Just Slightly Varying, Yet Still Excellent

    The 2024 Acura TLX sedan has undergone some updates, although they are quite subtle and hard to notice, especially in the case of the flagship Type S model. There have been some minor changes to the grille, with a thinner frame, as well as new color options and wheel choices. The 2024 TLX also features thicker carpeting (shared with all models) and added insulation (shared with the mid-tier A-Spec).

    In terms of driver assistance, the windshield mono-camera and grille-mounted millimeter-wave radar on the 2024 TLX have wider fields of view compared to the previous year’s models, which should theoretically result in better driver assistance capabilities. Additionally, the center infotainment display has been enlarged for improved user experience.

    Despite the seemingly minor updates, I almost declined the opportunity to test drive the 2024 TLX Type S. However, a spur-of-the-moment drive to the CES event in Las Vegas piqued my interest in experiencing the supposedly quieter ride and enhanced AcuraWatch driver assistance suite. Plus, the chance to hit some curvy roads in the Mojave Desert added to the excitement.

    Quick Stats for the 2024 Acura TLX Type S are as follows:

    – Engine: Turbocharged 3.0-Liter V6
    – Output: 355 Horsepower / 354 Pound-Feet
    – Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic
    – Drive Type: All-Wheel Drive
    – 0-60 MPH: 5.1 Seconds (estimated)
    – On Sale: Now

    One of the standout features of the TLX Type S is its turbocharged 3.0-liter engine, which delivers an impressive sound and combines chuffing boost with the smooth performance of a Honda J-series V6. The Type S variant also comes equipped with Acura’s Super Handling all-wheel drive, featuring real torque vectoring that actively minimizes mid-corner understeer by directing power to the outside rear wheel.

    Visually, the TLX retains its attractive design as a mid-size luxury sedan, especially when finished in the Urban Gray Pearl color. The sleek appearance, characterized by the long hood, short deck, and nicely proportioned dash-to-axle ratio, effectively conceals the front-wheel-drive architecture.

    Inside the TLX, occupants are greeted by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that provides an abundance of information. The larger center display is also appealing, although it continues to utilize Acura’s complicated True Touchpad Interface. On a positive note, the TLX boasts an incredible ELS Studio 3D audio system, which offers unparalleled sound quality and enhances the audio experience from streaming services.

    Driving the TLX Type S on twisty roads exceeded my expectations. Equipped with Pirelli P Zero summer tires, the TLX provided excellent grip and showcased a more neutral cornering attitude compared to its larger MDX counterpart. In fact, I was able to induce gentle lift-throttle oversteer when pushing the car, a sensation often unexpected from a modern Acura. The exhilarating performance was further enhanced by the snarling exhaust note and responsive throttle.

    However, one area where the TLX Type S falls short is its transmission. While the 10-speed torque-converter automatic performs well in everyday conditions, delivering smooth up- and downshifts, it tends to select taller gears during aggressive driving. Additionally, the transmission occasionally upshifts before reaching redline, even when utilizing the shift paddles. Acura should consider implementing more aggressive shift tuning in the sportiest drive modes to match the Type S’ performance-oriented nature.

    Despite Acura’s claims of improved refinement at highway speeds, there are still areas for improvement. Wind noise became noticeable during my extended drive to Vegas, with the B-pillar creating a whooshing sound right next to my ear. Furthermore, tire slap over mediocre pavement remains a common issue.

    The AcuraWatch driver assistance suite could also benefit from further refinement. Whenever a neighboring vehicle encroached on its road markings, the TLX’s adaptive cruise control reacted excessively by hitting the brakes. Additionally, although the camera and radar feature wider fields of view, the lane-centering system seemed ineffective during my drive. It’s worth noting that I didn’t encounter these issues during previous experiences with modern Acura vehicles, suggesting that the system may require additional fine-tuning.

    To conclude, the TLX Type S offers a compelling option in the mid-size luxury sedan segment, especially considering its base price of $58,195 (including destination and handling). It undercuts the BMW M340i, which requires additional costly options to match the standard features of the Acura. However, compared to the similarly equipped Genesis G70, the TLX Type S is slightly pricier by approximately $1,000.

    During my test drive, the total price of the TLX Type S reached a staggering $62,477 due to the inclusion of $600 pearlescent paint and $3,340 accessory summer tires mounted on gold wheels. For those who can do without the flashy rims, opting for aftermarket summer tires can significantly reduce the overall cost.

    With its attractive interior materials and high-tech rear differential, the TLX Type S presents a worthy contender to pricier alternatives like the BMW M340i and the aging Genesis G70. However, Acura should address concerns regarding the complicated touchpad interface and wind noise. Perhaps adding a six-speed manual transmission option would also solidify the TLX Type S’ position as an unequivocal winner.

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