2019 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The TLX V6’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The MKZ doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The TLX V6 offers an optional Surround View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The MKZ only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the TLX and the MKZ 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems 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 Lincoln MKZ:

 

TLX

MKZ

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

TLX

MKZ

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

HIC

249

268

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

46 G’s

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

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the TLX has a standard 650-amp battery. The MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the TLX’s reliability 28 points higher than the MKZ.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 7 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura TLX is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

TLX 4 cyl.

TLX V6

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0 Turbo

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

5.8 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

6.2 sec

9.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

14.2 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

100 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

134 MPH

129 MPH

109 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the TLX gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ:

 

 

 

MPG

TLX

 

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

 

 

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/31 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/30 hwy

 

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

MKZ

 

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/31 hwy

 

 

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

 

 

3.0 turbo V6

17 city/26 hwy

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura TLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The TLX has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

The TLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The MKZ doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

TLX

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

12.4 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 MKZ 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 .5 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the MKZ.

The TLX handles at .84 G’s, while the MKZ Premiere AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The TLX V6 SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the MKZ Premiere (26.7 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Lincoln MKZ.

The TLX is 3.2 inches shorter than the MKZ, making the TLX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the MKZ AWD:

 

TLX

MKZ

At idle

39 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The TLX has .2 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear hip room and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the TLX easier. The TLX’s trunk lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the MKZ’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the TLX offers cargo security. The MKZ’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

The TLX has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKZ doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The TLX’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the MKZ’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 MKZ’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 $890 less than the MKZ over a five-year period.

The TLX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the TLX will retain 48.4% to 50.83% of its original price after five years, while the MKZ only retains 38.09% to 40.84%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the MKZ, including $34 less for a water pump, $345 less for a muffler, $43 less for front brake pads and $761 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 $2931 to $8188 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

Recommendations

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

The Acura TLX outsold the Lincoln MKZ by 53% during 2018.

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

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