2021 Acura TLX: Is Acura actually trying again?

8,808
United States
Marin County
Full reveal is set for tomorrow, but I like what I see so far.

10 speed automatic for all models
Turbo 4 or Turbo V6 powertrains
A return to double wishbone front suspension.
More cohesive than the current mish-mash, intergenerational styling. Not sure I agree with Jalopnik that it's beautiful, but it's a handsome sports sedan.

Generally, it seems like a bigger effort than I've seen from Acura in a long, long time. Hopefully it pays off for them, I would miss Acura if they disappeared. I always liked the idea of Acura sedans - fun to drive on the street if not exactly hair raising track machines. I was very close to buying a previous gen TLX but couldn't get over the clunky DCT transmission. Even as it was, I found it a more fun car to drive (even with just 200hp!) than a 300+hp Infiniti Q50. With improved engines and transmissions, the new car could be pretty...great actually.


https://jalopnik.com/this-is-apparently-the-2021-acura-tlx-and-it-looks-almo-1843688057

What are your thoughts on the new TLX and just Acura generally these days?
 
8,808
United States
Marin County
Is Acura actually trying? Whether it is FWD or not will tell.

Oh come on. To say that is to say that Acura has never tried. Acura has made plenty of quality, fun to drive, successful and critically lauded FWD cars in its past. Even besides that, it's plenty obvious that SH-AWD will return.
 

GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
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2,825
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Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Oh come on. To say that is to say that Acura has never tried. Acura has made plenty of quality, fun to drive, successful and critically lauded FWD cars in its past. Even besides that, it's plenty obvious that SH-AWD will return.
Unless Acura comes out with a design as successful as the first and second-gen Legend, it will be hard for the new TLX to compete, even with it's SH-AWD. I never said Acura never tried. I just think that if Acura wants a mid-size car to compete with the 5-Series, E-Class, or even the Cadillac CT5, its top priority should be developing an RWD platform. FWD works great on compacts, subcompacts, and CUVS, but oftentimes, mid and full-size sedans look overly tall, bulbous, and have front or rear overhangs which look too long, which makes FWD sedans less "good looking" than RWD ones in general. A rare exception to that rule would be the first and second-gen Legend. But with Acura's current "big-beak" design language, I highly doubt they could create and FWD car that's proportionally beautiful as the Legend.
 
8,808
United States
Marin County
Unless Acura comes out with a design as successful as the first and second-gen Legend, it will be hard for the new TLX to compete, even with it's SH-AWD. I never said Acura never tried. I just think that if Acura wants a mid-size car to compete with the 5-Series, E-Class, or even the Cadillac CT5, its top priority should be developing an RWD platform. FWD works great on compacts, subcompacts, and CUVS, but oftentimes, mid and full-size sedans look overly tall, bulbous, and have front or rear overhangs which look too long, which makes FWD sedans less "good looking" than RWD ones in general. A rare exception to that rule would be the first and second-gen Legend. But with Acura's current "big-beak" design language, I highly doubt they could create and FWD car that's proportionally beautiful as the Legend.

Did you look at the images? The car is already designed and it looks pretty good. The TL and TSX successfully competed with their respective RWD contemporaries for years. Up until they ruined it, the TL always looked pretty good. It didn't look RWD, but it looked pretty good. Same with the TSX. As best as I can tell, the OLD TLX outsold the CTS by significant margin, and thus far even appears to be outselling the CT5 (which I might add, manages to be overly tall and bulbous without being FWD). Unless you meant something else by "compete"? FWD based cars have always worked for Acura's market placement and business strategy...it's essentially their USP.
 
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39,072
It should be pointed out that with the final generation of CTS Cadillac went punching way above the weight class that the TLX could actually compete in and found to their immediate disappointment that people still won't pay BMW money for Cadillacs even if the Cadillac is better at being a BMW and 15 years of attempting to repair their brand image. The starting price of the CTS hovered around $15,000 more than the TLX, so the TLX damn well better have outsold the CTS regardless of it being a warmed over Accord or not.
 
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8,808
United States
Marin County
It should be pointed out that with the final generation of CTS Cadillac went punching way above the weight class that the TLX could actually compete in and found to their immediate disappointment that people still won't pay BMW money for Cadillacs even if the Cadillac is better at being a BMW and 15 years of attempting to repair their brand image. The starting price of the CTS hovered around $15,000 more than the TLX, so the TLX damn well better have outsold the CTS regardless of it being a warmed over Accord or not.

The ultimate driving dynamics of BMWs and the better Cadillacs are likely lost on many, many buyers. Acura is a convenient nameplate for people who want a more affordable luxury-badged car without the headaches of the Germans or Italians but with some more driving flair than a typical Lexus. To their credit, I think Acura buyers are pretty conscious of what they are buying - warmed over Hondas. Say what you want about Acura, but they have a pretty solid niche. To go in on some RWD hero machine for likely-miniscule additional market share (of a decreasing market!), at best, would be an incredibly dumb move for Acura. As Honda doesn't have an FR platform in their worldwide portfolio (AFAIK) it would likely cost them the better part of $1Bn to develop one - and it's not even a sure bet it would be a hit! They already have their little FF/AWD slice, and it's theirs to lose. How many Genesis G70s have you guys seen on the roads? That car has been out for several years now. I honestly think I've only seen a single example. Acura's biggest competition is probably the more premium trims of standard midsize sedans. But again, the badge (and the lease deals!) helps them here. An Acura will always be a more attractive badge than a Honda (aside from the JDM crowd, of course). The fact that the current TLX is not a very good car and still sells decently tells me that Acura is smart to give it a comprehensive update without changing the formula.
 
39,072
Yes, the world does need alternatives for people who don't want to buy Buicks because they don't want cars designed to AARP members or having anything to do with GM; and, no, Acura doesn't really need to compete with the real luxury brands. Certainly Lexus has seen diminishing returns on that, Infiniti is living on borrowed time and who knows what the hell GM is going to do with Cadillac next time. That's even ignoring how there's a steady stream of buyers who will happily apply the old Sloan ladder to Hondas and anything related to Honda.

But you can't note that there's little reason for them to expand outside of their niche and then also complain when people note that they haven't been trying to, and there's no reason to puff up the TLX as more than what it is.
 
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38,430
Australia
The Bronx
Hmm. No surprise I prefer the CL7 out of any Honda sedan ever built. The CL1, if I could have any Type R Honda, with more than 2 seats.

Now, to me, there looks to be alot going on in that design in the pics. The rear looks tough(I dig it). Reminds me of the Alfa Giulia QV. I'm not a fan of the front. The front 3/4 above, makes the overall shape look like a Chevrolet type sedan. I'm not calling it a bad design at all. Just not one of Hondas top sedan designs, in my eyes.

I do like the idea of this new car, bringing back the old Legend SH-AWD. That was a car that just came at the wrong time. With MAzda/Toyota joining to make a rwd sport sedan, I hope (Honda)Acura can pull this off, for the sake of future projects.
 
8,808
United States
Marin County
Yes, the world does need alternatives for people who don't want to buy Buicks because they don't want cars designed to AARP members or having anything to do with GM; and, no, Acura doesn't really need to compete with the real luxury brands. Certainly Lexus has seen diminishing returns on that, Infiniti is living on borrowed time and who knows what the hell GM is going to do with Cadillac next time. That's even ignoring how there's a steady stream of buyers who will happily apply the old Sloan ladder to Hondas and anything related to Honda.
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This is essentially Northern California. :lol: Unsurprisingly, Acuras do exceedingly well here. Maybe even better than Lexus.

But you can't note that there's little reason for them to expand outside of their niche and then also complain when people note that they haven't been trying to, and there's no reason to puff up the TLX as more than what it is

Fair point, but I disagree that Acura has to chase vehicle architectures that have never been part of its corporate DNA to qualify as trying. The new TLX, especially with the return of the Type S moniker, seems to be a genuine effort that I haven't seen from Acura products over the last decade. Yes it's a front drive platform at heart, but that doesn't prevent it from being good - they've always (rather less impressively in the last few years) used clever engineering to build products that punch above their pedigree, that's kind of the Acura way.
 
91
Finland
Finland
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https://www.motor1.com/news/425816/2021-acura-tlx-debut-review/
https://www.motortrend.com/cars/acura/tlx/2021/2021-acura-tlx-first-look/
 
21,894
United States
Southwest Eastnorthernton
TexRex72
Those front end proportions don't appear to be terribly encumbered by the chassis' presumed FWD-ness.

Not thrilled by the interior. The flat panel is fine--one of the better implementations I've seen lately--but the center stack is entirely too busy.
 
8,808
United States
Marin County
Never been a fan of Acura interior layouts (RSX was pretty nice though) and I'm not a fan of this one either. They really, really want you to look at that center console. I definitely don't hate the exterior though, not as simply handsome as the old CL7 TSX, but I'd rate it a solid 2020 handsome at least. That white one actually looks pretty dope.
 

GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
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2,825
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Looks like an evolution of the outgoing TL-X; same general body shape, but more aggressive bits added on. I don't think its going to be a better seller than the outgoing model.
 

MSZ

854
Canada
Canada
Looks like an evolution of the outgoing TL-X; same general body shape, but more aggressive bits added on. I don't think its going to be a better seller than the outgoing model.

Other than the superman grill, this looks nothing like the outgoing car, especially with the added space between the front axle and A pillar.

S60 still looks better though when it comes to good looking FWD sedan.
 

ROAD_DOGG33J

Premium
11,603
United States
IL, USA
holyc0w1
holyc0w
Needs sleeker door handles. Crease on the rear almost makes the rear one look like it's facing the sky.
 
91
Finland
Finland
The exterior looks good in my opinion. The interior is decent, certainly much better than the previous model. Overall I think this is pretty promising.
 
3,830
France
SoCal
GTP_MooCow
Somehow the center console looks really busy when it shouldn't...

In really like the steering wheel!! Like it!

The exterior overall shape is proportioned, awesome job Acura. This is much more in line with our expectations of how an Acura should look like...

Welcome back Acura.
 
8,808
United States
Marin County
A few years of depreciation and it should be a pretty nice buy in the $20k range with fairly low miles.

Granted the outgoing car isn't that good...but you can get (pre-facelift) ones with super low miles for like $17k, even with the V6. Hopefully the same will hold true with the new car...though I hardly imagine that's the result Acura is hoping for.
 
8,808
United States
Marin County
I'm always looking for the future ex-Mrs. Luxury Car. These would be coming off first lease when I had Ayeka II for 5 years...

You just gotta stay away from those ex-Mr. Luxury cars. I don't think a male-leased car can be legally returned without new front body work and a sloppy respray. :lol:
 

GranTurNismo

Resident Car Nerd
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2,825
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
I'm always looking for the future ex-Mrs. Luxury Car. These would be coming off first lease when I had Ayeka II for 5 years...
Maserati Quattroporte, just a thought. It's unreal how much those have depreciated. You can get a 2013-2014 model for as low as $20k, and many are for sale in the $22.5k-27.5k range. And this is a car that costed over $100k new and perceived as more opulent than the BMW or Mercedes equivalent. Just hope it never breaks down.
 
3,723
Australia
Brisbane, Australia
Chameleon9000
Maserati Quattroporte, just a thought. It's unreal how much those have depreciated. You can get a 2013-2014 model for as low as $20k, and many are for sale in the $22.5k-27.5k range. And this is a car that costed over $100k new and perceived as more opulent than the BMW or Mercedes equivalent. Just hope it never breaks down.
They're probably so cheap because they already have broken down. Several times. All of them. :lol:
 
8,808
United States
Marin County
They're probably so cheap because they already have broken down. Several times. All of them. :lol:

A clutch job on a Cambio Corsa equipped QP costs between $5k-$10k depending on your location. The clutch needs to be replaced as often as every 15,000 miles. :eek::nervous:

I'm certain the new generation QPs are easier to maintain especially now they have a ZF automatic, but they're also nothing like as special looking - in fact I think the new TLX actually looks better...:odd:

@Tornado reflexive, I'd say near-pathological aversion to comparatively stone-reliable second hand Audi's...

Since we're talking Audi, I assume this translates to "avoid after warranty"?

Even speaking as someone who is seriously considering buying a 16 year old 911 for use as a year round daily-ish driver, as someone who bought several American cars with decades old electronic adjustable shocks and has another still in my shortlist, as someone who only sold off a 16 year old Northstar Cadillac because I ran out of stuff to fix/improve on it; there's not a low enough sale price in the world to convince me to take a secondhand Audi of any vintage and try to use it as the "will definitely provide transportation" car of the three I'd have. I suspect I'd make better use of the money spent if I set it on fire to power a hot air balloon.

They should send Audis straight to the crusher as soon as the warranty runs out.

Makes me think that he's not gonna take a swing at a Maserati. I could be wrong though. :lol:
 

MikeV27

Premium
2,874
Canada
Kirkland Lake, Ontario.
MikeV27
Maserati Quattroporte, just a thought. It's unreal how much those have depreciated. You can get a 2013-2014 model for as low as $20k, and many are for sale in the $22.5k-27.5k range. And this is a car that costed over $100k new and perceived as more opulent than the BMW or Mercedes equivalent. Just hope it never breaks down.

This is probably one of the worst suggestions, lol. That would be just a luxury money pit.