If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Rental Review: 2018 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD

When I reviewed a FWD V6 TLX earlier this year, I said I didn’t want one. The AWD version is much better though, and I’d consider bringing it home.

I was very surprised to get an AWD TLX as a loaner, as it retails for $42,000, but I was pleasantly surprised with both the car itself and its performance. In March I mentioned the FWD version didn’t drive as well as my TSX, Adding the torque vectoring AWD system really helps a lot, as it felt more planted both in corners and taking off. It also shifted more smoothly, a major complaint of mine about the earlier car. I spent two days with it, and put it through several different situations: back roads, city traffic, day, night, auto mode, manual mode, alone, with passengers.

The SH-AWD badge has been changed from the pre-2018 version of the car.
There’s a 1st gen TSX off to the right.
Hipster central. Around the corner is a restaurant that proclaims it has the best avocado toast in Richmond.
Top of the town. Or at least the parking deck.
The A badge is far too big on the 2018+ version. I actually prefer the beak on this car. The LED headlights are fantastic, though.
Crystal Black Pearl is one of my favorite Honda/Acura colors.
You can tell it’s a loaner...look at those scuffs!
LS yo
The brown, or Espresso, interior is only available with the Technology Package.
I don’t think I’d be at the pumps THAT often with one of these, but it wouldn’t be that rare a sight.

Overall, I enjoyed the TLX this time around, although there were a few annoyances. First and foremost, the driver’s seat and side mirror kept reverting back to their default settings every time I turned the car off and back on. I’m sure there’s a way to fix it (in fact, with the seat, I know there is for sure). Secondly, and I touched on this before, I didn’t like the sound system. The volume knob is tiny and plastic, and feels like it would break easily. The speakers themselves also didn’t sound as good, though I didn’t play with them that much. Still, there may be changes coming in my life that would make it much more of a hassle to continue DDing a manual car, so an AWD TLX may be in my future, albeit almost certainly a pre-facelift version. First, though, I’d like to check out its AWD V6 predecessor, the unloved 4th generation TL, since it has a real shifter and a more usable number of gears (6 vs. the TLX’s 9). So we’ll see.

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