Thursday, April 25, 2024
Reviews2023 Acura TLX Type S Review: Acura Does Know What it’s Doing

2023 Acura TLX Type S Review: Acura Does Know What it’s Doing

Acura has finally done it: The new TLX Type S is proof that Acura is back


2023 Acura TLX Type S Pros

– The TLX looks great.

– The Type S is a sweet spot between performance and luxury.

– There’s far more value for the money than expected in this car – buy one before Acura boosts the price.


2023 Acura TLX Type S Cons

– Touchpad interface should be banned.

– Turbocharged V6 is bored.


This could be the shortest new car review of my career. The new 2023 Acura TLX Type S is an awesome premium performance sedan packed with value, styling, luxury, and performance.

2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

That’s the short of it. More? How about, I would take it well ahead of an Audi S4, BMW M340i, and a Mercedes-AMG C 43, and save between $7,500 and about $17,500 in the process without giving anything up other than anonymity? And in case you’re wondering, the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport and Lexus IS 500 would not be on the list.


Styling and content

Of the many things the new TLX Type S has going for it is the fact that it’s not German; it’s all Acura. Honda’s luxury brand has worked hard at re-establishing its identity and they’ve done it with the TLX. Its wide and squat fascia, elongated hood line, and short overhangs perfectly convey elegance and speed at once. The Type S sauce adds sweet 20-inch wheels, huge quad exhaust tips, and a dash more visual determination at both extremities with added aero bits.

2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The cabin is also only mildly tweaked. From the base A-Spec and mid-trim Platinum Elite, it gets cooled front seats, a 10.2-inch infotainment display, a heated flat-bottom steering wheel, and plenty more. The Type S includes sportier Ultrasuede and leather-trimmed seats, and that’s about it. The dashboard layout is intuitive and packed with accessible physical controls for HVAC functions. Finally, fit, finish, materials, and craftsmanship are on par with the Germans.

The ruinous element onboard is the horrible touchpad interface – This isn’t news. The pad’s sensitivity level can be adjusted. The settings are “frustrating”, “annoying”, and “hell hath no fury as an automotive journalist scorned”. There’s no escaping how borderline dangerous operating this system is. Want a reason not to buy the TLX? This is it.


Boosted V6 is bored

2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

At least it feels this way. Now, this by no means relates to speed as the 355-hp twin-scroll turbo 3.0L V6 delivers plenty of it. With 354 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from 1,400 rpm to 5,000 rpm, the TLX Type S moves briskly thanks to the sharp 10-speed autobox and the automaker’s much touted SH-AWD system.

Yes, it’s quick but even when pushed hard, the V6 seems to effortlessly build its power, as though it wasn’t really trying. Here’s the reality, at least the way I see it. With a 320-hp Integra Type S coming, the TLX deserves an extra 35hp at the very least from 50% more motor. It would also help further humiliate delusional turbocharged 2.0L foes from the German automakers. And, in the process, seriously bugger the 6-cylinder competition.

2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

No matter the drive mode, the transmission and powertrain act on your behalf and with your best interests in mind. They can be comfortable cruising or roaring-V6 good times. Backing the drivetrain are adaptive dampers, responsive steering, and Brembo front brakes. The Sport mode certainly dials everything up to 11 but ultimately, Normal is just right.


I’m stoked

I’ve been forgivingly (right Acura?) mean to Acura for more than a decade as I felt they’d squandered more than 20 years of hard-earned respect from car buyers and enthusiasts when they went off track in the late 2000s. But all is forgiven now – is it a coincidence that the NSX is no longer in production? Ok, ok…

2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2023 TLX Type S is the Acura we’ve been waiting for. I recently got to drive the MDX again and it too feels right. The upcoming Integra Type S will reignite passions for the car company and if Acura can hold true to this new path, they will be saved and cherished once more.

Despite my admitted penchant for German things, I would get a TLX Type S before the Audi, Benz, and BMW.

2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2023 Acura TLX Type S | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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