2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition review: More than meets the eye

    This Valencia purple paint was initially created for the NSX supercar.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    It’s a bit of unusual to suppose that this in any other case bizarre Acura TLX will really be one of many rarest automobiles I’ll drive this yr. Just 360 examples of this hand-built TLX PMC Edition can be bought, making it certainly one of Acura’s (and Honda’s) smallest-volume automobiles but. But past the inherent cool issue of driving one thing so unique, a number of days behind the wheel of this small-batch sedan jogs my memory that Acura’s getting old TLX nonetheless has quite a bit to supply, with or with out that fancy purple paint.

    LikeSmooth V6 performanceSolid roster of comfort and tech featuresOne of the prettiest paint jobs out there anyplace

    Don’t LikeNavigation system is exhibiting its ageSluggish transmissionRelatively poor gas economic system

    If you paused on the phrase “hand-built,” I promise, you learn that accurately. While regular TLX fashions roll off the road at Honda’s Marysville Auto Plant, this one heads to ending college on the close by Performance Manufacturing Center — that is the PMC in PMC Edition. There, these particular TLX sedans are hand-assembled on the identical traces the place expert ladies and men bolt collectively the Acura NSX, and each one of many PMC Edition automobiles is painted within the supercar’s previously unique shade of Valencia purple — a posh end that takes 5 days to completely apply.My awful pictures don’t do Valencia purple justice; this is without doubt one of the richest, most stunning reds you may ever see on any automobile at any worth. No matter if it is sunny, cloudy or wet, this deep purple hue is actually hanging. I’ve by no means seen so many individuals doing double takes as a TLX drives by.

    In addition to that paint, the PMC Edition is about off by its gloss-black roof, door handles and 19-inch wheels. A body-colored grille encompass and bigger exhaust suggestions spherical out the outside adjustments, and inside, the PMC comes with black leather-based seats with Alcantara suede inserts, purple stitching and a numbered plaque on the middle console.Sedan physique fashion not your factor? Acura additionally presents the PMC Edition remedy on the MDX crossover, and plans to increase this kind of package deal to different automobiles in its lineup, too.

    I suppose if there’s one space the place the TLX is exhibiting its age, it is inside. That is not to say the cabin is a foul place to be — fairly the other, the truth is. It’s simply that some components of the inside — particularly the multimedia tech — remind you that this sedan is not the brand new child on the block anymore.

    The higher show is about deep within the sprint and homes the navigation system, with maps I bear in mind seeing in Honda and Acura merchandise from greater than a decade in the past. You management this display via the massive knob on the middle console, whereas the secondary show above that dial is operated by contact and makes use of a a lot cleaner, better-looking interface. At least the PMC Edition comes with the complete equipment and caboodle of accessible tech niceties, together with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an upgraded ELS Studio audio system, real-time site visitors info and the corporate’s AcuraHyperlink connected-car companies.The PMC Edition is mainly a completely loaded TLX — it combines the A-Spec, Advance and Technology packages provided on lesser fashions. You’ll discover heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, automated local weather management, ambient lighting, a sunroof, reminiscence seats and different options. This won’t be a brand-new sedan, nevertheless it actually doesn’t need for options.The TLX’s inside is unquestionably snug, however its tech is a bit of outdated.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Overall, regardless of its tech shortcomings, I just like the TLX’s inside. It’s quiet, the seats are actually comfortable, the entire controls are simple to search out and the sound system is nice. Plus, it is received the excessive degree of high quality and top-notch match and end I’ve come to anticipate from Honda and Acura merchandise.The PMC Edition is loads good to drive, too, although oddly, it appears to have forgotten in regards to the “performance” a part of its identify — mechanically, it is similar to different V6-powered TLX fashions. The naturally aspirated, 3.5-liter V6 produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, matched with a nine-speed automated transmission. This powertrain is not precisely constructed for pleasure, nevertheless it’s linear and highly effective, and well-matched to the TLX’s driving fashion. The transmission is usually sluggish to upshift and downshift, however pop the TLX into its Sport setting and issues get a bit snappier with out upsetting that easy demeanor.The TLX is a superb companion for operating errands within the metropolis and cruising lengthy distances on the freeway — the chassis is properly tuned for all of those daily-driving duties. Get it out on a winding street and the TLX is greater than in a position to maintain its personal, too. The steering is comparatively fast and responsive, and the physique motions are properly managed whereas cornering. Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive is commonplace on the PMC Edition, and it performs a giant half on this automobile’s engagement. Thanks to its variable torque distribution, energy is all the time despatched the place it is wanted most, permitting me to hold an increasing number of pace via every passing nook.Will the TLX win any efficiency comparisons towards automobiles just like the BMW 3 Series or Genesis G70? No. But I additionally suppose quite a lot of people will initially write the Acura off earlier than giving it a good shake. After every week of driving across the better Los Angeles space — together with some beautiful canyon roads — I am unable to discover a lot fault with the TLX. It’s not an exciting automobile, nevertheless it does not should be. It’s each bit as competent on-road as a Volvo S60, and I’d a lot slightly drive the TLX than something from Cadillac, Infiniti or Lexus.The TLX’s alternative is correct across the nook, and this PMC Edition is one beautiful swan tune.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    If there’s one downside to the V6 engine, it is that it’s not as environment friendly as turbocharged, four-cylinder choices discovered within the TLX’s opponents. The EPA charges the 2020 TLX PMC Edition at 20 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 29 mpg freeway and 23 mpg mixed. Now examine that with a 2020 BMW 330i xDrive, which earns 25/34/28 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed rankings, and presents 255 hp and 295 lb-ft from its 2.0-liter turbo-four.Some people have balked on the TLX PMC Edition’s almost $50,000 price ticket, however I do not suppose it is fairly so blasphemous. Yes, $50,945 (together with $1,995 for vacation spot) seems like quite a bit when you think about the TLX begins at $34,025. Look at it this fashion, although: You cannot get each the A-Spec and Advance packages on another TLX, and in case you did, it might be pushing $49,000. Then, do not forget that the usual Valencia purple paint is often a $6,000 possibility on the NSX. Finally, examine all of this with a BMW 330i xDrive, which optioned up with the identical degree of apparatus will price you virtually $60,000. Suddenly $50,000 for this special-edition TLX does not appear so egregious, does it?Besides, it is not like Acura is betting the farm on this one particular version. Only 360 are being constructed, and I’ve little question they will be scooped up by (1) people who’re thinking about another top-dollar TLX spec or (2) individuals who plan to carry onto the automobile for some time. After all, 20 years from now, when certainly one of these reveals up on Bring a Trailer or at regardless of the 2020s equal of Radwood can be referred to as, you will not bear in mind it as just a few bizarre TLX. The present TLX could also be reaching the top of its life, however this automobile’s most useful days are but to return.

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