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2021 Acura TLX Type S – Ready to take on the world’s best luxury-sport sedans


2021 Acura TLX Type S – Ready to take on the world’s best luxury-sport sedans. The Acura TLX kind of gets a bad rap against more traditional luxury/sport sedans like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Its badge might not carry the same clout in some circles, yet the TLX offers equivalent levels of performance, luxury and onboard tech as these rivals — and for less money, too.

With the 2021 TLX, Acura is really working to up the sedan’s wow factor, while still staying true to its mission of offering a lot of features for the money. And honestly, if this new TLX drives as good as it looks, this might be the moment when the gap between Acura and the Germans finally starts to close.

The exterior design of the new TLX is a significant improvement over the outgoing model. Located at the front is a diamond pentagon grille complemented by Jewel Eye LED headlights and sharp air intakes. Cast your eyes back along the hood and down the sides, and the athletic bodywork continues. It all looks very nice.

The range-topping Acura TLX Type S takes things a step further with a unique grille, enlarged air intakes, a front splitter, a rear diffuser, and a quad tailpipe system that looks superb.

Inside, there is a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an analog gauge cluster with a seven-inch central display. Sitting atop the dashboard is a 10.2-inch infotainment system but it isn’t a touchscreen and, much to the dismay of Edmunds, it uses a trackpad not too dissimilar to current Lexus models.

As standard, the 2021 TLX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 272 hp and 280 lb-ft (379 Nm) of torque. Those are healthy gains of 66 hp and 98 lb-ft (133 Nm) over the current four-cylinder. Mated to this engine is a ten-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels, but a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system will be optional.

As for the TLX Type S, it will pack a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 promising significant gains over the 290 hp and 267 lb-ft (362 Nm) of the outgoing 3.5-liter V6. Type S models will come with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive as standard as well as uprated brakes.

The 2021 Acura TLX will hit dealers this fall, and Acura says pricing will start in the “mid-$30,000 range.” The 2020 TLX starts at $33,000 before destination, and I expect the new one to come in around $35,000. Mum’s the word on how much the Type S will cost when it arrives next spring, though it’ll likely undercut rivals like the Audi S4, BMW M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43.

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