Have you got a high-schooler in your household? When your child was born, the third-generation Acura TL was the second best-selling luxury car in the US, right behind the BMW 3 Series. Today, its descendant, the Acura TLX, is less popular than the comparatively rare BMW 2 Series. How did this happen? Chalk it up to poor design decisions. From “the beak” on the fourth-gen TL to the rapid technological aging of the first-gen TLX, Acura squandered opportunity in the midsize luxury sports sedan segment. And now that consumers have mostly switched to SUVs, there simply aren’t many people buying cars like the 2023 Acura TLX.
Aside from the consumer shift to SUVs, other factors hamper the latest Acura TLX. The latest redesign for the 2021 model year arrived during the pandemic, and supply chain constraints have limited Acura’s ability to build vehicles. Add the new and used car pricing roller-coaster of the past few years and rising interest rates, and it’s not easy for Acura to advertise the appealing low-down, low-payment leases it previously relied on to move the metal. Acura also doesn’t dump its vehicles into rental fleets like some rivals.
That makes the 2023 Acura TLX a rarity on the road, even in Southern California, where we tested an eye-catching TLX Type S dressed in Tiger Eye Pearl paint, a performance wheel and tire package, and premium floor mats. These upgrades brought the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to $59,100, including the $1,195 destination charge.
Acura based the latest TLX on a concept vehicle that introduced a new design language to the brand. Though it uses a