2018 Acura TLX

2018 Acura TLX

Episode 3645
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Just 3 years ago, Acura pared down their sedan lineup by replacing both the TL and TSX with the single TLX. Reviews certainly weren’t bad, as its luxurious blend of technology and performance fit right in with flagship RLX. However, most would say it was not as exciting as it could be, and even Acura agreed with that. So let’s see if a revised 2018 TLX is the right answer.  

Adding a new dose of excitement to the 2018 Acura TLX starts with an updated look. Front fascia, fenders, and hood are all new; and the Jewel Eye headlights are re-designed. But, best of all, Acura has replaced the awkward “shield-like” grille with the much more attractive “diamond pentagon” first seen on their Precision concept. 

V6 models take it a smaller step further with freshened rear fascia and new exhaust tips. 

All in all, it makes for a more dynamic take on what was already there.

No radical changes to the inside either, other than updated software for the twin-screen infotainment system, which we were happy to see. We’re still not fans of the overall design, but it’s much more responsive than before. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now in play, but we found it odd that the apps show up in the upper screen which uses a central controller, not the lower touchscreen. 

A carryover 206-horsepower 2.4-liter I4 engine is still standard; with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

Upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6; and in addition to 290-horsepower, 267 lb-ft. of torque, and a revised 9-speed automatic transmission, you can get mechanical Super Handling all-wheel-drive. Those without all-wheel-drive come with Acura’s rear-toe adjusting Precision All-Wheel Steer.   

Our early drive time came in the rolling hills around Louisville, Kentucky; the majority spent with the V6. The 9-speed transmission is very smooth, and with both drive systems, ride quality is equally compliant. 

Putting the Integrated Dynamics System in Sport+ increases steering feel and throttle response, adds some engine noise, initiates more aggressive programming for the transmission and SH-AWD, and even cuts the HVAC system out temporarily when at full throttle.   

It certainly wakes things up a bit, but not to full-alert status. So, where’s the real excitement coming from?

Well, that’s what the new TLX A-Spec is for. Available with V6 only, the A-Spec gets retuned electric power steering; and when combined with SH-AWD, adds stiffer springs as well as a rear stabilizer bar that keeps things much flatter and confidence inspiring in corners.  

SH-AWD worked as great as always, torque vectoring us around corners even in the rain. And while we still don’t think the best handlers in the luxury sport sedan category have anything to worry about, the TLX has certainly moved up the list, and more importantly without losing any of Acura’s luxury feel.

And speaking of feel, we love the thicker steering wheel that comes with the A-Spec. Other interior highlights are more heavily-bolstered seats, red trim for the gauges, and brushed aluminum trim.

A-Spec exteriors are also set apart with their own unique blacked-out front fascia, round fog lamps, pronounced sill extensions, 19-inch wheels with high performance Michelin Primacy tires, rear diffuser with round exhaust outlets, as well as gloss black rear spoiler and trim. 

A host of AcuraWatch safety systems are available, but Collision Mitigation Braking is standard on all models. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings range from the 2.4-liter’s 23-City, 33-Highway, and 27-Combined; to the 3.5-liter SH-AWD A-Spec’s 20-City, 29-Highway, and 23-Combined. 

Some shuffling of prices and more standard features, results in a slight increase in base price, now at $33,950. Stepping up to all-wheel-drive or A-Spec will have you around $40,000, though you no longer have to opt for Technology or Advance packages to get SH-AWD. 

They say competition brings out the best in people, and surely that sentiment applies to the automotive world. The 2018 Acura TLX is certainly the best it’s ever been, but also still unique in that it’s not trying to be a BMW; rather a whole lot more exciting TLX. And that’s good news to Acura fans, and us! 


  • Engine: 3.5 liter
  • Horsepower: 290
  • Torque: 267 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 20 mpg city / 29 mpg highway
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

Genesis Waves Their Magic EV Wand Yet Again

Episode 4303
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Genesis Electrified GV70 is not only the 3rd all-electric vehicle offering from Hyundai’s luxury division, but it’s also the first Genesis model to be built here in the US. You know, the GV70 was already a big hit with both critics and buyers, so let’s find out if a big pack of batteries and American workers can take it to the next level.

For the 2023 model year, the Genesis GV70 utility has gone electric. And like the Electrified G80 sedan before it, Genesis has integrated an all-electric drivetrain into its existing platform seamlessly and effectively.

Now, it may look almost exactly like the sleek and sophisticated internal combustion powered GV70 SUV that arrived just last year. But packed underneath it all, is the GV60’s next-gen propulsion system that uses a pair of electric motors delivering standard all-wheel drive and 429-horsepower. Both the front and rear-mounted electric motors are 160-kW and produce a combined 516 lb-ft. of torque, relying on energy from a 77.4-kWh battery. Full 350-kW charging capability will get the battery to 80% in just 18-minutes. The Electrified GV70 is rated to travel 236-miles between those charging sessions.

But based on our driving loop, we’d say more is easily possible as we were on pace for over 250-miles; making it an overachiever, much like the G80.

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The approach to the interior is not so much a heavy-handed blast of over-the-top luxury, rather just a soothing blend of high-quality metal and leather materials with soft tones, subtle ambient light, and an airy feel that ultimately delivers a very comforting experience.

There’s an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, along with a 14.5-inch touchscreen that houses standard navigation, and it also has a rotary style control on the console if you prefer that, just don’t confuse it with the rotary gear selector like we did. Lexicon audio, quilted leather, and a suede headliner come with the Prestige package that also includes active noise control and white brake calipers.

Regen braking paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel allow for adjusting amounts of regen up to full 1-pedal driving; or you can let Smart Regen take control, gathering data from past driving history, navigation, and road conditions to determine the appropriate amount of braking. Drive modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Custom, and Genesis has added some additional sound deadening for this EV.

Based on the incredibly quiet, smooth, and steady highway ride we experienced, we weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled this GV70 up to the line at our Mason Dixon Dragway test track.

Well, not much calmness or serenity here, as this thing absolutely blasted off the line like a rocket, hitting 60 in just 3.9-seconds. That’s almost a full 2-seconds quicker than last year’s 2.5-liter turbo-equipped GV70. It’s hard to beat performance-tuned EVs when it comes to torque delivery, and like the GV60, there’s a boost button on the steering wheel that delivers an additional 54-horsepower for a thrilling 10-seconds, helping us clear the ¼ in 12.4-seconds at 112 miles-per-hour.

The low center of gravity, an electronically controlled suspension, and a Disconnector Actuator System that allows for 2-wheel or 4-wheel-drive operation depending on circumstances, helped keep the Electrified GV70 well-planted through our handling course, and provided a livelier feel than the ICE version.

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Substantial side bolstering of the front seats kept us settled in place very nicely. Great steering feel, very little body roll, and only minor amounts of understeer at its limits. Brakes were equally as sporting, with good feedback and stability, despite the noticeable nosedive that typically accompanies stopping 5,000-lbs. of utility vehicle in just 111-feet, 6-feet shorter than the standard GV70.

There are some subtle changes outside for this Electrified version of the GV70; it gets unique 20-inch wheels, and as in the G80, the signature crest grille gets an aerodynamic makeover, nicely integrating the charging port. Same 2-line lighting theme up front, and in back, where the rear bumper is reshaped now that there are no tailpipes. Cargo area is well finished with thoughtful use of space; at 28.7 cubic-ft. with a max of 56.5, capacity is down a tiny bit, but a small storage bin up front under the hood more than makes up for it.

At 37-kWh/100 miles, the Electrified GV70 rates a good efficiency score. Pricing starts at $66,975, about 20-grand over a base ICE GV70, and 3-years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations is included.

Genesis is slowly but surely electrifying their lineup, and the 2023 Electrified GV70 is not just another step in the process, but further proof that carmakers can progress to EVs without upsetting the entire apple cart of their brand. Forward thinking but staying classy, just what we’ve come to expect from Genesis.


  • Motor Setup: Dual 160-kW Motors
  • Horsepower: 429
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 111 feet (avg)
  • MW Range: ~254 miles
  • Battery Size: 77.4-kWh
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 12.4-seconds at 112 mph
  • EPA Range: 234 miles
  • Efficiency: 37 kWh/ 100 miles