Live Thread: 2024 Acura TLX Type S review

Colin
By Colin Wood
Jun 12, 2024 | Acura, New Car Review, Live Thread, TLX Type S

Photography by David S. Wallens

Another week, another car to review, another chance to ride shotgun with GRM.

This week, we have the hottest version of the Acura TLX, the Type S.

The first Acura to wear a Type S badge in some 13 years, the TLX Type S is powered by a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 that's rated at 355 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque.

Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is standard, and a 10-speed automatic handles gear changes.

All versions of the TLX come fitted with a double-wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension setup, though the Type S boasts 20-inch wheels fitted with 255/35R20 all-season tires. (For an added $3400, Acura will fit your Type S with bronze 20-inch wheels wrapped in summer tires–like the ones attached to our tester.)

Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 21 mpg. 

How much will an Acura TLX Type S set you back? MSRP starts at $57,000.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to drop them in the comments below.

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/12/24 12:33 p.m.

It definitely looks the part of a sports sedan, and the specs look promising, too.

BLRB
BLRB GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/12/24 12:46 p.m.

Is this different enough from the Integra Type-S to not cannibalize sales from each other?

Is it twin turbo?

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
6/12/24 12:51 p.m.

Nice car - with all that equipment and AWD are we to assume it's a heavy car?

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/12/24 12:59 p.m.

Acura spec sheet lists 4221 lb curb weight for the TLX-Type-S.  The lower spec models look to have a detuned version of the turbo 2.0 from the Integra/Civic Type R, so this one is meant to be a step up I guess.

https://www.acura.com/cars/tlx/pricing-and-specs

 

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/12/24 1:04 p.m.

In reply to BLRB :

Substantially larger car with a different purpose, if the Integra is like a 3-series, the TLX is between a 5-series and 7-series.

I want to like the TLX but the Predator head center console is extremely off-putting. An acquaintance also had one as a loaner and commented that the trunk is diabolically small for a car of its size.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/12/24 1:07 p.m.

So, I've only driven this thing back from David's at the point, but boy do I have some thoughts.

First, it seems way more extreme than I was expecting. The steering is sharp, quick and has lots of feedback. The suspension, even in non-Sport modes, is firm, with Sport and Sport+ mode bordering on harsh even on our smooth Florida roads. Chassis-wise it honestly feels more like a (well) modified car than something released by a major OEM for normies.

The engine, though, is a bit more sedate. It's powerful, torquey and linear, but maybe even a bit too linear. I love a broad torque curve but the flatness of the TLX's curve kind of takes away the specialness that you get from the rest of the package. And throttle response doesn't do much to help here, either. In Sport+ mode, the throttle response is decent and fairly linear. In all other modes it feels artificially dulled and hurt ever further by a long throttle pedal throw. If they made Sport+ the default setting and went more aggressive from there they may have something. Instead they made the tolerable one the sportiest setting and just nerfed from there. 

The 10-speed automatic is okay I guess. Luckily it's hooked to one of the best set of OEM paddle shifters you're likely to find in a non-exotic. The wheel paddles are beefy, well placed and operate with a firm, positive *CLACK*... then the transmission kind of goes "oh did you want to shift okay bro one sec I'm on the phone with my girlfriend she locked herself out of the apartment again and I'm talking her through finding the hide-a-key because we recently moved it from the potted plant to the stone turtle and sheUPSHIFTis looking in the wrong turtle I think." I dunno. Maybe it's better on track at full throttle instead of the half throttle street shifts I was giving it.

Inside is a heaping helping of "be careful what you wish for" because the TLX is just chock full of actual buttons and physical knobs. Unfortunately, they's hard to use, frequently control functions that must first be accessed via the truly awful touch controller, and just haphazardly scattered around the interior. The inside is saved by good ergonomics and great seats, so owners will at least be comfortable while they're struggling with the learning curve of the rest of the interior controls.

Overall, there's some amazing bits here. But they're all assembled in such a way that I can't quite figure out who this car is for. It seems to want to compete with M, V and AMG, but it's not powerful or premium enough to play in that sandbox. So it just sort of end up as the "I wanted a CTR but I wear socks with sandals and play pickleball so this is my guy here" alternative. 

 

Coniglio Rampante
Coniglio Rampante Reader
6/12/24 1:31 p.m.

Thanks, JG.

From a bench racer pov, I see no reason to shop this car when the universally highly-praised Integra Type-S exists.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/12/24 2:02 p.m.

Can we just talk about the turn signal stalk for a second? It clicks with authority. Its matte finish feels both sporty and upmarket. It pretty much sums up the entire car. 

Like JG said, it’s faster than it feels. It just kinda keeps building power. 

There is a heft to this car, though. You want all-wheel drive? Fine, but you’re going to pay for it–meaning that associated heaviness. It simply lacks the nimbleness of the CTR or Integra Type-S. 

That’s not to say this one feels like a barge. It takes me back 20 years to an Acura press event at the Streets at Willow Springs. IIRC, the event was all about the Type-S cars, so we had TL, CL and RSX. 

All felt good on track, with the bigger ones surprisingly fast. They had the power plus, thanks to the diff, the ability to just dig out of the turns. Fast, comfortable, capable. But they still lacked the playfulness of the RSX as there was just more mass involved.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/12/24 2:07 p.m.

I really enjoyed the TLX Type S. But I’d strongly consider buying the Integra Type S. 

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
6/12/24 2:33 p.m.

My Acura dealer had a white one with gray colored optional wheels and summer tires.  It really was a hot looking ride.  

The price and markup was out of my league but it looked like a comfortable and sporty car to me. 

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