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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone -

Here's my 2 day old TLX SH-AWD in Bellanova white. "She" has the Tech package, deckled spoiler, and splash guards. Also, I have replaced the OEM tires with Michelin Pilot A/S 3's in the stock size.

In one of the pics, my 4G TL has a cameo in the background.
 

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When the time comes, this the the model and color that I am looking at.
Keep us updated with the likes and dislikes (if any) after a little time and mileage.
Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the complements -

I will post some impressions after more time with the car. My initial feelings are:

- The car should not be judged on the basis of the original equipment tires. Changing the tires impacts the steering feel and the way the car handles in a significant way. I put Pilot A/S 3's on it and it makes a big difference. It should have had better tires on it in the first place. Tires change this car's personality. Noise level at 50mph on highway went up from 58 decibels to 59.5 when I changed to the Pilots. Basically not significant enough to notice without a sound level meter.

-I have driven the car in normal, sport, and sport+ modes. The 9AT does seem to be "learning" and improving. Sport mode is pretty good for daily driving. I'm going to give it about 500-600 miles before I consider it "taught."

-Sport+ does many things right in my mind with a few caveats that are part of the 9AT design that won't change/can't change.

The good: downshifts for engine braking 4th to 1st blip the revs and feel great as well as save wear and tear on the brakes. If you are in any gear through 4th up or down to set up entry and throttle through a corner (for the SH-AWD) - it is very good, better than previous generation 6AT.

Another thing I am happy about is that the 9AT will hold 1st gear on a steep decline for engine braking. I have a very steep county road hill and it not only saves the brake wear, but for winter safety is gives slower speed to lessen the need to apply brakes where the inevitable lock-then-slide can occur. The 4G TL 6AT would never hold 1st in any mode - automatically goes to 2nd even when going down a steep hill. This one TLX (9AT) is much better in this regard and I think all cars should have at least one mode that holds the lowest gear if the driver wants it to.

The bad: (Really only applies to Sport+ mode) In Sport+, once you go past 4th because of the transmission design, downshifting creates a coasting feeling for 5th to 4th for an instant before you feel the engine braking. To use the SH-AWD, it requires a little more planning I think for approaching corners. For most of the corners on my route, I like to enter without braking if possible and be in a gear where I am holding about 3000 rpm right before I turn in so I can apply throttle all the way through the corner. It just takes a little more planning with the 9AT.

The other thing about sport+ is that I doubt anyone will leave it in that mode all of the time e.g. when you aren't attacking curves as it would get old fast for more mundane driving.

Some things I want to explore but haven't yet are passing performance on the interstates and also to see how much impact the torque braking (Agile Handling Assist) has in corners. So far, I haven't noticed it yet. My guess is that it will come into play when the vehicle stability system senses loss of traction. I tend to use familiar roads and try incremental increases in cornering speeds rather than trying to make the tires lose traction.

Other things -

Idle Stop - Not a fan. It works, but it is something generally undesirable to me. I am training myself to hit the disable button after starting the car, before putting it in gear. Each time you turn the car off, it comes on by default. It's annoying, but I've only forgot to disable it a couple of times.

The gage cluster - love it especially the navigation and street info in the center multi display. Now much more colorful than 4G TL, more features.

I haven't done much with the audio yet as in setting up presets. The initial sound didn't seem that good. I changed the settings to enable ELS Neural mode for all sources and now it sounds better than any other I have used including previous TL's ELS system.

That's it so far - I love the car it is and the car it can become
 

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Thanks for the complements -

I will post some impressions after more time with the car.

...
Excellent write-up and comments. Also enjoyed the photos. Thanks!

My friend said I should set center channel to -2 to let the other speakers get through. With that suggestion and neural set to on, I enjoy the sound more.

Enjoy your TLX.
 

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The good: downshifts for engine braking 4th to 1st blip the revs and feel great as well as save wear and tear on the brakes.
Isn't there are trade off between cost of brake replacement vs cost of additional gas and maybe additional strain on the tranny? It used to be that using the brakes very more cost efficient. Granted manual operation provides additional control especially on hilly roads but not so much on level roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Isn't there are trade off between cost of brake replacement vs cost of additional gas and maybe additional strain on the tranny? It used to be that using the brakes very more cost efficient. Granted manual operation provides additional control especially on hilly roads but not so much on level roads.
In terms of fuel economy, I would say even though rpm increases with engine braking, fuel is not being injected. Keeping the car in the power band for performance in cornering however will definitely increase fuel consumption vs. the lower shift points that the automatic in ECON, NORM modes would do. I think the best overall cost scenario for fuel/brakes would be engine braking combined with low shift points. I doubt that coasting/using brakes would consume any significant amount of more fuel, so that would be where the reduced brake wear would come to be a merit for engine braking.

Engine braking can have wear/tear impact on the transmission. For example, large trucks routinely engine brake and usually have heavy duty transmission oil coolers. This is more for sustained conditions that don't happen as often with cars used for daily transportation. If you downshift when the engine revs are about 2000 or less, I doubt the revs in the next lower gear will go above 4500 before the compression starts to slow the car. Honda engines with VTEC/iVTEC don't really come alive until the revs come up into higher levels and keeping the SH model in the power band gives the torque vectoring a boost for corners.

In the TLX 9AT, I think keeping it in sport+ with engine braking would become tiresome/tedious on a daily basis. The geography where I live is unique in that while most of Indiana is very flat, there is a point in the south where the glaciers stopped during the ice ages and created some very hilly terrain with valleys. Engine braking balance or merit is likely more relevant to my conditions to prevent premature brake wear or even rotor warpage due to sustained constant braking if not engine braking.

I haven't had the TLX long enough to get an image for fuel economy, but my TL gets about 25.5 - 26mpg on long interstate trips, and about 18 otherwise. If I lived in an area with flat terrain and fewer curvy roads, I would probably have got the 2.4 liter with the DCT model and been very happy.

I think the great thing is that the car has modes which can extract the best fuel economy and modes that allow for more spirited driving from time to time albeit with greater fuel consumption.
 
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