2018 Acura TLX Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Apr 11, 2017
  • Acura freshens the TLX for the 2018 model year
  • TLX, TLX V6, and the new TLX A-Spec variant
  • Styling is new from the windshield forward
  • V6 and A-Spec get reworked rear bumpers
  • Technology, Advance, and A-Spec equipment packages dress up the interior
  • A-Spec has larger wheels, more aggressive tires, sport-tuned suspension, reworked steering
  • Standard AcuraWatch safety systems
  • Updated infotainment system
  • On sale in June 2017


2018 Acura TLX front quarter right photo


Acura’s midsize car, the TLX, is updated for the 2018 model year, debuting at this year’s New York Auto Show. In addition to new styling and a fancier interior, the 2018 Acura TLX receives more standard equipment and an updated infotainment system. It will be available in TLX, TLX V6, and TLX V6 A-Spec trim levels when it goes on sale in the summer of 2017.

Exterior Features

For 2018, the Acura TLX receives new styling from the windshield forward. Most noticeable is Acura’s new signature “diamond pentagon” grille design, but the 2018 TLX also has reworked LED headlights with LED turn signal indicators, redesigned bumper, new hood with sharper detailing, and new front fenders. The standard TLX also gets a new 17-in. aluminum wheel design.

Step up to the TLX V6 and a new rear bumper with more aggressive detailing is added to the car, along with rectangular dual exhaust outlets, thin rear diffuser panel, and larger 18-in. aluminum wheels.

The new TLX V6 A-Spec version of the car is fitted with more aggressive front and rear fascias, round instead of trapezoidal LED fog lights, round instead of rectangular exhaust outlets, sporting side sill details, gloss black rear decklid spoiler, and dark-finish 19-in. aluminum wheels.

Interior Features

Interior enhancements start with the TLX V6 trim level equipped with the Technology package. For this version of the TLX, Acura installs new seats that are wrapped in leather with contrast piping and stitching. A power thigh bolster is also included for this package, as well as chrome doorsill plates.


2018 Acura TLX interior photo The Advance package adds LED fog lights, LED ambient cabin lighting, surround-view camera system, wireless charging pad, heated steering wheel, heated rear outboard seats, and ventilated front seats. This version of the car also comes with a body-color rear spoiler and power-folding side mirrors.

The performance-oriented TLX A-Spec is equipped with exclusive seats with added bolstering, interior trim mimicking the look of brushed aluminum, sport steering wheel, and red instrumentation highlights. Buyers choose between red leather and black leather with Alcantara seat and door panel inserts. Wireless charging, ventilated front seats, and ambient cabin lighting are standard in this version of the car.

Under the Hood

For the most part, the 2018 Acura TLX remains unchanged from an engineering perspective.

The base model continues with a 206-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and an 8-speed, automated dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. It is equipped with front-wheel drive and Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system.

The TLX V6 is equipped with a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. With front-wheel drive, it is equipped with P-AWS. Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system is an option, capable of transferring the majority of engine power to a single rear wheel.

The TLX A-Spec is based on the TLX V6. It gets a sport-tuned suspension and revised steering for sharper and more precise response, Acura says. SH-AWD is an option.


For 2018, the TLX comes standard with an AcuraWatch suite of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies. They include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed following capability.


2018 Acura TLX rear quarter right photo A blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert is included in the Technology package for the TLX and TLX V6 and is standard for the A-Spec.

For the 2017 model year, the TLX’s performance in the small overlap frontal-impact test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) improved from “Marginal” to “Acceptable.” Otherwise, in all IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the TLX earns the highest-possible ratings.


Acura sticks with its dual-screen infotainment system in the 2018 TLX but has upgraded the system for faster response and operation, the maker says. The menus and layout are claimed to be more intuitive, and it now includes standard smartphone projection supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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