2020 Acura TLX vs. 2020 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 2019/12/12

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, 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 Legacy has not been tested, yet.

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

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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

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The TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (206 vs. 182) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (182 vs. 176) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 30 more horsepower (290 vs. 260) than the Legacy XT’s standard 2.4 turbo 4 cyl.

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 Legacy doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

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

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2019/12/12

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/Touring’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 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Legacy doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the TLX has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Legacy uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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.

Servicing Ease

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The TLX uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Legacy uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

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 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 rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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/Touring.

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/Touring.

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 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.

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 2019/12/12

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

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