The Acura TLX and the Honda Accord were once closely matched, but the former has put some distance between itself and the latter.
It’s more performance-oriented with a high-performance Type S model and an available all-wheel drive.
On the other hand, the Accord is more practical. It retains the traditional front-wheel drive, offers a hybrid trim, has a lower purchase price, and outperforms the TLX in certain areas.
So, which one should you buy? Read on to find out.
Engine Specs and Performance
The 2022 Acura TLX comes in with an excellent design, technology features, and performance.
The mid-size sedan has a base 2.0-liter 272 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder VTEC engine coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine also generates a respectable 280 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm.
Across the trims, the front-wheel-drive (FWD) is optional, whereas the all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), is optional.
The SH-AWD is performance-oriented, as it shuffles power to the wheels for better agility while on the road.
If you need better performance, go with the 3.0-liter Turbo V6 engine and pair it with the SH-AWD, 10-speed transmission, and a Sport+ mode.
The 3.0-liter engine produces 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, and coupling it with the SH-AWD, tighter variable steering ratio, and an Adaptive Damper System improves its feel while driving.
And better still, the TLX has a 0-to-60 MPH acceleration of 5.9 seconds, a 0-to-100 MPH in 15.3 seconds, and a top speed of 131 MPH.
Overall, the car has exceptional performance brakes with engaging steering, a gutsy engine, and a magnificent chassis.
The Honda Accord has two different engine configurations across all trim levels. The first is the base 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is coupled to a front-wheel-drive (FWD) drivetrain and continuously variable speed transmission (CVT).
However, our preferred configuration is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
The engine is coupled to an FWD gearbox and a 10-speed automatic transmission, which accelerates faster than the CVT transmission paired to the base 1.5-liter engine.
The Accord performs well with this engine and edges toward a sports sedan classification. However, the larger engine capacity and 10-speed transmission lower its fuel efficiency figures.
Furthermore, the Accord Hybrid range also includes a model with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an AC motor.
Together, they generate a combined 212 horsepower thanks to a revolutionary two-motor hybrid powertrain coupled with an e-CVT.
The engine, paired with the responsiveness of the electric motor, is adequate for most city traffic and highway speeds.
Also, Honda has improved the Accord’s chassis for better turning, smoother driving, and exceptional handling.
Overall, the Accord has the qualities of a sports car in a family vehicle package.
Fuel Economy Figures
Generally, sports cars are tuned towards better performance, which negatively affects their fuel economies.
The FWD TLX has the best fuel economy amongst the Acura trims. Opting for a model with the SH-AWD slashes 1 MPG city and 2 MPG highway ratings from the FWD models.
On the brighter side, all TLX trims have automatic engine start/stop systems to save on fuel, while this feature is only available on the Accord Sport 1.5T trims.
Let’s see how the Acura TLX performs in EPA fuel economy tests:
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder automatic AWD (S10): 21 MPG city/ 29 MPG highway/ 24 MPG combined.
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder automatic AWD A-Spec (S10): 21 MPG city/ 29 MPG highway/ 24 MPG combined.
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder automatic FWD (S10): 22 MPG city/ 31 MPG highway/ 25 MPG combined.
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder automatic FWD A-Spec (S10): 22 MPG city/ 30 MPG highway/ 25 MPG combined.
- 3.0-liter six-cylinder automatic Type-S (S10): 19 MPG city/ 25 MPG highway/ 21 MPG combined.
- 3.0-liter six-cylinder automatic Type-S Perf Tire (S10): 19 MPG city/ 24 MPG highway/ 21 MPG combined.
Honda switched from the conventional V-6 engines to the four-cylinders, and the fuel economy statistics are generally favorable.
One example is the 2.0T Accord Touring with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a respectable 35 MPG.
Now let’s look at how various Accord powertrain and drivetrain options fare in EPA testing.
- 1.5-liter four-cylinder automatic (variable gear): 30 MPG city/ 38 MPG highway/ 33 MPG combined.
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder automatic with Hybrid: 48 MPG city/ 47 MPG highway/ 47 MPG combined.
- 1.5-liter four-cylinder automatic (AV-S7): 29 MPG city/ 35 MPG highway/ 32 MPG combined.
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder automatic with Hybrid Sport: 44 MPG city/ 41 MPG highway/ 43 MPG combined.
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder automatic (S10): 22 MPG city/ 32 MPG highway/ 26 MPG combined.
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price
We all want a car that offers excellent value for our money. However, choosing the best that suits your needs can be challenging when considering two fairly-matched mid-size sedans.
Let’s look at how the Acura TLX compares to the Honda Accord in terms of MSRP.
- Base: $39,995
- Technology: $42,745
- A-Spec: $45,495
- Advance: $48,000
- Type S: $54,795
The 355-horsepower Type S trim is this group’s best value for money pick. It has the best performance that closely matches the Audi S4 and BMW M340i despite costing $1,000 to $4,000 less.
It also comes standard with an ELS premium audio system, adaptive dampers, and leather upholstery.
- LX: $27,615
- Hybrid: $28,815
- Sport: $30,075
- Sport SE: $31,565
- EX-L: $33,935
- Touring: $39,545
Since Honda no longer has a six-speed manual transmission in its newer Accord models, our best trim is the Sport model.
Its advantage is that it has two transmissions to choose from depending on your driving.
You can opt for the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or the better 10-speed automatic.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The TLX’s interiors express its sporty character but fall short compared to comparable premium models from other manufacturers.
Regardless, it has an excellent build quality consisting of aluminum and open-pore wood cabins. It also has adjustable front seats allowing the driver to easily change their position for better road visibility.
On the other hand, the Accord’s interior is spacious, with its greater rear-seat legroom than most mid-size sedans.
The top Touring trim is well-designed and features heated rear seats, heated and cooled leather front seats, and a head-up display.
And despite the TLX and the Accord having a 5-passenger capacity, the latter boasts a greater passenger volume (105.6 cu-ft.) than the former (93.4 cu-ft.).
Additionally, the Accord has a greater front headroom (39.5 vs. 37.2 inches), rear-seat headroom (37.3 vs. 36.3 inches), and rear-seat legroom (40.4 vs. 34.9 inches). It also boasts a greater cargo volume than the Acura TLX (16.7 vs. 13.5 cu-ft.).
On the other hand, despite its smaller cabin, the TLX has more standard comfort features than the Accord.
These include heated front seats, driver and passenger lumbar, seat memory, power driver and passenger seats, and a pass-through rear seat.
The Takeaway for the Honda Accord vs. Acura TLX
The Honda Accord is a family car with spacious upscale interiors, strong turbocharged engines, better fuel economy, and poised handling.
On the other hand, the TLX has great powertrains, pocket-friendly pricing, premium interiors, and offers better acceleration, handling, and cornering.
If you need a family car, go with the Accord. If you need a cheaper sports car, go with the Acura TLX. Both are excellent models targeting different market segments.