2015 Acura TLX drivers mostly satisfied
Last fall Acura unleashed what Torque News and much of the automotive press believed to be Acura’s “Next Big Thing.” Torque News-Acura took it a step further, and after driving 2015 TLX for the first time, jumped the gun on voting it 2015 “Car of The Year."
Granted, that didn't happen. However, TLX is not running short on positive automotive review and owner accolades. Good looking, reasonably quick and fun to drive, TLX has turned thousands of would-be Acura buyers into owners; mostly satisfied, many of them returning Acura aficionados.
A bit of tarnish on the Brass Cup
As with most if not all first-model year production runs,TLX has hit a bump or two on the road to ownership-excellence. The biggest gripe coming from new owners following an initial transmission related recall, is the manner in which the ZF outsourced 9 speed transmission shifts in TLX. According to this comment thread, some premium car buyers will find TLX SH-AWD 9 speed with drive mode selection to downshift a bit too aggressively; when coming to a stop or transitioning from “normal” to “sport” mode.
Yet, out of the thousands of readers that have visited our Acura TLX forum, all but a handful have either bothered to comment as to this misbehaving transmission, or… simply haven't experienced shifting problems while operating TLX. We can be counted in the second group.
Not perfect but almost
After driving 1500 miles or so between 2015 TLX SH-AWD 9 speed, 9 speed with P-AWS and the 8 speed TLX i-4, we still believe TLX to be a bargain as to high quality finish, built in standard features and exceptional mid-premium level sports-sedan power and road handling.
Our observation is in no way a dismissal of the heartfelt concerns of TLX owners presently plagued with a run-away transmissions, harsh or delayed-response paddle shifting. As fellow car owners and Acura fans,Torque News more than understands the frustration of a less than perfect automotive purchase and ownership experience. It suck!
However, most if not all of the complaints we’ve moderated on the Acura TLX Owner’s Forum are concerns of “personal perception and anticipation unfulfilled. in other words, TLX operates as designed, not necessarily as we anticipate a premium car should operate. Sad but true, most if not all of us want a perfect car. Unfortunately, the perfect car (for all drivers) has yet to be built, and TLX while precision performing and segment setting, falls a notch below perfect on the 1 to 10 scale; actually, it’s a very strong 9.
Speaking with Mike Accavitti, senior V.P. and general manager Acura Division, we’re informed that the majority of the original called back Acura TLX 9 speeds have been scope-tested, repaired or transmission replaced if necessary. Checking in with our local Acura dealership group, as with the 2nd year of any and all production runs, 2016 Acura TLX will come off the line with a couple of changes.
While we haven’t confirmed this news with Acura, we anticipate an easily disabled(button)auto start/stop, and a double-tap activated transitional drive to sport mode via the consul drive-button.
As to the mechanical characteristics of the ZF 9 speed, only time will tell. In our most recent test drive of the 2016 MDX, SUV we found the transmission and IDS to operate flawlessly. Let’s hope that Acura does the same thing for TLX, very soon.