Buying an Acura TLX or Loaded Honda Accord?

Upscale may not always be the right move

Published: January 27, 2015 08:00 AM

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Acura TLX
Photo: Acura

What do you really get with an Acura TLX that you don’t get from a loaded version of its corporate cousin, the Honda Accord? To find out, we compared our four-cylinder TLX, which stickered at $35,920, with a $33,090 Accord EX-L V6. Both did well in our road tests, but the Accord finished with 84 points vs. the TLX’s 80.

In addition to costing about three grand less, the Accord’s 278-hp, 3.5-liter V6 has 72 more ponies than the TLX’s 206-hp four-cylinder.

The Accord is a full second quicker than the TLX to 60 mph. But with the TLX, you get a modern eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission, which has a more direct and sporty feel than the Accord’s conventional six-speed.

But the driving experience is quite different. Whereas the Accord V6’s power delivery is lush and smooth, the TLX’s feels crisper and more guttural. The Acura was more capable in handling and braking, and it has a quieter cabin; we found the Honda’s ride to be choppy.

Both come with such important standard features as dual-zone climate control, backup camera, and power driver and passenger heated leather seats. Their infotainment and safety suites are similarly equipped.

The TLX’s touted all-wheel steering didn’t seem to benefit agility or maneuverability. And the Accord’s conventional halogen headlamps illuminated stronger and farther than the Acura’s hyped LED setup.

Sure, the TLX has three more stereo speakers and one more year of warranty. And though it’s slower, the TLX rides better and feels sportier. If those things, plus the prestige badge, are worth the $3,000, go for it.

Mark Rechtin


Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the February 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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