2021 Acura TLX vs. Audi A4, BMW 330i, Mercedes C300, Volvo S60: How these AWD sedans stack up – Roadshow

Sharp model is not simply reserved for the Kind S trim.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

The Acura TLX definitely has its followers, however over time it (and its predecessors) have struggled for legitimacy in opposition to the established premium European competitors. The brand new 2021 TLX that formally debuted Thursday goals to alter that with sharp physicality and a promising pair of turbocharged engine choices. Let’s have a look at how Acura’s new sport sedan stacks up in opposition to the premium competitors.

The standard suspects are right here: Audi’s newly announced 2021 A4, the BMW 330i, the Mercedes-Benz C300 and we’re additionally together with the Volvo S60, one other underdog on this class. Just like the Audi and the Volvo, the 2021 TLX options normal front-wheel drive; the Bimmer and Benz ship their energy to the rear. All 5 sedans can be found with optionally available all-wheel-drive, so we’ll be these configurations to degree the enjoying subject.


The upcoming TLX Kind S is definitely thrilling with its 355-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbo V6, however for now, let’s deal with the usual powertrain: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a 10-speed computerized transmission. This is identical VTEC turbo engine present in Acura’s RDX crossover, with 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. On this presumably lighter chassis, it ought to really feel extra responsive.

The TLX claims “the best horsepower in its core aggressive set,” in accordance with Acura, and technically that is true. The A4, Three Collection and C300 are all members of the around-250-horsepower membership. Nonetheless, for this all-wheel-drive comparability, we have now to have a look at the Volvo S60 T6 AWD which — with its supercharged and turbocharged engine — raises the bar to 316 ponies. In the event you’re feeling the necessity for pace, perhaps try the Swede.


Engine Energy Torque Transmission
Acura TLX SH-AWD 2.0-liter I4 turbocharged 272 hp 280 lb.-ft. 10-speed auto
Audi A4 Quattro 2.0-liter I4 turbocharged, 12-volt mild-hybrid 261 hp 273 lb.-ft. 7-speed DCT
BMW 330i xDrive 2.0-liter I4 turbocharged 255 hp 294 lb.-ft. 8-speed auto
Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic 2.0-liter I4 turbocharged 255 hp 273 lb.-ft. 9-speed auto
Volvo S60 T6 AWD 2.0-liter I4 turbocharged and supercharged 316 hp 295 lb.-ft. 8-speed auto

Gas economic system

Acura has not said gasoline economic system estimates for the new-generation TLX, however we are able to make an informed guess based mostly on the RDX’s numbers. The crossover is sweet for 21 metropolis, 27 freeway and 23 mixed miles per gallon. Within the sedan’s presumably lighter chassis, we should always anticipate barely higher numbers.

It will need that further effectivity to ascend from its earlier spot close to the underside of the pile. The Volvo S60, probably the most highly effective of the bunch, is (for now) the least environment friendly competitor with 21 metropolis mpg, 32 freeway mpg and 25 mpg mixed — nonetheless higher than the 2019 TLX. Barely higher is the Mercedes-Benz C300 at 26 mixed mpg. Audi hasn’t launched numbers for its 2021 A4, however we do not suppose it will be too far off of the 2020 mannequin’s 27 mixed mpg. 

The present king of the hill is the BMW 330i xDrive at 25 metropolis, 34 freeway and 28 mixed mpg. Frankly, we do not suppose the Acura will beat that, but when the TLX manages to land in the course of the pack, it will nonetheless be a stable step up over final 12 months. 

Gas Financial system

Metropolis Freeway Mixed
Audi A4 24 mpg (est.) 32 mpg (est.) 27 mpg (est.)
BMW 330i 25 mpg 34 mpg 28 mpg
Mercedes-Benz C300 23 mpg 33 mpg 26 mpg
Volvo S60 21 mpg 32 mpg 25 mpg


The TLX’s new look — based mostly on the Type S concept — is wrapped round a brand new platform that’s longer and wider than earlier than. The wheelbase additionally stretches to 113.Zero inches, a achieve of three.7 inches. Apparently, the roof sits 0.6-inch decrease (56.4) than final 12 months, which contributes to the large and low look.

The TLX is now the longest mannequin on this roundup, measuring over 7 inches longer than the subsequent longest Audi A4 and over 10 inches longer than the C-Class. The Acura’s 113-inch wheelbase can also be one of many longest within the class. Acura’s TLX has lengthy straddled the dimensions spectrum between these compact sedans and their midsize counterparts.

With 13.5 cubic ft of trunk house, the TLX lands proper in the course of the pack. The BMW has the most important boot within the bunch at 17 cubic ft, whereas S60 drivers make do with simply 11.6 cubes. Apparently, the Volvo is the broadest sedan at 80.Three inches — about 5 inches wider than the Acura — if large bois are a factor you are into.


Size Width Top Wheelbase Cargo quantity
Acura TLX 194.6 in. 75.2 in. 56.Four in. 113 in. 13.5 cu. ft.
Audi A4 187.5 in. 79.6 in. 56.2 in. 111 in. 12.Zero cu. ft.
BMW 330i 185.7 in. 71.9 in. 56.Eight in. 112.2 in. 17.Zero cu. ft.
Mercedes-Benz C300 184.5 in. 79.5 in. 56.Three in. 111.Eight in. 12.6 cu. ft.
Volvo S60 187.Four in. 80.Three in. 56.6 in. 113.1 in. 11.6 cu. ft.


The Acura’s 10.2-inch infotainment seems to be system seems to be nigh equivalent to the one within the RDX. We’re not in love with its True Touchpad Interface — which has similarities in some methods to Lexus’ Remote Touch controller —  however the “absolute positioning” management technique works properly sufficient when you get used to it. Some of us, nonetheless, might by no means get used to it.

Of the aggressive set, the Audi A4’s 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen infotainment system and Digital Cockpit digital instrument cluster is our private favourite with a really intuitive interface that needs to be straightforward for anybody who’s used a cellphone to select up. The three Collection’ iDrive infotainment is lots higher than it was once, however can nonetheless be a bit complicated to navigate. Volvo Sensus is one other blended bag; the core features are straightforward sufficient to achieve however, when you get past the primary display, it will also be a bit clunky and awkward to make use of. Of us have a tendency to like or hate this one with few in between. In the meantime, the C-Class’ COMAND tech is a couple of era behind its cohort; it will not get the most recent MBUX infotainment till its subsequent replace.

All 5 sedans characteristic Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although the BMW’s use of solely wi-fi connectivity for Android units limits it to a choose few telephones that help cable-free connection. 

All 2021 TLX fashions will come geared up with the automaker’s AcuraWatch suite of driver support and help techniques as normal gear. Meaning consumers get adaptive cruise management with a brand new low-speed Visitors Jam Help perform, lane-keeping steering help, blind-spot monitoring, computerized collision-mitigation braking and driver-awareness monitoring with out checking a single field. These options can be found on all the aggressive fashions, however are sometimes tied to choices packages or restricted to higher trim ranges, growing the fee for the Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo consumers. 


The 2021 TLX will begin at $38,525 together with a $1,025 vacation spot cost when it arrives in dealerships this fall and all-wheel drive is a $2,000 possibility. Remaining Kind S pricing continues to be unknown, however Acura says it will begin simply above $50,000.

If we’re proper, the Acura will seemingly snag probably the most reasonably priced crown of this comparability, rolling out for lower than the S60 T6 AWD ($40,550), the A4 45 Quattro ($40,900), C300 4Matic ($43,400) and 330i xDrive ($42,750).


Base worth Vacation spot cost
Acura TLX SH-AWD $40,525 $1,025
Audi A4 45 Quattro $40,900 $995
BMW 330i xDrive $42,750 $995
Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic $43,400 $995
Volvo S60 T6 AWD $40,550 $995

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2021 Acura TLX: The Type S returns with turbo power


Originally published on May 28.
Update, Aug. 20: Adds pricing information.

#Acura #TLX #Audi #BMW #330i #Mercedes #C300 #Volvo #S60 #AWD #sedans #stack #Roadshow


Antuan Goodwin