2020 Acura TLX vs. 2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the TLX and the 5 Series Sedan 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

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Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 5 Series 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 5 Series Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the TLX has a standard 650-amp battery. The 5 Series Sedan’s 570-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the TLX’s reliability 17 points higher than the 5 Series Sedan.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the 530i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

TLX

5 Series Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

94.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The 5 Series 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 5 Series 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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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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 5 Series Sedan.

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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the TLX V6’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan’s (38.8 feet vs. 39.5 feet). The TLX SH-AWD’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan xDrive’s (39.5 feet vs. 40.1 feet).

Chassis

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The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 600 pounds less than the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

The TLX is 3.9 inches shorter than the 5 Series Sedan, making the TLX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The TLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Servicing Ease

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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

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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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $1200 to $5575 less than the 5 Series Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the 5 Series Sedan because typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the 5 Series Sedan, including $408 less for a water pump, $369 less for a muffler, $101 less for front brake pads, $58 less for a fuel pump, $157 less for front struts and $929 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 $22003 to $31218 less than for the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

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 2019/12/14

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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