2019 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Audi A4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the TLX and the A4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the Audi A4:

 

TLX

A4

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the Audi A4:

 

TLX

A4

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

219 G’s

Hip Force

276 lbs.

308 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

229

277

Hip Force

483 lbs.

777 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

249

333

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

47 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the TLX has a standard 650-amp battery. The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 20th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Engine

The TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 18 more horsepower (206 vs. 188) than the A4 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 42 more horsepower (290 vs. 248) than the A4 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the A4 40 TFSI:

 

TLX

A4

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The A4 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The TLX has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 (17.2 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The TLX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The A4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura TLX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A4.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the TLX’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the A4:

 

TLX

A4

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

The TLX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The A4 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the TLX is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the A4.

The TLX V6 SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the A4 Premium (26.7 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the TLX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The A4 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The TLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the A4 Prestige Quattro (39 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

The TLX has 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity

The TLX has a much larger trunk than the A4 (14.3 vs. 13 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The TLX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The TLX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the TLX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

When the TLX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The A4’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $945 less than the A4 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the A4 because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the A4, including $396 less for a water pump, $70 less for front brake pads, $10 less for a starter, $99 less for a fuel pump, $486 less for front struts and $304 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $4512 to $7493 less than for the Audi A4.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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