2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec: Unmitigated Freedom


Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The equation included Platinum White Pearl body coloring, Shark Grey 19″ aluminum alloy rims tucked in Michelin tires, rear decklid lip spoiler in black, darkened lights, and gloss/matte black exterior details. I always felt confident with this clean and lively sports sedan package rolling swiftly down your block. More inspiration is extended behind the flat-bottom, racing-like steering wheel and comfort is provided from 16-way power adjusted red leather sport seats with black Ultrasuede inserts, aluminum trim, contrast stitching, and black piping. Yes, you have entered the world of Acura’s A-spec rendition, which turns base models into supermodels.

Exponentially better than the generation it is replacing, I enjoyed my week of quality time with the re-inspired 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec. Moreover, when the Type S variants hit the streets in the spring of 2021 with more power and aggression, Acura fans will be waving their flags. The well-equipped TLX Type S will have a 3-liter turbo V6 with an estimated 355-horsepower and 354 ft-lbs of torque and priced in the low to mid $50,000s. As they say, patience is a virtue.


With a $37,500 entry MSRP ($1,300 increase) and $46,250 for my A-Spec SH-AWD, the biggest news for the TLX is the replacing of the traditional 3.5-liter V6 (all models except the Type S) for the smooth and feisty 2-liter VTEC Turbo with 272-horsepower 280 lb-ft of torque. The unmitigated freedom on the road was manifested by pairing the VTEC and Acura’s 10-speed Sequential SportShift push-button transmission with metallic paddle shifters. Furthermore, to adjust your vehicle’s characteristics set the Integrated Dynamics System from comfort to normal to sport mode from the large center console dial. This system appropriately adjusts throttle response, shift map, active sound, steering inputs, active damping, and torque vectoring for either a more dynamic ride or a sedated, chill drive.


By way of a precision styled-silhouette, the new TLX is sharp and dynamic to both the eyes and the road. Cornering is exact with the help of Acura’s Electric Power Steering and 4th generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), while performance is on the upper echelon due to an Adaptive Damper System, a stiffer body and frame, and the use of aluminum upfront for improved balance and weight distribution. Eight exterior colors and four unique grades are available for fans, including the TLX, TLX with Technology Package, TLX A-Spec, and TLX with Advance Package. Acura’s torque-vectoring SH-AWD system is available on all trims for an additional $2,000. A power sunroof, Jewel Eye LED headlights, and dual, sporty exhaust tips add to the vehicle’s flavor.


Typically in the luxury sports sedan market, owners are inundated with a bevy of tech-heavy systems and features (especially German vehicles) that are at times confusing to learn and frustrating to operate. However, you will not have that problem with Acura since the Japanese company’s presentations are gratifying but straightforward. Nevertheless, the 10.2” center display’s graphics are bland, and the True Touchpad Interface’s main functionalities would not be my first choice. I prefer rotary dials to operate the multimedia system, and so far BMW has this perfected. Albeit, Acura did keep the volume knob and channel seek tab, unlike many brands that go full touchless. The cabin is additionally enhanced by IconicDrive LED ambient interior lighting with 27 mood themes, wireless device charging, Full-Color Head-Up Display, a standard Wi-Fi hotspot, metal pedals, and a premium 17-speaker ELS Studio 3D premium audio system with twin subwoofers,


Whereas competing automakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz add an upcharge for advanced safety, Acura presents AcuraWatch to customers complimentary. A few of these systems include Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, and Expanded Pedestrian Detection capability. Also, expect 22/31/25 MPG for the FWD TLX. All-in-all, the 2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec is a nice-looking, phenomenally-performing mid-size sports sedan. Enjoy that!

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