2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Subaru Legacy

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

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 Legacy 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 Legacy only offers a rear monitor.

Both the TLX and the Legacy have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the Subaru Legacy:

TLX

Legacy

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

678 lbs.

736 lbs.

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

Warranty

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

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 24th in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

The TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl. produces 31 more horsepower (206 vs. 175) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (182 vs. 174) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl. The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 34 more horsepower (290 vs. 256) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 247) than the Legacy 3.6R Limited’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura TLX is faster than the Subaru Legacy:

TLX 4-cyl.

TLX V6

Legacy 2.5i

Legacy 3.6R

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

5.8 sec

8.8 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.3 sec

9.3 sec

14.7 sec

11.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

6.2 sec

9.1 sec

7.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.8 sec

3.6 sec

4.3 sec

3.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.5 sec

4 sec

5.9 sec

4.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

14.2 sec

16.9 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

100 MPH

85 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

134 MPH

129 MPH

130 MPH

139 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

On the EPA test cycle the TLX SH-AWD V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Legacy 3.6R Limited (20 city/29 hwy vs. 20 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 Legacy doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the TLX SH-AWD’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Legacy doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the TLX’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Legacy:

TLX

Legacy 2.5i

Legacy 3.6R

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

11.8 inches

The TLX stops shorter than the Legacy:

TLX

Legacy

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

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 Legacy Sport/Limited’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the TLX A-Spec has standard 19-inch wheels. The Legacy’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 Legacy doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The TLX handles at .84 G’s, while the Legacy 3.6R Limited pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The TLX V6 SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Legacy 2.5i Limited (26.7 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the Legacy 3.6R Limited:

TLX

Legacy

At idle

39 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

69 dB

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

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

Servicing Ease

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The TLX has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Legacy doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

A Maintenance Minder is standard on the TLX to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush, brake pad replacement and transmission fluid replacement based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Subaru doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Legacy.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 37% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.

Ergonomics

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The TLX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Legacy doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The TLX’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Legacy’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Legacy Premium//Limited’s optional power windows, only the front windows open or 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 Legacy can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Legacy’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 TLX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited.

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

Standard air-conditioned seats in the TLX Advance/V6 A-Spec keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Legacy doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the TLX Advance’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Legacy doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited.

Both the TLX and the Legacy 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 Legacy Base doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Model Availability

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The TLX is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Legacy doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the Legacy because it costs $255 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the Legacy, including $58 less for a water pump, $19 less for front brake pads and $207 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

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

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

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