For me, the Acura TLX has never been a bad car, just one I struggled to recommend over any number of competitors. It’s comfortable, reasonably quick and presumably reliable! I just could never find a case to tell you to buy one over a comparable BMW, Mercedes or Audi—or even a Lexus. Will driving a TLX that’s built by hand change my mind?
This is a TLX PMC Edition. And no, “PMC” here doesn’t mean a bunch of guys taking orders from Liquid Ocelot. It stands for Performance Manufacturing Center, the factory in Ohio where the NSX is built, a place where this sedan happens to be built too. And like the NSX, it is built by hand.
Only 360 of these special edition sedans will be made, and one of them is mine for the weekend. It’s exceedingly rare to find any car still made by hand that isn’t, say, a low-volume boutique sports car, much like the NSX. It’s interesting seeing those techniques applied to, well... a normal-ass sedan designed for hauling you and your family around in relative comfort.
Aside from its inherently special nature, it has Valencia Red Pearl paint, black wheels, a black roof, black door handles, leather and Alcantara seats, a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and Acura’s torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive. It’s got a nine-speed automatic transmission.
I’m taking it on a brief jaunt upstate this weekend and I was tooling around in it some last night. For the most part, I like it so far, slightly more than the last TLX A-Spec I drove, which I was not particularly enthused with. I wasn’t alone; my colleague Alanis King shared my sentiments about that thing.
Anyway, the PMC one:
Things I Like:
- The red paint really is gorgeous in person, and the rest of the sedan looks sharp enough. It appears more sporting than it really is.
- The V6 won’t light your hair on fire, but it has ample passing power on the highway. It’s a good output for this size.
- It handles better than I remember—it’s not a WRX or anything like that, but it can definitely take care of itself if you throw it into a hard corner.
Things I Don’t Like As Much
- I’m quite frustrated by Acura’s dual-screen infotainment system. The RDX with its touchpad thing is worse (automakers, please kill those, they are bad) but I never know which screen to look at. It’s laggy and the graphics feel dated. Coming off a new BMW with its truly superb iDrive and digital gauge cluster, Acura can’t compare.
- As much of a novelty as this thing is, I’m not sure who it’s supposed to be for.
- I’m over Alcantara in general.
This particular car didn’t come with a sticker, but the price listed online is like $51,000. I’ll get an exact quote on it at some point. And I’ll find out if it’s really worth the splurge on a humble sedan made next to the NSX, and in much the same way.
Ask me stuff about it.