2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Ford Fusion

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 Fusion 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 Fusion 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 Fusion 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, 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 Ford Fusion:

TLX

Fusion

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 flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the Ford Fusion:

TLX

Fusion

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

269 G’s

Hip Force

276 lbs.

338 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

229

327

Hip Force

483 lbs.

805 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

HIC

249

258

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

45 G’s

Hip Force

678 lbs.

721 lbs.

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 Fusion’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 Ford covers the Fusion. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Fusion ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 5 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

The TLX has more powerful engines than the Fusion:

Horsepower

Torque

TLX 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

206 HP

182 lbs.-ft.

TLX 3.5 SOHC V6

290 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

Fusion 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

175 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Fusion SE/SEL 1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

181 HP

185 lbs.-ft.

Fusion 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the Ford Fusion 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.:

TLX

Fusion

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

91.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Fusion

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

2.7 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 Fusion doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

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 Fusion.

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 Fusion 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 Fusion:

TLX

Fusion

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

The TLX stops shorter than the Fusion:

TLX

Fusion

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TLX has larger standard tires than the Fusion (225/55R17 vs. 215/60R16). The TLX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fusion (245/40R19 vs. 235/50R17).

The TLX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fusion S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the TLX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Fusion S.

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 Fusion doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Passenger Space

The TLX has .3 inches more front hip room and .5 inches more rear hip room than the Fusion.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

The TLX uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fusion uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 55% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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 Fusion’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The TLX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Fusion SEL/Titanium/Sport.

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

The TLX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Fusion SEL/Titanium/Sport. 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 Fusion.

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 costs extra on the Fusion.

Both the TLX and the Fusion offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the TLX has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Fusion doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 Fusion only retains 41.66% to 42.58%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the Fusion because typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the Fusion, including $112 less for front brake pads and $224 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 Ford Fusion isn't recommended.

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

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