8 Best & Worst Acura TLX Years (Pictures & Stats)

The Acura TLX is a head-turning sports sedan that was introduced for the 2015 model year.

It replaced the compact TSX and the midsize TL sedans and combined them into one all-new vehicle.

In this article, we’ll be going through all of its best and worst years.

2023 Acura TLX Type S

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Acura TLX Are:

The best Acura TLX model years are 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020. The worst model years of this model are 2015, 2016 and 2017. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Acura TLX?

2024, 2023, 2022, and 2021 Acura TLX

The 2024, 2023, 2022, and 2021 TLX models are the first installments of the fully redesigned second generation. These are sharp-looking sedans and are priced lower than almost every rival midsize sedan.

Choosing from any of these would be a matter of budget and warranty duration as there is not much difference between them.

The bumper-to-bumper warranty is four years/50,000 miles which is average for the segment, although the powertrain coverage of six years/70,000 miles is more generous than many of the German competitors.

They all offer lots of features for the price, an available all-wheel-drive system, and fantastic audio quality from the (optional) ELS audio system.

Compared to the first gen, they have improved interior materials, a new Type S version, and more up-to-date driver assistance tech and safety features.

There are 5 packages that effectively serve as trim levels: Base, Technology, A-Spec, Advance, and Type S. 

The first 4 versions come with a turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 272 horsepower while the top-spec Type S comes with a 3-liter V6 rated at 355 horsepower. 

2023 Acura TLX:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: NA

2022 Acura TLX:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 76 / 100

2021 Acura TLX:

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 76 / 100

2021 TLX, Edmunds Review:

“A truly fun car to drive! I love the smooth glide of “Comfort” mode, switch to “Sport” mode and you get an aggressive fun drive.The AWD is awesome, all the latest technology with a HUD display that keeps your eyes on the road! One of my favorite cars…”

2021 Acura TLX

2020 Acura TLX

The 2020 TLX is the final model of the first generation, it benefits from all the lessons learned and mistakes made with previous models and is a top pick for those on a budget.

You can choose either a four-cylinder or a V6 engine and a couple of option packages.

It has a quiet interior that is built with high-quality materials, a plethora of standard driver safety aids, and comfortable seats.

The NHTSA awarded this mode an overall 5-star safety rating based on various crash tests; notable safety features include:

  • Lane Keeping Assist System
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Forward Collision Warning

Front-wheel drive is standard although all-wheel drive is available.

Owners have praised the following aspects: driving experience, appearance, handling, steering, engine, technology, fuel economy, and ride quality.

According to the EPA, fuel efficiency is 27 MPG for combined city and highway driving.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • J.D. Power: 79 / 100

2020 TLX, Edmunds Review:

“I looked at the current entry level sedans and what appealed to me is the safety tech that is not even standard on the Germans and you get a naturally aspirated V6. You can get this car cheaper than a 180 hp Audi A4 and the bmw 330i with more standard equipment. The seats are comfortable for long commutes and you are paying about $100 less per month.”

2020 Acura TLX

Consumer Scores For Best Acura TLX Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
J.D. Power
Consumer Rating
2024 Acura TLXNANANA
2023 Acura TLX4.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.0NA
2022 Acura TLX4.2 / 5.04.5 / 5.076 / 100
2021 Acura TLX4.1 / 5.04.5 / 5.076 / 100
2020 Acura TLX4.4 / 5.04.3 / 5.079 / 100

Related: 6 Most Common Acura TLX Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Acura TLX?

2015 Acura TLX

The 2015 TLX is the most problematic model year ever produced and by an extremely wide margin. Unsurprisingly, it was also the debut model year and is one to steer clear of.

It is a recipient of the infamous “Beware of the Clunker” award from CarComplaints.com due to transmission issues.

Here are some reports from the NHTSA website:

“The gears are very jerky I got this Tlx at 70k miles and its been jerky ever since. Car looses power when turning from stop the steering get hard sometimes. Transmission chirping noises.”

“Car constantly shifts hard between gears 1-2 and when traveling downhill rpms increase and when at the bottom of the hill it shifts hard in gear.”

“Transmission is really rough when shifting to gears 1 ,2, and 3. It is getting worse the more I drive. Also, very slow and rough shift from park to drive.” 

The 2015 TLX also received a large number of complaints due to issues with the auto-start-stop system.

“Consistent issue with the auto idle start stop system. This has been a continuous problem during the life of the car. It has happened while stopped at traffic lights, in traffic and while in the drive thru line at fast food restaurants. As a deterrent, I try to remember to disable the auto idle start stop every time I start my car.”

“Car has feature that kills engine when at full stop. Car fails to automatically restart, often stalling at intersections and causing a dangerous situation. Car has to be turned off and restarted, a process that can take 15 to 30 seconds.”

  • The 2015 TLX had a total of 188 complaints according to CarComplaints.com and 426 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Common problems:

  • Jerks between gear shifting
  • Steering wheel locked up
  • Auto-start-stop will not allow car to restart
  • Stalling
2015 Acura TLX

2016 and 2017 Acura TLX

The 2016 and 2017 TLX’s are the second-most problematic model years, they shared similar problems to the 2015 model albeit on a much lower scale.

The most widely reported problem was due to the auto-start-stop, owners were unable to restart their vehicle once they had come to a stop.

“This issue is with the start-stop system. The car fails to restart after it the car stops and the engine shuts off. The car has been serviced twice for this issue. The battery and a cable were replaced at my expense. This resolved the issue for a few months, but it returned again in February of 2022”

There were also a number of complaints from owners because of various transmission issues such as shifting into neutral whilst driving, rough shifting and jerkiness.

“My car shifts itself into neutral automatically at times while I am driving. It has even happened on the interstate. When this happens it also flashes lots of warning signals on the dash and will be stalled for 4-5 minutes, engine will not shut down, just cannot shift into reverse or drive.”

“Transmission jerks when driving its totally un safe to drive on the highway.”

There were also complaints due to the car losing power whilst driving.

“While driving on a highway the car lost all power and every dashboard light came on and started blinking. Car wouldn’t shift gear and lost all power abruptly!”

  • The 2016 TLX had a total of 25 complaints according to CarComplaints.com and 101 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.
  • The 2017 TLX had a total of 5 complaints according to CarComplaints.com and 56 problems based on CarProblemZoo.com data.

Common problems:

  • Transmission jerking
  • ABS failure
  • Transmission failure
  • Car lurches forward when coming to a stop
  • Jerking between gear shifting
  • Excessive vibration

Related: Acura TLX in Snow & Winter Driving (Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2024 Acura TLX
2023 Acura TLX000
2022 Acura TLX061
2021 Acura TLX10280
2020 Acura TLX1181
2019 Acura TLX2433
2018 Acura TLX9481
2017 Acura TLX5561
2016 Acura TLX251011
2015 Acura TLX1884264

What Problems Do Acura TLXs Have?

  • Jerks between gear shifting
  • Steering wheel locked up
  • ABS failure
  • Transmission failure
  • Car lurches forward when coming to a stop
  • Excessive vibration
  • Electronic power steering failure
  • Calls 911 by itself
  • Multiple error lights on instrument panel
  • Will not drive

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Acura TLX?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Mercedes-Benz E-Class8.8$56,750 – $121,100City: 16 – 23 /Highway: 24 – 31
BMW 5-Series8.5$56,000 – $81,500City: 17 – 25 /HIghway: 25 – 33
Genesis G808.4$50,000 – $65,750City: 16 – 22 /Highway: 25 – 32
Audi A68.3$55,900 – $59,800City: 21 – 24 /Highway: 30 – 31
Lexus ES8.2$41,440 – $50,230City: 22 – 25 /Highway: 31 – 34
Volvo S908.2$57,000 – $62,550City: 23 /Highway: 32
Lexus ES Hybrid8.1$42,640 – $51,430City: 43 /Highway: 44
Acura TLX7.6$40,050 – $51,250City: 21 – 22 /Highway: 29 – 31
Jaguar XF7.5$47,000 – $52,700City: 22 – 25 /Highway: 30 – 33
Cadillac CT56.9$38,395 – $93,495City: 13 – 23 /Highway: 21 – 33

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: Acura TLX Beeping Problems? (15 Common Causes)












  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...