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Unleashing the Power of 2023 Acura TLX Type S: A Test Drive Review That Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat!

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The 2023 Acura TLX Type S is a midsize luxury sport sedan that has garnered attention for its compelling design and performance. As the sportiest model in the TLX lineup, the Type S promises an engaging driving experience and a host of technological features to compete with established rivals in its segment. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the design, technology, performance, and overall value of the 2023 Acura TLX Type S based on a recent test drive.

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TLX Type S Introduction

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the 2023 Acura TLX Type S is undoubtedly one of its most striking features. With its dramatic rear fender flares, long hood, and aggressive front fascia, the TLX Type S stands out in the crowded midsize luxury sport sedan segment. Its athletic stance and sharp lines give the car a sense of purpose and poise that is sure to turn heads.

LED Headlights and Taillights

The 2023 Acura TLX Type S features Jewel Eye LED headlights, which not only provide excellent visibility but also add a touch of sophistication to the car’s front end. The LED taillights follow suit, with a distinctive design that complements the overall look of the vehicle. These lighting elements give the TLX Type S a premium appearance, setting it apart from its competitors.

Type S Design Elements

As the performance-oriented model in the TLX range, the Type S receives several unique design elements that set it apart from the standard TLX. These include a more aggressive front fascia with larger air intakes, a rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips, and exclusive Type S badging. Additionally, the Type S comes standard with 20-inch split 10-spoke alloy wheels, which not only enhance the car’s sporty appearance but also improve handling and performance.

Interior Design and Comfort

The interior of the 2023 Acura TLX Type S is a blend of luxury and sportiness, with high-quality materials and excellent build quality. The cabin feels spacious and wide from the driver’s seat, offering a true midsize car experience. However, the rear seating area is somewhat cramped, with limited legroom and narrow door openings, making it best suited for solo drivers or front-seat passengers.

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Seating and Trim

The TLX Type S comes equipped with 16-way power-adjustable, heated, and ventilated front seats, ensuring comfort and a proper fit for spirited driving. These seats are wrapped in premium leather and adorned with artificial suede, exposed stitching, and contrast piping. The test vehicle also featured genuine carbon-fiber trim and metallic-faced analog gauges, adding a touch of sportiness to the cabin.

Ergonomics and Controls

While the interior of the 2023 Acura TLX Type S is visually appealing, some ergonomic challenges are present. For instance, the Integrated Dynamics Selector (IDS) control knob is placed in the center of the dashboard, making it easy to mistake for a stereo volume control knob. Additionally, the True Touchpad Interface (TTI) infotainment system controls may take some time to get used to, as they require mandatory use due to the lack of a touch-sensitive display.

Technology and Infotainment

The 2023 Acura TLX Type S comes equipped with a host of technology features, including a 10.2-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, and AcuraLink connected services. However, the car’s infotainment system relies on the True Touchpad Interface (TTI), which can be frustrating to use due to its learning curve and potential for distraction.

True Touchpad Interface

The TTI pairs the 10.2-inch static dashboard display with a curved, touch-sensing pad on the center console. Acura claims that this system is “more intuitive” and “driver-friendly” than a traditional touchscreen, but this may not be the case for all users. In fact, the TTI can be just as distracting as a touchscreen, and its unfamiliar operation may require more cognitive attention from the driver.

Acura/ELS Studio 3D Audio System

The 2023 Acura TLX Type S can be equipped with the 17-speaker Acura/ELS Studio 3D audio system, providing an immersive and high-quality listening experience. This premium audio system is an excellent addition for music enthusiasts and complements the other technology features found in the car.

Safety Features and Ratings

Safety is a priority for the 2023 Acura TLX Type S, with a suite of advanced driver assistance and collision avoidance systems known as AcuraWatch. This system includes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-centering assist, adaptive cruise control, and Traffic Jam Assist.

Blind Spot Monitoring and Parking Sensors

In addition to AcuraWatch, the TLX Type S features a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. These features provide an extra layer of safety and convenience for the driver, making the TLX Type S a well-rounded choice in terms of safety.

Safety Ratings

The 2023 Acura TLX has received high safety ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The NHTSA awarded the car a five-star rating in every evaluation except for front-passenger protection in a frontal-impact collision, which received four stars. The IIHS has named the TLX a Top Safety Pick+ for the 2022 calendar year, although it has not yet assessed the car for the new testing required to earn that designation.

Performance and Handling

The 2023 Acura TLX Type S is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant is paired with a performance-tuned 10-speed automatic transmission and Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. The car boasts a 0-60 mph time of just over five seconds, offering quick acceleration and an engaging driving experience.

Suspension and Braking

The TLX Type S features an adaptive damping suspension that provides a comfortable ride in Comfort mode but can be stiffened for more spirited driving in Sport and Sport+ modes. However, some testers have found the suspension’s behavior to be unnatural at times, struggling to determine how to handle certain road surfaces.

The Electro Servo brake-by-wire system in the TLX Type S has also drawn criticism for its inconsistent braking pressure, particularly during spirited driving. This issue can lead to a lack of confidence in the car’s braking abilities, detracting from the overall driving experience.

Value and Pricing

The 2023 Acura TLX Type S offers good value in the midsize luxury sport sedan segment, with base prices ranging from the low $40,000s to the high $50,000s, including the destination charge. A fully loaded test vehicle, priced at $59,100, is slightly more expensive than an Audi S4 Premium Plus but less expensive than a base BMW M340i xDrive.

In addition to its competitive pricing, every 2023 Acura includes complimentary maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles, adding to the TLX Type S’s overall value proposition.

Final Thoughts

The 2023 Acura TLX Type S is a compelling option in the midsize luxury sport sedan segment, offering a striking design, engaging performance, and a host of technology features. While it does have some ergonomic and infotainment challenges, the car’s overall value and driving experience make it an appealing choice for those seeking a sporty and luxurious four-door coupe.

However, potential buyers should be aware of the TLX Type S’s limited rear-seat space and trunk capacity, making it best suited for solo drivers or front-seat passengers. If you can look past these limitations and the True Touchpad Interface, the 2023 Acura TLX Type S is a car that is sure to impress.

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