Skip to main content

2016 Acura TLX may be most reliable sport sedan in U.S.

With only 2 recalls noted in Acura TLX history, 2016 is shaping up to be a recall-free year for Acura’s best selling, financially attainable, and award winning mechanically reliable premium sport sedan.

Join us...    

In this day of across the auto industry airbag product recall mania, and increased Honda-preventative product recall action; no matter how minor the issue may be, Acura TLX stands above the norm with a surprising lack of first year production run recall alerts issued for this stellar mid sized premium sports sedan. After 1,0000 miles in the seat, we love TLX!

2 recalls, one very minor

With 35,000 TLX sedans sold to date, TLX returns for 2016 as what is referred to in the auto industry as a “carry over.” In other words, there are no changes of specification or performance numbers in the second full year of production for Acura’s best selling sedan. Hey, if it’s not broken, why fix it?

Misstated rear axle load capacity

On the initial production run of this made in the U.S.A. Acura sports sedan, a number of TLX ( I believe 4,000 or so,) came off of the production line with a misapplied certification label. The implication here is the possibility of exceeding the gross weight capacity of the vehicle; easily remedied with a 30 minute friendly dealership service department visit. We’ve read little to nothing on our TLX owner’s forum as to problems associated with this recall.

Transmission parking lock malfunction

This was the big one for 2015 TLX: According to Acura as reported through dealer service center reports, an unspecified number of 3.5 liter V6, 9 speed transmission equipped Acura TLX sports sedans, experienced a malfunctioning ‘park’ position failure in a number of Z 9 push button electronically shifted automatic transmissions.

The implied danger for owners here is one of possible ‘roll away’ from an assumed parked and e-braked position. Not good! We know of now death or injury accident specific to this recall.

According to our friends at Acura

The majority of TLX V6 SH-AWD 9 speed equipped sedans recalled for possible ‘park’ position malfunction were internally scope tested, found to be functionally compliant and released. Very few required transmission replacement or major repairs.

We’ve read unsubstantiated reports of auto-stop related ‘jerking’ at intersections, harsh shifting patterns, and the occasional unexpected acceleration when transitioning to or from a stopped position. We attribute these reports (mostly) to the learning curve associated with the Z-9 automatic transmission. Note: when compared to a conventional 5 or 6 speed automatic transmission, the 9 speed may appear to be hyper-shifting or overshifting when transitioning through lower gears on surface streets.

Torque news encountered this shift behavior while driving the 2016 Acura MDX. Yet, after a few hours of driving, found the zero drop off in usable torque to be refreshing, and at times, downright exhilarating!

Acura TLX does not present a Big 3 luxury car ride

While there’s a measurable difference between what is now referred to in the auto industry as ‘luxury’ and ‘premium,’ 2016 Acura TLX falls solidly into the premium category, with uptick tech-driven technology, active safety and comfort features -- Acura style.

You won’t find any ‘float’ with TLX as to ride and handling characteristics. What future TLX owners will discover is a “driver”s sedan with room for 5, featuring Acura good looks, next generation technology, superior personal connectivity, and a performance driving experience generally reserved for those willing to write a check for Audi 6 or BMW 5 series. We like that.

Torque News anticipates 2016 Acura TLX to carry forward the reliability and sporting attitude of the Acura lineup, on the road to being Acura’s most popular and reliable car of this decade.

Join us...    


Brian Kemp (not verified)    September 28, 2015 - 4:55PM

Parks, I think you let that phone call from Acura's PR last week cloud your objectivity about the transmission. :-) I have an 8-speed 2015 TLX - the first year ever (hopefully most cars don't have two recalls every year) that has had issues from Day 1, and continue even after a service bulletin was supposed to fix it. After many visits, Acura doesn't seem to have clue on how to fix it.

Call me crazy, but I expect that when I step on the gas, the car will move forward, and the transmission won't just spin in place. And when I'm sitting at a stop sign, the car won't suddenly shift on its own and jump forward.

Simple requests, but ones that the TLX can't meet on a reliable basis, sorry.

Parks McCants    September 29, 2015 - 11:04AM

In reply to by Brian Kemp (not verified)

Welcome Brian. While I didn't recieve that phone call, I agree with you 100%. The car should be mechanically perfect. The units that I've driven are. Best of luck. I'm sitting down with Honda today in Los Angeles. We'll be talking a bit. Thanks for your comment.

BK (not verified)    September 29, 2015 - 1:06PM

Agree, the dealer loaners that I've driven didn't have the issue at all, but some cars definitely do. Can't wait to see your updates!

Mike (not verified)    January 3, 2016 - 2:29PM

Seem you haven't done enough research into the issues with the TLX. I traded my 2009 TL SH-AWD for the TLX SH-AWD Tech, and apart from the new tech this car is a huge disappointment. Myself and many others if you check the AcuraZine forum have a serious issue with vibrations through the entire car. My TLX has so far spent a combined total of 9 weeks in the dealers garage and no body can figure out what the problem is. I finally got to talk to someone at Acura National and they admitted there is an issue with some of the TLX's but their engineers have yet to come up with a solution to the problem. That is little comfort after you have paid a premium price for a premium car. Some owners of the owners I have talked to have become so frustrated they have already traded their TLX's in on other brands and taken a sizable financial loss. Personally as a long time happy Acura customer who has purchased 10 cars over the years and I am extremely disappointed. I have told them that if my TLX is not fixed or replaced they will lose me as a customer, and that was 3 months ago and I have not been given any options, so I guess they don't really care.

Parks McCants    January 4, 2016 - 12:16PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

Welcome Mike. The opinion expressed in this article is mine, based on personal experience, and the number of safety related recalls(1) Certainly, I'm aware of individual negative experiences such as yours, and conduct a TLX Owners Forum here. I can't attest as to your individual dealership service department experience. As to Acura "caring?" well that depends... 9 weeks in the dealership garage is excessive. Lemon law? Best of luck to you sir.

Lois Smith (not verified)    August 17, 2016 - 12:59PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

I echo your sentinents exactly? Is there anything else that they can be forced to do for us owners. Class action lawsuit seems like it will take too long to resolve. I need resolution now as its losing value everyday!

Randy (not verified)    May 20, 2016 - 9:58PM

I was hoping to have the experience you describe, however; mine is not as happy. Bought a 2015 V6 loaner with 4600 miles. Within a few days I noticed a vibration between 1400-1600 RPM; felt like a rumble strip. Took to the dealer and they said it was the VCM system. When the car drops back to 3 cylinders for optimal gas mileage, it has a horrible vibration. There is no fix, and for someone who drives a lot of miles it is terribly annoying when I thought was buying a luxury car. Acura Customer Service basically blew me off saying this is how the car is designed to operate, to which I asked them how many they would sell if they put a sticker on the car that it vibrates at 1500 Rpms. Got no response or order to help. Fortunately the dealer I purchased from stepped up to the plate and are working with me to get into a 2016. I am test driving it next week and if it doesn't have the same issue I will probably upgrade.

Frank (not verified)    July 1, 2016 - 2:21PM

Whats with all the negative comments? I have a 2015 V6 SHAWD Tech and have not had any issues! I love it!!! I remember there was a software upgrade that I had to bring my car in for, but other that that my car has only been in for routine maintenance (oil changes).

Parks McCants    July 1, 2016 - 3:12PM

In reply to by Frank (not verified)

Welcome Frank. You may note that most of the negative commentary dates back to the initial release of TLX. Most if not all short comings have been weeded out at this time. As for me, I've driven no less than 2,000 miles in all trim levels of TLX and have experienced ZERO problems, dating back to pre production TLX. Thanks for dropping in.

Parks McCants    July 1, 2016 - 3:12PM

In reply to by Frank (not verified)

Welcome Frank. You may note that most of the negative commentary dates back to the initial release of TLX. Most if not all short comings have been weeded out at this time. As for me, I've driven no less than 2,000 miles in all trim levels of TLX and have experienced ZERO problems, dating back to pre production TLX. Thanks for dropping in.

Vic (not verified)    February 3, 2017 - 1:03AM

In reply to by Frank (not verified)

What is the Software Upgrade you mention ? I have taken my 2015 ACURA TLX V-6 with 9-speed transmission back in to the dealership several times complaining about the operation of the transmission and engine and no one has ever acknowledged that a software upgrade exists.

Frank (not verified)    February 3, 2017 - 1:42PM

In reply to by Vic (not verified)

I bought my 2015 TLX in October of 2014 just as they were coming out and the update was around the beginning of 2015. Chances are that if you got your car later in 2015 that the upgrade may have already been in place. One way to tell is if the second screen, the lower one, shows the radios preprogramed stations when you start the car. Or... go to System Settings/Others/System Device Information... I have Software VER.3.00.2d05.

Adrian (not verified)    July 12, 2016 - 2:47PM

I purchased a brand new 2016 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech a month ago and last week the transmission BROKE completely. The dealership told me that they will have to replace it.

Vic (not verified)    August 4, 2016 - 9:31AM

I have a 2015 ACURA TLX V-6 with the 9-speed transmission. I have been very dissatisfied with the vehicle. When delivered the car spark knocked for the first 100 miles on the gas in the car. The transmission lugs in the lower gears, and on a few occasions the engine has revved-up while accelerating with no additional vehicle speed, like the transmission was slipping. The does run a little better after a 5000 mile break-in. The console gear selector is very awkward to use. The navigation package is awkward to use and set. The car looks good, and the roadway fuel mileage is very good, but the performance of the engine and transmission is undesirable. Have been disappointed with the attitude of ACURA representatives at the dealership. Some of the service staff have acknowledged problems with the vehicle and also stated their disappointment with the vehicle. Plan to get rid of the vehicle soon.

Guillermo (not verified)    October 18, 2016 - 10:00AM

Why is no one talking about the backup camera? The resolution is abysmal. My grass and bushes look brown and the fidelity is very poor. I was loaned a TLX i4 tech package and loved the drive and my kids like the back seats and the whole car. It is sexy in some ways and very comfortable even with the greatly enlarged hump in the back. But ultimately I found that I could not live with a car that didn't have a decent backup camera. I asked the dealer what they might do about it and after checking with their technical department they said nothing could be done, this is how it functioned similar to the MDX. I called around for an after market camera and someone quoted me $1,600 for a system (or less if I was willing to mount it on the dash?!) but would not guarantee the fidelity if installed directly into the Acura screen. I was ready to buy the car but thought better of it and will wait until they come out with a model that has a camera that is on the same level as the rest of the car. Truly a shame that Acura and the public has ignored this issue.

Aaron (not verified)    December 22, 2016 - 4:34PM

I as well purchased a 2015 TLX with the V6 and the 9 speed transmission. After several trips to the dealership to try and address various transmission woes, I eventually sold the car privately, and purchased a Lexus IS350 F Sport. I should have bought the lexus in the first place. I had previously driven a 2003 Acura TL that ate it's way through two transmissions, but believed that Acura had addressed it's auto trans issues. Believe me....they haven't.

Frank (not verified)    December 23, 2016 - 9:30AM

I got 20K miles on my TLX and never had ANY major problems. The transmission is fine an the only this that has been annoying me is the Brake light ocassionally flashing when nothing is in front of me and recently a message about forward collision malfunctioning.

Guillermo (not verified)    December 23, 2016 - 1:34PM

Why is no one talking about the backup camera? The resolution is abysmal. My grass and bushes look brown and the fidelity is very poor. I wrote an earlier piece about this and thought maybe this was an unresolved issue for the 2015s. Well I tried a 2016 and realized that the color fidelity was still very poor. Worse, when I parked the TLX at my public garage I couldn’t tell just how close I was to the wall or that it was when a wall. When I go home around 5:30 and backed up my driveway the color was all gray and terrible visibility. I returned the car which I like otherwise, and spoke with the sales manager to see if the 2017 had resolve this issue but he said that this was the same backup camera on all TLXs but the MDX had a more updated version.
I really like the looks and enjoy the responsiveness of the paddle shifters but would be feel like a total fool buying a “premium” (or luxury) car with this type of defect. I matched it up against a 2015 BMW 328i Xdrive and would have bought the 2016 TLX if not for the camera. Does Acura and no one else care?

Raleigh NC (not verified)    December 23, 2016 - 9:46PM

Have been very disappointed with the transmission of the 2015 ACURA TLX V-6 with 9-speed transmission. Shifts rough and erratic in first three gears, runs very good 5th through 9th. Transmission shift points need to be re-programmed. Engine makes a lot of noise in first three gears, have to accelerate slowly. Engine runs rough and bucks on cold morning for first 30 seconds after putting in drive. Gets good fuel mileage on the highway. Cannot believe ACURA has not replaced the 9-speed transmission in the TLX yet, there are bad write ups all over the internet about the poor performance. (not verified)    March 26, 2021 - 7:40PM

Профессиональный монтаж напольных покрытий.Обращайтесь всегда рады вам помочь.
Мы делаем следующие работы
Монтаж напольного плинтуса из массива
Монтаж напольного плинтуса МДФ
Монтаж напольного плинтуса дюрополимер
Монтаж напольного плинтуса ПВХ
Монтаж напольного плинтуса ЛДФ
Монтаж потолочного плинтуса.
Монтаж напольного плинтуса из металла и т.д кроме камня.
Покраска плинтуса.
Монтаж напольных покрытий
Монтаж паркетной доски на подложку.
Монтаж ламината.
Монтаж винилового ламината
Монтаж инжинерной доски
Монтаж моссивной доски (с готовым покрытием)
Монтаж фанеры.
Монтаж галтелий и наличников.
По другим работам уточняйте!
гарантия на все виды работ.

Tony (not verified)    July 13, 2021 - 12:05PM

I own a 2016TLX SH-AWD. Yesterday while driving on the highway I tried to accelerate in order to change lanes and the car did not respond. Normally you would expect the transmission to shift to a lower gear but nothing happened. Instead just about every warning on the dash light lit up and the RPMs went to 4000. Fortunately I was able to exit off the highway and limped my way to a parking lot. I shut the car off and sat there for about 10 minutes after which I restarted the car and one by one the warning lights turned off. After that I was able to drive the car home and everything appeared normal. Has this ever happened to anyone? Any ideas what could have caused this? I'm afraid to drive this so called luxury car on the highway