As Honda’s performance and luxury division, Acura has given brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz a decent run for their money in recent years. You can see examples of this with options like the recently released 2022 Acura TLX, which is an excellent luxury sedan.
If you’re more performance-oriented, however, the Acura TLX Type S may be more up your alley. Here’s a deeper look into why the Type S deserves the attention of serious enthusiasts.
What’s Under the Hood
The car’s performance mostly comes from the 3.0L turbo V6 engine. This engine is specifically made for the Type S, and its capabilities include churning out 355-HP and 354-lb-ft of peak torque. Also, according to Acura, the engine in the sedan can reach peak torque at just 1400RPM, which translates into faster acceleration.
The Type S is also fitted with a Super Handling all-wheel-drive system (SH-AWD), which boosts handling even when you step on the gas. It does this by vectoring power between the axles, so the car can turn better in fast corners. A locking rear differential is added for extra measure. As a result, the system does exceptionally well at controlling wheel power.
The car’s transmission is a 10-speed automatic, although manual mode is available as well. Also notable is the double-wishbone suspension, which partly explains why the car is so stable while cornering.
The bottom line? If you’re an enthusiast driver, you’ll feel the power and emotion of the ride as soon as you get behind the wheel, with the engine sounding every bit as good as it feels.
Bringing Interior and Exterior Style
The Acura TLX Type S has an extremely aggressive and athletic-looking body with the aerodynamics to enhance downforce and traction. Additionally, it incorporates quad exhausts in its design—something it picked up from the much older 2008 TL Type S.
There are also two trim levels, though the difference between the regular TLX Type S and the higher trim version of the vehicle is minimal. You’ll note the upgrade primarily in the wheels, where the latter incorporates Acura NSX Type S-inspired, lightweight Y-spoke wheels matched with high-performance tires and enhanced brakes.
With a flat-bottom steering wheel, the car’s interior feels just as sporty as the exterior. It also comes standard with ultra-suede trimmed seats, though it’s possible to select an orchid leather interior exclusive to the Type S as well.
Head-to-Head: The TLX Type S vs. the Regular TLX
Both the TLX sedan and the TLX Type S are built on the same platform, so there isn’t much to separate the two. In fact, the 2022 regular TLX, which was on the market much earlier than its counterpart, was built with the Type S in mind.
One major difference comes in the engine where, as we mentioned, the 3.0L turbo V6 is made exclusively for the Type S. The regular TLX sedan, meanwhile, has a 2.0L turbo VTEC engine with a maximum power output of 272-HP.
Also, while Super Handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) is standard on the Type S, it’s optional on its less performance-oriented counterpart.
Unsurprisingly, the premium performance of the Type S means a difference in price tags, too. The lowest trim of the regular TLX is available for $37,700, while the pricing for the Type S starts at approximately $52,300.
Head-to-Head: The TLX Type S vs. the Competition
The primary competitors for the TLX Type S include the BMW M340i and Mercedes AMG C43. The $58,795 BMW, according to Car and Driver, comes with a 382-HP turbocharged inline-six engine. It’s also a bit quicker than the TLX, achieving 60 mph in about 4.1 seconds.
The Mercedes AMG C43 is even more expensive with its $61,550 starting price. It achieves the same 4.1 seconds acceleration as the BMW M340i, thanks to a 385 HP 3.0L V6.
In terms of value for money, the Type S is one of the best offerings available and comes cheaper than its competition. Our one caveat? A slightly lower power-to-weight ratio means slightly slower acceleration relative to the BMW and Mercedes: The Type S goes from 0-60mph in about 4.9 seconds. Its extra weight, however, combined with superior handling from the SH-AWD, means it feels a bit more stable and firm on the road.