2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Lincoln Continental

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 Continental doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the TLX and the Continental 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Lincoln Continental:

TLX

Continental

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

229

322

Hip Force

483 lbs.

560 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

HIC

249

369

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

47 G’s

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

Reliability

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

300

FWD

3.7 DOHC V6

17 city/26 hwy

2.7 turbo V6

17 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.7 DOHC V6

16 city/24 hwy

2.7 turbo V6

17 city/25 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

16 city/24 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The Continental 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 Continental requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Continental.

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

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 Continental doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The TLX handles at .84 G’s, while the Continental Black Label AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the TLX V6’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Continental’s (38.8 feet vs. 41.8 feet). The TLX SH-AWD’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Continental’s (39.5 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Chassis

The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 pounds less than the Lincoln Continental.

The TLX is 10.7 inches shorter than the Continental, making the TLX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 1% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

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 Continental doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Acura TLX offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Continental doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $825 to $6965 less than the Continental 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 Continental only retains 38.61% to 40.36%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the Continental because typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the Continental, including $184 less for a water pump, $392 less for a muffler, $59 less for front brake pads, $155 less for front struts and $730 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 $14649 to $24824 less than for the Lincoln Continental.

Recommendations

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

The Acura TLX outsold the Lincoln Continental by over three to one during 2018.

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

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