and the TLX 2.0T is below average. I love SH-AWD, but not enough to give up 1-2 seconds to 60 for the same money
 

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2021 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD
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They aren't drag racers but they aren't minivans either. Performance is a factor in this class and the TLX 2.0T is below average. I love SH-AWD, but not enough to give up 1-2 seconds to 60 for the same money
1-2 seconds for the same money? I'm curious to know what comparable car that are looking at where you are in the sub 5 second range under $50k. I suppose the Genesis G70 is an option...but I'm not a fan of the styling and it's a smaller car. I do agree that the A-Spec probably should have been given a engine with a little more thump to it but I also understand that they wanted to make sure that the Type S clearly stood out from the rest of the lineup. It's a tough spot that they've chosen.

Unfortunately for Acura, the upcoming Type S seems to be forcing them into the spot where they have to offer great deals to move a car like the A-Spec. I got mine for $7,200 off MSRP with 6 miles on it and I don't think I'd get that deal if not for the fact that a lot of folks are holding out. I've reached the point where I want my daily driver to be a sporty, decently sized car with reasonable punch. I'll readily admit that the first night I went home with my A-Spec, I questioned the choice. My 535i was significantly faster and very comfortable. However, with every passing day, I've grown to enjoy the TLX more. If someone is really obsessed with 0-60 times, a TLX with the 2.0 turbo is a bad choice. If 0-60 is a secondary consideration to the other features, a TLX is great.
 

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G70 might be smaller outside but I'm not sure it's smaller inside. G70/Stinger 3.3T, latest A4 get to 60 in under 5 and the Q50 3.0T, 330i and base Giulia do it in 5 flat or just about. Given the weight and balance advantage of many of those I don't think they are far off dynamically either, though again SH-AWD is a USP and party trick that never gets old

I am glad people are enjoying these... I think they look great in and out.......... but I feel like they didn't need to sacrifice straight line performance so much to make the right dynamic improvements. The old car was a little cramped as well which was probably the biggest thing I hoped they'd improve on. I'm just a little bummed
 

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I think this is another case of things being "different" as opposed to better...

FWIW - I had a similar experience with a 2021 TLX loaner while my 2019 V6 Aspec was in for service. While the new car has many things to like, I did not care for the experience I had with the engine. I'm happy with the 2019 and would not trade for a new 4 banger.
 
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If you are just looking for just straight line speed, you can get one of the muscle sedans from the American brands and for much less, but you will miss out on everything else this car does well. So it only matters to you what you want. I got this car, because of the looks, interior, stereo, SH-AWD, and it was the best lease deal I could find. They are pratically giving this thing away. I also looked at Giulia and IS350. But their lease deal were terrible. Especially the Giulia, I aint paying $600 a month for a $50K car. LOL!! The IS350 they barely had any in stock in Miami, at least with the options I wanted. It was either very basic or fully loaded. I just wanted sunroof, navi with Mark Levinson.
 

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Edit: originally posted about the weight being the issue not the engine, then realized it was already mentioned.


I do think though that they could have easily given it more power (like Type R levels), which would have mitigated the additional weight. I certainly wouldn’t have complained if they did, but again it’s quick enough for me as is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess I just really love the Honda V6 and how it delivers power (rather than the absolute number). Specifically, in real life situations, the turbo lag was really unpleasant and made me feel like I was driving my wife's Prius in terms of responsiveness (which is naturally aspirated with electric assistance) rather than a luxury sports sedans. Stuff like powering through an intersection: I get to it, brake, quickly look left/right, and if someone is coming but not fast, I can just floor the V6 and go through extremely safely. Can't do that with the i4, it takes too much time to build up boost, it makes it risky. Same for a strong overtake. The V6 will just respond immediately. The fact that it's a lighter car AND it has more power (12lb per hp vs 16lb) AND doesn't have lag makes the 2018 TLX just very different in terms of personal experience in that regard. Not trying to win a drag race or even compare this car to another brand. I'm just comparing old TLX to new TLX. Despite it's flaws, I REALLY LIKE the old TLX.

Also, the V6 has that turbine-like quality to it. It's smooth, refined, no turbo rubber band, a great sound if you rev it. Very predictable, and quieter at lower revs too...

My guess is that despite being even heavier (4200lbs?), the Type S is probably a lot more satisfying... Looking forward to trying it... In the mean time, despite not being appealing to everyone including car reviewers with its shared accord platform and its non premium looking interior (but functional and quiet and comfortable), I think that the older TLX with V6 and SH-AWD is a secret gem that is amazing, economical, flies under the radar, and I was just hoping that the new one would be just the same except improved, and ... it isn't. It doesn't have the special combo that made me choose a TLX a couple years ago. The prettier looking interior doesn't make up for the infotainment being absolute trash, maybe even worse than Lexus, and that would've been an easy one to solve. They made a good USABLE one in the Accord. And the previous one wasn't bad honestly... In my subjective opinion, the new double wishbone and rigidity just don't make up for losing that wonderful Honda V6, on top of being 300lbs heavier...

Yesterday, when bringing back the 2021 advance to the dealer and taking my 2018 V6 base back, and driving it home, it just felt so much better. Seats. V6. Infotainment... Not to mention the brake fluid flush and the transmission software update were an upgrade to the experience of my 2018 model, making me appreciate it even more ...

Waiting for Type S ... !
 

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I guess I just really love the Honda V6 and how it delivers power (rather than the absolute number). Specifically, in real life situations, the turbo lag was really unpleasant and made me feel like I was driving my wife's Prius in terms of responsiveness (which is naturally aspirated with electric assistance) rather than a luxury sports sedans. Stuff like powering through an intersection: I get to it, brake, quickly look left/right, and if someone is coming but not fast, I can just floor the V6 and go through extremely safely. Can't do that with the i4, it takes too much time to build up boost, it makes it risky. Same for a strong overtake. The V6 will just respond immediately. The fact that it's a lighter car AND it has more power (12lb per hp vs 16lb) AND doesn't have lag makes the 2018 TLX just very different in terms of personal experience in that regard. Not trying to win a drag race or even compare this car to another brand. I'm just comparing old TLX to new TLX. Despite it's flaws, I REALLY LIKE the old TLX.

Also, the V6 has that turbine-like quality to it. It's smooth, refined, no turbo rubber band, a great sound if you rev it. Very predictable, and quieter at lower revs too...

My guess is that despite being even heavier (4200lbs?), the Type S is probably a lot more satisfying... Looking forward to trying it... In the mean time, despite not being appealing to everyone including car reviewers with its shared accord platform and its non premium looking interior (but functional and quiet and comfortable), I think that the older TLX with V6 and SH-AWD is a secret gem that is amazing, economical, flies under the radar, and I was just hoping that the new one would be just the same except improved, and ... it isn't. It doesn't have the special combo that made me choose a TLX a couple years ago. The prettier looking interior doesn't make up for the infotainment being absolute trash, maybe even worse than Lexus, and that would've been an easy one to solve. They made a good USABLE one in the Accord. And the previous one wasn't bad honestly... In my subjective opinion, the new double wishbone and rigidity just don't make up for losing that wonderful Honda V6, on top of being 300lbs heavier...

Yesterday, when bringing back the 2021 advance to the dealer and taking my 2018 V6 base back, and driving it home, it just felt so much better. Seats. V6. Infotainment... Not to mention the brake fluid flush and the transmission software update were an upgrade to the experience of my 2018 model, making me appreciate it even more ...

Waiting for Type S ... !
I think we all agree that the TLX A-Spec is a little bit of a letdown with the base 2.0 Turbo in it and anyone that wants the feel of a V6 is going to be let down by the 4 banger turbo. That said, it's a car that has grown on me as time goes by. It's not a numbers car, but when set with the sportier settings, it's a fun car to drive.

For anyone that wants true performance.......waiting for the Type S would be a smarter choice.
 

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I think we all agree that the TLX A-Spec is a little bit of a letdown with the base 2.0 Turbo in it and anyone that wants the feel of a V6 is going to be let down by the 4 banger turbo. That said, it's a car that has grown on me as time goes by. It's not a numbers car, but when set with the sportier settings, it's a fun car to drive.

For anyone that wants true performance.......waiting for the Type S would be a smarter choice.
They could have put the Civic Type-R engine in it. lol
 

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I think we have to remember that Acura sold more I4 than V6 in the first gen. (Judging by what I see on the road, and what I saw in dealer inventory over the years) So now even Lexus sells an I4 ES. They’re saying that the 2.0T is an upgrade from the 2.4. Power-wise, it is. If there is enough demand, I would bet that Acura offers the motor from the type S as optional in other trims. I just doubt the demand will be there.
We have (2) 2015 Honda accords with a V6 that we bought after having leased them first. You should see all the marketing emails we got in 2017 when the accord with 2.0T was about to be introduced. We got surveys (coming from a V6, would you consider an I4 with more power?), hints about performance (basically saying it’s faster than the outgoing V6 accord) and crazy claims about engine smoothness. With all that, even Honda isn’t selling so many of the optional engines in its accord. They even dropped the EX-L 2.0 which is why I’m here. I’m not going to buy an accord touring when a TLX is in reach for not much more. The dealer gave us an accord sport as a loaner while our car was in for service. It had the 1.5T. I didn’t like it and it wasn’t just because of the engine or trim level. In fact, the 1.5T was certainly adequate (however, not quite as refined as the 2.4 that the prior gen TLX and my old 2007 accord had). The interior and exterior are just not up to what my 2015 V6 got me used to.
 

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They could have put the Civic Type-R engine in it. lol
One of my co-workers owns a Civic (sport, not Type R) and we talked about that. Honda has some sort of weird mama bird thing going on with that Type R engine. They are overly protective of it and refuse to put it in anything else that I'm aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
They sold more i4 than V6, really? Wow I'm so surprised. I wouldn't even had considered it in i4 version.
I guess my personal preferences are not in line with a lot of people...

The Honda V6 is the #1 reason I bought this car. I don't care for muscle cars, they are rough and noisy. The Honda V6 is so linear...
I also wanted AWD to not get blocked in the snow/mud (I live in MA and often go to VT). I knew nothing about SH-AWD so it was a great surprised during the test drive to get torque vectoring as an extra bonus. Also, it doesn't quite behave like a car with a real locking differential when it's slippery but it's the closest you get and it's incredible, it just doesn't care, plows through as if there wasn't anything.

The refinement of the car in general won me over. I didn't care so much about the looks as long as it wasn't some PT Cruiser. It goes completely under the radar, and the inside is pretty bland too, no fancy leather and stitching. Very quiet and functional, really nice seats, all that. A total sleeper. I got it for only $26K, it was the end of a lease, less than 10 000 miles, and very good condition...

I guess they'll get more buyers with the new TLX if they care about different things... Looking forward to test the Type S. Should be more my style ...
 

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They sold more i4 than V6, really?
That's my observation in my area - not necessarily factual. I did not check the statistics. In my area, they regularly had $299 per month lease specials on the I4. I think they attracted a lot of Accord/Camry/Altima customers. I also often checked the local dealer inventory on their website, and it seemed they had more I4's in stock by a decent margin. This is also assuming that their website's inventory numbers were accurate. Lot's of assumptions here. If someone says I'm wrong, I probably am.
 
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