Acura TLX Type S vs. BMW M340i xDrive | Sport sedan comparison test

Pitting the upstart from Acura against the longtime German favorite

Deluxe sporting activity cars are still showing up on the market, as well as the Acura TLX Kind S is among the freshest cuts of meat in the window. It’s Acura’s large return to Type S efficiency models. Benchmarked against the typical ideal performance sedans of the section, Acura is intending to not simply to compete, however to win dogfights like these.

To see if the return of Kind S is all it’s cracked up to be, we decided to pin it up against the historical king of sporting activity sedan shootouts: a BMW 3 Series. Specifically, the Type S is taking on the M340i xDrive, which is this Acura’s a lot of all-natural competitor from Munich. Should the diehard BMW driver make the switch to Japanese performance? Does Type S do sufficient to raise this Acura approximately best Germany’s finest? There are a great deal of variables at play right here, and also they all make it made complex to pick a winner.

The similarities between these two start from the top of the spec sheet as well as decrease. Both have actually 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines– BMW arranges its cylinders inline, while Acura selects a V setup. Quick-shifting transmissions are common. BMW makes use of an eight-speed unit, while Acura utilizes a 10-speed. Both get electronically-controlled dampers, huge brakes and also sticky summertime rubber. They each offer up useful backseat space as well as reasonably-sized trunks. We would certainly really feel equally as confident showing up to a vital company meeting in either one as we would certainly at a track day. That’s the charm of this mid-tier performance segment.

After considering their specs, it shouldn’t be surprising that the M340i is the quicker of both below. Its 382 horse power as well as 368 pound-feet of torque hit visibly harder from any type of rate than Acura’s 355 steeds and also 354 pound-feet of torque. The Acura is likewise bring an additional 232 extra pounds of visual weight over the Bimmer, that makes the M340i’s 1-second benefit in the 0-60 mph sprint make best feeling. For the record, BMW quotes a 4.1-second time, and also Acura just uses an approximate time of 5 secs. Both estimates feel exact.

Beyond sheer velocity, both engines offer up their very own version of tingly feel-goods. BMW’s inline-six is as smooth as ever as it plays its sonorous note right to the 7,000 rpm redline. There are few audios in the auto world that go beyond the glee we feel when paying attention to a BMW inline-six at full-chat, and that guideline still puts on the M340i. BMW’s crafted crackles as well as stands out of the exhaust are entertaining, however are hardly essential when you have an engine as pleasant as this set.

Acura must’ve recognized that defeating an engine as good as BMW’s would certainly be tough, which is why the TLX Type S is the first Acura to obtain the business’s brand-new performance-focused turbocharged V6. Even if it doesn’t completely measure up to the BMW from a numbers point of view, the Type S engine is still incredibly nice. It winds up and also groans in a nostalgically pleasant Honda fashion, while the quad tailpipes sing an angry, piercing tune out into the world. Redline could only be 6,000 rpm, however the shrill note coming through the cabin at full throttle suffices to make you assume the engine is performing at and over 7,000.

The TLX’s sound would certainly be even better if it weren’t always ping-ponging between such short equipments, however. With 10 to work with, each upshift does not move the needle also far back in the rev range. That’s excellent to keep the engine in its maximum operating area, yet discourages use of the quick-responding paddles. You end up needing to push a paddle or 2 greater than what comes naturally to keep up with just how fast the engine faces redline. Limited gearing is seldom a negative point, but staying up to date with such quick bursts in each equipment before the following paddle pull quickly modifications from good fun to an added mental tons on the driver. Maybe 8 gears is the maximum number for optimum paddle shifter enjoyment. The M340i’s eight-speed is therefore even more enjoyable in this regard, while sharing the Acura’s quick gear adjustment rate. It’s just an embarassment that the small, plastic paddles are so lightweight as well as ineffective, leaving us equally as delighted to leave it in car. As well as when you do leave them in automobile, both will wisely change up and down when they must (one of the key upgrades for the Type S over other TLX models), but BMW’s adjusting is still just a hair much better at predicting precisely what you want.

With both automobiles readied to full attack setting– “Sporting activity+” for Acura as well as “Sporting Activity Plus” for BMW– it’s the TLX Kind S that beams brighter. The benefits doesn’t come from quick lap capacities; undoubtedly, the BMW is quicker there. But instead, the TLX Type S wows with its connected chassis as well as capacity to make a motorist smile.

You sit reduced down in the Acura than you do the BMW. The form of the steering wheel and driving setting is much more natural in the Acura, as the M340i’s wheel simply sits a tad expensive to be perfect. The Acura’s brake pedal has a much better first bite and also none of the uncertainty of the BMW’s. Despite the fact that we may such as the brand-new M3’s steering, the M340i does not gain from the exact same feeling. It’s numb and also synthetic, while the TLX Kind S steering tuning does a magnificent job of maintaining you notified of simply how much hold those Pirelli P Absolutely no summertime tires have actually left. Acura appropriately telegrams your rate and also chassis condition via the wheel and seat, yet that communication simply isn’t there in the BMW. There’s no rejecting the M340i’s best efficiency is excellent, however that performance is hostile and impersonal. It’s possible to do far better, and the TLX Kind S is straight proof.

So yes, the Acura supplies much better intangibles, yet it’s difficult to reject that the BMW’s dynamics and athleticism are anything except extraordinary. Both are four-wheel drive, yet their all-wheel-drive systems are not produced just as. Acura’s SH-AWD is among the most cunning on the marketplace, and offers you proper torque vectoring across the rear axle. It’s a huge part of what makes the Acura so nimble and also excited to fire to the next corner on a twisty road. Meanwhile, the M340i employs BMW’s active electric differential in back. Unlike the Acura’s buttoned-down SH-AWD, the M340i is going to tickle the juvenile part of your mind. Its rear-drive predisposition makes it much easier to wag its tail, as well as BMW’s sporting activity stability control system is happy to require in a split second. You can also do donuts on command, which is something the Acura won’t be doing except a damp skidpad.

Regardless of the BMW’s playfulness, the Pinnacle Blue Pearl TLX Type S is the one we kept intending to jump back in and also take an additional pass with. From the inflexible foundations, to the double wishbone front suspension’s communication with the roadway as well as imperfect surface areas, the Kind S simply toenails what it indicates to be both amusing and also super-capable. Yet also after leaving the Acura, the powertrain in our Daytona Violet Pearl M340i tester maintained biding us back to the German side of the world. If only there was a means to marry the BMW powertrain and also the TLX chassis.

Figuring out which is the far better vehicle to utilize on the day-to-day commute is equally as hard as picking one as the better driver’s auto. The TLX Kind S uses a somewhat calmer and more cosseting ride over rough pavement, but the BMW’s cabin is quieter. City driving is smoother and also more effective with BMW’s 48-volt mild-hybrid system shutting down the engine efficiently and often. Efficiency generally is a huge plus in the M340i’s favor. Even with considerably quicker acceleration and also more power, the BMW absolutely squashes the TLX in fuel economic situation, as it comes in at 26 mpg integrated versus the TLX Type S’ 21 mpg integrated. This is more crucial than it appears, as the typical chauffeur will conserve regarding $550 annually in gas going for the M340i xDrive over the TLX Kind S. That indicates that in simply 5 years’ time, fuel expenses alone will certainly have completely offseted the BMW’s higher base cost versus the Acura.

While we’re attracted to the TLX’s sporty interior design, the tech as well as infotainment– minus the Acura’s exceptional ELS stereo– all feel a step behind what’s found in the BMW. It’s mainly a clean in the deluxe debate. Both are sumptuously assigned sedans, but neither stands apart as an influential, upper-class experience. Any type of rear seat passengers will certainly prefer sitting in the M340i, but again, it’s close sufficient to the TLX that traveler comfort is only an apathetic sign in BMW’s support. Both swap locations in terms of real-world trunk area– neither is fantastic, however the Acura just edges out the BMW. In other words, functionality will not be guiding this dispute.

No, what will matter most is obtaining the very best efficiency and the most effective day-to-day driver for your buck. Acura gives you a rather well dressed up automobile for the Kind S’ beginning cost of $53,845. Include the efficiency wheels as well as tires that our examination car had, and you’re still left at a reasonable $54,645. In common BMW fashion, the M340i needs you to open the checkbook for options, and our test vehicle supplanted at $71,570. Almost all of the additionals, minus the $4,500 purple paint, are essential if you want to walk out the door with a vehicle matching the TLX Kind S’ conventional attribute collection.

Having to choose between these 2 options is a genuinely good problem to have, as you can’t fail in either case. Engine addicts need to collect by the BMW, however maximum value-seekers should migrate Acura’s method. If forced to pick just one, the TLX Type S would discover an area in our garage. It out-styles the M340i by a longshot, and it’s the a lot more interesting automobile to drive. BMW would certainly win in a pure numbers contrast, but the TLX Kind S steps in as the superior sporting activity sedan when you discard the numbers and merely drive.