2018 Acura TLX Ditches “Beaked” Front Grille; Plus Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, & Other Safety Tech

Apr 13, 2017 07:00 AM EDT | Andrew Davis

The 2018 Acura TLX has completely ditched its "beaked" front grille and is sporting a brand new face. Plus, it packs some new tech and some performance upgrades.

Exterior. The TLX is the second production sedan from Acura to receive the automaker's new corporate face since its "beaked front grille" has been the subject of much automotive design controversy. It was in 2016 that the Precision Concept showcased the "signature diamond" pentagonal grille and then in the 2017 MDX.

Also, similar to outgoing model year, 2018 Acura TLX has retained the standard LED headlights. This provided for a unique nighttime look.

For more visual flair such as dark 19-inch wheels fitted to 245-secton tires and a retuned suspension, steering, and dampers, buyers have the option to go for the top-of-the-line TLX A-Spec which comes with an exclusive lower fascia. The A-Spec also comes with a rear bumper design looking much like to the one's fitter on recent BMW M-Sport cars.

Engine. The automaker has retained engine options for the 2018 Acura TLX. For the standard model, buyers are offered the direct injection 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Thanks to Honda's i-VTEC variable valve technology, the engine mated to an FWD configuration delivers 206 horses and 182 lb-ft of torque.  

Meanwhile, a step higher is the direct injection 3.5-liter V6 engine that also uses Honda's i-VTEC. This produces 290 horses and 267 lb-ft of torque.

Also, the A-Spec package is offered either in FWD or the automaker's Super Handling AWD. However, the company hasn't specified whether the engines will receive power upgrades over the current ones.

Interior and tech.  Overall, the automaker has changed the TLX's underlying software, other than the exterior design. It now uses something closer to the electronics of the new Honda Accord and the automaker claims that this will have a 30% faster user input response time.

Thanks to the AcuraWatch system, the new model is packed with various optional active safety equipment. Plus, standard on all trim levels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have both finally made it to the 2018 Acura TLX along with a dual-screen infotainment system.

Since safety is a standard, expect to have lane departure warning and prevention and forward collision warning system with automated braking. The sensors in the earlier-mentioned systems also support adaptive cruise control.

Design and tech updates make this new model more than just an annual refresh. It also allows the 2018 Acura TLX to be more competitive against the likes of Lexus IS, Audi A4, and Cadillac ATS.

Pricing for the 2018 Acura TLX is not yet available since its debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show. But this sedan is set to go on sale this June. 

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