2020 Acura TLX vs. 2020 Lexus GS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 GS Series 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 GS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the TLX and the GS Series 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, 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.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the TLX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 174 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GS Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 12 percent more Acura dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the TLX’s warranty.

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 GS Series’ 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the TLX gets better fuel mileage than the GS Series:

MPG

TLX

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

2.4 DOHC V6

23 city/32 hwy

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

GS Series

RWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

350 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The GS Series 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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura TLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The GS Series 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 GS Series 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 GS Series.

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

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 GS Series (245/40R19 vs. 235/40R19).

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 GS Series doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Chassis

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The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 200 pounds less than the Lexus GS Series.

The TLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GS Series 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 GS 350 (39 vs. 40 dB).

Passenger Space

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The TLX has .3 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room and .8 inches more rear hip room than the GS Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The TLX’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The GS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

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The TLX’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The GS Series’ cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Acura TLX offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The GS Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 $1880 to $5740 less than the GS Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the GS Series, including $291 less for a water pump, $3 less for front brake pads, $29 less for a starter, $87 less for fuel injection, $1409 less for a timing belt/chain and $222 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $11982 to $17579 less than for the Lexus GS Series.

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 2019/12/09

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

The Acura TLX outsold the Lexus GS Series by almost seven to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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