Compact luxury sedans offer refined rides and extensive high-tech features and sprinkle it all with a bit of Tabasco that you don’t get with a standard family car. The best of them are part sports car, part comfort cruiser. The 2022 Acura TLX and Lexus IS have many similarities, but balance those traits in a way that can make a better choice for you.
2022 Acura TLX
the 2022 Acura TLX starts at $38,900 and combines legendary Honda reliability with the latest automotive technology and an optional four-wheel drive system that makes handling sharp. It is underrated as a driver’s car and can hold its own with some more expensive models.
Acura TLX Highlights
Punches above its weight class: With a sticker price starting at $40,000, the TLX is priced like a luxury compact car. But it has the dimensions and visual presence to compete a class above. Is it a rival of the? BMW 3 Series or 5 series? It’s not easy to decide what’s a real selling point at this price.
Super handy four-wheel drive: Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is a $2,200 option, but it’s worth it. Like most AWD systems, it gives you an extra sense of security in bad weather. But it also uses Torque Vectoring technology to improve cornering on dry surfaces for an added sense of fun.
Serious passenger and cargo space: The TLX wins the battle for trunk space by almost 25%. That volume makes all the difference in a car you can enjoy on road trips. Rear-seat passengers get real leg and shoulder room thanks to that larger body.
2022 Lexus IS
Lexus, long known for its luxurious rides, leans towards sport because of its compact luxury car. The 2022 Lexus IS looks more aggressive than anything else in its class, while retaining the Lexus quality buyers have come to expect. It starts at $40,275 for 2022, although you can push the price above $62,000 with the near-track-ready IS 500 F-Sport Performance Premium Edition.
Lexus IS Highlights
This thing is beautiful: Remember how we said these cars balance sports car and luxury sedan? Lexus struck the balance towards stance with the IS. Make it what you want, but we think it might be the prettiest little luxury sedan.
Standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) performance options: Driving enthusiasts often prefer the feel of a RWD car. Unless you’re jumping for AWD, the Acura TLX sends power to the front wheels. The Lexus shows its sporting intentions in other ways too. It offers four powertrain choices, including a 472 horsepower V8 that has next to nothing to offer in a car of this size. It comes at a significant cost, but if you want a luxury commuter that can hold its own with sports coupes, the IS is your best bet.
More standard safety systems: Both cars offer automatic driver assistance systems such as Forward Collision Warning, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. But the IS adds blind spot monitoring and traffic sign recognition at no extra cost. Acura includes them in a technology package with an additional cost.
These two cars do most things right, and their standard equipment list reads similarly. Base models both use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and have an excellent reputation for reliability and comparable warranties.
The Acura TLX and Lexus IS have similar virtues, but bring a different attitude to the daily commute. The IS looks more dramatic, but sacrifices some rear-seat comfort and luggage space for style. Winning on space, the TLX keeps its performance credentials hidden under a more understated interior. Choosing is a matter of taste as you will probably enjoy both.
|2022 Acura TLX||2022 Lexus IS|
|Engine||2.0-litre turbo 4-cylinder||2.0-litre turbo 4-cylinder|
|horsepower||272 hp @ 6,500 rpm||241 hp @ 5,800 rpm|
|Couple||280 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm||258 lb-ft @ 1,550 rpm|
|Transfer||10-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Fuel economy||22 city/31 highway/25 combined mpg||21 city/31 highway/25 combined mpg|
|Also available||Turbo V6; four wheel drive||Two V6 options; 5.0-liter V8; four wheel drive|
|Basic warranty||4 years/50,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||6 years/70,000 miles||6 years/70,000 miles|
|NHTSA General Safety Assessment||5 stars||5 stars|
|Maximum seating capacity||5||5|
|wheelbase||113.0 inches||110.2 inches|
|Total length||194.6 inches||185.4 inches|
|Width||75.2 inches||72.4 inches|
|Height||56.4 inches||56.5 inches|
|turning diameter:||40.1 feet||34.2 feet|
|Headroom, front||37.2 inches||38.2 inches|
|Headroom, rear||36.3 inches||36.9 inches|
|Legroom, front||42.5 inches||424.8 inches|
|Legroom, rear||34.9 inches||32.2 inches|
|Shoulder room, front||58.2 inches||55.9 inches|
|Shoulder room, rear||55.0 inches||53.4 inches|
|cargo space||13.5 cubic feet||10.8 cubic feet|