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In many ways, the midsize sedan is the ultimate commuter and family vehicle. Despite the somewhat bland name, these vehicles do not have to be basic or boring. For many people, a luxury midsize sedan is the ultimate in function and convenience.
Acura is one of the brands that is commonly associated with higher-quality vehicles with top-of-the-line features and performance. Entering the fifth year of its first generation, the TLX continues to be a well-received and loved vehicle. Acura combined and replaced their TSX and TL sedans with the TLX, keeping everything that consumers loved and leaving out what they did not. Very few changes were made for the new year. The only change of note is that now the A-Spec trim can be powered by the 4-cylinder engine.
Even the base level of the 2019 Acura TLX comes with a long list of standard features and almost every trim has two engine options. There are four different trim levels and seven different configurations for consumers to consider. While the Standard trim has a lot to love, each step up adds more safety, convenience, and entertainment features.
The following guide is designed to cover the differences between the trim levels in order to help consumers select the one that best suits their needs.
Compare the 2019 Acura TLX Standard vs Technology Package. What is the difference?
Like the Technology Package and A-Spec versions of the TLX, the Standard has two different engine options. The first is a 2.4-liter inline-4. It produces 206-horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque. Models of the TLX equipped with this engine come with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The fuel economy with this engine is an EPA estimated 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. Consumers who go with the A-Spec trim and this engine take a slight hit in fuel efficiency, getting 22 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.
With this engine, there is only the front-wheel-drive option. To improve cornering, Acura gave their FWD TLXs a rear-wheel-steering system. This also helps improve the stability of the vehicles while giving them a tighter turning radius.
The Standard can also be upgraded to the 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which produces 290-horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. This engine is always paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission that features Sequential SportShift paddle shifters. All versions of the TLX equipped with the V6 have the option of being upgraded to all-wheel-drive as well. No matter which trim and drivetrain consumers select, they will get an EPA estimated 20 MPG in the city. Front-wheel-drive versions are estimated to get 31 MPG on the highway, all-wheel-drive versions get 30 MPG, and the A-Spec gets 29 MPG.
Several of the most exciting exterior features of the TLX come on all trim levels, including the Standard. Examples include a power moonroof, Jewel Eye LED headlights, and heated side mirrors. The brake lights, taillights, center high mount stop light, and side mirror turn signal indicators are all LED as well. While versions of the Standard trim with the inline-4 engine sit on 17" wheels, ones equipped with the V6 get 18" wheels.
Inside the Standard, consumers will find sport seats with a leatherette-trim. Heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control are standard across the board. Each TLX comes with a leather steering wheel, keyless entry, and a push-button ignition.
Standard versions of the TLX come with 7-speakers. Consumers can use those speakers with the USB Audio Interface with smartphone integration or the Bluetooth audio streaming capability. The TLX is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone users. There are also two LCD monitors as well as USB and auxiliary input jacks.
Several drivers assistance features are standard for all TLXs. These include a Collision Mitigation Braking System, a Lane Keeping Assist System, and a Road Departure Mitigation System. A rear-view camera and Adaptive Cruise Control are also standard equipment. The Acura TLX received 5-star rating overall from the National Highway Transportation Administration.
Not surprisingly, most of the changes when you move up to the Technology Package have to do with upgraded tech inside the TLX. This trim adds HD radio and has 10 speakers. It also gives consumers the Song by Voice feature which allows them to play music through their USB port or smart device by simply saying what they want to hear.
Navigation becomes standard on this trim. It gives drivers a 3D view and features traffic rerouting. The HD Digital Traffic system gives real-time updates on road conditions and can suggest an alternate route when appropriate.
The AcuraLink system was updated and is included on the TLX from this trim up. It involves an embedded cellular device in the vehicle which can communicate with the consumer's smartphone. This allows for remote locking and unlocking, sending directions to the navigation, and tracking the vehicle in the event it is stolen.
The Technology Package has a few more safety features. Drivers can take advantage of rain-sensing windshield wipers, a Blind Spot Information System, and a Rear Traffic Cross Monitor.
Compare the 2019 TLX Technology Package vs A-Spec. What is the difference?
For consumers seeking a sportier-looking version of the Acura TLX, the A-Spec trim may be the way to go. This trim rides on eye-catching 19" Shark Grey wheels. It adds round fog lights and a gloss black rear deck spoiler. To set this trim apart from the rest, it features a dark chrome grille and lighting details as well as black window molding. While the exhaust ports on the other trims are rectangular, the A-Spec's are round. It also has uniquely style front and back bumpers and the A-Spec sill garnish.
Inside the A-Spec, consumers will find several special touches. This trim has stylish red on black gauges and a black headliner. There is also a sporty metallic footrest pad. There are special A-Spec garnishes on the door sill and steering wheel. While all trims have heated seats, this trim level adds ventilation as well. For convenience, this trim includes a wireless charging pad.
Being the sportiest version of the TLX, tweaks were made to the performance as well. It has a sports-tuned suspension as well as quicker steering, making it a joy to drive on windy back roads.
The A-Spec includes all of the technology that the previous trim had. It also adds forward and rear parking sensors as well as a Heads Up Display. Inside the A-Spec, drivers will find red interior lighting.
Compare the TLX A-Spec vs Advanced Package. What is the difference?
The first thing to note about the Advanced package is that it is only available with the V-6 engine with the 9-speed automatic transmission. It is still available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions.
While the A-Spec added round fog lights, the Advanced Package gives the TLX unique rectangular ones. It adds auto dimming and power-folding to the side mirrors and interior welcome lighting to give this sedan an even more luxurious feel. This trim also features a rear decklid spoiler, but a body-colored one instead of the gloss black found on the A-Spec.
The Advanced Package level of the TLX is the only one to feature a heated steering wheel and a heated windshield. White interior lighting is featured instead of the red found inside the A-Spec. This is also the only version to offer heated seats in the back as well as the front.
One of the most convenient features is the remote engine start with vehicle feedback. It can start the vehicle from up to 328 feet away. The vehicle automatically heats itself to a comfortable temperature and can even turn on the defrost and seat heaters in cold weather.
While all versions of this vehicle have cameras, only the Advanced Package gives drivers the Surround View Camera System. It utilizes four exterior cameras to give drivers a 360° picture of their vehicle's surroundings. When the Advanced Package trim is put in reverse, it provides both a traditional rear view as well as the overhead 360°. When trying to park in a tight space, pressing the camera button gives drivers different views of their vehicle and its surroundings.
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Which Packages to Choose?
Being well-made luxury sedans, all versions of the TLX are worth considering. Whichever trim level they select, consumers will want to be sure to upgrade to the V6 and all-wheel-drive. Not only will this make the vehicle more fun to drive, but it will also make sure it can handle whatever the weather does. The four-cylinder engine simply does not have enough power.
Ultimately, to get the most out of the TLX drivers will want to go with at least the A-Spec trim. It gives all of the most important technology upgrades plus a sporty look and feel. That being said, there is the smallest price gap between the A-Spec and the Advance Package, so many consumers may be tempted to go all the way to the top of the line. That package cannot match the A-Spec when it comes to style and performance, however.
The 2019 Acura TLX A-Spec offers just about everything consumers want from a luxury sedan and still manages to remain relatively affordable.