The 2022 Acura TLX Type-S is the hottest Acura Sport Sedan, but the important question is – is it as hot as the other German premium entries?
Many people have waited for the Type-S nameplate’s arrival. It’s back with the new Acura TLX for people who are looking for more performance-oriented options. The Type-S badge is not new for Honda and Acura products, it’s globally positioned as a performance version, but always a step down compared to the Type-R nameplate in exchange for more luxury and comfort.
For the TLX though, Type-S would be a much better fit. Don’t get me wrong – as an enthusiast, I’d love to see a TLX Type-R one day, but mid-size sedans are meant to be a well-rounded package more than a track weapon. That said, Type-S trim is not just a visual package like the A-Spec trim, so it’s a nice middle ground for potential buyers.
2022 Acura TLX Type-S has a nice road presence with traditional Acura body lines. Compared to the regular TLX, it has minor differences like the bumpers and wheels from the outside. The front fascia looks like any other modern Acura product, even if you remove the Acura logo, it’s easy to recognize the design language. Overall, it’s a great match for the Type-S badge, offering a nice balance of sportiness without going too far.
The interior design is pretty much the same from the driver’s seat, the differences are quite subtle except the red seats. I found TLX’s interior pretty unique especially the center stack, gear buttons, and the drive mode knob, it has an interesting and confusing button layout. The good thing is that there are lots of physical buttons, which is great for longevity.
The infotainment screen and touchpad is the most controversial part of the whole interior. Some people love it, some hate it, and I personally find it harder to use than a rotary knob. The infotainment screen is placed quite far which means you can only use the touchpad. The software is pretty fast, there is no input lag and once you get the hang of the touchpad, there is no problem using this system on a daily basis.
For the Type-S model, fancy-looking front seats come standard with slightly more side bolstering. It can be adjusted quite well based on the driving mode, but I found the bottom cushion bolstering a little bit weak for a sporty sedan, this also shows that it’s designed as an all-rounder more than a track car. Either way, red Type-S seats not only look good but are also exceptionally comfortable.
Rear seats are quite comfortable with a decent amount of legroom and headroom. As it has an SH-AWD, the driveshaft tunnel is very high, making it less comfortable for middle-row passengers. The biggest gripe for the rear seat passengers though, there are no USB ports. Although it’s a small thing, it’s a big deal for a luxury mid-size sedan meant to carry passengers in the rear.
2022 Acura TLX Type-S has the same amount of cargo space as the regular TLX, which is around 382 liters, which is quite less than its corporate cousin – the Honda Accord. However, the good thing is that TLX has a very wide trunk opening, making it an ideal choice to carry relatively larger items.
So far, compared to the German luxury entries, the TLX offers slightly more interior space as it does not have a rear-wheel drive platform, but what’s more important for the potential buyers is the overall driving dynamics and the drivetrain choice. The Type-S comes with a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine which generates 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.
The turbo-V6 engine is matched with a 10-Speed torque-converted automatic transmission which is also used in other Honda and Acura models. The transmission is made by Honda in-house, and it can be controlled by the paddle shifters. There are two different transmission tuning, you can choose either D or S by using buttons, but the difference between the modes are minimal.
The 10-Speed transmission offers a great balance of comfort and sportiness, and although it has 2 more gears than ZF 8-Speed, I think it shifts slower and it auto-upshifts no matter which mode you are in. Shift buttons give the center stack a cleaner look, but I personally like the regular shifter column more than the buttons.
Like the other TLX trims, the 2022 Acura TLX Type-S comes standard with AWD, which is called Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD). So mainly the biggest difference is that SH-AWD sends power to the outside wheel based on the steering input. Although it is still heavily front-wheel biased, the rear end gets quite playful when you add more throttle input.
2022 Acura TLX Type-S shines when it comes to driving dynamics. The handling is one of the sharpest, especially the front end is extremely responsive to the steering inputs. The steering rack is very quick, and it makes the car feel much smaller than it is. Of course, the electronic suspension helps and you can stiffen it up, but even in the firmest setting, it is still livable and not punishing the driver. 4-Piston Brembo brakes not only make the TLX look sportier but also offer exceptional stopping power with no brake fading.
As much as I like the driving dynamics, I think the drivetrain is a little bit mellow, not as performance-oriented as the chassis. For someone coming from a slower car, this will still blow you away. However, when you start comparing it with the other entries in this segment, this is where you start feeling the turbocharged V6 engine offers usable mid-range torque rather than an all-out performance option.
All things considered, I still think the 2022 Acura TLX Type-S offers a great balance of daily driveability and performance with a great value proposition. It’s true that it does not feel as premium as some German entries, but if you are familiar with the Honda ecosystem, this also adds an extra layer of premium feel, with a great chassis response, excellent AWD system, and usable interior space.
What makes the 2022 Acura TLX Type-S even more appealing is the price tag. It starts at $60,500 CAD and any color choice except gray is $500 extra. The base price not only several thousand dollars cheaper than German premium entries, but TLX does not come with any extra options or packages, so everything is included in the price.
For more details – please visit www.acura.ca