ACT clutch

First Impression: 

WHOA!! Wait?! Could this be??

I have NEVER liked the TLX. At all. In fact – I’ve always been kind of mad at it.

Acura TLX Aspec

Since the TLX’s release, it’s been a pharmaceutical salesman’s company car at best. That’s because someone would only pick the TLX, if their only other choice was a Malibu. Here at S3, we joke that whoever bought the TLX, must have just broken down outside of an Acura dealer, shuffled in & said, “Yeah whatever that’ll work.” Never even bothering to cross the street & even check another dealership.

The TLX was another nail in the coffin for ‘sports’ sedans. …Was.

Acura TLX Aspec Side Shot

But this refreshed 2018 TLX Aspec model is a totally unexpected right hook.

First impression – THIS is what the TLX needs to be!!

I can’t believe it! This TLX is NOT the same boring, scared-of-its-shadow TLX I drove a year ago. This thing looks aggressive, confident, sharp… noticeable again. Praise Jesus! Upon first drive, it sounds great. It’s engaging. It has my attention. Let’s see where this goes…

_Acura TLX Aspec Review

One Week Later:

Yeah, I love the Aspec TLX. This thing is like the 80s-movie unpopular geek who got fit & got a new style over summer break & no one can believe it’s the same person. Just droop-jawed speechlessness & awe as he walks past the lockers haha.

Acura TLX Aspec Headlights

Acura finally got it right!

The TLX has gone from: The car you forgot to put on the list.

To: Major contender.


The Aspec fills a void in its segment, and it’s exciting, because it’s a return to what Honda/Acura used to do so well. The TLX has more room than a Lexus IS, an A4, BMW 3-series, etc. Yet it falls in their price range. It’s less expensive than a Lexus GS Lexus…. and more exciting. It’s got as much interior room as a Maxima (not even sure why I’m mentioning the Maxima)… but it’s all-wheel-drive!

And vtec!


The black Aspec trim is FINALLY a much needed, sporty break-away from all the cookie-cutter, gaudy chrome accenting these days. The TLX Aspec is muscular in it’s form. And unlike a lot of the newer cars, it doesn’t totally lose its shape & turn into a generic blob after the front grille/headlights. Similar to (yet not copying) designs from Alfa & Jaguar. It’s sharp.

It’s a TRUE, legitimate sports sedan! A car that can say ‘Yeah, sports sedan’… and look you in the eye.

Acura TLX Aspec Dashboard

The interior of the Aspec is lean, sporty, and functional. Alcantara enhances the door panels & well-engineered seats. The center console is fairly low & the gear-shifter is fully electronic… helping to make the cabin feel spacious & wide. At night, the interior is accented with red lighting.

Acura TLX Aspec Seats

When you lay into the throttle, you definitely know it. The car is fast. Not blistering fast… but the 290hp does a really great job of waking you up from your traffic-coma & bringing you back into the drive. It’s a big car, but in Sport/Sport+ Mode, it feels nimble, precise, and direct. Steering, suspension, and throttle response in Sports Mode is on-point: Tame enough for traffic & red lights, but responsive enough to be awake & at-the-ready when you need it.


Oh, and unlike the Lexus, the dang back seats fold down. So you can… you know… like, do stuff… carry things… and live your life outside of basic commuting.

I honestly don’t have a negative thing to say about this car, and I’m not going to try & nit-pick for the sake of ‘finding something’. Between this TLX Aspec, the new Civic Si, and the new Civic Type-R, Honda/Acura seems to be getting their groove back. Let’s support that energy/effort.












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