2020 Acura TLX vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the TLX and the 4 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

Warranty

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

Engine

The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 42 more horsepower (290 vs. 248) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 258) than the 430i Gran Coupe’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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 4 Series Gran Coupe requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The TLX has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (17.2 vs. 15.8 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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the TLX’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

TLX

4 Series Gran Coupe

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

The TLX stops much shorter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

TLX

4 Series Gran Coupe

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TLX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (245/40R19 vs. 225/45R18).

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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 4 Series Gran Coupe; 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 better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the TLX is 1.8 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive (39 vs. 40 dB).

Passenger Space

The TLX has .4 inches more front legroom, 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the TLX offers cargo security. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 19% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

The TLX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $915 to $5675 less than the 4 Series Gran Coupe over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Gran Coupe because it costs $9 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the 4 Series Gran Coupe, including $454 less for a water pump, $191 less for a muffler, $99 less for front brake pads, $253 less for front struts and $797 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 $7769 to $9972 less than for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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

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