Acura TLX Type S 2022 Review

Apart from the NSX sports car, the Acura lineup hasn't offered anything particularly remarkable or enticing in recent years. Yes, their SUVs were cozy and enjoyable to drive, but the A-Spec packages were clumsy attempts to pique the driver's interest, and the majority of them were purely cosmetic. But the Acura TLX hopes to change that with the return of the Type S badge by competing against vehicles like the BMW M340i, Audi S4, and Mercedes-AMG C 43.

You are not alone if you frequently get confused between the A-Spec and Type S badges. We need a brief moment to recognize which is the more athletic one. However, the Type S's more aggressive body kit, along with its black lip spoiler and quad exhaust tips the size of an Audi RS, will give you a better idea. Those NSX-inspired wheels are also gorgeous.

The interior is almost identical to that of the standard TLX, but with sportier seats, a steering wheel with a thin rim, and Type S badges all over. We applaud Acura for sticking with analog gauges rather than switching to digital displays, and we adore their usefulness, clear layout, and overall coolness. The carryover infotainment system isn't anything special, and the trackpad can be extremely annoying, but you can read more about those things in our review of the TLX A-Spec. The paddle shifters feel flimsy and cheap like they were stolen from a Logitech wheel. The Type S is all about the drive, after all.

A 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 engine under the hood makes 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. Because of this engine, which serves as the Type S's center of gravity, we believe it to be a unique vehicle in its class. The V6 has a ton of personality, revs freely like a naturally aspirated engine, and accelerates quickly. It appears as though Acura managed to integrate the DNA of the TL Type S into this vehicle. The exhaust is also erratic, producing octaves that are highly strung and remind me of vintage VTECs. However, this exhaust taps out just above 6,000 rpm while sounding closer to 7,000. With notes that are always in play, rather than just when the valves open at specific RPMs, we believe it to be more engaging audibly than the V8 in the Lexus IS 500.

The Type S's 1,905 kg curb weight, which is roughly equivalent to that of a mid-size SUV, prevents it from taking off as quickly as its competitors, making its 355 horsepower output seem a little underwhelming to those coming from an M340i or C 43. That's also because the TLX has slightly more dimensions than its main rivals; the Acura is bigger than a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes E-Class.

This V6 would undoubtedly work brilliantly with a manual transmission, but the 10-speed automatic is a reliable unit that is kinder than the Mercedes 9-speed but less refined than the BMW 8-speed. However, even in manual shifting mode and the sportiest drive settings, the gearbox is programmed to always shift whenever the needle reaches the redline. Additionally, we observed that when flooring the throttle, the gearbox mapping would automatically and inconveniently short-shift from first to second; neither of those behaviors could be overridden.

The Type S is a dream to drive on empty suburban roads because it was clearly and meticulously designed for drivers who value handling and have interesting, winding roads to explore in their backyard. Compared to the standard TLX, the springs and suspension are tuned to be stiffer, but we still found it to be compliant and practical for daily driving. The best behavior of the car is also unlocked by Sport+, which cranks up all drive modes to maximum intensity, stiffens the dampers, energizes the gearbox to hold gears longer and switch cogs more quickly, switches to a more aggressive throttle map, and instructs the differential to send more power to the rear. You should spend the majority of your time in this mode.

The Type S exhibits a neutral driving style thanks to a chassis that is incredibly capable and an ingenious AWD system. To really feel it alive under your right foot, turn off traction control and keep the foot firmly planted while letting the torque vectoring rear differential handle the rest. Although we wouldn't say it's as simple to drift and make the tail wag as a Toyota GR86, it's far from a front-wheel-drive sedan's tendency to understeer, like the Honda Civic Si.

The Type S's light, direct, and playful steering offers a ton of driver involvement, but it could use a little more weight, resistance, and a slightly faster ratio to sharpen the front end and increase its dynamic acuity. The brakes are electrically assisted as well, but they feel unnatural and will take some getting used to. They are quite responsive at first, offering a springy, almost EV-like bite, but this never really made us feel at ease or satisfied with their feedback.

With an all-inclusive price of $60,500, the Type S undercuts its direct German competitors' prices in typical Acura fashion, with the Platinum White pearl paint job on our test car being the only real option. Comparatively, the Mercedes-AMG C 43 ($68,200), Audi S4 ($64,950), and BMW M340i xDrive ($67,504) are more expensive. What actually caught us off guard, though, was Acura's continued ability to create interesting, authentic, and enjoyable vehicles. The brand-new TLX Type S demonstrates this.


  • Model: 2022 Acura TLX Type S
  • Paint Type: Platinum White Pearl
  • Base Price: $60,500
  • Price as Tested: $61,000
  • Wheelbase(mm): 2,870
  • Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,942 / 1,909 / 1,432
  • Curb weight (kg): 1,905
  • Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged V6
  • Horsepower: 355 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 354 lb-ft @ 1,400 - 5,000 rpm
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
  • Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 12.3 / 9.8 / 11.2
  • Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 11.5
  • Tires: Pirelli P Zero; P255/35 R20

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