How Long Do Acura TLX Last? (Solved & Explained)

Launched in 2015, the TLX is Acura’s offering to the luxury midsize car segment.

The American-designed and built sport sedan offers premium finishes, turbocharged engines and eye-catching designs.

If you’re looking to purchase a TLX, you might be wondering about its average lifespan.

We’ll cover that in this article, read on to find out…

Here is the short answer to how long Acura TLX last:

The Acura TLX is a reliable, durable vehicle that can last 250,000 to 300,000 miles on average. Based on an annual mileage of 15,000 miles, TLX owners can expect 17 – 20 years of service before requiring uneconomical repairs. This is dependant on conservative driving habits and proper maintenance.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from an Acura TLX?

Despite being a relatively new model with limited historical data, we are confident that a well-kept TLX will last a very long time.

Many owners have reported cruising past the 100k-mile mark without any serious issues – which comes as no surprise.

Acura is the luxury branch of Honda, the Japanese automaker that has become synonymous with durability.

The TLX shares a lot of the same DNA and manufacturing processes as the legendary Honda Accord, which is one of the most reliable vehicles on our roads today.

Owners of Acura TLX vehicles can expect their sedans to last for 250,000 – 300,000 miles. Once these mileages have been reached there is a much greater chance of big-ticket items failing, such as the engine and transmission – when this happens the cost of repairs may outweigh the cost of the vehicle.

Of course, not all Acura TLX will make it to 250,000 miles and over.

Though clearly built to last, each model will need to be properly cared for in order to hit the high numbers. 

The life expectancy of your TLX will be cut short if you avoid:

  • Service appointments
  • Routine oil changes
  • Tire rotations
  • Using quality parts
  • Driving smoothly

As a general rule: the newer the car, the longer it is expected to last because of the increase in quality and advances in engineering.

Do Acura TLX rust easily?

The TLX is not known to rust easily and there are only a handful of complaints pertaining to rust-related issues. During the manufacturing process the TLX is subject to rustproofing including an electrocoating of all sheet metals and underbody parts – E-coats are known for their superior corrosion resistance.

All Acura TLX models are protected by a 5-year/unlimited mileage corrosion warranty against perforation by rust.

Despite a good track record, some TLX owners have reported surface rust in the following areas:

  • Suspension components
  • Brake rotors

Rust can be much more of an issue depending on your location, such as:

  • Coastal towns due to salt air (salt is highly corrosive)
  • Regions where roads are heavily salted during the winter
  • Places with high humidity due to the moisture in the air.

It is advised to take extra precautions if you live in a higher-risk area, however many TLX enthusiasts will not recommend rustproofing your vehicle unless you plan on keeping it for 5 years or more.

Rust prevention tips:

  • Wash your TLX regularly: Espescially during the winter, keep your undercarriage clean to avoid grime build-up that holds salts against the metals and hose out the wheel wells.
  • Use touch-up paint on chips and scratches: Exposed metal will oxidize. If it’s beyond a DIY fix speak to your local body repair shop.
  • Garage: Store your TLX in a garage if you have access to one to keep your car dry and protected from the elements and bird droppings.
  • Waxing: Wax your car twice a year. Not only will this make your TLX look amazing, it also gives a protective coating against rust.
  • Rustproof treatments: If your planning on keeping your TLX for a long time it may be worth investing into a rustproofing treatment, some popular choices are Krown and Rust Check.

We recommend having a Detail Shop wash everything underneath at the end of each winter.

What is High Mileage for an Acura TLX?

An Acura TLX with over 120,000 miles is considered high mileage, these vehicles can last for much longer however they will be more prone to repairs, niggles and issues once they have hit higher numbers. Important factors include the overall condition of the car and its maintenance history.

Buying one with over 120k miles won’t necessarily equate to a bad outcome, remember a well-maintained TLX with 120,000 miles might be in better condition overall than one with 60,000 miles that had many owners and led a rough life or was a prior rental car.

It’s important to do a thorough investigation of the vehicle.

Some important points to consider:

  1. Maintenance history. Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide proof of this.
  2. Get a second opinion: Have it inspected by a mechanic or take it to an independent auto diagnostic clinic.
  3. Check the CarFax. This doesn’t guarantee anything but it will help provide a clearer picture of wear-and-tear. Ensure it has minimal damage if any. Review the information to make sure if something happened, it wasn’t transmission related or mechanical.
  4. Long-term ownership. If you’re planning on keeping the car for over 5 years, you should evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending extra into purchasing something more reliable and newer.
  5. Avoid modified TLXs: Aftermarket parts can add additional strain to the engine and the warranty is often voided.
  6. Vehicle history. Fewer owners are better. More owners usually mean more wear and tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced the car, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.

If the car has averaged a lot more or a lot less than 10-15,000 miles per year you might want to do a further investigation as to why e.g. a 5-Year-old car with 150,000 miles.

How Long Do Acura TLX Last Compared to Similar Car Models?

In this section we’ll compare the TLX to some of its competitors.

Acura TLX vs. Audi A4

The Audi A4 is a German compact executive sedan that matches the TLX in terms of luxury and performance.

The Audi A4 can last on average between 150,000 – 200,000 miles or 10 – 13 years of service if it is properly maintained, and thus has a shorter lifespan than the TLX’s 250,000 to 300,000 miles or 17 – 20 years.

According to RepairPal,

  • The A4 has a reliability rating of 3.5/5.0, placing it 14th out of 31 in the luxury midsize sedan category.
  • The TLX’s reliability score is 4.5/5.0, placing it 1st in the luxury midsize sedan segment.
  • The A4’s annual average repair and maintenance cost is $739 vs. $440 for the TLX.

The TLX has a lower annual average repair and maintenance cost and can last for many more years than the A4.

Prospective buyers will select the TLX over the A4 for its reliability and longevity.

Acura TLX vs. BMW 3 Series

BMW first manufactured the 3 Series in 1975.

This is the German automaker’s best-selling model around the world and is a hugely popular sports sedan due to its comprehensive performance.

The 3 Series can last between 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 16 years. Just shy of the TLX’s 250,000 – 300,000 miles or 16 to 20 years.

According to RepairPal’s website,

  • The 3 Series scores a below average reliability rating of 3.0/5, which places it 19th out of 31 of luxury midsize sedans.
  • The TLX’s reliability score is 4.5/5.0, placing it 1st in the luxury midsize sedan segment.
  • The 3 Series’ annual average repair and maintenance cost is $773 vs. $440 for the TLX.

The TLX offers consumers a more reliable and durable vehicle than the 3 Series, as well as one that not only costs less to purchase ($41,250 for the BMW and $37,500 for the TLX) but to maintain and repair throughout its lifespan too.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do BMW 3 Series Last?

Acura TLX vs. Lexus IS

Combining elegance with sporty dynamism, the IS was launched in 1999 under Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus.

The Lexus IS can last between 250,000 to 300,000 miles or 16 to 20 years of service or par with the TLX.

According to RepairPal,

  • This Lexus model has an above average reliability rating of 4.0/5.0 and is ranked 7th out of 31 in its class.
  • The TLX’s reliability score is 4.5/5.0, placing it 1st in the luxury midsize sedan segment.
  • The IS’ annual average repair and maintenance cost is $487 vs. $440 for the TLX.

Prospective buyers of either of these vehicles will have a tough time choosing between the two.

Both are priced similarly (the IS is $39,050 and TLX is $37,500), score above average in consumer reliability surveys, and offer lower than average ownership costs.

Buyers will pick one over the other through factors such as brand association and styling preference, such is the quality of each of these vehicles.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Lexus IS Last?

Comparison Chart

TLXA43 SeriesIS
Annual Repair Cost$440$739$773$487
Reliability Rating4.5/53.5/53/54/5
Ranking1st14th19th7th
Lifespan250k – 350k150k – 200k200k – 250k 250,000 – 300,000

How Reliable Is an Acura TLX?

According to many recent and past surveys, Japanese cars are the most reliable, and the TLX is further proof of this.

The TLX has scored the highest reliability scores in its segment from industry experts and consumer reviews. Reports of owners completing over 100,000 miles with little to no problems underline this vehicle’s quality and dependability. It’s safe to say the TLX is a very reliable car.

  • The Kelley Blue Book consumer rating index gives the TLX a reliability rating of 4.8 out of 5.
  • RepairPal scored the TLX a reliability rating of 4.5 / 5 and ranked it it 1st out of 31 luxury midsize cars.
  • JD Power rated the TLX with a consumer reliability rating of 81 out of 100.

Honda (Acura’s parent company) is well known for the durability of their engines.

The Best and Worst Years for Acura TLX

The TLX has had its good and bad years…

Worst Model Year

According to Car Complaints, the 2015 TLX was the worst model year and received the highest number of complaints. The most reported problem was transmission jerks between shifts. This occurred at an average mileage of 4,000 miles and was rectified with a software update at no cost to owners.

The 2015 TLX received the ‘Beware of the Clunker’ award from Car Complaints due to the amount of problems.

The year tops out with 175 total complaints. Later model years have far less, with 23 for 2016 and less than five to date for each of the years through 2021.

The TLX’s worst problems were all from the 2015 model:

  1. Jerks between gears
  2. Transmission jerkiness in stop and go traffic
  3. Steering wheek locked up

You may also be interested in our article: Acura TLX in Snow & Winter Driving

Best Model Year

The TLX’s 2021 model is the automaker’s best model year to date and so far has received no complaints.

For 2021 the TLX has been fully re-designed and has been dubbed the ‘seven second knockout’ during development as Acura intend it to be significantly more exciting than its predessor.

This model features an upgraded version of SH-AWD , adds more powerful engines and has received the Top Safety Pick+ award by the IIHS.

Model Year and Number of Complaints

Here are the number of complaints for each TLX model year, from the Car Complaints database:

Model YearNumber of Complaints
20210 (Best year)
20201
20190
20184
20172
201623
2015175 (Worst year)

What About Recalls for These Models?

The TLX has a total of 11 recalls across all model years, with issues relating to the fuel system, powertrain and engine cooling.

It is important to note that recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.

Here are the total number of recall campaigns per year for the Acura TLX:

  • 2015: 4
  • 2016: 1
  • 2017: 1
  • 2018: 1
  • 2019: 3
  • 2020: 1
  • 2021: 0

Acura TLX Model Year List

Here are all the model years for the TLX:

First Generation:

  • 2015 Acura TLX
  • 2016 Acura TLX
  • 2017 Acura TLX
  • 2018 Acura TLX
  • 2019 Acura TLX
  • 2020 Acura TLX

Second Generation:

  • 2020 Acura TLX
  • 2021 Acura TLX

Are Acura TLX Expensive to Maintain?

According to RepairPal, the TLX has an average annual repair cost of $440, while the average annual cost for compact executive sedans is $739.

In terms of ownership costs, the TLX is very affordable.

The annual repair cost across all vehicles in the US is $652, which is $212 more expensive than the TLX.

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

The TLX’s brakes can last between 30,000 to 70,000 miles, this is dependant on driving habits.

  • You can expect your brakes to wear out sooner if you frequently stop and accelerate in rush-hour traffic
  • Braking smoothly will help your brakes last longer.
  • Full and complete stops from a high speed are the #1 cause of premature brake pad wear.

How Long Do the Tires Last?

A TLX’s stock tires usually last 50,000 – 70,000 miles or 3 to 5 years before requiring replacement. This is dependent on various factors such as driving habits, climate and road conditions.

  • Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
  • Have a mechanic check your wheel alignment every 6 months
  • Check your tire pressures every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.

How Long Do the Transmissions Last?

Both generations of the TLX are equipped with automatic transmissions that are expected to last 250,000 – 300,000 miles.

Be sure to check your transmission fluid levels regularly, if it’s low you’ll likely encounter problems.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Acura TSX Last?

How Long Do Acura TLX Batteries Last?

Acura TLX batteries usually last between 3-5 years. Battery life varies depending on factors such as climate, driving habits, the type of battery, and more.

Five tips below to help prolong your TLX battery:

  1. Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
  2. Limit short rides: Quick car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
  3. Storage: Keep your TLX stored indoors away from extreme changes in temperature.
  4. Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.
  5. Don’t use unnecessary electronics at start-up: Turn the headlights and A/C off when you start up your car to prevent the battery from draining too quickly.

How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?

The Acura TLX will need its spark plugs changing every 105,000 miles or every 7 years, whichever comes first. The spark plugs used in the TLX are a special platinum-tipped design for longer life.

These will be inspected, and if needed, replaced when you go for routine maintenance.

What About Insurance Cost?

An Acura TLX’s average annual cost for full comprehensive coverage is $1,606 per year, or $134 per month. In comparison, its segment competitors cost an average of $1,761 per year to insure.

Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Acura TLX

  • Adopt smooth driving habbits.
  • Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
  • Use quality parts and fluids.
  • Regularly wash your TLX to remove dirt and grime to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust developing.
  • Check your TLX’s engine oil, coolant, brake, and transmission fluid levels and top them up when required.
  • Keep your TLX in a garage to help protect it from the elements.
  • Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your TLX needs and what quantity and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.
  • Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.

Resources

https://owners.acura.com/Documentum/Warranty/Handbooks/2020_Acura_Warranty_Basebook_Rev04_FINAL_-_SIS.pdf

https://repairpal.com/reliability/acura/tlx

https://www.kbb.com/acura/tlx/

https://enginepatrol.com/how-long-acura-mdx-last/

https://enginepatrol.com/how-long-acura-rdx-last/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2020/acura/tlx

https://enginepatrol.com/how-long-buick-lacrosse-last/

https://www.cars.com/research/acura-tlx/recalls/

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Acura/TLX/

https://repairpal.com/reliability/bmw/328i

https://repairpal.com/reliability/audi/a4

https://repairpal.com/reliability/lexus/is250

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/acura/tlx-4-door-sedan/2021