2018 Acura TLX Arrives With New Styling, A-Spec Option

The Acura TLX, refreshed for 2018, goes on sale June 1st. Acura says it’s more sporty and alluring to better indicate the brand’s new design direction. In addition to a little nip here and a little tuck there, expect an all-new TLX A-Spec variant with new premium features. Acura has also added AcuraWatch as standard equipment on all TLX models, plus the current suite of advanced safety and driver-assist tech.

What’s In A Name?

Before we dive into the minutiae here, let me just say that “TLX” is a pretty horrid name for a car. It’s not even a name. It’s three, seemingly random letters affixed to the car and left at that. What does it stand for? Total Luxury Experimental? Tricky Looking X-ray? No, what it stands for is, “we’re completely bereft of ideas and have no style.”

So, for 2018, Acura’s TLX gets a mid-cycle face lift. You get some sheet metal that’s been updated here and there, a few new bits and bobs, a new engine variant, but overall, not much to distinguish it from the previous versions. That will come soon, when a full update hits the street. For now, the 2018 TLX gets a redesigned dual-screen user interface, a new 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility.

2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec models. Photo: Acura.

Vehicle Treatments

The design refresh for 2018 highlights Acura’s diamond pentagon grille, and takes other design cues from the Acura Precision Concept. Acura says it “boasts an alluring new style,” but ultimately that will be up to the buying public to decide. The hood is more sharply sculpted along with the front fenders for a more aggressive and sporty front and rear. They point out the “signature 5-lamp Jewel Eye LED headlights,” which is a silly name for a fussy over-design. There are also new alloy wheels, so that’s a plus.

All TLX V6 models get a new rear diffuser with exposed dual-exhaust outlets. The Technology Package adds a chrome side sill garnish, comfy leather seats with high-contrast stitching and piping, and a power-operated driver’s seat thigh extension. The Advance Package has new features such as trapezoidal LED fog lights, a Surround View camera system, a built-in wireless charging pad, and white LED ambient interior light piping. The steering wheel is heated along with the rear outboard seats. You also get power-folding side mirrors and a new body-colored decklid spoiler.

2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec. Photo: Acura.

A-Spec Highlights

The 2018 TLX V6 A-Spec aims to be the performer of the bunch. Styling-wise, the A-Spec gets a unique matte-black diamond pentagon grille with a dark chrome surround. There’s a more aggressive lower front fascia with a broad center air intake flanked by round LED fog lights. The A-Spec wears exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels in Shark Gray paint with 245-series tires.

These fit nicely with the flared side sills, giving a more athletic and planted stance. Out back, there’s a gloss-black decklid spoiler, smoked LED taillights, rear fascia with a lower diffuser, and 4-inch round dual exhaust finishers. The side window surrounds are matte-black, and there’s A-Spec badging on the front fenders and rear decklid.

On the inside, the A-Spec gets more aggressively bolstered front seats with high-contrast stitching and piping, plus red LED ambient light – I’m guessing for that U-Boat look to go along with the red driver’s meter highlights. The headliner is black as is the pillar treatment, all of which contrasts with the brushed aluminum-look instrument panel garnish. A-Spec buyers also get an exclusive, thick-rimmed steering wheel with A-Spec badging.

2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec. Photo: Acura.

Performance & Pricing

Overall grip is up thanks to Michelin Primacy 245/40R19 tires. The electric power steering system and damper settings have been retuned. If you go for the SH-AWD on your A-Spec, you’ll get a quicker steering ratio, stiffer spring rate, and a rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. The new 2018 TLX 2.4L starts at $33,000 while the V6 models start at $36,200; the TLX V6 A-Spec starts at $42,800. The charts below from Acura show more details.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.

2.4-liter TLX:

  • Newly styled front fascia, hood and front fenders
  • Restyled Jewel Eye™ LED headlights with auto on/off and auto high beam
  • LED daytime running lights and turn signals
  • Dark Burl/Acoustic wood interior appliques
  • ODMD 2.0 user interface with capacitive touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay compatibility
  • Android Auto compatibility
  • Sirius XM 2.0
  • Full-color TFT driver’s meter
  • New 17″ 10-spoke alloy wheels
  • AcuraWatch™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies (now standard)

2.4-liter Technology Package (adds to TLX 2.4L):

  • Navigation
  • HD Radio with Digital Traffic

3.5-liter V6 (adds to 2.4-liter TLX):

  • New rear fascia design with chrome accents
  • Exposed dual exhausts outlets
  • Rear diffuser

3.5-liter V6 TLX Technology Package (adds to TLX V6):

  • Navigation
  • HD Radio with Digital Traffic
  • New seat styling with high-contrast stitching and piping
  • Driver’s seat power-operated thigh extender
  • Chrome side sill garnish

NEW: 3.5-liter V6 TLX A-Spec (adds to TLX V6 Technology Package):

  •    A-Spec exclusive exterior styling and trim
  •    A-Spec exclusive interior styling and trim
  •    Round LED Fog Lights
  •    New 19″ split 5-spoke alloy wheels
  •    Flush-mounted front and rear parking sensors (+2 front sensors)
  •    Gloss black rear decklid spoiler
  •    Increased front seat bolstering
  •    Red driver’s meter highlights
  •    Red LED ambient light piping – 10 locations
  •    Wireless charging pad
  •    Ventilated front seats

3.5-liter V6 TLX Advance Package (adds to TLX V6 Technology Package):

  • Surround View Camera System
  • Trapezoidal LED fog lights
  • Flush-mounted front and rear parking sensors (+2 front sensors)
  • Body-colored decklid spoiler
  • New 18″ 15-spoke alloy wheels
  • Power folding side mirrors
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Heated windshield
  • White LED ambient light piping – 10 locations
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Ventilated front seats
2018 Acura TLX Pricing and EPA Ratings
ModelTrim NameTransEPA Ratings2
(city, highway, combined)
MSRP1
TLX

 

TLX 2.4L8DCT323 / 33 / 27$33,000
TLX 2.4L with Technology Package8DCT23 / 33/ 27$36,700
TLX V6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLX 3.5L9AT20 / 32 / 24$36,200
TLX 3.5L with Technology Package9AT20 / 32 / 24$39,900
TLX 3.5L A-Spec9AT20 / 30 / 23$42,800
TLX 3.5L with Advance Package9AT20 / 32 / 24$43,750
TLX 3.5L SH-AWD9AT21 / 30 / 24$38,200
TLX 3.5L SH-AWD with Technology Package9AT21 / 30 / 24$41,900
TLX 3.5L SH-AWD A-Spec9AT20 / 29 / 23$44,800
TLX 3.5L SH-AWD with Advance Package9AT21 / 30 / 24$45,750

 

2018 Acura TLX Gallery

Photos & Source: Acura.

About The Author

Tony Borroz grew up in a sportscar oriented family, but sadly, it was British cars. His knuckles still show the marks of slipped Whitworth sockets, strains to reach rear upper shock bushings on Triumphs and slight burn marks from dealing with Lucas Electric "systems". He has written for a variety of car magazines and websites, Automoblog chief among them, as well as working on very popular driving games as a content expert. He has also worked for aerospace companies, software giants and as a movie stuntman. He currently lives in a secure, undisclosed location in the American southwestern desert.

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