Acura TLX Vs. Audi A4: Midsize Luxury Sedan Showdown

By Justin Cupler | December 26th, 2018

Midsize luxury sedans have the ability to combine many things in one package, including great performance, good fuel economy, and luxury at a relative value. The 2019 Acura TLX and 2018 Audi A4 offer all this and more, but which is better for your daily commute to Rochester, Pittsford, or Fairport, New York? Find out below.

Exterior

The Audi A4 and Acura TLX feature all you’d expect from a midsize luxury sedan, but they take on sportier angles than the many of the staples in the segment. Both luxury sedans have angular designs and updated versions of their brands’ respective grilles. At the end of the day, the Acura TLX boasts more flair, while the A4 rolls with the timeless look Audi fans have long loved about the brand.

These luxury sedans come well equipped with loads of standard exterior goodies, including 17-inch wheels and LED lighting. They also have tons of options to help dress things up a bit.

In terms of size, the 2019 Acura TLX is larger than the 2018 Audi A4 in every measurable. It is 191.5 to 191.7 inches long, 57 inches high, and 73 inches wide. It rides on a 109.3-inch wheelbase. The Audi A4 is 186.1 inches long, 56.2 inches high, and 72.5 inches wide. Its wheelbase checks in at 110 inches.

Advantage: 2019 Acura TLX

  • Sharper body attracts the eye

Advantage: 2018 Audi A4

  • Smaller body and longer wheelbase helps with handling

Interior

The 2019 Acura TLX’s interior features a swoopy design with plenty of luxury and tech to go around. Each front-seat occupant feels encapsulated in their own space thanks to this design, which fits the standard sports seats well. The Audi A4 takes on a more horizontal approach with its dash, and the contrast color that shoots up the center console and across the dash helps break up the monotony.

The Audi A4’s list of standard features is slightly longer and includes leather seating and a 10-speaker audio system to the TLX’s leatherette seating and seven-speaker audio system. While those extra features are nice, they come at a premium due to the A4’s higher price.  

Inside, the 2019 Acura TLX and A4 are similar, but each has its advantages in certain measurements. The TLX’s front seats boast 37.2 inches of headroom, 42.6 inches of legroom

57.5 inches of shoulder room, and 55.3 inches of hip room. The A4’s front seats offer 1.7 inches more headroom, 1.3 inches less legroom, and 1.6 extra inches of shoulder room. The A4 does not have an official hip room measurement.

In its rear seats, the TLX has 36.7 inches of headroom, 34.5 inches of legroom, 55.4 inches of shoulder room, and 54.9 inches of hip room. The A4’s rear seats have an extra 0.7 inches of headroom and 1.2 inches of legroom, but its shoulder room is 0.9 inches tighter. Like the front, there is no rear hip room measurement for the 2019 Audi A4.

Trunk space is a big deal in the midsize luxury sedan segment, and the 2019 Acura TLX’s 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space is 1.3 cubes larger than the A4.

Advantage: 2019 Acura TLX

  • More rear shoulder room
  • Larger trunk

Advantage: 2018 Audi A4

  • Roomier front seats
  • More rear legroom
  • More standard features

Performance

Midsize luxury sedans must carefully balance power, fuel economy, and a soft ride. The 2019 Acura TLX and 2018 Audi A4 offer a wide range of engine options to help meet these demands.

The 2019 Acura TLX comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. This power routes through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission on its way to the front wheels. This powertrain delivers a respectable 23 mpg city[1], 33 highway[1], and 27 combined[1]

Need more oomph? The 2019 TLX also has an optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This power feeds through a nine-speed automatic transmission on its way to the front wheels. Buyers can opt for all-wheel drive on the V-6 model. Fuel economy checks in at 20 mpg city, 31 highway, and 24 combined with front-wheel drive and 20 mpg city[1], 29 highway[1], and 23 combined[1] with all-wheel drive.

The 2018 Audi A4’s standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes up light in power at 190 horsepower, but its 236 pound-feet of torque gives it a little more off-the-line pull. This engine mates to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission that ships power to the front wheels. This powertrain delivers 27 mpg city, 37 highway, and 31 combined.

The A4’s optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivers 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This potent four-pot pairs to a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed dual-clutch transmission — there is no charge for either transmission — and the power heads to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive. This all adds up to 24 mpg city, 34 highway, and 27 combined with the manual gearbox and 24 mpg city, 33 highway, and 27 combined with the dual-clutch transmission.

Acceleration is a key for some buyers in this class, and these luxury sedans deliver the goods. The Acura TLX sprints to 60 mph in an independently tested 6.8 seconds with the four-cylinder engine and 5.7 seconds with the V-6 engine. The 2018 Audi A4 with the base four-cylinder engine is not far behind the base TLX with a 7.1-second 0-to-60 time. With the more powerful four-pot option, the A4 matches the TLX V-6’s 5.7-seconds 0-to-60 sprint.

Advantage: 2019 Acura TLX

  • More base horsepower
  • Quicker base acceleration

Advantage: 2018 Audi A4

  • Superior fuel economy
  • Legendary all-wheel-drive system

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Acura TLX, like all Acura models, has no true trim levels. Instead, it has three packages — Technology, A-Spec, and Advance — that act as trim levels. The 2019 TLX’s starting prices start at $33,000.

The 2018 Audi A4 comes in three trim levels — Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige — and its starting prices range from $36,000 to $45,500.

2019 Acura TLX Key Features and Pricing by Trim

TLX: $33,200[2]

  • 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Automatic engine stop/start
  • 17-inch pewter gray 10-spoke wheels
  • Power moonroof
  • Remote-operated windows
  • LED headlights
  • LED taillights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Heated mirrors with reverse tilt-down
  • Dual exhaust outlets
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Sport seats
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar
  • Four way front passenger’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Ambient lighting
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Seven-speaker Acura Premium Audio System
  • Aha and Pandora compatibility
  • SiriusXM
  • USB port
  • Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio
  • MP3 capability
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Multiview rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Electric parking brake
  • Automatic brake hold
  • Hill-start assist
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Road-departure mitigation

W/ Technology Package: $36,700[2]

  • All TLX features, plus
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Perforated Milano leather interior
  • Navigation
  • Acura Real-Time Traffic
  • Street and Freeway Conditions Traffic Rerouting
  • Color multi-information display
  • AcuraLink
  • 10-speaker ELS Studio premium audio
  • Song By Voice
  • HD Radio
  • GPS-linked climate control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

W/ A-Spec Package: $39,400[2]

  • All Technology Package features, plus
  • Exclusive front bumper and lower intake
  • Dark-chrome trim and grille
  • Side-sill garnish
  • Matte-black window trim
  • Dark-chrome headlight and taillight details
  • 19-inch Shark Gray wheels
  • A-Spec oval exhaust tips
  • Round LED fog lights
  • Gloss-black rear spoiler
  • Rear parking sensors
  • A-Spec badges
  • Ebony Alcantara or red leather seats and door inserts
  • Black headliner
  • MEtallic foot-rest pad
  • A-Spec sport seats with contrast stitching and piping
  • Red accent lighting
  • Red-on-black gauges
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Heated and ventilated seats
  • A-Spec insignia door-sill garnish

W/ Advance Package: $43,950[2]

  • All Technology Package features, plus
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Rectangular LED fog lights
  • Rear spoiler
  • LED puddle lights
  • Power-folding side mirrors
  • 360-degree camera
  • White accent lighting
  • Heated and ventilated seats
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Windshield wiper de-icer
  • Remote ignition
  • Auto-dimming side-view mirrors
  • Front and rear parking sensors

2018 Audi A4 Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Premium: $36,000

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission w/ paddle shifters
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 17-inch five-spoke wheels
  • Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • LED taillights with dynamic turn signals
  • LED rear fog lights
  • Power mirrors with heat
  • Heated windshield-washer nozzles
  • Dual exhaust outlets
  • 5-inch monochrome driver-information system
  • Voice control
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 7-inch MMI infotainment display
  • 10-speak Audi audio system with CD player and MP3 playback
  • HD Radio
  • Two USB ports
  • Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio
  • HomeLink universal garage-door opener
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Three-spoke steering wheel with controls
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirrors
  • Leather-wrapped gear shifter
  • Leather seats
  • Eight-way power front seats
  • Four-way power lumbar for driver’s seat
  • 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down front
  • Ambient LED lighting
  • Sunroof
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • Keyless ignition
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Rearview camera

Premium Plus: $39,200

  • All Premium features, plus
  • 18-inch 5-spoke wheels
  • Full-LED headlights
  • Auto-dimming outside mirrors
  • S line bumpers, door-sill blades, fender badges, and rear diffuser
  • Aluminum window trim
  • Audi connect CARE assistance
  • 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System with 755 watts
  • SiriusXM
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Heated front seats
  • S line stainless-steel door

Prestige: $45,500

  • All Premium Plus features, plus
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • MMI navigation plus with voice control
  • MMI touch with handwriting recognition
  • INRIX XD Traffic
  • 8.3-inch MMI infotainment and navigation display
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear automatic emergency braking
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • 360-degree camera

Who Should Buy the 2019 Acura TLX?

The Acura TLX is great for buyers looking to keep their payments as low as possible without sacrificing luxury. With its significantly lower starting price and loads of luxurious features, the TLX meets these needs without breaking the bank.

Who Should Buy the 2018 Audi A4?

The 2018 Audi A4 is great for a buyer looking for extra brand cachet. While it may not have the pull of a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, Audi has a great pedigree.

Ready to take the 2019 Acura TLX for a spin through the streets of Rochester, New York or to Pittsford, New York to see family? Head down to the Acura of Rochester new-car showroom for a test drive. Can’t make it in today? You can see what 2019 TLX models we have in stock via our online inventory.

 

 

 

[1] MPG for 2019 TLX: Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors.
[2] MSRP for 2019 TLX: Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge is $995 for sedans and $995 for SUVs. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.
Posted in Model Comparison