The 2021 Acura TLX Type S marks the return of the storied nameplate and it’s packing new tricks up its sleeve. First and foremost is the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. With 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, there’s a lot of power on tap to haul around this 4,200-pound sports sedan. However, the TLX Type S is not a competitor to BMW’s M models, Audi’s RS lineup, and full-fat Mercedes-AMG models with massive outputs. Think of this as a tweener. More along the lines of an Audi S4.
What’s the 2021 Acura TLX Type S Like to Drive?
Despite its size, the 2021 Acura TLX Type S has several cool go-fast goodies. First and foremost is the torque-vectoring rear axle, making this car one of the few under $60,000 to have. This allows the ca to overdrive the rear axle by sending more power to it. That allows the driver to apply power sooner out of a corner in the TLX Type S. Standard adaptive dampers give you a nice ride and handling balance, meaning the car is surprisingly compliant for daily driving yet sharp enough to carve up your favorite winding mountain road even with low-profile tires.
When you put your foot down, the 3.0-liter turbo V6 moves the TLX Type S without much fuss. Turbo lag is kept to a minimum thanks to its meaty torque curve and an extremely short first gear. However, the car’s weight and its mid-tier power output become more apparent once you’re on the move. At least the engine sounds good when you open it up thanks to its variable exhaust system.
The SH-AWD system remains a highlight of the 2021 Acura TLX Type S because of its rear-biased nature even in a straight line. Its ability to split power between the two rear wheels to help turn the car. This becomes most apparent when you drive the car enthusiastically because the car is more willing to turn in just with slight throttle input. The TLX Type S also gives you more confidence because it’s not as tail-happy as your typical RWD vehicle. As a result, you can easily access the car’s performance without the fear of it getting away from you since it can’t put all the power down to the rear wheels.
All of that performance doesn’t come at the cost of civility because the TLX Type S remains a pleasant cruiser. Even with wider low profile summer tires, this sport sedan is compliant and road noise is kept at a minimum.
Why Should I Buy the 2021 Acura TLX Type S?
Fun factor remains the main reason to get the 2021 Acura TLX Type S. While it’s not as quick as its European competitors and it won’t post crazy high grip and handling numbers on the track, the TLX Type S counters with value and accessible performance that doesn’t bite you back. Available only as a single loaded package, the 2021 Acura TLX Type S gets a generous list of standard equipment to go with all the performance upgrades you get over the standard car. Yet all of this cost under $55,000 even with the optional wheel and summer performance tire package.