2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Chevrolet Impala

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 Impala doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The TLX offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Impala doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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 Impala only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the TLX and the Impala 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, daytime running lights, 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 Chevrolet Impala:

TLX

Impala

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 Chevrolet Impala:

TLX

Impala

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

180 G’s

Hip Force

276 lbs.

332 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

483 lbs.

855 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

249

315

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

38 G’s

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

Warranty

The TLX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Impala’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Impala. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Impala ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The TLX’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Impala’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 10 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

The TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (206 vs. 197) than the Impala’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura TLX 4-cyl. is faster than the Chevrolet Impala 4-cyl.:

TLX

Impala

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.9 sec

24.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

85 MPH

Top Speed

134 MPH

132 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Impala

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/28 hwy

Flex-Fuel 3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/28 hwy

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

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 Impala doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura TLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Impala.

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 Impala doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The TLX stops shorter than the Impala:

TLX

Impala

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

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 Impala 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 .6 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Impala.

The TLX handles at .83 G’s, while the Impala LT pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The TLX V6 SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Impala Premier (26.7 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

Chassis

The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Chevrolet Impala.

The TLX is 10.6 inches shorter than the Impala, making the TLX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the Impala LT (74 vs. 77 dB).

Passenger Space

The TLX has .4 inches more front hip room and .8 inches more rear hip room than the Impala.

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 Impala’s liftover is 29.4 inches.

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 21% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

The TLX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Impala, and is not available on all models.

The TLX’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Impala’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

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 Impala can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Impala doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The TLX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Impala’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The TLX’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

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 Impala’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the TLX detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Impala doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The TLX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Impala LT/Premier.

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 Impala’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The TLX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Impala, and aren’t available on the Impala LS. The TLX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Impala.

The TLX has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Impala LT/Premier.

Economic Advantages

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 Impala only retains 39.29% to 41.42%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the Impala because it costs $319 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the Impala, including $188 less for a water pump, $98 less for front brake pads, $11 less for a fuel pump and $349 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Chevrolet Impala isn't recommended.

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

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