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Spare tire optional for 2015 Acura TLX

True, 2015 TLX doesn't come standard equipped with a spare tire kit. After much concern expressed by a reader or 2, Torque News looks to the TLX optional accessory list, and rather or not a spare is needed for TLX.

Very few drivers experience flat tires

According to Acura research, very few drivers experience flat tires much less break out a jack and lug wrench to deal with one. For added weight consideration, trunk space and safety concerns, Acura has opted for a 24/7 roadside assist program and a can of “spare tire” in lieu of a conventional emergency spare tire.

Torque News drove all variants of the 2015 Acura TLX and found the car to be exceptional. Does your new TLX need a spare tire and jack? That’s a personal assessment.

This isn’t the first time Acura and other auto manufacturer’s have forgone the conventional spare tire in search for leaner curb weight and manufacturing costs.

In-fact, most sport-cars and some Acura products arrive sans spare tire. For example, looking to Acura’s best selling MDX SUV, we find the spare tire kit absent in the front wheel drive variant, yet present in the SH-AWD, the reasoning here holds water.

No spare tire kit

Those MDX owners venturing off-road will have a higher occurrence of major tire damage beyond the fast-fix capabilities of a self patching canned inflator. And, those venturing off road, may be out of cellphone reach or range of a local towing service.

So, for those TLX buyers with old-school tendencies and concerns, Acura offers a top quality spare tire and installation kit. The suggested MSRP of the kit is $369 plus dealer installation charge. Cost will vary by dealership and your negotiating skills.

Personally, Looking to the trunk of my Volvo S 80 T, I believe there’s a spare in there somewhere. But, in the decade of driving the car, I've never needed it. I believe that that’s the point Acura makes here. Today’s tire technology is superior to that of the past. Most tires are self sealing when it comes to picking up nails, screws, etc from the road. Yes, one can incur sidewall tire damage.(rarely) If it happens on the Freeway, it’s time to call a tow truck.

Safety First

Changing a tire roadside can be fatal. I've lost two friends doing so and have encountered a Highway Patrolman that lost a leg while being sideswiped standing next his unit on the Freeway.

By eliminating the option of changing a flat. Acura has removed the expressed liability of the act while promoting the safety of the consumer.
Is it worth it to most consumers today to break out the jack, lug wrench, remove the wheel and tire, remove the spare from the trunk kit, install the spare, tighten the lugs and drop the car back down to the road? Sure I've done it, but its been a decade since I've had to.


John (not verified)    September 25, 2014 - 3:58PM

Baloney! I had three flats last winter alone - sidewall damage from mammoth potholes. Lots of people I have spoken to have the same issue. THe writer must be from Southern California or Hawaii. Waiting on a lonely road for service at midnight is a major issue. My Avalon has a full size spare on an aluminum wheel. Since I have a type of Continental tire not often stocked, I have the capability of driving normal speeds until I can replace one. THe better way to save gas is to put drivers on a diet - most are overweight to start with!

Joshua Goldstein (not verified)    November 29, 2014 - 3:02PM

In reply to by John (not verified)

Totally agree with above. Interesting how they are making you safer by not giving you a spare tire, yet they want to sell you pot hole, blow out insurance. I can't remember a time when the flat I had was that perfect little nail that the inflater kit would work with. I bought the spare tire kit after some ridiculous negotiation on the price. Since this is a topic they do not discuss and avoid at time of negotiating the deal, buyer should bring it up and require it thrown in. Unless as the above said you live in Souther California and don't get blow outs.

Dave S (not verified)    February 14, 2017 - 5:29PM

In reply to by Joshua Goldstein (not verified)

I disagree with Acura's decision after two tows and lost income of $2k for waiting on tow truck. Never mind the fact that I have never been successful with an inflator kit on a bicycle, let alone a car tire.

w. Teppler (not verified)    April 9, 2015 - 8:58PM

You article feels like it was written by Acura rationalizing their decision. I have owned 3 Acura Tls. I decided not to buy the TLX because of it lacking a spare tire. I have had to use my spare on roads and can't imagine sitting in an off the beaten road in in winter at -30 with a can of sealant that may or not work and hope that my tire problem (hole) is not so large that the sealant will work. A spare tire is like insurance on your house. We hope we will never use it but, when we have big problems its nice to know there is a remedy (spare tire) to get us out of the problem. This is in the penny wise pound foolish category... After 3 Acura TLs I have purchased another vehicle (with a spare tire)... I believe you will loose sales because of your decision... A spare tire should come standard!!!.

Parks McCants    April 9, 2015 - 11:34PM

In reply to by w. Teppler (not verified)

welcome w. Teppler. Interestingly enough, in writing this article, the author reflected on his own flat tire experience, or lack of it... Personally, I would have opted for the dealership installed spare tire kit, negotiating it into the sales price of the car. but that's just my personal view. You state you purchased a competing brand with a standard spare on board. Great! I personally hope you never have to use it! Safe driving and thanks for dropping in.

micael (not verified)    July 29, 2017 - 2:36AM

In reply to by w. Teppler (not verified)

I completely agree. I bought a 2015 Tax not knowing there was no donut spare. Then I got the story of for your consideration we removed it for better mileage....blah blah blah. I just had my 1st flat with sidewall damage. Luckily I was visiting family and towed with AAA to a near service station to order and remount my new tire. I am now going to buy a this was a day without a car and $200 later. I just now hope they'll make good on the rim/wheel insurance I did purchase.

B (not verified)    November 24, 2015 - 4:52PM

This is the worst crap i ever experienced. Stuck on the highway with a blow out. Waited 3 hours for acura roadside assistance, they couldn't come on the restricted highway that i was on so i had to spend extra money for the nj turnpike authority to tow me off the highway then wait for roadside assistance to pick me up. All of this could've been avoided if i had a spare tire.

Steve Grogan (not verified)    August 1, 2016 - 4:05PM

I just purchased an Acura MDX ( $ $50,000 ). No Spare Tire came with it. That is just plain Sorry on Acura's part so they could save money and make more money by selling the spare tire to it's loyal customers. It is just another excuse for Acura to Ripoff the customer. I am very disappointed and will not buy this unsafe product again.

Parks McCants    August 1, 2016 - 4:34PM

In reply to by Steve Grogan (not verified)

Take it back Steve! I'm confident that you're aware that most of the new generation vehicles on the road today do not come with a spare tire, and haven't for the better part of a decade. Acura and others provide a "flat tire repair kit.' and in the case of the TLX, the vehicle that this article was directed to, is available with an optional spare temporary rim mounted tire and jack. I believe the same to be true with your MDX in most regions, the best selling premium 3-row SUV in North America.

Sergio (not verified)    January 12, 2018 - 9:04PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

No way Parks...this has not been the case for the better part of a decade. This has only been going on for the past 4-5 years, tops. Plus I usually keep my cars for 10 years so how in the world would I know that new cars do not come with a spare tire as the had been since the invention of the automobile. The salesman should have told me. This new practice is complete BS. Spire tire should be standard equipment. If they want to cut something out for cost savings start with things like rear view camera or some other convenience option.

Parks McCants    January 14, 2018 - 3:23PM

In reply to by Sergio (not verified)

Welcome, Sergio. I agree with you. However, I don't build cars, I just report on them. The bottom line is: By removing the spare tire and jack from a car or light truck, the manufacturer is eliminating what is referred to as implied, or expressed liability. Thus, removing the possibility of tire-change related injury, a drive-by collision, or death, as the result of a consumer changing a flat on the roadside. Also, the vast majority of young drivers have no idea as to how to change a tire. Since writing this article back in 2015, when reviewing a new or used car, I always check the trunk or undercarriage for a spare tire. Thanks, Sergio.

larrym (not verified)    March 9, 2017 - 12:48AM

I have a tlx an bought a full size spare and rim for 200. The tire Sticks up a bit in the trunk but I dont care because when you get a blowout with no spare you are screwed.

richk (not verified)    April 6, 2017 - 11:58PM

This is the second flat tire in 6 months. this one had a 2hr wait for a tow truck after hours and a flat bed because the left rear side wall flat couldn't be towed and that was in town. then the tire shop didn't have the tire until the next day. wonderfull 83rd birthday dinner for my father-in-law. not having a spare is just stupid especially in the north west where phone service can be spotty in the mountains.300.00$ is rediculus

Ralph Vituccio (not verified)    May 20, 2017 - 12:54AM

This is the second flat tire I've had in the last year. I call Roadside Assistance thinking may as well use them since I pay for it in my Acura payments. They come and, guess what, NO SPARE TIRE. There's nothing they can do to help out except tow my TLX to an Acura which I'm not going to do. I just hope the sealant and pump contraption works. I've always been impressed by the Acura brand but this just sucks on their part.

felix otero (not verified)    September 5, 2017 - 12:57PM

My daughter bought a 2016 TLX at the time I was not there with her the sales man didnt not even bother to explain that there was no spare tire kit in the car its bad enought to sell a car without a spare the sales man was worstless in comunicating with customers I request to speak to sales manager and for what he was just as bad will never buy a car without a spare tire especially for my daughter women drivers should know and have a spare.

John Sulivan (not verified)    April 19, 2018 - 12:36PM

I was not told the spare was not include in my TLX. I called the dealer in East Brunswick, NJ, and he said 99% of all the flats Acura studied could be fixed with the foam canister to seal the hole and the air pump to re-inflate tire. Guess what? The foam came pouring out of the puncture. Had to wait an hour to get a truck to get me back to my mechanic. I was told that the foam ruins the tire pressure sensor and do not use it. Send 3 emails to dealer saying I wanted a spare. They offered to sell me one. Told them this is the 6th Honda/Acura car that my family has owned and will be the last. Cant wait to scan a copy of the next car purchase. My 2 sons are starting to look for new cars this spring. I'm Irish. I carry a grudge forever.

Brian (not verified)    January 13, 2019 - 10:22AM

I’d like to add that lat night (Jan 12, 2019) I was on a 60 mile trip home on an Interstate in snowy, freezing weather. My tire pressure alarm came on, and I watched my right front pressure drop steadily from 26 to 15 before I could exit and find a gas station. No air hoses were working due to the cold, so it was me and the kit. I plugged it into the power source, screwed it in the valve, turned it on and crossed my fingers. I sat in the car and watched my pressure slowly rise to 31. I was able to make it home at 50 mph. I have to say, this was better than changing a tire at midnight.

John Sullivan (not verified)    February 2, 2019 - 5:49PM

Good news. Glad it worked. Changing tires in the cold is brutal. I wish I was that lucky. The foam provided in the kit poured out of the puncture in the tire. I like to have options and since the foam didn't work, I needed the spare.

Harry Caramanica (not verified)    July 5, 2019 - 2:34PM

I have had 2 major sidewall blowouts in the last six months, if I did not have a real spare, I would have been stranded both times with my family.
I drive 20,000 miles per year. If you drive as much as I do, there is not a substitute for a real spare tire.

John (not verified)    August 19, 2019 - 2:37PM

I did not know my 2017 TLX did not have a spare until last night after some tire damage driving south on I95 in CT. Fortunately, I was near an exit and was able to drive to a safe location. Not having a spare is one thing. There are solutions for that. Not being told by the dealer that the car does not include a spare is terrible. I'm not saying they intentionally avoided telling me, but they certainly did not go out of their way to tell me. Very disappointed...

Emily (not verified)    November 3, 2019 - 1:08PM

I agree with the majority of the other customers above. I have had 2 flats due to multiple subdivision home construction going on in my line of travel to work each day. I barely made it home one of the times and when I did the tire was completely flat. When my husband opened the truck to remove the spare so we could drive the car 30 miles to the dealership, there was NO TIRE or JACK! We thought someone had stole the items. So I called the dealership and ask them to check their cameras, thinking someone there must have removed the tire/jack, because the tires had only been mounted a couple of months ago. The manager didn't even mention that 2015 Acura didn't have either a spare of a jack when I bought it brand new, off the showroom floor, nor did the serviceman I spoke with on the phone. And he still hasn't called me back! This is not the kind of service I am accustomed to from Acura. Only when I went on line to see how much a spare tire and jack cost, did I run across this article. I am so glad, being a woman, that I didn't get stranded out in the middle of nowhere with no spare!

John Sullivan (not verified)    November 5, 2019 - 12:17PM

In reply to by Emily (not verified)

Emily, when I found out that I had no spare, I checked my wife's 2015 MDX, the spare is there. When she got a flat, we used AAA and they changed her flat tire in the parking lot. If there was no spare, would have had to tow. I am considering run flat tires for her just in case this happens again where she can't get help. I have called Acura a few times and they ignore me. Really surprised at the poor service. We were a Honda/Acura family for over 15 years but no longer. My oldest is looking for a new car now and will not consider either. Good to hear you did not get stranded.

ChocolateTLX (not verified)    February 17, 2020 - 7:55PM

This article caters to the Acura owner drives very short distances. I have sustained 3 flats over the life of my 2015, 1st no problem repair kit/ air compressor solved it. Second event called Acura roadside assistance and was told I was no longer covered as I went past 50k miles, had to pay tow / repair. Third time drove over a pothole and sustained serious damage and had the car towed. Moving forward I will have a spare, jack, and repair kit.

John Sullivan (not verified)    February 18, 2020 - 3:04PM

I agree. Had to purchase a spare kit. Will never make that mistake again. The first thing is to open the truck and see the spare. Still surprised at the poor Acura customer service. Will never look there again.

John C Williamson (not verified)    December 4, 2020 - 1:49PM

Sure, the owner might not want to do this, BUT it would be nice to have a spare when your auto club shows up to change the tire INSTEAD of having to tow the vehicle to a tire shop.

Linda Reed (not verified)    September 5, 2021 - 8:50PM

Why was I not told there was no spare tire by the dealer. Holiday weekend. Will never buy another Acura . Stuck along the side of the road . Where do I tow it too?

James Jones (not verified)    September 21, 2021 - 8:14AM

LOL, whoever wrote this is foolish. Acura did this to save money on production costs and have the car weigh less and have better emissions and mpg. these sealant they give instead of spares never work. huge backlash for acura.