2018 Acura TLX vs 2018 Lexus IS Comparison

Specs at a Glance

2018 Acura TLX

2018 Acura TLX

MSRP*

  $33,000*

Cargo Space

  14.3 cu.ft.


2018 Lexus IS

2018 Lexus IS

MSRP*

  $38,210*

Cargo Space

  10.8 cu.ft.

2018 Acura TLX vs 2018 Lexus IS

Serving Fort Worth, Dallas, and Arlington, TX

For years, the image of the sport luxury sedan was exclusively European. The images of sophisticates getting into their German, English or Italian cars were ubiquitous. Of course, times change, and so too does the nationality of the best cars. The Japanese luxury sedans are having their time in the sun, and for good reason.

Of the Japanese competitors, the 2018 Acura TLX has begun to emerge as the true heir to the mid-size luxury throne. The TLX was brilliantly engineered to compete with all of its competitors, from its Japanese counterparts to its German, Italian and English rivals. Chief among those rivals is the Lexus, Acura’s greatest rivals. How does the mid-size TLX compare with the Lexus IS? Here is a quick run down.

Performance

Sometimes, the numbers are misleading. Car and Driver performed road tests on both the Acura TLX and the Lexus IS and got surprising results. The TLX’s 3.5L V6 engine is rated as having 290hp and 260lbs of torque, compared to the IS’ 3.5L V6 producing 306hp and 277lbs of torque. Despite those numbers, the TLX performed better in every test: zero to sixty in 5.7 seconds opposed to 6.0; zero to one hundred in 14.2 seconds opposed to 14.4; zero to one hundred and twenty in 22.5 seconds, opposed to the Lexus getting to one twenty in 27.0 seconds. Even in braking, the TLX went from seventy to zero in 168 feet, while the IS goes from seventy to zero in 176 feet. Even in the skidpad, a test to determine which vehicle grips best, the TLX got .86 lateral G’s while the IS only got .84 lateral G’s. Numbers can be misleading, but these numbers don’t lie — The TLX is the clear winner in performance.

Tech

To be fair, both the TLX and IS have similar tech features. Both cars offer high-end, modern infotainment systems. Both cars offer advanced safety features and driver assistance programs. Both cars offer customizable displays so the driver can choose what they are looking at. With that said, however, the TLX earns an edge over its rival in a few regards. First, the TLX has the exclusive AcuraWatch™ technology, a series of driver assists specifically designed by Acura for driver safety. The AcuraWatch™ system has won a number of awards for safety, including recognition from the NHTSA (which also awarded the TLX a five star crash rating) for its driver assistance. The IS did not receive any such praise, and besides safety, the IS’ infotainment system has been panned for its poor performance. Once again, when it comes to technology, the TLX is the clear winner.

Value

Let’s cut to the chase. When it comes to dollars and sense, the TLX is the clear winner. The TLX starts at a base price of $33,000. For a fully loaded A-Spec performance oriented TLX with Super Handling All Wheel Drive and a 3.5L V6 engine, the cost is $45,750. Compare that to the Lexus IS, which starts at $43,000 for the sporty version, and then has the price rise steadily until it reaches a gaudy $54,775 to have the same features as the fully loaded TLX A-Spec. That is a full $9,000 difference, and the TLX is already demonstrated to be the better car!

The choice seems obvious. The Acura TLX is extremely well regarded and for very good reason. The TLX is the best value available in its class, offering exhilarating performance, engaging technology and advanced safety, all while being substantially less expensive than its rival Lexus. There is only one way to verify the TLX’s quality: contact your local dealer today and set up a test drive. The sooner you get the chance to drive the TLX, the sooner you’ll sense the difference Precision Crafted Performance can provide.


* Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge is $965 for sedans and $995 for SUVs. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.
* MSRP does not include delivery, processing and handling fee of $995. Excludes taxes, title, license and optional equipment. Dealer price will vary. Does not include accessory