2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Mercedes A-Class

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 A-Class doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura TLX are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the TLX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the TLX and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

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

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl. produces 18 more horsepower (206 vs. 188) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 102 more horsepower (290 vs. 188) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the Mercedes A 220:

TLX

A-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.1 sec

16.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.2 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

94 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 A-Class doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The TLX has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A-Class (17.2 vs. 13.5 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 A-Class 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 seven-speed automatic is available for the A-Class.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TLX has larger standard tires than the A-Class (225/55R17 vs. 205/55R17). The TLX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (245/40R19 vs. 205/55R17).

The TLX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A-Class’ 55 series tires.

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 A-Class doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The TLX offers an available space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the A-Class; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the TLX’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the A-Class (109.3 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the TLX is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the A-Class.

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

The TLX has .8 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

The TLX has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (14.3 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics

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 A-Class can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the TLX has standard extendable sun visors. The A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The TLX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the A-Class. 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 A-Class.

Recommendations

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

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

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