You can just call it the new Acura TXL. The “A” could stand for awesome, or grade A or about time.

While Acura says it’s not trying to compete with the car that started and leads the sports sedan segment (BMW 3 Series), they are closer than ever before to having a top notch contender.

Even the looks of the TLX are much improved. That ugly chrome nose is history, thank you.

The black hexagonal grill looks so much better, not to mention the jewel LED headlamps.

The entire front end has been tweaked and the new look is pretty sweet as is the entire exterior package.

Inside, you are greeted with the usual high quality materials. The sports seats in my tester have nice Alcantara inserts with expensive looking stitching. I also got the tech package that seems to boot up faster than the last Acura I drove. But Honda, please lose the two screens!

Apple Car Play and Android Auto is now included as is a wireless phone charger. Now I need an iPhone 8 or X for sure.

Besides that tech, you also get collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise, which worked better and was less jerky than most cars I’ve recently tested. Add to that forward collision warning, lane keeping assist and road departure mitigation. That’s a lot of technology to keep you and your passengers from trouble.

My TLX was outfitted with 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 290-horsepower with a nine speed transmission operated by pushbutton. It looks cool, but takes a little while to get used to.

The other power plant offered is a 240-Horsepwer 4-cylinder engine with an eight speed pushbutton shifter.

Acura has done a superb job with the TLX’s driving dynamics. It handles great thanks to a lot of computer stuff and the AWD system. The ride is sporty but it isn’t jarring or fatiguing, especially on the torn pot hole filled streets of Seattle. Steering is quick and nimble.

The brakes work like brakes should and the optional 19 inch alloy wheels with 245/40 rubber is sticky and good looking, filling out the nicely sculpted wheel wells.

Acura is the luxury brand of Honda, but they have given us a luxurious and sporty vehicle in one great looking package. And what a bargain with a loaded TLX coming in a $45,750 MSRP.

Mike West CBS


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