2018 Acura TLX: First Drive

Welcome to the twilight of the entry-level premium sports sedan. Thirty years ago, every yuppie worth his Patrick Nagel print owned a 3-Series BMW or "baby Benz." Ten years ago, the segment had expanded both its appeal and its membership to the point that everybody from your teenage neighbor to your grandfather was leasing a sports sedan and everybody from Jaguar to Lexus had a dog in the fight. Those days are long gone. Today, the hot money is chasing premium crossovers. In a way, sports sedans are kind of like fedoras. First they were cool. Then they were ubiquitous. Then one day they were unacceptable and the only people wearing them were extremely lonely middle-aged men who still live with their parents.

Acura thinks there's still a little life left in the sports-sedan market–but not nearly enough for them to go whole-hog with an expensive-to-engineer longitudinal-engine contender like the old Vigor or first-generation TL. Instead, 2018 brings us a refreshed version of the new-for-2015 TLX, which shares most of its hard points with the outstanding ninth-generation Honda Accord. It's an extremely conservative product with which to fight bespoke rear-wheel-drive entries like the evergreen 3-Series, C-Class Benz, and Lexus IS, but as we will see there are a few upsides to that approach that might make it worth a second look. Read more about the 2018 Acura TLX...

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19 Mar 2018