Acura took the wraps off a refreshed TLX on the eve of the New York auto show this week, revealing updated design and tech in its sporty midsize sedan. The exterior changes follow the marque’s Precision Crafted Performance design direction inspired by the Acura Precision Concept that debuted last year. Making its first appearance on the 2017 MDX, it gets a wider pentagonal grille, large front intakes below the bumper, and aggressive wraparound LED headlights.
Along with refreshed looks, Acura has unveiled a new (returning) flavor: the TLX A-Spec, which will be paired exclusively with a V6 engine and a choice of front-wheel drive or Acura’s Super Handling all-wheel drive. Wearing a distinct front fascia from the rest of the lineup, the TLX A-Spec will also stand out thanks to a redesigned rear diffuser with dual exhaust tips, a gloss black spoiler, dark-finish 19-inch wheels, round LED fog lights and redesigned side sills.
Acura updated the TLX inside and out, though the engine choices remain the same for 2018.
Acura has retuned the suspension in this performance model, tweaking the power steering and dialing in stiffer springs and more aggressive damper settings. The automaker revamped the interior, adding bolstering to the leather seats in addition to a sport steering wheel and brushed aluminum-look interior trim. Buyers who choose this model will have a choice of a red leather interior or black leather with Alcantara seat and door inserts.
The A-spec model will sit atop a three-trim range that includes the standard 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 model paired with a nine-speed automatic and the 206-hp 2.4-liter inline-four base model coupled with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Both are carryovers from the 2017 models.
Acura also made a few changes to interior tech, updating its dual-screen infotainment system with new software that improves response time by 30 percent. The On Demand Multi-Use Display system will have a more intuitive menu layout on its 7-inch screen, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The changes to the interior are on the milder side, with the A-Spec model offering stiffer springs and more aggressive damper settings.
When it comes to safety tech, the automaker will still offer the AcuraWatch suite of active safety systems as standard equipment. It includes collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation and low-speed follow.
The refreshed Acura TLX will go on sale in June 2017, with pricing information expected closer to the start of sales.