2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

Both the TLX and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

TLX

C-Class Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

TLX

C-Class Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1 inches

Hip Force

276 lbs.

452 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

229

459

Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

67 G’s

Hip Force

483 lbs.

949 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

678 lbs.

769 lbs.

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

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the C-Class Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the C-Class Sedan 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 optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 35 more horsepower (290 vs. 255) than the C 300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TLX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (245/40R19 vs. 225/40R19).

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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan; 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. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the TLX is .8 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Sedan.

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the TLX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The C-Class Sedan uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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

Passenger Space

The TLX has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (93.3 vs. 90).

The TLX has .1 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The TLX has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (14.3 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Sedan because it costs $355 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the C-Class Sedan, including $366 less for a water pump, $233 less for a muffler, $42 less for front brake pads, $368 less for a fuel pump and $88 less for front struts.

Recommendations

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

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos