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2021 SH-AWD Advance
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I picked up my 2021 TLX Advance SH-AWD in Performance Red Pearl over Ebony on Friday 9/3. It was a Certified Pre-Owned with 9,600 miles. The original owner bought it from the same dealership and traded it 7 months later for an RDX. I paid attention to the three common issues I've gleaned from this site (steering rack noise, puddle lights, and brake pedal noise) and didn't notice any of them on the test drive. I traded in a 2018 Accord Sport 2.0T 6MT for the TLX.

Most people would say I'm foolish.. I drove 450 miles for my TLX and put a deposit down before I had ever driven a 2021 TLX or even seen one in person. There are no premium dealerships in my area except Mercedes and Cadillac, so you don't see many Acuras around. I did a ton of research including reading and watching reviews and browsing the forums, and ultimately decided to pull the trigger.

I had high expectations for the car, but my first impression still blew my expectations away. Upon walking up to the car, it simply has a presence that is unmatched by any car I've had before. I'm in love with the design and proportions. I'm a sucker for a good looking sedan, and this is one of if not the best looking one around. Things only got better when I opened the door and sat inside. The elevated materials and sophisticated design are simply a big cut above the Accord. I cross-shopped the 3 series, A4, C Class, and S60, and the interior and exterior design are what kept the TLX on top the list.

First impression got even better when I started the car and set off. You can barely feel the engine turning over when starting the TLX, versus the very noticeable shutter through the chassis when starting my Accord. The car was parked on a downhill slope, and when I pulled away from the spot and turned the wheel hard right I immediately felt the difference in the double wishbone suspension and stiffer chassis. I have never driven a car that did not have McPherson struts on the front, and the difference in the feel was very impressive. Even more so when I took off out of the lot and onto the street and felt SH-AWD do its thing for the first time. Holy cow. SH-AWD is a transformative experience over a powerful FWD car. The next thing to impress was the ride. It is so much smoother and softer than the Accord Sport, while also handling better. It's kind of hard for me to understand how they can make the car ride so well and handle so well at the same time. The adaptive dampers work wonders. I'm blown away by how they transform the ride from 1980s Lincoln to modern sport sedan and the flick of a knob. I can't wait to take the fiancé on our first road trip with the car in Comfort mode. It's going to be the best trip yet.

Then I found my favorite SiriusXM station and cranked it. I couldn't get the goofy grin off my face. I've never heard a car sound system like this before. It rivals the $6,000 home audio system in my living room. As if I wasn't already in love with the car, this was icing on the cake. The TLX is also significantly quieter on the road than the Accord Sport, which made the long drive home much less draining and allows you to enjoy the audio system that much more.

Interestingly, when I left the dealership I stopped at a gas station to top if off before setting off on my 450 mile journey back home. After topping it off, the trip computer displayed an average MPG of around 21 and a range of 226 miles. I managed to double the range and drove 455.3 miles on that tank, with a displayed 30.3 MPG and a hand-calculated 29.8 MPG. I am super pleased with this, considering 98% of the 455 miles was either with the cruise set at 82 or crawling through the stop-and-go traffic of I-35. It's only 1-2 MPG less than I would get in the Accord in that same scenario.

Overall, in case you can't tell, I'm simply enamored with the car. It feels like a huge upgrade over the Accord. As my first step into the "premium" segment of the auto industry, I'm very impressed and I understand why so many people are willing to pay more for a premium brand. I'm one of them, now.

Below are some additional smaller points of comparison between my TLX and Accord:
Pros
  • Feedback on the remote during remote start is nice.
  • Much less road/wind/tire noise.
  • Much more comfortable seats with lots of adjustability.
  • LOVE the True Touch interface. Not having to lift/hold your arm up to interact with the screen is really nice. I adjusted to the interface in less than an hour and I already love using it more than a touchscreen. Just resting your arm on the armrest and pad is so nice.
  • Also love the split screen capability of the screen, with the ability to show music and navigation or CarPlay and SiriusXM simultaneously.
  • The projector-beam headlights are super nice. Also like having all LED lighting out and in.
  • I love that the trunk opens all the way up when you pop it.
  • The steering wheel button and layout is nice, and I like how you control the HUD with the wheel/rocker switch. I like how much the HUD is used - when changing radio stations, volume, etc.
  • Love the Auto function for the heated and ventilated seats.
  • Like the little storage pockets on either side of the center console.
  • Love how smoothly and transmission shifts - in Comfort or Normal, shifts are imperceptible in normal driving without looking at the tach.
  • Traffic jam assist is super nice - I used it a lot on my drive home and it is a nice upgrade over Honda Sensing.
  • Stop/start system is good - with how smoothly the engine fires up, it's the least intrusive system I've experience in a car.
Cons
  • Obviously the Accord has a much more spacious rear seat. I could very comfortably sit behind my normal driving position in the Accord (I'm 6'2"). In the TLX, I have to adjust the driver seat forward and up, but I am still comfortable in the front seat and in the back, it's just not as comfortable in this scenario as the Accord.
  • I also knew the trunk was smaller, but I was honestly surprised the first time I opened the trunk at how small it looks compared to the Accord. I still think I'll be able to get a lot in there, but definitely not as much.
  • Also disappointed that there are no standard or accessory hooks in the trunk for using a cargo organizer. I like keeping my groceries in place on my spirited drive home!
  • The throttle response in Comfort and Normal is a little lazy, particularly the transmission downshifts.
  • It does feel slower off the line, but other than that it feels plenty quick enough for my driving.
  • I don't like how deep the ambient lighting selection is buried. I wish I could change the color scheme while driving.
  • The flip side of the trunk opening itself all the way is that it's a lot harder to close, and basically impossible to close without touching the paint.
I know this is a long intro/review, but I figured a few people in the research phase might find it useful. I'll update as I continue to get to know the car.

Cheers!

Car Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Car Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Car Speedometer Odometer White Tachometer
 

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Registered
2021 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD
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132 Posts
Hey guys,

I picked up my 2021 TLX Advance SH-AWD in Performance Red Pearl over Ebony on Friday 9/3. It was a Certified Pre-Owned with 9,600 miles. The original owner bought it from the same dealership and traded it 7 months later for an RDX. I paid attention to the three common issues I've gleaned from this site (steering rack noise, puddle lights, and brake pedal noise) and didn't notice any of them on the test drive. I traded in a 2018 Accord Sport 2.0T 6MT for the TLX.

Most people would say I'm foolish.. I drove 450 miles for my TLX and put a deposit down before I had ever driven a 2021 TLX or even seen one in person. There are no premium dealerships in my area except Mercedes and Cadillac, so you don't see many Acuras around. I did a ton of research including reading and watching reviews and browsing the forums, and ultimately decided to pull the trigger.

I had high expectations for the car, but my first impression still blew my expectations away. Upon walking up to the car, it simply has a presence that is unmatched by any car I've had before. I'm in love with the design and proportions. I'm a sucker for a good looking sedan, and this is one of if not the best looking one around. Things only got better when I opened the door and sat inside. The elevated materials and sophisticated design are simply a big cut above the Accord. I cross-shopped the 3 series, A4, C Class, and S60, and the interior and exterior design are what kept the TLX on top the list.

First impression got even better when I started the car and set off. You can barely feel the engine turning over when starting the TLX, versus the very noticeable shutter through the chassis when starting my Accord. The car was parked on a downhill slope, and when I pulled away from the spot and turned the wheel hard right I immediately felt the difference in the double wishbone suspension and stiffer chassis. I have never driven a car that did not have McPherson struts on the front, and the difference in the feel was very impressive. Even more so when I took off out of the lot and onto the street and felt SH-AWD do its thing for the first time. Holy cow. SH-AWD is a transformative experience over a powerful FWD car. The next thing to impress was the ride. It is so much smoother and softer than the Accord Sport, while also handling better. It's kind of hard for me to understand how they can make the car ride so well and handle so well at the same time. The adaptive dampers work wonders. I'm blown away by how they transform the ride from 1980s Lincoln to modern sport sedan and the flick of a knob. I can't wait to take the fiancé on our first road trip with the car in Comfort mode. It's going to be the best trip yet.

Then I found my favorite SiriusXM station and cranked it. I couldn't get the goofy grin off my face. I've never heard a car sound system like this before. It rivals the $6,000 home audio system in my living room. As if I wasn't already in love with the car, this was icing on the cake. The TLX is also significantly quieter on the road than the Accord Sport, which made the long drive home much less draining and allows you to enjoy the audio system that much more.

Interestingly, when I left the dealership I stopped at a gas station to top if off before setting off on my 450 mile journey back home. After topping it off, the trip computer displayed an average MPG of around 21 and a range of 226 miles. I managed to double the range and drove 455.3 miles on that tank, with a displayed 30.3 MPG and a hand-calculated 29.8 MPG. I am super pleased with this, considering 98% of the 455 miles was either with the cruise set at 82 or crawling through the stop-and-go traffic of I-35. It's only 1-2 MPG less than I would get in the Accord in that same scenario.

Overall, in case you can't tell, I'm simply enamored with the car. It feels like a huge upgrade over the Accord. As my first step into the "premium" segment of the auto industry, I'm very impressed and I understand why so many people are willing to pay more for a premium brand. I'm one of them, now.

Below are some additional smaller points of comparison between my TLX and Accord:
Pros
  • Feedback on the remote during remote start is nice.
  • Much less road/wind/tire noise.
  • Much more comfortable seats with lots of adjustability.
  • LOVE the True Touch interface. Not having to lift/hold your arm up to interact with the screen is really nice. I adjusted to the interface in less than an hour and I already love using it more than a touchscreen. Just resting your arm on the armrest and pad is so nice.
  • Also love the split screen capability of the screen, with the ability to show music and navigation or CarPlay and SiriusXM simultaneously.
  • The projector-beam headlights are super nice. Also like having all LED lighting out and in.
  • I love that the trunk opens all the way up when you pop it.
  • The steering wheel button and layout is nice, and I like how you control the HUD with the wheel/rocker switch. I like how much the HUD is used - when changing radio stations, volume, etc.
  • Love the Auto function for the heated and ventilated seats.
  • Like the little storage pockets on either side of the center console.
  • Love how smoothly and transmission shifts - in Comfort or Normal, shifts are imperceptible in normal driving without looking at the tach.
  • Traffic jam assist is super nice - I used it a lot on my drive home and it is a nice upgrade over Honda Sensing.
  • Stop/start system is good - with how smoothly the engine fires up, it's the least intrusive system I've experience in a car.
Cons
  • Obviously the Accord has a much more spacious rear seat. I could very comfortably sit behind my normal driving position in the Accord (I'm 6'2"). In the TLX, I have to adjust the driver seat forward and up, but I am still comfortable in the front seat and in the back, it's just not as comfortable in this scenario as the Accord.
  • I also knew the trunk was smaller, but I was honestly surprised the first time I opened the trunk at how small it looks compared to the Accord. I still think I'll be able to get a lot in there, but definitely not as much.
  • Also disappointed that there are no standard or accessory hooks in the trunk for using a cargo organizer. I like keeping my groceries in place on my spirited drive home!
  • The throttle response in Comfort and Normal is a little lazy, particularly the transmission downshifts.
  • It does feel slower off the line, but other than that it feels plenty quick enough for my driving.
  • I don't like how deep the ambient lighting selection is buried. I wish I could change the color scheme while driving.
  • The flip side of the trunk opening itself all the way is that it's a lot harder to close, and basically impossible to close without touching the paint.
I know this is a long intro/review, but I figured a few people in the research phase might find it useful. I'll update as I continue to get to know the car.

Cheers!

View attachment 26711 View attachment 26712 View attachment 26713
First, glad that you really like the car!

I got better than expected gas mileage when I made a 400 mile round trip to Manhattan, Kansas. I averaged just a tad over 30 mpg on my trip.

I preferred the look of the A-Spec with the reduced chrome, but I would have definitely bought the car you got if it had been available locally. The features on the Advance are worth the money if you don't mind the lack of spoiler and extra shiny stuff.
 

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2021 SH-AWD Advance
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First, glad that you really like the car!

I got better than expected gas mileage when I made a 400 mile round trip to Manhattan, Kansas. I averaged just a tad over 30 mpg on my trip.

I preferred the look of the A-Spec with the reduced chrome, but I would have definitely bought the car you got if it had been available locally. The features on the Advance are worth the money if you don't mind the lack of spoiler and extra shiny stuff.
I agree, I definitely prefer the sporty aesthetic of the A-Spec, although I still appreciate the luxury aesthetic of the Advance. An “A-Spec Advance” would be the ideal TLX for me, but ultimately I decided that the additional features were more important than the sporty aesthetic.

I definitely hit the jackpot finding a CPO Advance SH-AWD in the color combo I wanted, especially with low miles and showroom condition. Got it for a great price too, at least in today’s market!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I went with Advance to have all the options, I think its silly they drop features when you go to a more expensive version of the car. Im in my car because of heads-up display.
 

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2021 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD
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132 Posts
I went with Advance to have all the options, I think its silly they drop features when you go to a more expensive version of the car. Im in my car because of heads-up display.
It's interesting what people find value in. My wife's CX-9 has a HUD and I was excited with it as a feature when buying the vehicle, but now that we've had it for 2 1/2 years, I don't even think about not having it in my other vehicles. I bought an A-Spec, but the thing that almost made me get the Advance was the heated steering wheel. I like having warm hands in the winter.
 

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If the Genesis G80 2.5 had HUD, thats what I'd be driving now instead of the TLX lol , no way I was upgrading to the 3.5 for another 10K just for HUD.
 

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2018 Acura TLX, 8 speed DCT, Technology Package
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1,092 Posts
Hey guys,

I picked up my 2021 TLX Advance SH-AWD in Performance Red Pearl over Ebony on Friday 9/3. It was a Certified Pre-Owned with 9,600 miles. The original owner bought it from the same dealership and traded it 7 months later for an RDX. I paid attention to the three common issues I've gleaned from this site (steering rack noise, puddle lights, and brake pedal noise) and didn't notice any of them on the test drive. I traded in a 2018 Accord Sport 2.0T 6MT for the TLX.

Most people would say I'm foolish.. I drove 450 miles for my TLX and put a deposit down before I had ever driven a 2021 TLX or even seen one in person. There are no premium dealerships in my area except Mercedes and Cadillac, so you don't see many Acuras around. I did a ton of research including reading and watching reviews and browsing the forums, and ultimately decided to pull the trigger.

I had high expectations for the car, but my first impression still blew my expectations away. Upon walking up to the car, it simply has a presence that is unmatched by any car I've had before. I'm in love with the design and proportions. I'm a sucker for a good looking sedan, and this is one of if not the best looking one around. Things only got better when I opened the door and sat inside. The elevated materials and sophisticated design are simply a big cut above the Accord. I cross-shopped the 3 series, A4, C Class, and S60, and the interior and exterior design are what kept the TLX on top the list.

First impression got even better when I started the car and set off. You can barely feel the engine turning over when starting the TLX, versus the very noticeable shutter through the chassis when starting my Accord. The car was parked on a downhill slope, and when I pulled away from the spot and turned the wheel hard right I immediately felt the difference in the double wishbone suspension and stiffer chassis. I have never driven a car that did not have McPherson struts on the front, and the difference in the feel was very impressive. Even more so when I took off out of the lot and onto the street and felt SH-AWD do its thing for the first time. Holy cow. SH-AWD is a transformative experience over a powerful FWD car. The next thing to impress was the ride. It is so much smoother and softer than the Accord Sport, while also handling better. It's kind of hard for me to understand how they can make the car ride so well and handle so well at the same time. The adaptive dampers work wonders. I'm blown away by how they transform the ride from 1980s Lincoln to modern sport sedan and the flick of a knob. I can't wait to take the fiancé on our first road trip with the car in Comfort mode. It's going to be the best trip yet.

Then I found my favorite SiriusXM station and cranked it. I couldn't get the goofy grin off my face. I've never heard a car sound system like this before. It rivals the $6,000 home audio system in my living room. As if I wasn't already in love with the car, this was icing on the cake. The TLX is also significantly quieter on the road than the Accord Sport, which made the long drive home much less draining and allows you to enjoy the audio system that much more.

Interestingly, when I left the dealership I stopped at a gas station to top if off before setting off on my 450 mile journey back home. After topping it off, the trip computer displayed an average MPG of around 21 and a range of 226 miles. I managed to double the range and drove 455.3 miles on that tank, with a displayed 30.3 MPG and a hand-calculated 29.8 MPG. I am super pleased with this, considering 98% of the 455 miles was either with the cruise set at 82 or crawling through the stop-and-go traffic of I-35. It's only 1-2 MPG less than I would get in the Accord in that same scenario.

Overall, in case you can't tell, I'm simply enamored with the car. It feels like a huge upgrade over the Accord. As my first step into the "premium" segment of the auto industry, I'm very impressed and I understand why so many people are willing to pay more for a premium brand. I'm one of them, now.

Below are some additional smaller points of comparison between my TLX and Accord:
Pros
  • Feedback on the remote during remote start is nice.
  • Much less road/wind/tire noise.
  • Much more comfortable seats with lots of adjustability.
  • LOVE the True Touch interface. Not having to lift/hold your arm up to interact with the screen is really nice. I adjusted to the interface in less than an hour and I already love using it more than a touchscreen. Just resting your arm on the armrest and pad is so nice.
  • Also love the split screen capability of the screen, with the ability to show music and navigation or CarPlay and SiriusXM simultaneously.
  • The projector-beam headlights are super nice. Also like having all LED lighting out and in.
  • I love that the trunk opens all the way up when you pop it.
  • The steering wheel button and layout is nice, and I like how you control the HUD with the wheel/rocker switch. I like how much the HUD is used - when changing radio stations, volume, etc.
  • Love the Auto function for the heated and ventilated seats.
  • Like the little storage pockets on either side of the center console.
  • Love how smoothly and transmission shifts - in Comfort or Normal, shifts are imperceptible in normal driving without looking at the tach.
  • Traffic jam assist is super nice - I used it a lot on my drive home and it is a nice upgrade over Honda Sensing.
  • Stop/start system is good - with how smoothly the engine fires up, it's the least intrusive system I've experience in a car.
Cons
  • Obviously the Accord has a much more spacious rear seat. I could very comfortably sit behind my normal driving position in the Accord (I'm 6'2"). In the TLX, I have to adjust the driver seat forward and up, but I am still comfortable in the front seat and in the back, it's just not as comfortable in this scenario as the Accord.
  • I also knew the trunk was smaller, but I was honestly surprised the first time I opened the trunk at how small it looks compared to the Accord. I still think I'll be able to get a lot in there, but definitely not as much.
  • Also disappointed that there are no standard or accessory hooks in the trunk for using a cargo organizer. I like keeping my groceries in place on my spirited drive home!
  • The throttle response in Comfort and Normal is a little lazy, particularly the transmission downshifts.
  • It does feel slower off the line, but other than that it feels plenty quick enough for my driving.
  • I don't like how deep the ambient lighting selection is buried. I wish I could change the color scheme while driving.
  • The flip side of the trunk opening itself all the way is that it's a lot harder to close, and basically impossible to close without touching the paint.
I know this is a long intro/review, but I figured a few people in the research phase might find it useful. I'll update as I continue to get to know the car.

Cheers!

View attachment 26711 View attachment 26712 View attachment 26713
Thanks for posting your impressions - very thorough detailed summary! Glad you love the car and welcome to the forum.
 
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I own a Canadian spec '20 V6 with SH-AWD, A-Spec and Tech packages and had a loaner '21 4 cylinder with SH-AWD and A-Spec packages the other day while my car was in for a couple of warranty issues.

I agree with most of your points on ergonomics and style. I didn't like the HUD so I turned it off. I did like the combined / simultaneous infotainment and Nav display , but don't care for the "tablet" look that seems they couldn't integrate it into the flow of the dashboard shape. The flow of the door window sills into the dash is broken, with the door window sills just a little too high for my liking. It could do with a better choice of wood species for the dash trim, and cleaner lines (I.E. do away with the creases over each side of the main instrument binacle.
The ventilated seats are a real plus in hot and humid places like where I am in Ontario. It would be nice if they added the power seat bottom cushion extender that my '20 has. Over all, I liked the car, but it could have had better handling under acceleration while cornering. The 255 tires are just overkill, form over function, adding unnecessary unsprung weight and lower the pressure concentration on the contact patch, causing loss of traction when you push it hard. The traction is still way better than the best a FWD car could ever hope for.
I was quite happy to get my '20 back, and it reconfirmed that the V6 '20 is the better fit for me. It also reconfirmed (as the OP said), the driving experience is so much better in the TLX compared to the '20 Accord I test drove before choosing the TLX. In my case the price difference between a fully loaded Accord and my '20 TLX V6 with SH-AWD, A-Spec and Tech packages was not that much, especially considering the quantum leap in driving experience, ergonomics and style.
 
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