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2020 Acura TLX Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Acura TLX?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Acura TLX? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

There are times when a four-door sedan is what's needed for your passenger and transportation needs. While there are many models on the market, the one you might want to look at is the 2020 Acura TLX. Celebrating its fifth year on the market, the sporty vehicle has the driving ability and luxury of higher-end and higher-cost sedans on the market.

This begs the question: how does it stand apart from the other sedans currently available? Furthermore, does it stack up to them when it comes to power, performance, and comfort? Finally, is it worth the cost of the standard or advanced trims?

What's New for 2020?

There are no major changes to the 2020 Acura TLX, and that's both a good and bad thing. It's good because it still bridges the gap between mainstream and luxury sedans. It's bad because the manufacturer seems to have decided not to pursue advancements to match other models. At this point it's difficult to speculate on Acura's plans for the car in the next model year.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Acura TLX – The Pros

1. Quality Interior Materials

To make drivers feel they have purchased a higher-end vehicle, the 2020 Acura TLX offers a comfortable interior made with high quality fabrics and materials. The standard trim features sports seats with leatherette trim and a 10-way power seat with lumbar control. Furthermore, this seat is heated for maximum winter comfort.

2. Expanded Interior Cabin Room

The 2020 Acura TLX isn't as roomy as full-sized sedans. Nevertheless, the drivers and passengers have enough room so they don't feel cramped on a journey of any length. Even with five people, the TLX's maximum capacity, there is an average of over three feet in legroom and 55 inches in both shoulder and hip space.

3. Powertrain Options

Some manufacturers try to power their four-door sedans as if they were sports cars. The Acura TLX also agrees power is needed but knows their vehicle is used for families. Thus, it offers two powertrains in both their front-wheel and all-wheel drives.

The standard is a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder inline engine with 206 horsepower. Available is a 3.5-liter V6 cylinder with a boost of 290 hp. Out of the two, the 6-cylinder engine offers a smoother speed transition and a nine-speed transmission.

4. Comparable Fuel Efficiency

Both powertrains give the 2020 Acura TLX a leg up in fuel efficiency. On average, they provide the driver with 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. These numbers don't change much when AWD is added as an option to the standard trim and additional packages.

5. Multiple Safety Options

There's a lot to like when looking at safety on the 2020 Acura TLX. Across all trim models, standard safety features abound.

Basic options include anti-lock brakes, adaptive cruise control, rear view camera, and airbags along the front and side and at the driver's knee. Then you have features you might not find on other sedans. For instance, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation.

If a driver wants to upgrade to another trim, they can get front & rear parking sensors and blind spot information as standards. They can also add an integration system with automated headlight operations and windshield wipers when rain or other precipitation is detected.

6. Safer Driving Technology

In addition to the options mentioned above, all trims in the 2020 Acura TLX family come with AcuraWatch. It's a suite of advanced technologies designed to eliminate collisions between vehicles. The application of AcuraWatch helped the vehicle receive an overall rating of five-stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

7. Precise Driving

The 2020 Acura TLX provides drivers with stability on any surface. The suspension is comprised of MacPherson strut and multi-link systems as well as front & rear stabilizer bars to minimize impacts on rough surfaces or through pothole-strewn areas. Agile Handling assist is paired with power steering to maintain control on the road during poor weather or highways.

8. An Enhanced Infotainment System

For a four-door sedan, the 2020 Acura TLX offers a versatile infotainment system. Standards include compatibility for satellite radio and Pandora music streaming, Bluetooth for wireless audio, and adaptability for Apple and Android phones.

When the Technology Package trim or above are purchased, the Acura Navigation System is included. This features the ability to view real-time traffic, receive rerouting alerts, and view turn-by-turn directions.

9. Quiet Interior

No matter the volume of the sound system, noise levels within the interior cabin can increase due to traffic and surface sounds. Acura utilizes amplitude reactive dampers to correct this. They do two things. First, they absorb road vibrations. Second, they come close to eliminating external sounds.

10. Clear Views of Your Surroundings

Acura's goal is to make driving its TLX as safe as possible. In addition to its standard safety features, they have implemented a 360-degree view tool to see all angles. The Surround-View Camera, part of the Advanced Package trim, gives the driver an unparalleled view with six cameras. In turn, blind spots and potential obstacles can be detected before collision.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Acura TLX – The Cons

1. Average Driving

For some, the 2020 Acura TLX is an okay sedan with luxury components. It isn't sub-standard, nor is it fantastic. In other words, it's just ... there. It has been described as both competent and bland at the same time.

2. Substitute Power for Technology

Like other sedan manufacturers, Acura has ensured drivers are well informed and entertained with their dashboard units and built-in USB/Bluetooth capabilities. Unfortunately, they decided to put the power into this instead of the powertrain of the 2020 Acura TLX. Despite decent fuel efficiency ratings, neither the four-cylinder inline or six-cylinder engines have the gusto to power past other drivers.

3. Enormous Price Difference Between Trims

For a sedan that bridges the standard and luxury worlds, the 2020 Acura TLX has a reasonable MSRP for its basic trim. Yet, if drivers want more bells and whistles in the form of safety and infotainment features, they have to pay much more. In fact, the difference between the Standard trim and the fully-loaded Advanced Package is almost $20,000. A hard cost to swallow for a wood-trim interior and 360-degree camera.

The cost is just as high if you want to jump between features within the same trim. For instance, to go from Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) and four-cylinder engine to their six-cylinder AWD, the consumer needs to pay close to $10,000 more.

4. Difficulty with Child Car Seats

While the 2020 TLX received an overall five-star safety rating, it only got a Marginal rating for its LATCH car-seat connectors. The reason for this is an ability to reach the anchors that are set deep in the seat. In addition, a great deal of force is required to attach the car seat straps to the anchors. This increases the risk of injury in collisions.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

The 2020 Acura TLX is at the lowest base cost end of the luxury sedan area. Thus, other manufacturer's models tend to stack up better to it. For example, the BMW 3 series. Though it has a higher MSRP, it has a powerful drivetrain that makes it fun to drive. On top of this, the BMW is roomier in both the rear seats and the trunk.

In another example, the redesigned Lexus ES has better reliability ratings than the TLX. Though its standard MSRP is higher than the Acura, it boasts more basic features and increased performance capabilities than the TLX.


Overall, the 2020 Acura TLX is, for lack of a better term, nice. It offers the room to comfortably fit five passengers and an above-average infotainment system that covers everything from streaming music to driving directions. Plus, its suspension system gives the driver firm steering capabilities in any time of environment.

However, that's about it. While those technologies are worth it, what's under the hood is not. The basic four and six-cylinder engines can feel anemic to some drivers. Especially if they use the TLX to drive long distances on the highway. Even the decent fuel efficiency doesn't make up for the low engine power.

In the end, if starting in the luxury sedan world for you and the family, consider the TLX as a starting point. Unless you want to take this vehicle to an off-road cabin, stick with the AWS system instead of AWD.

After you get used to its offerings, you can add them to a list of specifics you want in your next vehicle. By then, the newest model of the Acura TLX may be what you desire.

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