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Motoring: Riding in style, both inside and out


In the cold of winter, the 2016 TLX's remote can not only turn on the car, but also the heater and the seat warmers making this car nice on the outside, as well as cozy on the inside.

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | January 18th, 2016

The marketplace is filled with cars built for different purposes: some are to excite, while others are to offer the utmost comfort. Few cars can blur the lines and be really good at more than one thing.

The previous generation Acura TL SH-AWD, model year 2009 to 2014, was a car that blurred the lines quite well. It was a comfortable luxury car, but was also quite enjoyable when you wanted to have some fun. It was a car that just felt good in your hands, thanks to its communicative steering, and its 305 horsepower, 3.7 litres V6, not only sounded good, but was also punchy. In short, it was a joy to drive.

Sadly, the TL is no longer being sold; in its place is the TLX model, which first went on sale in 2015. But, is it any good?

I tested a TLX last year, but it was the more basic front-wheel drive model. I had been waiting to drive the SH-AWD, super handling and all wheel drive, model because I wanted to see if the charms of the old TL SH-AWD still live on in the new model.

The 2016 TLX SH-AWD has a smaller engine than the previous car, displacing 3.5 litres. It is still a V6, but the peak power output is lower at 290 horsepower. However, while the old TL had a sixspeed automatic, the new TLX has a nine-speed automatic. Does the extra set of gears help compensate for the lower power output? In all honesty, no.

The TLX SH-AWD is fast enough, especially in its Sport+ setting, and its gear changes are a tad quicker; however, the TLX just doesn’t feel as quick from the seat of your pants, and it surely doesn’t sound as nice as the TL did.

Couple that with its electric power steering system which lacks feel, further dulling your driving experience.

Therefore, the new TL SH-AWD is not going to win over driving enthusiasts, but perhaps that’s what Acura was going for. It is a car that does offer a lot of comfort, and it pretty much drives itself. When you have its adaptive cruise control on, its lane departure warning system and lane keeping assist on, it makes covering distances on the highway easy.

When going out of town, I’d pick a comfortable speed and just cruise to my destination with little effort. It is frugal on the highway too, consuming just 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

However, on one of my highway drives, in freezing rain weather, I couldn’t rely on the car to get me home, and at this time, I found its steering to be a bit worrying because I just wasn’t getting the feedback that I wanted. The car gripped well however, never feeling out of control.

All and all, it’s not the best car to drive, but it does offer lots of good features. The interior is well made, and my Elite trim model had an easy to use top spec infotainment system.

The only complaint I had was that the heated seats switch is only through the touchscreen, which when the car is cold, and you are cold, makes it hard to get working.

However, my tester also had remote start, and when you’d turn the car on with that, it would turn on both the heat and the heated seats, plus the rear screen defroster, and that was handy to have.

The TLX is a nice car to be in, and from the outside, it is also nice to look at. The design hasn’t changed a lot when compared to the last TL, and it’s not showy, instead it is elegant.

Prices are good as well; the base model 2016 TLX is yours from $35,290, while my loaded 2016 TLX SH-AWD Elite tester stickers at $47,790.

Would I buy one however? No, I’d work a bit harder, earn a little more, so I can bring a 2016 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid home, now that is a great car.
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