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2024 Acura TLX vs. 2024 Lexus ES Comparison

The 2024 Acura TLX and 2024 Lexus ES are highly polished midsize luxury sedans that deliver a ton of car for your money. While that’s to be expected in a premium-badged vehicle, the TLX and ES also stand out for their range of powertrain choices and lengthy lineup of features.

Of the two, the TLX puts more emphasis on driving excitement thanks to its sharp steering and available all-wheel-drive (AWD) hardware. Its standard 272-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder has more than enough grunt, though the twin-scroll turbo V6 fitted to the range-topping Type S transforms the TLX into a no-excuses sport sedan.

Car shoppers who prefer to be coddled should lean toward the Lexus. Its whisper-quiet cabin and supple ride make it ideal for anyone who prizes a relaxed, totally stress-free driving experience. This goes a long way toward explaining why the Lexus ES is a 5-time Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award winner.   

Which is a better fit for your driving needs and budget? Let’s compare the two.

2024 Acura TLX

For the 2024 model year, Acura has given the TLX a refresh that includes a redesigned grille and new alloy wheel designs. Interior updates consist of a newly-standard 12.3-inch digital instrument display and 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Also now fitted to every TLX is a wireless charging pad and leather upholstery. 

The entry-level TLX Technology trim starts at $45,000; the mid-range TLX A-Spec with AWD costs $50,000; and the potent TLX Type S rings in at $57,000. All prices exclude factory-to-dealer destination fees.  

Acura TLX Highlights

Performance with Type S: Don’t get us wrong; even the base front-wheel-drive TLX with its 272-hp turbo 4-cylinder is quite entertaining. Yet we’d have to turn in our car-loving credentials if we didn’t mention the thrills that come along for the ride when opting for the Type S. The 355-hp turbo V6 blasts the TLX from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. 

Super Handling All-Wheel Drive: No one can call Acura humble for naming its all-wheel-drive system “super.” But the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, standard on the A-Spec and Type S, lives up to its billing by improving grip and sharpening the TLX’s handling reflexes.

Steering agility: Speaking of handling, the Acura TLX feels light on its feet and thrives on tight and twisty roads. This steering prowess is equally satisfying in city traffic or mountain curves.  

ELS audio system: Music fans will adore the TLX’s available ELS audio system. It can be had in 13- or 17-speaker configuration and delivers stunning sound quality. The wizard behind this system (Elliot Scheiner) is a Grammy-winning sound engineer.  

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the TLX models for sale near you. 

2024 Lexus ES

2024 Lexus ES 350 in white driving down a street.

You’re spoiled for choice when choosing your ideal ES. Among its many trims and racy F-Sport option packages are three available powertrains, including a fuel-sipping hybrid, and your choice of front- or all-wheel drive. 

This generation of ES dates back to the 2019 model year, but it remains one of our most highly recommended luxury sedans. One notable update to the 2024 ES lineup is wider availability of the Technology package. It includes a head-up instrument display, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, and Smart Access key card. The base ES 250 starts at $43,190; the top-of-the-line ES 300h Ultra Luxury trim commands $53,480. 

Lexus ES Highlights 

Ride quality: Give Lexus credit when it comes to the suspension tuning of the ES. Sure, there are rivals that have firmer/sportier setups (including the Acura TLX). Yet the ride quality of the ES is perfect for car shoppers who want a plush – but not floaty – suspension that soaks up rough roads with an uncanny ease.

Rear legroom: If you plan on routinely driving with more than one passenger, know that the Lexus ES delivers in rear legroom. Its 39.2 inches are about 4 inches more than what the TLX offers. 

All-wheel drive: Having all-wheel drive standard on the least expensive ES 250 trim is a plus point. But keep in mind this means sticking with this version’s 203-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. ES 350 models with a V6 engine and ES 300h hybrid models are all front-wheel drive. 

Silky V6: If you can live without AWD, we think the 302-hp V6 fitted to the ES 350 is perfectly matched to this car’s luxurious nature. It whisks the ES from a standstill to 60 mph in a brisk 6.6 seconds, versus 8.1 seconds with the base 4-cylinder. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the ES models for sale near you. 

Similarities

The 2024 Acura TLX and 2024 Lexus ES are most similar in their overall value. They cost thousands less than a number of direct competitors, particularly from the German luxury brands, but neither skimps on standard or available tech and safety features. They’re also known for their reliability and resale value, too. Both also have identical warranty protection.

Conclusion

The Acura TLX is the extrovert, thanks to its bold exterior design and optional turbo V6. We love how this Acura powers around corners and encourages you to have fun when behind the wheel. 

Where it falters a bit, at least compared to the Lexus ES, is in rear legroom and its quirky touchpad controller for the infotainment system. It gets easier with practice, though a simple touchscreen seems a far better choice. 

The Lexus ES has impeccable credentials here at Kelley Blue Book. This Best Buy Award winner shines in all areas as a comfortable midsize luxury sedan, and it doesn’t demand a mega-jackpot lottery win to afford it. 

You can’t go wrong with the Acura or the Lexus, but the easygoing ES is more attuned to the demands of a wider range of luxury car shoppers. 

  2024 Acura TLX  2024 Lexus ES
Starting Price  $45,000 $43,190
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  Turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower  272 hp @ 6,500 rpm 203 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque  280 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission  10-speed automatic  8-speed automatic 
Fuel economy MPG 21 city/29 highway/24 combined 25 city/34 highway/28 combined 
Also Available  Twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, AWD 2.5-liter gas-electric 4-cyl; 3.5-liter V6, FWD
Specs       
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 Overall Safety  5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 
Wheelbase  113.0 inches  113.0 inches 
Overall Length  194.6 inches  195.9 inches 
Width  75.2 inches  73.4 inches 
Height  56.4 inches  56.9 inches 
Turning Diameter  40.1 feet  38.0 feet 
Headroom, Front  37.2 inches 37.5 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  36.3 inches  37.8 inches 
Legroom, Front  42.4 inches  42.4 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  34.9 inches  39.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  58.2 inches  55.9 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  55.0 inches 54.3 inches
Cargo Volume  13.5 cubic feet   13.9 cubic feet 

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