2020 Acura TLX vs. 2020 Mercedes A-Class

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 Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the TLX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the TLX and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, 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 and around view monitors.

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 210 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Reliability

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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 22 points higher than the A-Class.

Engine

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The TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 18 more horsepower (206 vs. 188) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 102 more horsepower (290 vs. 188) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the Mercedes A-Class:

TLX

A-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

94.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The A-Class 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 A-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The TLX has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A-Class (17.2 vs. 13.5 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 A-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura TLX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

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The TLX stops shorter than the A-Class:

TLX

A-Class

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the TLX has larger standard tires than the A-Class (225/55R17 vs. 205/55R17). The TLX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (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 A-Class 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 A-Class; 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 tire options on the A-Class don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the TLX’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the A-Class (109.3 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the TLX is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the A-Class.

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 A-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The TLX has .8 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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The TLX has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (14.3 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics

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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 A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/06

The Acura TLX has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

TLX

A-Class

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

The Acura TLX outsold the Mercedes A-Class by 50% during 2019.

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