Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Acura has now officially crossed the finish line on the endurance race from "they don't build them like they used to" to "they're making them better than they used to".
As good as the 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec I reviewed in May is, if you're looking for the soul of Acura, where performance becomes the key element, what you and the whole world have been waiting for is the 2021 Acura TLX Type S.
The 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder makes 355 horsepower. Mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission and putting power down to the ground with its SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) system, the TLX Type S gets to 60 miles an hour from a standing start in 4.9 seconds. The EPA fuel economy average is 19 miles per gallon city, 24 highway.
There are Brembo brake calipers up front to stop all that forward momentum when the time comes and, as with the lower-powered A-Spec model, the SH-AWD and the stiffest body ever on an Acura sedan combine to give epically great handling. This car and the Sierra Nevada foothill backroads I'm blessed to live near became very good friends.
The base price of the 2021 Acura TLX Type S with the performance tire package (255/35 R20 summer tires) is $53,100. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are a 17-Speaker ELS Studio 3D Premium audio system, navigation, a wireless phone charger, leather-trimmed sport seats with UltraSuede inserts, and a full suite of active driver safety features.
Thanks to Acura's one-price strategy, the only extra-cost option was the striking Tiger Eye Pearl paint at $500 (the window sticker below has a misprint on the color). So, with $1,025 destination and handling charge, the as-tested price of the 2021 Acura TLX Type S is $54,625.
You can have a lot less fun in a lot more expensive car. Acuras have always had legendary Honda reliability. Now they're remembering what they learned from racing and bringing it back to the market.