For several years, the Acura TLX has been close to the forefront in its competitive sports sedan segment – a segment that includes the likes of the dependable BMW 3 series and Mercedes C-Class.

But, as Miguel Cortina notes, the model has never been seen as “particularly sexy” by any means. That’s quickly changing though with the introduction of the 2021 Acura TLX. Driven by a bolder, braver design and a re-introduction of the brand’s classic S-tier high performance model, the Acura TLX is poised to make a solid comeback with its 2021 model. Here’s a first look at what you can expect. 

2021 Acura TLX in silver

Design 

In a beautiful return to form, the 2021 Acura TLX makes a point to break away from its previous reputation as a dull, pedestrian sedan. Drawn up by Acura’s southern California design studio, the new 2021 TLX draws plenty of great inspiration from the brand’s 2016 Precision concept and the 2019 Type S concept. A much more powerful, aggressive design, the new model features Acura’s signature Diamond Pentagon front grille and pronounced rear fenders, making it an all-around good looking sports car. 

Performance

In terms of performance, the sports sedan segment is a tough one to make splashes in, but the 2021 Acura TLX is giving its best shot. Moving on from previous designs subpar 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines, the 2021 TLX will feature a turbo 2.0-liter inline-four engine. Additionally, the 2021 model will offer drivers 66 more horses and 98 more lb-ft of twist over the last model’s four-pot engine. Of course, a performance overview wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the new TLX’s all-wheel drive (Type S only) and new 10-speed automatic gearbox. From a purely performance stance, this compact sports sedan isn’t playing around. 

Type S

Back by popular demand, the 2021 Acura TLX will be offered in the brand’s premium Type S form. It’s got an all new, exclusive 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine featuring 355 HP. The Acura TLX Type S will clock in at the quickest Acura sedan to date. 

2021 Acura TLX in gold

Safety

When it comes to safety, Acura has an excellent track record, and the 2021 TLX will likely continue that. According to Acura, all TLXs will feature several key safety features. We’re talking industry standards like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, as well as traffic sign recognition and a driver awareness monitor. 

Additionally, the new model will be equipped with a front-passenger airbag. This uses a three-chamber design to offer extra protection to passengers’ heads. 

Headlights

The 2021 Acura TLX will feature the brand’s Jewel Eye headlights and Chicane LED running lights to create the model’s signature face. To finish off its cohesive design, the model includes similarly shaped taillights at the back. Standard on all Acura models, the LED Jewel Eye headlights illuminate the road in a clear, white light. The best part? They do so without blinding oncoming drivers. 

More specs on the 2021 Acura TLX

  • Price: $35,000 – $55,000
  • Engine: 2.0L/272-hp/280-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4; 3.0L/350-hp/350-lb-ft (est) turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
  • Transmission: 10-speed auto
  • Layout: Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
  • Curb weight: 3,500-3,750 lb
  • Wheelbase: 113 in.
  • Acceleration: 4.5-6.5 sec (MT est)
  • EPA fuel economy: Not yet rated

What are your thoughts on Acura’s latest TLX model, and will you be taking it for a test drive? Let us know in the comments below.

Claire Biggerstaff
Claire Biggerstaff is a freelance writer and photographer from Charlotte, NC. Her curiosity leads her to write about a wide variety of topics. On her off days, she enjoys reading Polygon articles, and curling up to a good YouTube playlist.

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    2 Comments

    1. The type S will be my dream car! They usually only make them for a few years like the older type s models, get them while you can!

    2. The new Type S is affordably priced for performance, luxury, and utility combined into one very precise package.

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