Luxury Cars

The 2024 Acura TLX Type S prides itself on its sleeper status

In our 2024 Acura TLX review Over at The Car Connection, we called the standard TLX a “sports sedan bargain.” That’s how it remains for 2024, with a base price still under $50,000, still powered by a turbo-4 engine.

But for the true sleepers in the TLX family, there’s a little more all around, from the powertrain to technical upgrades. At $58,195, the TLX Type S isn’t the bargain we see in the base car, but it’s a star vehicle we’d take on trips without the expectation of track fame.

For 2024, Acura has added a number of features to its safety and entertainment package, but this hasn’t dampened the Type S’s low-key fun in any way, aside from modulating throttle response in Sport+ mode. Thanks for leaving it well enough alone.

I drove the 24 edition over a long weekend in almost ideal circumstances – with flat gray skies, so that thanks to the gray paintwork it could drive through speed traps undetected. The destination: a rural farmhouse in Georgia where I could spend the weekend cooped up near a chicken coop while the temperature danced around 32 degrees, encouraging me to stay inside and compose.

The TLX Type S remains largely the same as we first imagined it in 2021, when it underwent an almost complete refresh. Even the sounds stayed the same. Open the door and listen to the sound – it’s the same sound as the first note in Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer.” In many ways we wish we could have repeated 2015 all over again.

When you bring it to life, the big difference between the base TLX is clear to see: the turbo V6 under that hood wants to wrestle with the asphalt. A 355 hp 3.0-liter V6 turbo engine revs up and delivers 354 Nm of torque to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. I’d say it sounds loud if it were more in line with his engine tone – it leaves a lot of vocal power on the studio floor. It’s a pervasive reference to Acura’s thinking on the Type S, reinforcing all of its inherent virtues without making anything a vice.

The Type S has the manners of a high school senior, even though its transmission shuts down almost twice as quickly when downshifting and even though it gets 19 mpg in the city. It’s all about the tuning. Acura (and its mothership Honda) capitalize on the natural interplay between the Type S’s front struts, rear multi-links, and adaptive dampers. As we discovered in our previous first drive, the Type S exceeds the TLX’s essential competence, transforming it into truly engaging handling – especially because it trades a forgettable level of compliance while driving for flatter cornering. Making its way through the winding links between dairy farms and chicken coops that mark the final edge of suburban Atlanta, there was never a mistake, despite a few ill-advised hot patches on the most rural stretches.

Steering is at the top of the TLX Type S’s hit list. It rides with confident ease, thanks in part to the 20-inch Pirelli P Zero tires, which seemed a dubious choice as temperatures plummeted. It adds just enough weight to center itself back on track, and isn’t stiff or brutally heavy like some of its competitors prefer. Granted, The TLX Type S isn’t as track-ready or as fast as its competitors like the Audi S4 or Mercedes AMG C 43But it’s no less attractive on the streets, which bend like a garden hose but don’t kink.

2024 Acura TLX Type S

2024 Acura TLX Type S

2024 Acura TLX Type S

2024 Acura TLX Type S

2024 Acura TLX Type S

2024 Acura TLX Type S

2024 Acura TLX Type S: A sports sedan with (mild) manners

Sensible updates to the TLX’s beautiful bodywork also come to the Type S. A new frameless grille rivals my tester’s Urban Gray Pearl paint – a unique shade for the Type S. You can also recognize the Type S by its trunk lid spoiler, front- and rear diffuser, four exhaust pipes and red Brembo 4-piston brake calipers at the front. When driving with summer tires, it also wears nice copper-painted 20-inch wheels.

The sports seats can be individually adjusted to achieve just the right amount of seat cushion tilt and back tilt as well as excellent lumbar adjustment. Because the TLX Type S steering wheel is flat-bottomed and positioned at the right angle to frame the gauges, it provides a clear view of the road ahead. As usual, the packaging is also a strength in the back seat, as passengers have firmly padded bench seats with good head and legroom, even for people with a height of 1.80 m and more.

However, the driving interfaces can be annoying. Acura’s new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster offers more space, but the gauges themselves are finished in a subtle white-on-black and are equipped with a variety of secondary functions, trip meters, safety settings and the like.

Next door on the dash cap itself, the TLX Type S has moved to a standard 12.3-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s primed for greatness, except for one glaring omission: touch sensitivity. Acura wants you to swipe and tap on a console-mounted pad instead. It’s just not that easy to use a touchpad to quickly switch between podcasts and maps, for example. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse: Drivers have still proven that touchscreens are the desired option for infotainment. everything else just smells like complications.

Every Type S has adaptive cruise control, active lane control and automatic emergency braking – and like every other Honda and Acura, the Type S is overly sensitive to changes in the road surface. It issues brake warnings like it’s throwing its hands up in frustration at your/my terrible lane hygiene. A new surround-view camera system and a 10.5-inch head-up display are finally standard. However, while the information is displayed discreetly in the windshield, the HUD image is projected onto the windshield with an upward tilt to the left corner.

Acura has restocked the TLX’s ownership coverage. All models receive two years of free scheduled maintenance and a luxury 4-year/50,000-mile warranty. It’s reassuring to think about this when the farm animals you share on the weekend show excessive interest in what you’re driving.

It’s not an official recommendation, but the peacocks and roosters fought equally hard to lovingly pick at the TLX Type S’s tires. We couldn’t understand her, but her agent will get back to us with an official offer. We’ll update this story once I’m able to read her Chicken Scratch.

2024 Acura TLX Type S

Basic price: $58,195, including $1,195 destination

Price as tested: $59,037

Drivetrain: 3.0-liter V6 turbo engine, 355 hp/354 lb-ft of torque, all-wheel drive

EPA fuel consumption: 19/25/21 mpg

The professionals: Excellent long-distance journeys, revised equipment, sleeper status

The disadvantages: Expensive, touchpad interface, perhaps too gentle?

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