Acura finally hits the midsize sedan sweet spot with the TLX

Article by Christian A., on December 4, 2014

When the Acura TLX was rolled out in August, this midsize sedan carried a promise of reviving Honda’s luxury brand in the United States. After two full promising months of sales for the TLX, the model is proving true to its promise. In fact, Acura sold 4,890 units of the TLX in October, close behind the MDX seven-seat crossover.

October sales were a 26-percent improvement over September sales. According to dealers, the TLX’s driving characteristics are helping to appeal to customers who may want a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW.

With the success of the TLX seen after just two full months of sales, Mike Accavitti, Acura general manager, told Automotive News, remarked that the model will be a core product for Acura. The TLX served as a replacement for the TL midsize sedan that customers think as too large and the TSX that failed to deliver enough performance.

According to Accavitti and analysts, the TLX is crucial to revamping Acura's afterthought image into a fun-to-drive luxury marque. Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, remarked that the TLX "lands in the sweet spot" in terms of size, interior space, performance, price and styling.

It should be noted that Acura had been trying to determine what should be on its sedans to make them click. While its crossovers have experienced good demand, Acura couldn’t help but see its sedans lose big time to rivals that are always taking a step forward in terms of design, technology and performance characteristics.

The TL, once a strong competitor in the midsize category, began to lose ground after a 2009 redesign that Acura admits was a turnoff. Brauer remarked that Acura hasn't had “a compelling sedan for a decade." He noted every sedan from Acura since 2004 had failed to gain good demand from buyers, until the TLX came.

The new Acura TLX is given a newly designed exterior marked by taut surfaces, purposeful character lines and dynamically sculpted fender arches – all conveying the elements housed underneath like its new chassis, powertrains and handling technologies. It also boasts of more compact sports-sedan proportions. Compared to the 2014 Acura TL, the new 2015 TLX is 3.7 inches shorter while still having the same wheelbase and tandem passenger-seating distance. Compared to the 2014 TL, the new TLX boasts of shorter front and rear overhangs (minus 1.1 inches and 2.7 inches, respectively).

As standard, the new TLX is marked up front by the brand’s signature Jewel Eye LED headlights. These lighting units give the TLX a bright-eyed look while delivering superior road illumination. LED units are also employed for the TLX’s side mirrors, rear lights and license plate illumination.

For increased cargo-loading capability, the new TLX is provided with a new 60/40-split folding rear seatback. This is complemented by a new trunk design with a wider and deeper opening as well as a lower lift-over height. Featuring a fully flat cargo floor, the trunk could be equipped with two new optional underfloor storage compartments.

Acura designed the body of the new TLX body to support the twin goals conveyed on its "Red Carpet Athlete" development theme. The body of the TLX offers greater degree of luxury, with higher levels of ride comfort, styling refinement, cabin quietness, as well as sports-sedan performance. These are all realized while still achieving best-in-class fuel economy and crash safety ratings.

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Topics: acura, acura tlx, sedan

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