- we compare the new 2021 acura tlx with one of its closest rivals, the audi a4/s4.
- the two sedans' specs are somewhat similar, although the acura is larger than the audi and will likely be less expensive.
- the tlx is new for 2021 and offers a performance-oriented type s variant that uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter v-6 engine.
the new acura tlx shows that honda's luxury brand is finally taking sports sedans seriously again. it looks significantly more athletic and promises far better performance than the tlx it replaces, which should help it elbow its way into the competitive entry-luxury sports-sedan segment. we decided to compare the tlx with one of its closest rivals, the audi a4 (and s4), to see how acura's new entry stacks up to one of the most well-established german sedans in this segment.
the new tlx is larger than its predecessor, and it is also a few inches larger than the audi a4 in nearly every dimension. the acura has a 2.0-inch-longer wheelbase and a 7.1-inch-greater overall length, and it is also wider and taller than the audi. the tlx thus has an advantage over the audi in cargo capacity, with its trunk capacity of 14 cubic feet comparing favorably to the a4's 12 cubic feet.
engines and transmissions
both the audi and the acura come standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and offer a turbocharged v-6 as optional. the 2021 a4 offers a base 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine in a low-output configuration that makes 201 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. but the a4's engine choice that lines up most closely with the acura tlx's base engine is the 45 option, which has a higher-output version of the same engine that makes 261 hp and 273 lb-ft. the tlx's standard turbo 2.0-liter inline-four makes 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, slight advantages compared to the audi.
the four-cylinder acura comes standard with front-wheel drive and offers all-wheel drive as an option, while the audi comes standard with awd across the board. all tlxs come with a conventional torque-converter 10-speed automatic transmission, while the audi offers a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in the a4 and a conventional torque-converter eight-speed automatic in the s4.
both the tlx type s and the audi s4 have have turbocharged 3.0-liter v-6 engines and standard all-wheel drive. the audi s4 makes 349 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and uses an eight-speed automatic transmission. while acura has yet to release power figures for the tlx type s, we estimate it will make around 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, which would line up nicely with the audi. both sedans offer torque vectoring, with the tlx type s coming standard with acura's sh-awd system and the s4 offering an optional sport differential that provides similar capability.
acura says that the new tlx will start in the mid-$30,000 range, which will make it significantly cheaper than the audi a4, which starts at $40,095 for the base a4 40 model and $41,895 for the more powerful a4 45 model. the type s is also likely to be a few thousand dollars cheaper than the s4 to start, as the audi starts at nearly $51,000 and the tlx type s is likely to come in under $50,000.