Acura TLX
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Acura combines two of its sedans into a single, more versatile model.

206-horsepower four-cylinder and an eight-speed automated manual transmission; optional 290-horse V6 uses a nine-speed automatic to provide torque to the front, or, optionally, all four wheels.

The TLX is Acura’s latest entry-luxury sports sedan that competes in a segment it practically invented back in the late 1990s. But with changing times and increased competition, Honda’s premium division has developed a new lineup strategy for 2015. To that end, the TLX replaces both the TSX and larger TL models. Compared to the latter, overall length is 3.7 inches less, thanks to a reduction in front and rear overhang. It’s also about an inch narrower and the roofline is slightly lower. The wheelbase remains identical to that of the TL, ensuring adequate legroom for rear-seat riders. Under the hood, the TLX is mostly like the outgoing TSX. Here, fans will find a similar, but brand new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 206 horsepower. It’s mated to a quick-shifting eight-speed automated manual “dual clutch” transmission, called a DCT. It features an automatic transmission-style torque converter that helps smooth out the shifts. Optional is a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower, 10 more than the retiring TL’s 3.5. A nine-speed automatic transmission with a console-mounted pushbutton gear selector is exclusive to the V6. The four-cylinder TLX is strictly a front-wheel-driver, while V6 versions are available with an upgraded version of Acura’s SH-AWD. All front-wheel-drive four-cylinder and V6 models come with all-wheel-steering (P-AWS) that slightly alters the rear wheels in phase with the fronts when turning at speed. During low-speed maneuvers, such as when entering a parking space, the P-AWS slightly turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction. The TLX comes standard with ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+ driving modes. The latter maximizes the car’s performance abilities with crisper shifts, added steering effort and a throatier exhaust note.