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2020 Acura TLX 3.5L SH-AWD PMC vs. Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport - Which Is Your Pick?

The Acura TLX and Genesis G70 are two great sports sedans. We tested the top trim of both. Which is your preference?


In the segment formally called the BMW 3 Series segment*, some major changes have occurred over the past few years. For one, Tesla’s Model 3 now dominates the segment in sales. And arguably in performance as well. However, this segment is equal parts exclusivity and performance. It is a fact that the Acura TLX 3.5L SH-AWD PMC and Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport are a lot less common than are Tesla Model 3 sedans. Here is our overview of two of the very best sports sedans in this segment. Take a look at what we uncovered and tell us in the comments below which would be your pick of the two. Both of these test cars were very close to $50K with the TLX ringing in at $50.945, and the G70 at $53,245.

Acura TLX 3.5L TLX 3.5L SH-AWD PMC vs. Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport - The Drive

These two cars both provide their driver with a fantastic driving experience, but they are not at all the same. Let’s begin with the TLX PMC as we will call it from here forward. First up, the TLX PMC is not the racecar in this matchup. Rather, its non-turbo 290 hp V6 engine is a smooth revver. If you are a lifelong fan of Honda/Acura products that love to zing to the redline, stop reading and buy this car. The 9-Speed auto transmission makes no mistakes, and the car’s Super-handling AWD is outstanding in bad weather as we discovered in an ice storm.

The TLX PMC’s ride is sharp, but comfortable. You will enjoy long drives and mountain roads in equal parts. The TLX PMC is not too-firm, like many sports sedans we have tested, and its ride can easily be mistaken for a luxury car.

The G70 Sport as we will refer to it going forward feels faster in all situations. Is it? Probably, but we don’t really care. We are more about how cars feel than the numbers on a page. The turbocharged V6 in the G70 has more torque in all circumstances and feels like it pulls much harder. This is the racecar of the pair and it even has a lap timer.

The G70 also feels more sporty on the road. It feels smaller than the TLX PMC and more sharp in turns. The brakes were also a bit more firm in the pedal and seemed more race-tuned to our right foot. The G70 is not harsh over bumps, but does feel a bit stiffer than the TLX. We suspect those for whom performance is the top priority would choose the G70 (or a Model 3).

tlx interiorAcura TLX 3.5L TLX 3.5L SH-AWD PMC vs. Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport - Interior Features

Inside, both the TLX and G70 are very well done. Both have great seats with thigh extension, heat, and cooling. Both had a heated steering wheel. Both have seat features we loved. For example, the TLX has microfiber suede covering the seats (the G70 has it on the headliner). The G70 uses traditional fine leather, but has a sport feature that hugs you with the bolsters when you select Sport from the drive selector options. Both of these cars have seats so much better than the Model 3 it is like they are in different classes altogether
Interestingly, the TLX PMC feels roomier inside, but is not. The G70 has a smidge more interior passenger volume. This is why we test cars. The specs don’t always tell the tale accurately.

g70 interiorAcura TLX 3.5L TLX 3.5L SH-AWD PMC vs. Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport - Infotainment Tech

There is certainly no wrong choice between the TLX PMC and the G70 Sport when it comes to infotainment tech. First off, both have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You won’t find that in a Model 3. The Genesis has the corporate infotainment screen used by Hyundai and Kia. We love it. The G70 also has a head-up display.

Acura's TLX PMC uses two screens one on top of the other. While novel, we would just prefer that the screen was larger and used touch as its GUI. One area in which the two differed significantly is sound quality. The G70 has a much better audio system which can make compressed music sound richer and sharper. Ironically, it was in an Acura RDX that we first heard this new technology. Why Acura did not install that system in the TLX PMC is a mystery to us.

JD Power qualityAcura TLX 3.5L TLX 3.5L SH-AWD PMC vs. Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport - Ownership

Both of these premium brands have longer warranties than most mainstream brands. However, the warranty of the Genesis is simply better. Genesis also has a valet service for times when the dealer needs to have the vehicle. Finally, Genesis now tops all of the latest quality reports we read. Acura is no slouch when it comes to the total ownership experience, but by every yardstick we can think of to measure this category the Geneiss seems to have a slight edge.

Acura TLX 3.5L TLX 3.5L SH-AWD PMC vs. Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport - Conclusion

Our analysis does not include a category for looks. Our thinking here is that readers have eyes and can make their own minds up about looks. However, the Acura TLX PMC has paint that is so beyond ordinary we feel it must be mentioned. In person, it is simply dazzling. The TLX is a great looking car.

Although the Genesis may have a slight edge in our above categories overall, the TLX PMC is, shall we say, a "Legend." It has a history and a lineage. Genesis is a brand that has only recently been created by Hyundai and the G70 is a new model. That has weight as well. Finally, the prices were not exactly equal. The Genesis costs $2,300 more than the Acura. That is a decent trip to Vegas. It is six Coleman minibikes. It is a significant amount of money to some shoppers.

We've broken down these two great cars as honestly and fairly as we can. Which would be your pick of the two?

* Note About BMW's 330i xDrive - We recently tested the four-cylinder BMW 330i xDrive sedan. It had an as-tested price of $58,220, fewer important features, less engine, and cost significantly more money. Hence, our not using it as the yardstick in this segment anymore.

In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    December 3, 2019 - 9:10PM

I own a smooth V8 powered BMW 5 series, so you would think that I would be interested in these cars, but I'm not really. I've owned many Hondas and I love their reliability and great engineering, and Hyundai has worked overtime over the past decade in reinventing themselves to be seen as the technological and industrial giant that they have become. Hyundai easily gets my "most improved" award, for bringing up the quality, reliability and design of their vehicles. The bad side is that in the same way that Lincoln and Buick are often ignored, Acura and Genesis are the middle-child brands that generally get overlooked and under appreciated in comparisons. With their flashy rivals getting the attention. For $50K new I'd personally get a Tesla Model 3 , Dual Motor, Long Range instead. But that's just my preference.

John Goreham    December 4, 2019 - 9:07AM

In reply to by DeanMcManis (not verified)

I'm jealous! The thing is, the 5 Series is not in this segment, it's larger. The cheapest 5 Series with a V8 on sale today starts at $77K. I'd opt for a Model 3 as well were I shopping in this segment, but I configured a dual-motor long-range in red with FSD and the price is $58,690. I'm not sure I'd opt for a Tesla without FSD.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    December 4, 2019 - 12:14PM

One advantage of the high cost of German car repair is that prices for otherwise excellent used performance sedans are surprisingly low. Even though I think that FSD is cool, Tesla's regular autopilot is included for free, and if I had $58K to spend I'd get the Performance Model 3.

Cristian (not verified)    March 5, 2020 - 7:16PM

Those are great cars u guys are comparing. However you are forgetting the Volvo s 60 which i think can compete with this duo.