2017 Acura TLX vs. 2017 Lexus IS

When comparing the 2017 Acura TLX vs. 2017 Lexus IS, one thing is for sure: the luxury sedan segment is a tight race to offer the best features at great prices. And while it’d be great to be able to casually afford both of these vehicles, most of us can only buy one at a time. So it’s important to ensure we do our research and pick the right car to meet our wants and needs.

In this luxury vehicle comparison, we’ll go over the most important details that separate the 2017 Acura TLX from the 2017 Lexus IS. Without bias, we simply look at these vehicles from a birds-eye view to give you the information you need to make a more informed decision as a car buyer.

Enjoy!

Performance and Fuel Economy

The performance options for the 2017 Acura TLX and the 2017 Lexus IS are very similar and very different at the same time. Both come with standard 4-cylinder engines with the option to upgrade to a V6. Both are standard two-wheel drive, again with the option to upgrade to all-wheel drive.

But the Acura’s 4-cylinder engine is naturally-aspirated, while the Lexus’s is turbocharged. The TLX is front-wheel drive in the standard model, while the IS is rear-wheel drive in its standard model.

The TLX’s standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine creates 206 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque, with its 3.5-liter V6 pushing 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. On the IS 200t, its standard 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine creates 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Upgraded to the 3.5-liter V6 on the IS 350, and those numbers are bumped to 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a middle-ground option with the IS, the new IS 300 model, which comes with a less-powerful 3.5-liter V6 rated for 255 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.

It should be noted that the TLX’s 4-cylinder model is locked to the FWD drivetrain, and the IS’s turbocharged engine is locked to the RWD drivetrain. So the only way to get AWD on these luxury sedans is to upgrade to the V6 engine options.

In terms of fuel economy, Acura has the clear advantage over Lexus. Despite its smaller displacement and turbocharged engine, the Lexus IS 200t does not achieve better fuel economy than the TLX.

Interior and Technology

On the inside, both the 2017 Acura TLX and 2017 Lexus IS offer similar features. Both offer packages that upgrade the interior quality with perforated leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, and wood trim accents.

Technology is also evenly matched among both models, with each offering premium sound systems, advanced navigation, and plenty of the latest and greatest safety features.

In terms of luxury sedans, there are only minute details separating the interiors, such as the hand-faced clock built into the dash on the IS.

Pricing and Options

At its base price, the 2017 Acura TLX (FWD) carries a $32,950 MSRP*. The 2017 Lexus IS 200t (RWD), before any packages or options are added, is set an MSRP of $37,825. With such a large difference at the start, you can probably guess that the price difference only grows more and more with the higher-end configurations.

When built out to their highest non-performance specifications, over $3,000 separates the 2017 TLX with GT appearance package and the 2017 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport. The TLX comes out to $47,567, while the IS is priced at $51,040. Both of these prices include the destination fee from their respective manufacturers.

As mentioned in the previous section, both vehicles are very similarly equipped. But with the F Sport Package on the IS 350, buyers do get a little more than just exterior appearance add-ons, which is what the TLX’s GT Package is. Instead, there are custom bolstered seats, a special interior trim, added Sport+ driving mode, and a sport-tuned adaptive suspension.

Other than those features, the extra $3,000 price difference between the TLX and IS goes towards adding a power rear sunshade and heating steering wheel to the IS.

Conclusion

These two vehicles offer buyers a tough decision when it comes to luxury sedans. The TLX offers great value on both the low and high end models, while the IS can be configured with just a few more options and higher performance components.

If you’re a buyer focused on comfort, value, and a balance of performance and fuel economy, the TLX is the absolute best choice. However, if you’re looking for more of a sedan and sports car mix with luxury features, you may want to go with the IS.

At the end of the day, it’s all about weighing the pros and cons to figure out which is right for you!

*Pricing Disclaimer: Pricing based on data on Acura.com. Includes destination charge. Pricing subject to change.